A quick spin north

When I last wrote the long range forecast suggested a weather window might form for a sea kayak journey to explore the uninhabited islands and islets that form the most southerly limits of the Outer Hebrides. With a few days in hand in the meantime I decided to hop on my… more »

Post-Himalayan Apathy…

It’s always ‘challenging’ returning home after a decent adventure but this time seems to have been, or rather ‘is’, particularly difficult. All I can think about it is the mountains – nothing new there – accompanied by a crippling apathy with respect to what passes for normal life. I’m tired too…… more »

Spiti etc

Other than the 60km asphalt cruise down the valley to Kullu the riding for now is essentially over, I’ll be back in the UK next week. Sadly. I am already missing the peace and solitude of the high mountains despite the luxuries on offer here. As I write I’m in… more »

The Hindustan-Tibet Highway

‘Highway’ is probably being quite generous, for much of it’s length it is little more than a rough dirt track blasted out of the steep mountainsides and ravaged by landslides and rockfalls. It’s brilliant. A number of times rockfalls dropped within 200m of me… it pays to keep moving and… more »

Jalori La

Before I left home, and knowing there would be some significant stretches of asphalt, I did have a few brief doubts about whether the Surly ECR was the best tool for this journey… The Jalori La dispelled any remaining doubt about that, from the north side its final 15km or… more »

On the road again (again)

It’s taken me 12 years to return to this part of the world on my bike mainly because of the journey to get here, it’s not a long flight, about 9hrs, but it’s followed by a 14-15hr drive (overnight bus or taxi) from Delhi on some terrible roads to reach… more »

Lightweight bike touring gear list..

Over time gear changes (mostly gets lighter), personal philosophy changes, bikes change and as a consequence so does my packing list for a bike trip. The last time I wrote one (in 2011, here) it represented a pretty heavyweight outfitting for a long, partly off-road journey featuring mountains, deserts and… more »

Dirt road touring / bike-packing Crete

I thought that, for once, I could perhaps make myself useful and scribble a general info flavoured post with info on maps and stuff  – especially given that Crete is such an accessible, cheap to fly to destination (at least for those of us in Europe :-) ) with some absolutely… more »

Archanes etc

I could quite happily have spent a week on the Lasithi Plateau… however with a flight on Wednesday it seemed like quite a good idea to arrive back in Heraklion (or rather the western beach suburb of Amoudara) on Tuesday afternoon leaving time for packing bikes, enjoying a post-ride beer… more »

Lasithi

After 9 days of riding without a break a rest day was in order…I’m lucky in that the temperatures have to be to closer to 40 degrees before I’m affected too much but even so the relentless climbing was beginning to take a toll. I would have liked one last… more »

A quick post beer post…

Oh it’s so good to be on the road again, albeit just for a quick trip. Having arrived quite late last night into Heraklion today was reserved for things like getting up late, drinking beer in the sun while looking at maps, putting bikes together, finding supplies and so on…. more »

Agdz

The instinct is always to keep pushing on when travelling by bicycle, but aside from the need to rest from time to time it is always good for me to occasionally stop for a bit longer. I stopped here in Agdz for an extra day, in part because yesterday, with… more »

A head full of couscous

I’m not one of those lucky folk that is just ace with languages and that can switch effortlessly from language to language, rather I have to work hard to make a language stick and need to use it frequently to be even remotely  comfortable with it, although stuff does come… more »

When maps go wrong…

I’m resting up for a day in a dusty town on the edge of the desert called Aoulouz after a somewhat challenging day… my legs are toast and the temperatures here are in the mid to high 30’s still, despite winter being just around the corner… but more of that… more »

Fiddling…

I’ve been fiddling around with my trusty old Nomad a fair bit this last few days in view of my imminent return to the High Atlas, Djebel Sahro and western fringes of the Sahara. Planning on a very much off-piste trip as much as possible having been twice before but… more »

two-wheeled memories

Haven’t been inspired to write of late.. figured there is no interest for my readers in just hearing about just lots of riding in pouring rain and gale force winds… and kind of busy with work too. Something I have been doing of late however is archiving old slides from… more »

uphill hijinks in Vietnam…

seems like there might be a spot of cheating going on out there in Vietnam on the current Painted Roads research trip… Although I understand things are somewhat warm at the moment… you’ll be happy to note however that this trip will run during a cooler time of year.. click here… more »