Journal

Holiday Training

Parisellas Ice Cream Parlour Conwy Wales

Just arrived back home from my training camp in Wales where I worked hard on endurance…specifically, building up a sufficient store of calories to carry me through several Paris-Brest-Paris events, a crack at the Cent Cols and probably the ride back home as well…to Australia. In the event I also acquired sufficient ballast so that…

Climbs

Spiral staircase winds its way to the top of the Eagle Tower in the 13th century Caernarfon Castle in northern Wales.

Behold the climb up St Helens Road as it appeared to me the other morning as I toiled my way upwards and homewards from my ride along the seafront. Having turned 57 the other day, and being a good stone overweight (and I flatter myself when a say a stone) after being off the bike…

Closing a Circle

Hemistour - image from National Geographic May 1973

This photo and the story that went with fired my imagination in the spring of 1973 when I came across it in the May issue of National Geographic. The story was about two young couples who were cycling the Alaska Highway, indeed planning to ride all the way down to Argentina. The story was an…

Indiana Smith

Open air screening of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade at the de la Warr Pavilion on the Bexhill seafront

At last I gave emerged from my cave where I have been busily pecking away at my laptop keyboard in an effort to finish the latest of a long string of archaeology-themed stories for various publications. Between my immersion in archaeology research and writing and a badly sprained right ankle, courtesy of an attempt to…

Thieves are about!

Luna Park, Sydney

Bicycle security is something I take extremely seriously so I was disconcerted the other night when our next door neighbour knocked to tell me that his shed had been broken into and his bicycle stolen. What’s more he’d heard that  other people’s sheds up the road had also been plundered within the past week and…

Travel

Snow Scene – Norway

Snowy afternoon in Tromso Norway

Again, not exactly a post about bicycles or cycling other than perhaps a fine example of non-cycling weather, but one of the days when I was in Norway last week we had one of the most beautiful snowfalls I’ve ever seen. It had been snowing for most of the morning, but then suddenly the flakes…

Tromsø – Paris of the North

Snowy scene on Storgata in Tromsø, Norway

Nineteenth century visitors  to Tromsø, surprised by the elegance and style and sophistication of Norway’s northernmost city, nicknamed the place ‘the Paris of the North’.  It is where I have been this past week. While the comparison with Paris may be over-egging the pudding just a teensy bit, Tromsø is certainly surprisingly stylish, with its…

Beautiful Blue Highway

The Danube showed me many colours - among them a beautiful blue

Readers with long memories might just recall that in August 2013 I went off on a travel magazine assignment that involved – indeed was centred upon – cycling. I had to be rather mysterious  about the whole thing because magazine editors, not unreasonably, like to keep under wraps the content of their forthcoming issues. It…

Twilight on The Thames

Twilight falls over the Thames with St Pauls Cathedral in the distance

I have long been a  Joseph Conrad fan – Heart of Darkness, Typhoon and Lord Jim being old favourites. I especially love the opening in the Heart of Darkness. It’s day’s end, not on the Congo but along the Thames,  with  Marlow and four other men – the  Director of Companies, a lawyer, an accountant…