Categories
Microadventures

A Bike Tour In A Day (Part 2)

Something about the English countryside always strikes me as being somehow more voluptuous, more rich and thickly-coated than that of our European neighbours. Even at the very outset of spring, the ground seems to be sprouting almost uncontrollably; a contrast to the bare trees and tortured brown patches of Scandinavian grass I’d watched scrolling past on my way back from Norway. It could be a subconscious bias, I suppose.

Hedgehog

Not just flora, but fauna too. Starting out early that morning, I’d spent the first couple of hours sending countless rabbits bolting for cover. And so, as the day matured, I was staggered by the growing amount of road-kill. Rabbits, birds, squirrels, badgers, an unlucky cat, even a young deer — to borrow a book title, it was “strangely like war”.

Categories
Books

Writer’s Blog: Probably The Biggest Journey Yet

I am about to embark on something so colossal and terrifying that taking even the first step feels utterly preposterous. I’m talking about the attempt to take several years of my life, untangle the knotted stories, and reassemble them into hundreds of thousands of words in between a front and a back cover — which a total stranger will later be sufficiently moved to read.

Tehran lightshow

Categories
Microadventures

A Bike Tour In A Day (Part 1)

“I feel like I’ve been electrocuted.” I slumped on the leather sofa in my friend’s front room in a quiet London back-street. The words formed in my mind but when I opened my mouth only a discordant groaning emerged. There was nobody else in the room to hear me, anyway; I could hear the clatter of pots and pans that signified the preparation of dinner.

English countryside

I hoped it would be a suitably colossal meal. I’d just arrived after travelling down from the East Midlands. Normally, this would have meant a short ride to the nearest station, a couple of hours on the train and a twenty-minute cycle through central London. But today I’d decided to give the train a miss.

Categories
Philosophy Of Travel Scandinavia 2011

What Makes A Good Trip Great?

My Scandinavian winter cycle trip was by far and away one of the most rewarding periods I’ve spent on the road — even more so than the excellent experience I had in Mongolia last year. What made it such a success? I think it boils down to a few key points.

Morning mist on the E6

Categories
Films Scandinavia 2011

Video: Letter From Lapland

Making a film of my cycle tour in Norway and Sweden this winter was never part of the plan. But long hours in the saddle tend to generate ideas. It’s short — only two minutes — and sweet. Enjoy!