There is something delicious about pulling out an map and scouring it for places, routes and ideas. Whether it's finding the silliest place names that need to be connected, or day dreaming of the mountains and oceans you might see, or wondering about the people you could meet there, it lifts the soul on the dullest of days...
Why cycling makes me happy
You travel the at a speed that reflects the pace old roads were built for. This is how the landscape would have been experienced.
You're open to your surroundings, you can feel the places you are travelling through, the topography, the scents and the full force of the weather.
Every mountain top view is multiplied by the endorphin rush earnt from cycling up it.
You can see and be seen by people you pass, making connections, whether for a moment or a lifetime.
You can stop as you please, you are restricted only by yourself, and the odd puncture.
1173 miles across London, on Boris Bikes.
The point of a cycle tour is generally to travel from A to B a long way from home. I thought it would be interesting turn this idea on its head, and do an intensive exploration of my backyard tour.
And then there's that question I always hear: "When are you doing Lands End - John O’Groats?" Never. Everyone else has already done it. But if I recreated it in London...
Please join me for a half hour stint, or set me a challenge! I will be raising money for The Bike Project, providing free bikes for refugees in London.
Find out more about their amazing work here: https://thebikeproject.co.uk/
Rayleigh Raleigh Raleigh Rally
I took an old 1940s Raleigh from Rayleigh in Essex to the site of the original factory in Raleigh St, Nottingham, relying on period technology. I had everything from 1940s clothes, to 1940s OS maps, and even a 1940s camera. This is the first time adventure prep has included sewing my own underwear (and probably the last.) I've also made panniers, and have equipped myself with an old bivvy bag and wool army blanket... And of course - no phone!
It turns out that you don't need lycra, GPS or even gears for cycle touring. When you're not relying on gadgets to get you from A to B, and what to do when you get there, you are happy to take your time, explore, and really talk to people! It was a glorious glimpse into real life, away from the constant pressure of modern convenience...
October 2016 - September 2017
Leaving from Yestival, I cycled through through places I'd only every dreamed of on the far side side of the world, until I made it to the edge of New Zealand, with nothing but 600 metres of the Pacific between me and my goal...
The London A-Z is brimming with tantalising street names, begging to be brought together for ride. A visit to Turkey Street sealed the deal - soon I had Cranberry Lane, Bacon Street and Chestnut Walk in my sights, and the Christmas Dinner Ride was reading to hit the road..
Sauce to sauce
After hearing of so many wonderful Source to Sea trips down famous rivers, I thought it was about time someone did sauce to sauce. So I did. From Lea and Perrins Worcestershire to HP (Houses of Parliament), my little peloton peddled across the UK on a quest for condiments...
That classic bit of footwear - so underrated! And what a great way to see the country! To be sure, I hit every Wellington in the country before heading to Boot, clad in Wellies of course (and full of a boot shaped beef Wellington...)
What a delicious way to start of cycle touring! 280 miles along the South Coast, with a bit of winter bivvying and a few steep climbs to conquer...
Future Ride Ideas
The ultimate ham sandwich
There may only be one Sandwich in the UK, but there are many, many Hams. There’s even one in Shetland. Now that’s what I call an adventure!
Cycling 450 miles from Brosnam Drive, Cheltenham, to Moore, Cheshire; Connery Crescent, Ashton under Lyne; Dalton, Yorkshire; Lazenby, Middlesborough, finishing in Craig, Galloway.
LOST AND FOUND
From Lost, Aberdeenshire, to Found, Hackney Wick
From Easter, Inverness, to Bunny, Nottingham for an Easter weekend challenge!
(Thank you Russ Smith and Jana Harrison for this!)
From Whim, Edinburgh, to Wham, Yorkshire. I just like the way it sounds.
One Elm to Nine Elms, via Two Tree Island, Sevenoaks, Eight Ash Green and more..