The adventure bike trip that turned to love

Tom Allen and his wife Tenny hit the road with their bikes.
Tom Allen and his wife Tenny hit the road with their bikes.

When Tom Allen set off on his around the world bike trip in 2007 he could never in his wildest dreams imagine what would happen.

Mr Allen’s adventure took him across three continents, from Istanbul to the blazing heat of rural Ethiopia, and led him to love.

The 23-year-old from Middleton filmed the entire journey and his trip has now been turned into a movie by BBC producer and director James Newton.

The former Bishop Stopford pupil said he had no idea what his trip would lead him to.

He said: “I had just finished university and did not want to go into a career with the degree that I had got, so I was at a bit of a loose end. My best friend suggested that we go on a bike trip and it sort of snowballed into an around the world journey.”

He then set off across Europe with his best friend from Kettering and a friend from university, but after spending almost a year together the friends decided to go their separate ways.

The web designer headed towards Armenia’s capital, Yerevan. It was there, on Valentine’s Day in 2008, that he met his future wife Tenny, in an Irish bar.

But after spending several months with each other in the capital, and attempting to travel, Mr Allen continued towards Africa and the Middle East alone – it is there that the film picks up the story.

Mr Allen said: “The film follows me as I go on my travels, but I have to decide between continuing my journey and going back to Tenny, two of my biggest loves. I don’t want to give the full story away, as it’ll spoil the ending.”

The film Janapar, which is Armenian for journey, was released last week and is available at

Mr Allen has also finished a book on the trip and hopes it will be available in January.