Built to Last: Mark Beaumont and Mike Elm
Part of the ‘Built to Last’ series, in which we take a look at the stories behind long-serving Apidura Packs. Here, we explore a set of packs that accompanied Mark Beaumont on his world record cycle from Cairo to Cape Town, before joining story-teller and climate activist, Mike Elm, across Europe.
Every Scratch Tells a Story
Every time we go out on our bikes, we’re creating experiences and making memories. Every scratch to a pack provides traces of another story earned, and we cherish these scuffs as a homage to all of the experiences we’ve had on two wheels.
At Apidura, we pride ourselves in making products that are built to last. Not just because of the benefits that high quality, long-lasting gear offers, but because it means we can be sure both Pack and rider have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, and gain as many scratches as possible together.
A World Record Ride
Back in 2015 Mark Beaumont set the record for riding from Cairo to Cape Town, covering the entire length of the continent in just 42 days. The adventure took Mark through the Sahara Desert, via the Ethiopian Highlands and across the great savannahs of Kenya. A movement towards bikepacking gear, away from panniers, was a new way of approaching this type of self-supported riding.
Mark Beaumont tells us how, fast forward four years, the very same Apidura packs were ready for a second adventure:
“I try to upcycle all my kit and Mike Elm’s message landed at just the right time. I’d just received some Expedition Series packs and I didn’t want the Africa setup sitting around, gathering dust. Mike got in touch via social media, and I was delighted to give the packs a new home.”
As we all learn when you go bikepacking, you need less than you think
A Bikepacking Debut
In November 2019, with the setup acquired via social media, Mike Elm was preparing to set out from the UK on his first international bikepacking trip. His curiosity for the cross-over between travel and sustainability had been peaked by his partner at the time – she was running from the UK to Mongolia, exploring the stories of people living in the face of a climate crisis.
Mike describes the thinking behind his approach to adventure:
“We often consider reducing impact on the environment through big structures. But taking care of personal items is a good place to start. It is important to have gear that is designed to last for a while, but also designed to be repaired. Soon, with each iteration, these items begin to take on personalities of their own.”
Mike pedalled 6,000km as far as eastern Europe, before his ambition of reaching Mongolia was curtailed by Covid restrictions.
But now – using the same packs with which Mark Beaumont entered endurance history – Mike is back on (and off) the road, making his way across Europe once more.