There's no denying that Ling Valentine is quite a character. Her vividly-coloured, car-leasing website, LingsCars.com has been described as 'contract hire's RyanAir' and with a small staff and efficient practices, it has propelled her to become the UK's "biggest individual seller of new cars" - however, all that has changed. In a dramatic move, Ling has given her company to her employees, sold her house and much of her stuff, bought a Surly Long Haul Trucker and is setting off, with her husband Jon, on a round the world cycling trip, dubbed 'Ling's Bike Trip', complete with suitably bold-looking website - here - 'Ling's bike trip'.
So? Lots of people pack a bike and take off for the horizon, what makes us interested in Ling's story in particular? A number of reasons. There's certainly the contrast of a successful car-based business owner sacking it off and doing it on a push-bike when presumably she could see the world via a cruise, or driving round in a convertible, or riding a Harley. And there's the fact that she's 'one of us' and has a forum login and everything. (Mostly for answering back to folks who complain, which shows she's paying attention...) However, the real reason we interested in Ling's Bike Trip is the way that she has thrown herself at it with the kind of enthusiasm for bike touring that few of our bearded bikepacking friends have ever mustered. And her 'Carpe Diem' approach to doing stuff now, while you still have a chance is inspiring. So, we though that we'd see if she'd be up for answering some questions: