In 2006, Andy and I took our mountain-bikes up to Inverness and spent a week riding an off-road route to Fort William, which we had put together from detailed Ordinance Survey maps. We made a lot of mistakes — carrying all of our kit in heavy backpacks, relying for a good night’s sleep on a £10 tent from Lidl, and being rather optimistic about our daily distances cycling on hiking trails.
This, my first ever bike trip, was about trial-and-error, climbing the steep learning curve of our inexperience. It was the most fun I’d ever had on a bike, or ever have since.
Until, that is, I took my bike to Mongolia.