Tag Archive for Touring

Saddlebags for Touring

With spring upon us now – officially, on the calendar, if not actually in practice – restless thoughts are starting to turn to touring and all the delicious expeditions that are possible if you have a decent tourer at your beck and call, or indeed any sort of lightweight reliable bicycle. A while ago I…

Panniers or Trailers?

Here’s a photo of a much younger me camping in the bush on my ‘round Australia adventure back in 1996. When I left Sydney I did so well kitted out with just about anything I imagined I might need in the 10,000 miles that lay ahead. I had all of these things stuffed into front…

The Kindness of Strangers

Even by outback Australia’s legendary standards, the old pearling port of Broome is seriously remote. It sits by itself on a lonely mangrove-fringed coast on the far northwest of the continent, with the steamy emptiness of the Indian Ocean stretching away on one side, and over a million square miles of hostile desert scrub stretching…

That Randonneur Style

Travel romantic that I am, I’ve always had a soft spot for those old-style French touring bikes, the sort you see in those golden-age-of-cycling photographs – bike and rider all kitted up for distant places on dusty untrammelled roads and projecting either pre-war innocence or sunny, post-war optimism depending on the date of the photo.…

Constant Reader

  As anyone who has read many of my posts would gathered by now, I am hardly a weight weenie when it comes to my bicycles, and while I naturally prefer to travel light when I am touring – or travelling on business for that matter – that doesn’t mean I want to do without…

Race Around the World – The Armchair View

At nine o’clock this morning ten intrepid cyclists set out from Greenwich to race each other around the world, alone and self-supported. I like that there should be such a race. With its old-fashioned sense of derring-do and gallant young men in jaunty jalopies, and the weeks of hardy travel involved, it is the perfect restorative to a 21st century world made small and mean and over-familiar by cheap air travel and a gazillion frequent flier miles.

Life’s Bumps in The Road

Occasionally, in my more lyrical moments, when things are going well and I feel the master of my fate, I find myself thinking almost fondly of some of the jackasses I have encountered over the years, and how they have ended up – unwittingly and unintentionally, to be sure – being catalysts for good things.…

Pyrenees Daydreams

Idled once again this morning by snow and ice and unpleasant thoughts of what all that salty grit on the roads would do my bicycle’s drive train anyway, I find myself growing restless and fidgety, eager for spring, forming grand plans for what I am going to do when the weather warms up and the…

Bicycle Touring Survival Guide

One of the many nice things I am discovering about the blogosphere is that it can bring you into contact with interesting cyclists whom you might not – in fact, almost certainly wouldn’t – otherwise meet. I am thinking now of Andrew and Friedel Grant, two peripatetic Canadians who have cycled all over the world…

Picaresque Freedoms

As I was tooling down the seafront this morning,feeling bold and adventurous and not a little rebellious, I found myself thinking back to the time I hopped aboard my bicycle right here in Hastings and pedaled off to Istanbul, pretty much on the spur of the moment; how I rolled up in front of the Pera Palas Hotel six weeks later and went inside for a celebratory beer at the Orient Express Bar, having found my way out there by guess and by golly.