Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie (2011)

The first book, Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie, was published in 2011 and recounts Andrew P. Sykes’ journey from southern England to southern Italy in the summer of 2010. It is available as a paperback and as and eBook from, (and other international Amazon sites), Apple iBooks, Kobo and Waterstone’s. (ISBN: 978-1-84914-213-7). The book is now also available in Italian from Amazon, Apple iBooks and Kobo.


“The academic year must have been a difficult one as when the summer holidays arrived, secondary school teacher Andrew Sykes was happy to do as little as possible. But while sitting on his sofa watching the exploits of the cyclists at the Great Wall of China at the Beijing Olympics, he realised the error of his ways and resolved to put a bit more adventure into his life. Two years later, accompanied by his faithful companion Reggie (his bike) but only a rudimentary plan, Andrew set off for a trans-continental cycling adventure that would take him along the route of the Via Francigena and the Eurovelo 5 all the way from his home in southern England to Brindisi in the south of Italy. There were highs and lows, rain and shine, joy and despair and they are all recounted here in a light-hearted, brisk style.”

“A wonderful, witty account of a cycle tour across Europe.” (CTC)
“I cannot recommend a better book to read for inspiration.” (Chris Peck, Cycle magazine)
“Best cycling book I’ve read to date.”
“One can positively taste, smell, hear and touch his journey.”
“Ranked along with Murphy, Dew, Beaumont & Enfield on my bookshelf.”
“This is a great book… one of those that makes you tired because you end up reading late into the night.”
“A truly inspirational read… a highly recommended journey.”
“I thought this book was brilliant; it almost made me wish I had learnt to ride.”
“If this book doesn’t inspire the reader to jump on their bike and go… nothing will.”
“Not only is the book an excellent, entertaining read, it should also provide inspiration to all of us to get up from our desks and head out into the great wide world. Read it then do it!”
“If you like European travel and riding a bike then this book is a superb read. Extremely well-written and with some great observations on people and their cultures. Witty with a true sense of being there.”
“Made me want to go out there and just explore on a bicycle; awesome stuff.”
“Recommend it to everyone.”

Here’s the TV advert:

18 replies »

  1. Hiya Andrew- ive done three trips to Portugal, the latest in jan this yr via the West coast. Great rides- the East coast is a lot easier but i keep losing too much weight. Getting too old and discovered this long distance far too late in life, im hoping to ride until they nail my coffin lid shut! Keep your wheels turning broth’
    john Adrian Short- author, Bins, Benches and Broken Bikes.

  2. Thanks Bill. Have you met, per chance my other famous blog reader & traveller, the one and only Michael Palin? I should put you both in touch with my cousin Richard who lives in a lovely little corner of Portugal; you could write the book and Michael could front the TV documentary all about Coimbra…
    Best wishes

  3. LEJOG or JOGLE taking in the most easterly (Lowestoft) and the most westerly points (Ardnamurchan Point) of the mainland too. That should be ablout 2000 miles.


    LEJOG or JOGLE and top the three peaks during the cycle?

    • Mmm… quite like the idea of these twists to the standard route. What about the direction? north-south or south-north? When I cycled the Pennine Cycleway in 2009 the suggestion was to go south-north so as not to fight the prevailing winds but I went north-south and never found it a problem…

      • As you say the prevaling wind is supposed to come in from the south west so some people say it is easier to ride with that behind you. But the weather doesn’t always stick to the rules! Having said that I found that it generally did do what is should do but don’t know how bad it might have been travelling into what wind there was. I’d probably go with the direction that suits travel needs best. Is it easier to end at Lands End ot John O’ Groats? That’s what I’d work round.

What do you think?