So I finally got round to going through the years of correspondence — hundreds of emails — that I’ve had through this site’s contact form and that of my previous site, Ride Earth. It was quite fascinating to see how the figures came out, and occasionally funny:
A large proportion of messages were from people who wanted advice on various aspects of a cycle tour. Most of the answers were things I learnt after I’d left, so the best advice I could have given was simply to leave, and go through the same learning process — far more valuable than hearsay from someone else’s point of view.
But I know from experience that people — especially in the planning stages of a long trip — are really looking for reassurance of their doubts and fears. With that in mind, I wrote many articles over the last few months — partly with the aim of giving out a bit of advice on bike-building, finance, sponsorship, wild-camping, filming, and other topics, and partly just to let people know how easy it really is to have a long, meandering bicycle adventure.
I’ll always remember my first visit to the RGS Explore seminar; I learnt very little about bicycle expeditions, but what I did learn was that such things were possible and not actually as scary as they seemed.