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31. Mar, 2011

Sunny Sunday test riding

Sunny Sunday test riding

Last weekend was test-time. Checking we had all the kit, that we were happy with the bikes and trying out the new tent.

Saturday was spent finding where we’d squirreled away gear we’ve been collecting and ticking things meticulously off against our equipment list. The living room looked like a bomb had gone off, but after some careful organisation we had squeezed everything we need for the next 15 months into eight panniers. (more…)

08. Mar, 2011

Pedalling about on our new bikes

Pedalling about on our new bikes

Bridgwater, Somerset – Reading – London

It’s hard to convey how excited we were on the train down to Bridgwater in spite of an early start. We were off to pick up our new Thorn Nomads from St John’s Cycles, having visited a few weeks earlier to get measured up and spec out what we wanted.

We’d been lucky to get sponsorship for our bikes, so were able to opt for machines beyond our wildest dreams including Rohloff hubs. They looked lovely with matt black frames, shiny hubs, chunky tyres and shiny new Brooks saddles. We couldn’t stop grinning as we test rode around the local park. (more…)

19. Feb, 2011

Snow cycling in Slovenia

Snow cycling in Slovenia

Last weekend we went over to Slovenia with Liferocks to try out cross country skiing and snow mountain cycling. We stayed at Villa Triglav in Pokljuka run by the Slovenian cyclist Tadej Valjavec.

On the Sunday morning Tadej, who finished in the top 10 in the Tour de France in 2008, took us out for some snow mountain biking in the nearby woods. It was great fun, much easier than cycling around London in the snow that’s for sure. We were kitted out with new mountain bikes which had snow tyres to help us grip. (more…)

30. Dec, 2010

Touring the red light districts of Europe

Touring the red light districts of Europe

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Hamburg, Germany – Esbjerg, Denmark, June 2010, 600 miles

Almost a year to the day after arriving back into London having had our first taste of cycling on the continent, we were heading back across the North Sea to continue along the world’s longest signposted cycle route.

This time we would head north-eastwards through the Netherlands, Germany and into Denmark – double the distance and duration than in 2009.  We hadn’t been able to get any girls along again, but Laura wasn’t going to miss out, so prepared herself for a week’s worth of ‘boy humour’ along with visits to two of Europe’s most famous red light districts. (more…)

03. Dec, 2010

The origins of pedalling about

The origins of pedalling about

May 2008, Land’s End to John O’Groats, UK, 1,050 miles

In May 2011, I’ll be leaving work, renting out my home and catching a flight to Rio de Janeiro to cycle around every country in South America. How did it come to this?

My first taste of bicycle touring was in the summer of 2008, when I cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats in two weeks. The idea came from the need to find a physical challenge that didn’t destroy my knees as much as the London Marathon had done in the last few years.

(more…)