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01. Sep, 2013

A few days cycling around the Isle of Wight

A few days cycling around the Isle of Wight

The barriers lifted and we bumped our bikes over the rumble strips and up the ramp. Behind us, motorbikes revved up and children scampered back into their campervans. It was 5pm on a warm, muggy Friday evening in August and it was clear that the weekend couldn’t start soon enough for the waiting passengers.

Ushered to the front of the boat, we lent the bikes against the raised exit ramp, asking twice to make sure that there was no risk of the ramp deploying mid-voyage sending our bikes for a dip in the Solent. Across the water, beyond the white sails of yachts making use of the evening breeze, the Isle of Wight stretched out hazily on the horizon.  (more…)

18. Jul, 2013

Cycling London to Paris: the English part

Cycling London to Paris: the English part

London to Paris, everybody does it differently. Some people jump on their road bikes and race it in 24 hours, for others it is the challenge of a lifetime and they raise thousands for charity as they take several days to make their way south. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but if you’re a cyclist, you must at some point.

We’d had it on our wish list for years, but at last we had a date and, excitedly, company having persuaded our friends Tom and Katie to come along over an extended May bank-holiday weekend. Our plan was to take a relatively leisurely pace following the Avenue Verte, a signposted route between the two capitals, via a ferry crossing from Newhaven to Dieppe. (more…)

09. Nov, 2012

A short trip to the seaside: cycle touring in Norfolk

A short trip to the seaside: cycle touring in Norfolk

In October, with one week left before Paddy had to go back to work, we decided to take the bikes away to escape reality. With only a few days available and looking for some fun rather than a challenge we decided to head to Norfolk to explore a part of the UK neither of us knew.

Home to the Broads and hundreds of canal boats, Norfolk is famous for being flat. We had a great few days pedalling around the Queen’s backyard and hope to return for a longer tour when time allows. (more…)

31. Oct, 2012

Sleepless back in London: three months on

Sleepless back in London: three months on

Lying wide awake at midnight last Wednesday, I start to hear distant police sirens wailing in the distance, which triggers memories of having a local police escort whilst cycling in northern Peru.  Fast forward through a couple more random memories, I then realise that it’s precisely three months since we finished our circuit of South America by bike.

“How are you finding adjusting to being back?” is one of the most common questions we get asked.  Not that I mind of course as I honestly enjoy any opportunity to talk about the trip, but it’s a question that I have probably not given the same answer to twice.  I feel like I’m expected to say that “it’s awful”, that I can’t stand another day and that I’m going to leave on the bike tomorrow.  Overall, though, I think we have surprised ourselves about how it has been fairly easy to slot back into life. (more…)

30. Nov, 2010

Winter cycling – Welwyn to London

Winter cycling – Welwyn to London

Welwyn Garden City – London, November 2010, 45 miles

Sunday was a great day for being out on the bikes, clear blue skies and crispy cold. Wrapped up warm, we took the train to Welwyn Garden City and cycled back along national cycle routes 61 and 1. A gentle 45 miles.

I’m always surprised how green it is so close to London. We cycled along frosty country trails and railway lines and bounced over cobbles in Hertford and Ware. (more…)