Mi Familia Ayacuchana

With the exception of a few incidents, best forgotten, in Ecuador years ago, the people of South America have, over the years I’ve been visiting, been unfailingly awesome. So welcoming and ready to bring a lone bicycle traveller into their lives, especially here in Peru. It’s for that reason mainly… more »

A little bit of Ayacucho

So very different to the quiet towns and villages of the highlands; noiser, grittier, busier,  Ayacucho at times feels a little overwhelming to someone more used to the quiet places. There is good food, coffee, and cake however which helps enormously. It is a very different environment for street photography…… more »

Huancavelica to Ayacucho

Apparently it’s possible to go all the way from Huancavelica to Ayacucho on asphalt. My bike however is not really suited to travel on asphalt and I do very much prefer the dirt, it’s more interesting albeit harder going… especially when it’s tipping it down with rain and the dirt… more »

A Huancavelica Portfolio

Most folk are familiar with the Peru described by evocative Inca ruins, traditional Quechua & Aymara cultures and so on. There is also the Peru that is simply regular life for the inhabitants of the towns, villages, and ‘campo’. I was fortunate enough to explore that former aspect many years ago,… more »

Jauja to the Peru Divide

The Carretera Central is Peru’s primary road that crosses the Andes from Lima, heading east to the Amazon, and with spurs off to various centres north and south. As such it is horribly busy and a miserable experience for the cyclist, best avoided. I suspect not many folk are aware… more »

Purple Brolly

A final few bits and bobs of street photography from Jauja. I’m well enough I think to sling a leg over my bike and hit the trail at last, tomorrow, or at a stretch Sunday. Next stop is Huancavelica I think, about 350km of dirt, and around 8900m of climbing… more »

Jauja street photography

Dé-Jauja-vu

There is a long distance bus company in Jauja called Apocalipse (sic), the choice of such a name is, I suspect, not intended to be ironic*.. but it could be given the statistics for Peru’s notoriously dangerous mountain roads. I’m glad to be able to travel largely off-piste on a… more »

Jauja

Jauja, pronounced “How-ha” is a small town in the central highlands east of Lima. Being just a seven hour bus ride from Lima, tiny by Peruvian standards, and sitting at an altitude of 3400m (11,200ft) in the fertile Mantaro valley it seemed like a good place to come and sit… more »

Dartmoor

Fear, I think, is one of the greatest obstacles to doing ‘stuff’ in life; fear of what might happen, or what people might think for example, whether it’s changing jobs, trying something new, or disappearing off for a bike ride “somewhere else”…. There has always been a little bit of… more »

Wayfarer Centenary Ride, and weekend

Should you delve into the annals of the history of cycling in the UK then you’ll find Cornwall doesn’t really feature at all. Historically little of two-wheeled significance happened here (a point on which I stand to be corrected), and major events rarely venture this far west. As such living… more »

Mental Health Loop

The town I live in has been, and still is, the butt of many jokes within Cornwall. With the collapse of the tin mining industry its fortunes declined dramatically and it became ripe fodder for jokes around the perceived lack of ‘sophistication’ of the heart of west Cornwall. It is… more »

Big Fat Dummy Fenders

When I was younger my cycling peers and I considered mudguards on a bike to be deeply uncool. From an early age my father was very fond of the idea that I should always have a sensible bike so it was much to his chagrin that mudguards would be removed… more »

Various

On reaching the mighty age of six my brother and I were given a small secondhand mono tape deck. It was my first exposure to music independence and, despite being extremely basic, was something I found completely marvellous. Along with it came a ‘ripped’ cassette with only a hand scrawled… more »

Big Fat Dummy

It took a whole year of procrastination and the opportunity to acquire one at a somewhat reduced price, but on reflection I think it was inevitable that it would happen; the possibilities for grin-inducing adventures aboard a fat-tyred, off-road cargo bike, not to mention just not having to use a… more »

Galloway Gravel: part 2

Back in Cornwall as of last night and I’ve completed my compulsory tasks for the day, essentially to eat breakfast, drink coffee, and go ride a bike for a few hours, so as promised here is the part two to the part one of a few days ago; also a… more »

Galloway Gravel: part 1

Aside from the riding itself one of the best things about bike touring is the sense of community around it and the valued friends made as a result. From time to time I get to host travelling cyclists in my home in Cornwall via the Warmshowers network for example, and… more »

A couple of days of Dorset

I recently caught up with @whileoutriding for a couple of days/nights exploring the trails of southern Dorset on two wheels with an emphasis on great pub and cafe stops, and a good opportunity to do some more bag testing. It’s a part of the world in which I’d not done any… more »

A fluff-covered heap

Do you remember as a kid you had, or might have had, those sticky rubber creepy crawlies you could fling at a window and watch them slowly creep their way down… this post is kind of one of those, entirely pointless with the exception that  the rubber toy is just… more »

Three Moors

Having been busy at the sewing machine recently the end results needed a decent shakedown ride so a riding buddy and I decided to take the published Two Moors bikepacking route and turn it into a Three Moors adventure by riding home via Bodmin Moor as well. Exmoor in particular… more »

Things

It’s been a while since being inspired to post. My professional services seem to be overwhelmingly in demand at the moment so when I don’t have to be in front of a screen I don’t want to be in front of a screen. There’s not much to say, really this post… more »

Seven and a half years

Not much of an anniversary.. rather that I’ve been in quite a reflective mood recently.. something to do with growing older perhaps… I wasn’t going to bother writing but it has been pointed out to me by folk more intelligent than I that there are people out there perhaps considering a… more »

N+1 = Big Bro

I’m really not on board with the way the bike industry is constantly inventing new standards for things under the pretence that the new standard is “better” than what came before.. much of it is a simple exercise in trying to convince the customer that the stuff they bought last… more »

Brother Cycles AllDay

For whatever reason I recently decided that I needed to build myself a new lightweight tourer, day-tripper, ultralight overnight bivy, commuter, go-fishing, take a picnic, audax, tracks & trails, just riding around in a t-shirt sort of a bike… so of course I did. Naturally in this context ‘needed’ nearly always… more »

October Early Weekend

Thursday morning dawned filthy wet and misty, the forecast promised better however so when the rain began to ease around midday, and with the encroaching winter very much in mind, camping gear, food, and fishing clobber was hastily thrown at bikes for a cheeky early weekend at a favourite spot just… more »

Fish On

The last few years have seen me increasingly returning to riding my bike solely for the reasons that drew me to life on a bike as a child.. to explore, to escape, to have fun, to go camping.. and to go fishing. Something else I used to do an awful… more »

A Vintage Autumn

Arguments over whether it is late summer or early autumn aside, it is turning into a vintage season for blackberries. Apparently the summer was warm and damp while I was away, and this is the result. My Surly Cross Check makes a great tool for foraging with an old tub… more »

Local Trails

I find that when I have a difficult coding problem inspiration often comes from entirely unrelated activities… I’m in a cafe on the plaza in Arequipa this morning writing code which is of course why I’m playing with pictures and scribbling a quick blog post. Well, that is my excuse… more »

Anything But

I have homework, as well as some proper work – you know that stuff that earns £, to do this afternoon so of course I am doing anything but. Hence this post and only because I have a couple of pictures kicking around that may, or may not look pretty…. more »

Village Life

… following on from yesterday’s post I stopped for a couple of days in the small town of Santo Tomas.  I found it quite an interesting place, it had a bit of a Wild West feel.. something to do with the artfully crumbly buildings, and the hats. Situated in a… more »

On from Espinar

It’s been a while so I think I will split this into two posts… one today and one tomorrow. When I last wrote I was in Espinar and planning a slightly easier route for a while in the hope that it would help me get rid of the lingering chest… more »

Dia de la Bandera – A Photo Essay

Something I’ve noticed about clouds and silver linings is that those linings often manifest themselves in quite unexpected ways. Yesterday, the 7th June, was Peru’s national Flag Day, Dia de la Bandera. The day commemorates the Battle of Arica, fought on June 7, 1880 between the forces of Peru and… more »

Onwards and Upwards…

.. at last. I was able to leave Chivay after just over 2 weeks of convalescence so to speak. Still not 100% and with a persistent chesty cough I decided I was going anyway. I did however take it easy on the first day, just cruising gently back up the… more »

Onwards… perhaps

Hopefully this will be my last post from Chivay. It has been two weeks and I feel at something of a crossroads. Yesterday I went for a short spin up the valley on my unloaded bike, just to see how I was… I was OK, but not brilliant. My chest… more »

A little bit more Chivay

One is still in Chivay. It’s been a week now. The last couple of days I have been navigating the apparent chaos of the Peruvian rural healthcare system, and, having found my way around it I’ve been really happy despite ending up with a large, and somewhat painful needle in… more »

Chivay

… not unexpectedly, some street photography from Chivay. It’s a lovely little town and so far being forced to stick around hasn’t been a chore, rather the opposite.. although I am having periods of low morale as the days tick by and I still feel weak and chesty…  But as… more »

Arriba…

It was a bit of a late start leaving Arequipa… one last leisurely coffee then a chase around the steep suburbs above the city in search of a ferreteria selling stove fuel (‘ron de quemar’.. essentially ‘rum to burn’ – otherwise known as meths.. at least in the UK), by… more »

Arequipa… part 2

We delayed departure from Arequipa by a day to spend a little more time exploring what is a rather wonderful town. There are a ton of riding photos and stories from the road to come tomorrow, I have my feet up in Chivay today, but this set I think are… more »

via Arequipa

Hitting the road tomorrow so now seemed like a good opportunity to sling up a quick post with some pics. In Arequipa at present in the south. I had thought I might go north to begin with but the wet season seems to be lingering much longer up that way… more »