The Hardest Word In Long-Distance Cycling (Is Not ‘Japan’)

Thirteen years ago this weekend I was sitting on my sofa at the start of the school holidays. It was 2008 and the Beijing Olympics had just started. Just outside the Chinese capital it was wet. Very wet. Nicole Cooke, the British cyclist was sodden, rain dripping from every square centimetre of her body. I watched, bleary-eyed (perhaps I was still recovering from the end-of-academic-year festivities) as she cycled under the fortifications of the Great Wall and then, as she approached the finish line, raised her fist and punched the damp air to celebrate her victory. She had just become the Olympic cycling road race champion. It was to become a pivotal moment in my middle-aged life. There and then I resolved to set off on an exotic cycling adventure…

Update: The MSR Hubba Hubba NX Erected!

An update on what I posted last weekend about my new tent; an MSR Hubba Hubba 2-person backpacking tent. If you remember, I had a frustrating time trying to put up the tent when it arrived, mainly because I chose to watch the YouTube video during and after erection. I still cannot fathom why I wasn’t able to see the different coloured webbing on the inner and outer tent but there you go…

Skipton, Settle, Sun…

Phew! What a scorcher! It was predictable that, with horizon-to-horizon sun forecast for the first time in weeks, the cyclists would be out in force. And they were, especially in the few kilometres north of Skipton. As were, alas, hoards of drivers so, when the opportunity arose, escaping the main road from Skipton to Grassington came as welcome relief.

Erectile Dysfunction: The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Backpacking Tent

I’ve done it again. I have a new tent… In fairness I haven’t actually purchased a tent for quite a few years; the previous one – the excellent Vango Force Ten MTN 2 – was donated. The only downside of that tent was its weight and pack size. Not massive by any stretch of the imagination, but when you know other, lighter and less bulky tents are available, it plays on the mind. (I know there are people out there who have been using the same tent since the 1950s and if you are one of them you will be raising your eyebrows gently as I justify my profligacy in adding another tent to my expanding collection…)

A Game Of Three Halves: Advice Needed

Saturday was a game of, err… three halves. Apologies for the skewed mathematics in order to squeeze in a reference to the football. But basically I did three things; a 33km cycle in the rain in the morning, a shopping trip to the outdoor shops of Skipton in […]