We caught up with Brett Seychell, Owner and Founder of Social Cycles, a cycle travel operator for those who want to get truly immersed in a new culture. REID loved this idea and donated Brett and Social Cycles 10 bikes in which to travel the world! Find out more about Social Cycles and their relationship with the world and REID.
I’m Melbourne born and bred, but spent most of my adult life in London. My professional background was in hospitality management, but there came a time in my life where the music just got too loud (I got too old!). Call it an early mid-life crisis, but at the age of 35, I thought attempting to ride a bicycle from London back home to Melbourne was the right thing to do. And my life has changed ever since.
When and how did you get into bike riding?
Across the epic global bike journey (Europe, Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and Australia) of over 2 years, 28,000+ km’s and 28 countries, I was in the fortunate position to have the autonomy of financial dispersion via a small charity. I was responsible for finding a good home to £12,500 across various countries, projects and NGOs along the great ride home. Packed with rose coloured glasses and a bag full of good intentions, I soon learnt that deciding how to donate the money responsibly was much harder than any hill or mountain I had needed to climb. But through simply meeting amazing people, asking questions first and learning, I was confident in donating to 13 different projects across six countries in NGO programs that were sustainable, income generating and community based.
In hindsight, despite leaving a trail of ‘good stuff’ across the world, I have no doubt that I was the biggest benefactor. My reward was the feeling of responsible giving, to local communities and supporting programs of empowerment. I felt like I had made a difference, a difference I had discovered through asking questions and learning first. It wasn’t easy, but it sure was rewarding. It completely changed travel for me. It’s no longer enough to just see a monument and a museum and think you know the city. It’s all about asking local experts about current day issues. It’s the best way to learn about the impact of recent history, and arguably more importantly, what the near future looks like.
Then I thought, everybody should be able to travel like this. So, I created Social Cycles.
So, what is Social Cycles?
Social Cycles is a small group cycle travel operator for people who want more out of their travel experience. It’s about engaging with local heroes and getting a true account about the country and culture.
We choose to cycle across the country on our trips because it is no doubt the best way to travel. Only by bike can you find yourself out in the middle of nowhere, off the beaten track and experiencing true culture.
Where do Social Cycles, cycle?
Social Cycles currently operates tours Cambodia, Samoa, Laos and Vietnam.
What made you approach REID as your bike of choice?
We approached Reid for two reasons. Firstly, because of the quality of the bikes. We use the X-Trail mountain bikes in Cambodia and Vietnam. And these bikes know how to take a beating. There’s nothing they can’t handle and we love having the chance to put them through their paces. Mud, sand, dirt, rivers, rain…. It’s all good. One of the features I like the most is the ability to handle the tough terrain. The bumps are really well absorbed by the suspension.
The second reason was the like minded values in ethical travel. REID really liked the idea of engaging in local social impact issues and learning first how to make a positive difference to the local community.
What distance have they covered?
The Reid bikes have covered about 3-4000km each. They hold up really well, but of course, every bike on the planet needs regular maintenance. All bikes get a service between tours. As a result, they still ride like new!
What future adventures do you have planned?
Our next trip is Cambodia in July, and then again in November. We have a trip scheduled around Samoa in August, Iran in September and Vietnam in December. Moore trips are planned around Cambodia and Vietnam in the early part of 2018.
What advice would you give to those who have never been on a biking adventure or even a bike?
Just get out there and give it a shot! A cycle tour is a great way to start if you’ve not travelled by bike before. With the tours, you’re always supported by a mechanic, guide and a van to carry your bags!
Ready for an Adventure? Head over to Social Cycles