When I started this website back in 2008 (yes, getting on for 14 years ago…) I came to the whole endeavour as a naive touring cyclist. When I wrote ‘Crossing Europe…’ many people commented upon how they had enjoyed experiencing the cycling journey from southern England to southern Italy from the perspective of an inexperienced two-wheeled traveller who, quite frankly, didn’t know what he was doing for much of the time. That epitaph has become increasingly tenuous in the past decade as, inevitably, I have learnt what to do. I’m still learning but it would be disingenuous to continue to refer to myself as ‘naive’. Or rather it is in the world of cycle touring. I still consider myself to be very inexperienced in many other areas of cycling including the one that involves donning tight lycra and heading out for the day with minimal kit on a bicycle designed for speed…
…from Andrew, Reggie, Ronnie & Wanda.
After a mid-winter break of a few weeks whilst I was busy editing the four episodes of Le Grand Tour films, the podcast returns in the New Year and the first episode of 2023 – number 062 – will feature a fascinating interview with the journalist Jeremy Wilson. He has written an award-winning book – none other than the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2022 – about the extraordinary life and cycling times of Beryl Burton. In the week before I spoke to Jeremy I spent many thoroughly enjoyable hours reading the book, making notes as I turned the pages in preparation for the interview. In this pre-podcast podcast post (OK, shameless publicity tease…) you can read what I jotted down. Those notes will hopefully whet your appetite for listening to episode 062 of The Cycling Europe Podcast which will be published on Sunday 1st January 2023. In the meantime… Happy Christmas!
Tonight the final episode of Le Grand Tour series of films is premiered on YouTube in all its glorious UHD beauty. It tells the story of my cycle from Andermatt, high in the Alps and close to the source of The Rhine to The Hook of Holland where the river pours out into the North Sea and where the two-month cycle returns to where it started at the start of July 2022. It was an epic journey of 4,700km on the bike plus another 700km on trains and this final part of the film is perhaps the most dramatic as it follows the course of The Rhine from the steep-sided gorges of Switzerland to the majestically meandering Rhine of the low countries.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that in mid-February I will be travelling to Tenerife for a few days of winter cycling. It won’t quite by ‘cycle-touring’ in the traditional sense, more a combination of travelling and then cycling whilst being based in the same place, a hotel in southern Tenerife. Although I still need to check all the details, I’ve been told that I will be able to hire a bike at the hotel and my trusty steeds – Wanda and Ronnie (and my rather rusty steed Reggie…) – will be left at home for the duration.
A few days ago I posted about the French site HomeCamper and the fact that they were looking for investment to develop their business. (It would be interesting to hear if anyone did actually invest in shares…) But WarmShowers remains the go-to accommodation option for many touring cyclists, with good reason. It’s free and is a great way of meeting local people with whom you automatically have a common interest; cycling. Well, a few minutes ago, an email has arrived from WarmShowers detailing some interesting developments that we can look forward to in 2023.
Cycling in the winter can be dangerous if you don’t prepare. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what Bristol cyclists can do to stay safe this winter. Cycling is a great way to stay fit and healthy. Some people choose a bike over car ownership, especially when living in a city. However, the winter season brings challenges for cyclists. The roads become more dangerous, and it’s important to prepare for the winter season to continue cycling safely.
OK, the French lost the World Cup Final, but it was a good match. Great match even. I only really started watching once it went into extra time, putting down my book – a biography of the legendary Yorkshire cyclist Beryl Burton – to concentrate on events in Doha. And, alas, the outcome for the French wasn’t good. But let’s face it, they made much more progress than the English or Welsh teams. Chapeau! Yet football isn’t the only thing at which the French excel. Home Camper is worthy of investigation and this post is prompted by an email that arrived in my inbox earlier today…