Progress is being made on the book about 2022’s Grand Tour. The drat should be finished by the end of the year and then I can think about getting this fourth travelogue published for all the world to read. In advance, however, here’s another extract – in draft – that I have just completed. It recounts the day after the night before! There had been a storm at the end of day 46 and here I am picking up the pieces and getting my journey back on track as I cross the border from France and enter Switzerland…
I last wrote something for the website about a month ago, way back on the 23rd September in the run-up to the Cycle Touring Festival. Since then, I’ve been a little busy with cycling and non-cycling matters. Hopefully this post brings everything up-to-date as autumn gradually edges towards […]
I continue to spend much of my time writing book four, my account of cycling around Europe in the summer of 2022. I have passed the half-way point in terms of time although not distance and am currently working on day 34 of the cycle. Below is what I have written for day 33. It was a day not without its self-inflicted challenges, mainly to do with my inability (on that day at least) to read my map… The completed book should be available in some way, shape or form towards the end of 2023 or early 2024. Look our for ‘Le Grand Tour’.
If you are a member of Cycling UK and pay your £4 every month, you will hopefully have had the opportunity to read my account of last year’s Grand Tour that appeared in the June / July 2023 issue of Cycle Magazine. (If you are not a member, why not?? It’s a bargain and the magazine is one of the best cycling reads that you can get your hands on; real people, real cycling, real stories…)
One part of last year’s Grand Tour around Europe that I was particularly impressed by was the French section of the Avenue Verte that links London with Paris. I didn’t, of course, start in London; I joined the route in Dieppe and then headed south towards the French capital. It had everything that you might want when it comes to cycle touring; off-road cycling along disused railway lines, interesting places to visit, beautiful countryside and even for me in the summer of 2022, amazing weather.
It’s a question I am occasionally asked. My quest to re-cycle the route of last year’s Grand Tour around Europe in written form continues… Today I will hopefully ‘arrive’ in La Rochelle. It was one of the longest days of cycling from Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie to La Rochelle on the west coast of France. 140km in total. At least the landscape was flat and it was a beautifully sunny day. This is the fourth book that I will have written about my travels on a bike. When I think back to writing that first book, it was very much a detective job as I didn’t record much information about the cycle from southern England to southern Italy in 2010; a few short web posts, a few photos, no video to speak of and not even a GPS track. Why would I bother? It wasn’t as if I was ever going to need all that detail again…
In the writing of the book about last year’s Grand Tour of Europe, I’ve arrived in the west of France, at a small family-run campsite near the coastal town of La Bernerie-en-Retz. I occasionally post what I’ve written to the website and below you can read my account of day 26 of the journey that took place in late July 2022. I have to say that this fourth book is taking me far longer to write than the previous books, but that’s for good reasons rather than bad. I have no pressure with this one. I ticked the box of having a book published through official channels with ‘Spain to Norway…’ and have as yet made no effort whatsoever to find a publisher for this fourth instalment of my travels. As a result, I have no deadline to finish the first draft. It will happen later in the year, perhaps even in early 2024 but I do feel that the quality of what I am writing is benefiting from the lack of external pressure. You may ultimately agree or disagree… but you might have to wait until the spring of 2024 to find out. If you are a publisher, feel free to get in touch.
Welcome to June… and to the summer of 2023. Well, if the first is your definition of summer. There are several from which to choose. My focus over the next few months will be continue to write the first draft of my new book about last year’s ‘Grand Tour’ of Europe. I’m now heading south along the Vélodyssée in the west of France (day 25 of around 60) so I should have that draft ready by the end of the summer. However, earlier this year I was approached by Dan Joyce, the editor of Cycling UK’s Cycle magazine, asking if would be able to contribute an article about last year’s cycle. That article has now been published and if you are a member of Cycling UK, you should have received your copy of the magazine in the last few days. It’s the June / July issue.