Feeling the need for some warm weather to supplement my cold January rides in Windsor Great Park, I’ve just been on a new Exodus cycling trip in the Yucatán region of Mexico. On brand new Trek hybrid bikes, 19 of us set off from inland Merida to ride to Tulum on the coast taking in as many Mayan archeological sites as possible on route.
This was not just a holiday or a bike trip – it was educational too! I learned about the 3 phases of Mayan history – Pre Classic, Classic and Post Classic. I learned about the results of the two major collapses of their civilisation and about Mayan writing, numbers and dates. Here is the route we took:
Backing up 7 years to 2007, I did a bunch of travelling after volunteering in Tanzania which I didn’t write about much. Well, recently I came across the video footage of the bungy jump I did and thought to myself, why wouldn’t I write about and put together a video of the single most intense thing I’ve ever done?
Seeking a more relaxed cycling tour to last year’s Lands End to Lowestoft ride, Tom, Andy and I set off from Hayling Island for a mini tour of Hampshire and Dorset – and managed to include a total of 7 ferry trips along the way! I don’t know exactly what it is, but I love taking my bike on ferries. It’s always cool to involve water crossings and as we found out there is a huge variety of ferries you can take bikes on. Also… you get a nice rest from the saddle!
Day 1 had us take the Hayling ferry over to Portsmouth, followed by the catamaran to Ryde, the Yarmouth to Lymington car ferry and the Christchurch harbour ferry and making it to Bournemouth by the first night.
My Raspberry Pi robot “Roger” finally has a custom made canopy giving it protection and a unique identity rather than being just a bunch of components stuck on top of a chassis. I also added several quality of life refinements for every day testing and demoing. Here’s a shot of it out exploring the driveway…
Read on for lots of construction detail and more pics!
It was a cold wet start to the 2013 Exmoor Beast, the annual cycling challenge to conquer the hills of Exmoor. At least the thunderstorms that had woken us up through the night had subsided and we arrived in Tiverton at first light, planning our start time to be as early as we could without actually needing lights.
The team were Andrew and Christian, both Exmoor locals and myself and Simon – who’d come up for the event. Despite having some good base fitness from my Lands End to Lowestoft tour earlier this year, that was 3 months ago and my training has seriously tailed off since then – certainly not the training I would want to do for 67 miles of Exmoor with 6,000ft of climbing. We were on the shorter of the two routes – the longest being 100 miles – but 100 km over Exmoor is quite enough of a challenge thank you!
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Andy and I made a welcome return to our mountain bikes yesterday when we took part in the Trail Break ride at Woodcote, Oxfordshire. Trail Break organise several rides throughout the season for both road and mountain bikers and each ride has a number of different lengths to suit all abilities. We do one or two of these a year, normally as training for a bigger trip, or in this case as a post big trip meetup.
They are well worth the entry fee (£13 for the standard distance) mostly because the route is well thought through and clearly marked. This means we get to go and ride some great trails we wouldn’t normally find without having to worry about navigation or ending up down some heavily rutted and overgrown bridleway (which tends to happen when finding my own MTB routes!). You also get timed, and there are drinks stops and refreshment stands at the start and finish and it’s nice to see some other cyclists and talk about their favourite routes.
We had a pleasant ride on the standard (41KM) route – no insane climbs, some enjoyable fast single track, 1 puncture (Andy) and 1 minor off (me – thankfully onto some soft dirt). We were pleased to find that endurance wise we found the distance very comfortable so clearly have retained at least some of our fitness from our recent Lands End to Lowestoft road trip. Roll on more of these – a great excuse to meet up and get out on our mountain bikes!
On June 22nd 2013 Andy, Tom and I set out to ride from Lands End to Lowestoft – the western most point of mainland Britain to the eastern most point.
In the end we covered 505 miles over the 8.5 day ride.
£3,367.25 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.
- had only one puncture on the whole trip
- introduced the world to the personality of Sharon – our GPS unit.
- ate a whole lot of food! (especially Mars bars in Andy’s case)
- had a ton of fun
Thanks to all those who followed the trip – it meant a lot to see that people were interested in following along.
If you want to read all the posts from the trip as they happened you can do so here.
Here’s some of the best pictures along with the map of our route again:
We made it to Lowestoft!
Despite the ominously named finish road (gas works lane) it was a great finish with welcoming party complete with Sharon banner (she is more famous than us now?), union jack flags, champagne and commemorative tankards. The weather was lovely as well.
As we are about to ride the last 24 miles of our Lands End to Lowestoft trip some thanks are in order… Read the rest of this entry »