Journey’s End

 Posted by on June 11, 2014
Jun 112014
Journey's End

15 months of cycling, people, places, cultures, encounters, indescribable highs, soul destroying lows, feelings of boredom, love, frustration and passion all compressed into a single moment. When I look down through my scratched sunglasses, held together with more superglue than anything else, the tarmac slips past at that familiar pace and I could be anywhere; cycling off into Turkey on those first confusing days, bewildered in a big empty Central Asian desert, having a small […]

What I Like Doing Best…

 Posted by on April 12, 2014
Apr 122014
What I Like Doing Best...

Cycle, breathe, listen, look about, think a little, then stop, get off, have a snack, maybe a chat, get back on and repeat. It’s the life rhythm which engulfs anyone who travels for long distances on a bicycle. It’s a gloriously simple, wonderfully self-indulgent and a purely escapist way to live. For the most part we do nothing of any great significance, but as my travels begin to near their end I think more and […]

Cycling Laos continued…

 Posted by on March 25, 2014
Mar 252014
Cycling Laos continued...

Continuing on from the last post here’s the next episode from Laos. Daniel and I waved goodbye to Stephane in Vientiane where he crossed over to Thailand chasing a deadline in Java. We renewed our visas and then continued along the scenic route snaking this and way that and enjoying taking the time to cherry pick some of the best roads in the country. Even if they do take us out of our way and […]

It’s a Dirty Business

 Posted by on March 10, 2014
Mar 102014
It's a Dirty Business

Vietnam heaves with 88 million, Thailand bustles with 66 million and in the middle lies Laos with just 6.5 million people to lay claim to a country similar in size to the UK. It’s quiet, relaxed and there’s space to breathe – the perfect antidote to China. For the last month I’ve been tying together a seemingly endless string of dirt roads to cross this forgotten little corner of south east Asia. It’s a secretive […]

A Year Ago Today…

 Posted by on March 4, 2014
Mar 042014
A Year Ago Today...

A year ago today all of this began. The plane touched down in Istanbul, I put my bike together in Taksim Square, checked in with some Couchsurfers and a couple of days later began cycling. 19,000km down the road I’m in Laos with a head full of memories, a very worn bicycle and a stomach bug to go with. So since I’ve got some time to kill and no better internet connection than some flakey […]

It Feels Good to be Back

 Posted by on February 3, 2014
Feb 032014
It Feels Good to be Back

With China now a memory and with some dirt firmly embedded in my tyres I can comfortably say that it feels good to be back on dirt roads. China ended as abruptly as it began. Once across into Laos the motivation to continue the sort of rampant cycling that brought me rapidly south evaporated in the midday heat. And now that I’m in a place where travel is not restricted to a date stamp in […]

I am free but I am a prisoner

 Posted by on January 14, 2014
Jan 142014
I am free but I am a prisoner

Let’s try that again shall we? Sorry for everyone who read the first version of this post, slow internet caused half of it to go missing in the wires. Hopefully this one arrives with you all in one piece. Enjoy. All those months ago when I was making preparations to leave Alastair Humphreys sent me his mappazine “There Are Other Rivers” which documents his walk across India. Full of nervous anticipation I enjoyed browsing through […]

People, People Everywhere

 Posted by on December 17, 2013
Dec 172013
People, People Everywhere

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been winding my way down from frigid Lanzhou to jungly Chengdu. As I’ve dropped south I’ve been slowly leaving the bitter north behind me. Water has begun flowing in its liquid form once again, snow has disappeared from the fields, tent pegs no longer freeze in the ground, toes and fingers stay warm all day long and night time shivers are becoming a distant memory. But before I […]

Migrating South for Winter

 Posted by on November 26, 2013
Nov 262013
Migrating South for Winter

Just a quick cobbled together update from a very smokey internet cafe in Lanzhou (so please excuse any errors). I continue to bumble my way through China finding surprises, oddities and contradictions at every turn to confuse what little understanding I have gained. And the language barrier ensures that air of confusion follows me everywhere. As the roads haven’t been up to much photographically (I think I’m getting fussy) my camera has been focussed on […]

Winter Arrives in Xinjiang, China

 Posted by on November 12, 2013
Nov 122013
Winter Arrives in Xinjiang, China

If touching down in Istanbul and pedalling out of Europe was the first great culture shock of this journey, then entering China via its western frontier was the second. In one fell swoop the quaint villages and vast open spaces of central Asia vanished and I entered a country of 1.3 billion people. Even in the far and relatively uninhabited north west the speed of Chinese growth has been bewilderingly apparent. I’ve ridden towards horizons […]