The Wild West

Happily the winds were not as bad as forecast and I only needed four (and a bit) days to cover the 260ish km to Sajama. It could have been five days but for the asphalt stretch between La Paz and Coro Coro; I was able to get 100km under my… more »

Via Condoriri

“Three nights you are staying, yes? Here you are..” said the girl at my hospedaje in Copacabana as, to my surprise, and to a degree, shock, she handed me three rolls of toilet paper… Bolivia being the place it is however perhaps her generosity was not entirely unjustified. I was… more »

Cusco Streets

It can be quite hard to deal with a forced change of plan sometimes, especially when coming to terms with dropping some bits that would have made for some really, really great, albeit very high, cold and difficult riding. As such my morale was quite low on arrival in Cusco…. more »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Revisiting Summer

Having been utterly lacking with regard to motivation to write anything recently I thought I might make the effort to tell a very brief story of a regression to the summers of my childhood. Not that I ever grew up or anything it’s just that those warm summer days with… more »

Bikepacking: A Book Review

A few weeks ago I received a copy of a rather nice new book from Wild Things Publishing, the background being that there is a little bit of my photography between the covers – but really only a very tiny amount and it is, quite rightly, lost amongst the rather splendid… more »

Summer Nights

Just a couple of snaps from the just past weekend local ‘adventure’ with friends. I was going to include them as part of a post I’m working on that, for once isn’t about me, ha, and that also, for a change, requires me to think a little about what I’m… 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 »

Transitions…

I’m really happy, got my Inner Line Permit. It had been on my mind a little because I kept hearing and reading all sorts of conflicting information regarding the application. As a solo traveller I would not have been able to get the permit from the government offices in Shimla… 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 »

An ECR + Tubus Vega post

** A quick update on this post, a couple of years on, while I remember. I’ve since ‘cold-set’ the Vega rack such it fits over a 3″ Knard on Rabbit Holes without any adapters/risers and with about 1/4″ clearance each side. I cut a block of scrap wood to just… 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 »

To the east…

It’s warm… as I rolled up my tarp at 8am this morning on the little patch of sand on which we spent the night my thermometer was already showing 30 degs C… and by 2pm this afternoon it was above 34 degs in the shade… about 10 degs warmer than… more »

Psiloritis Traverse

Got some late afternoon shade and a mug of tea here in Zaros so time for a quick blog post I think.. it’s been a terrific couple of days, albeit hard ones, crossing the Psiloritis mountains. Legs were really quite stuffed this morning so basing ourselves in the quiet little… 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 »

ECR Fettling

Given that I’m heading off to the mountains of Crete in 10 days time I figured I should probably spend a bit of time fettling the configuration of my ECR for what will be its shake-down cruise prior to a bigger journey at the end of the summer. Travelling light… more »