England Wales border ride

For this year’s road tour, Tom, Andy and I set off from Staunton, near Gloucester on a circular route taking us into Wales and back. Keeping the mileage comfortably low at 40-45 miles per day ensured we’d have a pleasant ride, despite the fairly hilly area. This lovely trip had some great food, a special guest and a finish with a twist…

England Wales Border Ride Route
England Wales Border Ride Route

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Cycling in Yucatan, Mexico

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:

mexico-yucatan-cycling-route

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Hampshire and Dorset Ferries Ride

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.

Hampshire Dorset Ferries Day 1

 

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Lands End to Lowestoft

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.

We also:

  • 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.

Here’s some of the best pictures along with the map of our route again:

South Downs Way 2011

Yes I really did just ride the South Downs Way again – this time with my cousin Steve.

The ride came about when last Christmas he mentioned that it’s always something he really wanted to do. Never one to turn down a cycling opportunity I agreed to do the trip straight away. So, a little later in the year than we’d thought (due to me being in Mongolia for 3 months) we set off on the 3 day, 100+ miles, hill climbing marathon from Winchester to Eastbourne.

And… it went almost entirely without any problems. No fallings off, some light rain on the 3rd day but nothing to slow us down, no mechanical breakdowns, relatively few aches and pains and most of all: NO PUNCTURES! After my previous experiences (with between 4 and 8 riders) having just 2 people (and 2 bikes – both in good working order) made things a lot more straightforward.

We also discovered some amazing vegetable curry pasties in the general store in a little village called Jevington – last stop (and 2 hills) from Eastbourne. So good we went back for a second one (though they got my second one wrong and it turned out to be cheese and onion – still bitter about this!).

Here’s a video I put together of the trip – some gimmicky stuff in this one:

A great way to round off the summer of cycling. Now I’m not commuting I’m looking for some more cycling challenges to motivate me to keep the fitness up through the winter. Anyone???

Cycling the Grand Union Canal

In May 2007, Tim, Andy, Craig, Alison, Sam, Neil, Ursula and Chris cycled along the Grand Union Canal for 3 days from Birmingham to London (well nearly – heavy rain on the last day meant we caught the train a little earlier than planned!). Canal tow path riding is a really excellent way to go on a cycle tour if you don’t like cars or hills! Try not to fall in the canal though (Sam!). We aimed to do about 50 miles a day, though next time we’d aim for less as although we were generally fit enough to do this, tow path riding can be slow going due to obstacles, and also – we’d like more nice relaxing pub stops!

End to End by bike

In May/June 2004 I rode 1000 miles from Lands End to Jon o’ Groats in 12 days. I did it solo as I couldn’t talk anyone into doing it with me but met lots of interesting characters along the way! This includes Ben, the son of THE potato farmer for Walkers select crisps and a guy who had added his own motor to his bike with a brake lever acting as a throttle. This was my first experience of travelling alone – and I really recommend it! I also raised 2000 pounds for UK based charity Safeline in the process and used the trip to develop some mobile blogging software (the orginal mobile blog was sadly lost due to an accident with a hard disk in a back up server called Jerry (RIP Jerry)). This was my first ever bike tour, and just made me want to do more! Maybe with some friends next time though…