Upcoming Events

UK Cycle Touring Festival 2015: Earlybird Tickets On Sale Now!

Heads up, folks – today we’re launching the first round of ticket sales for the UK’s first Cycle Touring Festival!

Earlybird tickets are discounted, but there’s a limited quantity available, so I suggest you get in there early before word gets out.

[UPDATE: Earlybird tickets are now sold out – but lots of regular priced tickets are still available!]

Click here to buy your tickets →

Here’s everything you’ll need to know about the event:

  • The festival is on 1–3 May 2015 at Waddow Hall, Clitheroe, Lancashire (this is the first May bank holiday weekend).
  • Our aim is to bring together and grow the cycle touring community, with talks and workshops and like-minded people to inspire you to plan your own adventure.
  • Earlybird tickets are priced at £65. Once they’re gone, higher-priced regular tickets will become available. The event is non-profit and all the organisers are volunteers.
  • Tickets include camping space and facilities on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd May, lunch on Saturday / Sunday and dinner on Saturday night, plus access to all the talks and workshops.
  • You can upgrade to B&B accommodation and/or stay on the Sunday night, too, to take advantage of the Bank Holiday Monday.
  • Details of the programme and confirmed speakers can be found here. (More to come!)
  • If you’re not yet decided about coming, you can sign up for email updates here or follow the official festival Twitter account.
  • Did I mention? Earlybird tickets go on sale today.

Click here to buy your tickets →

As an added incentive to come to the festival and to set a date for leaving on your own adventure, there’s a further 20% discount if you begin your tour from the Cycle Touring Festival itself. We’ll organise a big group send-off on the Sunday. Get in touch if you want to be part of this.

Finally… we need your help!

Even if you aren’t interested, or you’re too far away from Lancashire or the UK, you can still help us spread the word about the Cycle Touring Festival.

Please take a couple of minutes to help us spread the word by clicking the Tweet/Like links, either below this post or on the event website, sharing the event with your own circles. (This really will make a massive difference!)

I hope I’ll see many of you at this, the UK’s very first Cycle Touring Festival, and that we’ll make it a truly special event. Don’t forget your bike!

Other People's Adventures Photography Product Launches

Free Photo eBook: Bicycling Around The World by Paul Jeurissen

There are lots of bicycle travellers out there.

There are also lots of excellent photographers.

When they happen to be the same person, and the results are shared with the world, we’re all in for a real treat.

Photographer Paul Jeurissen and his partner Grace Johnson have been pedalling the world for years, and have amassed a huge collection of images. And they’ve just made the very best of them available in a PDF eBook.

I’m not going to harp on about its contents, other than to say that the images and stories are stunning and inspiring, and that all of us (especially those who’ve grown old and jaded through time and miles) should put aside some time to sit down, undisturbed, and leaf carefully through it.

Click here to download the free eBook →

It’s entirely free. Free as in liberty. There’s no annoying newsletter signup to wade through or anything like that. This is purely for the love of bicycle travel.

Huge thanks to Grace and Paul for sharing this with us all! Check out their other free publications at

The 19 Best Bike Shops For Touring & Adventure Bikes In The UK

Last updated in January 2019, adding three new shops and removing one which has sadly closed down.

There are a lot of bike shops selling touring bikes. There are far fewer for whom serving the needs of the touring cyclist is a speciality.

This is hardly surprising. Cycle touring is one of the tiniest niches in cycling. Touring bikes themselves are ugly and utilitarian. There’s far more money to be made flogging overpriced road racers and mountain bikes. For most UK bike shops, sticking a Dawes Galaxy in a corner somewhere is usually considered sufficient.

But there are a few establishments who have made a name for themselves as true touring specialists.

Sometimes this specialism is hidden behind a more general range of bikes, which is the bread and butter of any local bike shop. But you’ll also notice a rare few in the list below who have managed to survive by selling touring bikes exclusively.

The owners of these workshops and showrooms all tend to have one thing in common: they are (or were) cycle tourists themselves, and as a result, they know what a cycle tourist needs better than any big-brand shop assistant ever will.

They are also some of the few places you’ll be able to test-ride a range of touring bikes to see which one fits your needs, rather than just the one medium-sized Dawes Galaxy.

They are, in short, an indispensable friend to the touring cyclist.

Here, then, is a list of bike shops in the UK who partly or wholly specialise in touring bikes and associated cycle touring equipment. They’re listed in alphabetical order, with full contact details. It’s likely that you’ve never heard of most of them.

As for which is best, the truest answer I can give you is the one you can most easily get to in person. I’ve said it many times before: there’s no substitute for test-riding a bike before you buy it.

Bicycles By Design

Custom-fitted bicycle specialists and stockists for Tout Terrain and Co-Motion among others, also providing wheelbuilding and bespoke framebuilding services.

The John Rose Building,
High Street,

01952 459900


Distributor for Tout Terrain in the UK, as well as several recumbent and trailer brands, with an emphasis on personalisation and individual service.

48 Lamb’s Conduit St

020 7405 1218

Brixton Cycles

Co-operative London bike shop with an emphasis on a minimal selection of ultra-reliable bicycles. Test-rides and care & attention compulsory.

296–298 Brixton Road

020 7733 6055

Condor Cycles

Bespoke bicycle specialists in London with a selection of touring frames, including their classic Heritage steel frameset.

49–53 Gray’s Inn Road

020 7269 6820

Cycle Heaven

True touring experts, stocking Surly and Salsa bikes and framesets (among others) and providing custom assembly services.

2 Bishopthorpe Road
YO23 1JJ

01904 636578

Cycle Sense

One of the few UK dealers for Koga and Van Nicholas touring bikes, as well as other touring brands, and stocking a great selection of tandems and trailers.

20/22 High Street
LS24 9AT

01937 530303

Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative

Retailers of several brands of touring bike, including Ridgeback and Genesis. They also used to make their own line of tourers and consequently have first-hand knowledge of this niche.

8 Alvanley Terrace
Edinburgh EH9 1DU
United Kingdom

(5 other stores across northern England & Scotland)

0131 228 3565

Green Machine

Supplying a range of bikes including tourers from Dawes and Ridgeback. John also provides custom bike building and wheelbuilding services.

146a Lee Lane

01204 696831

Ghyllside Cycles

Run by highly experienced cycle tourers, supplying stock bikes, custom assembly services and their own line of touring bikes and frames, as well as a huge range of luggage and accessories.

Ghyllside Cycles
The Slack
LA22 9DQ

01539 433592

Hewitt Cycles

Hidden behind the general range of popular bikes lies the well-respected Hewitt Cheviot touring frameset and complete bike range. Also look out for their Surly framesets and bike building services.

17–19 Preston Road
PR25 4NT

01772 424773

Keep Pedalling

Relatively new shop in Manchester’s Northern Quarter run by experienced cyclists with a big emphasis on utility and touring.

23 Hilton Street
M1 1EL

0161 222 6015

Mastercraft Cycles

Dealers for British cycle touring brands Dawes, Ridgeback and Carradice; also custom builders of touring bicycles.

39 Bridge Street

01432 274047

Oxford Bike Works

Independent Oxfordshire-based builder of custom touring bikes, including in-person workshop fitting sessions. (I helped Richard design his flagship expedition model.)

Station Yard,
OX13 6RX

01235 831 992

Pilgrim Cycles

Located inside a Victorian railway station building and with a cafe on site, Pilgrim build their own range of classic British tourers, as well as being dealers for Dawes, Surly and Sabbath bikes.

The Old Booking Hall,
Box Hill & Westhumble Station
Westhumble Street

01306 886958

SJS Cycles

SJS Cycles are the sole UK dealer for Thorn touring and expedition bicycles. They no longer have a physical shopfront, so consultations regarding complete bikes are by appointment only (though you can walk in and they’ll do their best to help).

91–93 St John Street

01278 441505

Spa Cycles

The north’s best-established specialists in cycle touring equipment for over 30 years.

48A Camwal Road
North Yorkshire

01423 887003

Stanforth Bikes

Small-scale touring bike builder established in 2014, selling a range of touring & expedition bikes based on their own frame design, with plentiful custom build options.

Unit 6
18a Arthur Street

07850 881438

Swinnerton Cycles

Long-running family business stocking Trek and Ridgeback touring bikes.

67 ‑73 Victoria Road
Stoke on Trent

08448 112299

Temple Cycles

Central Bristol bike shop selling bikes based on its own range of framesets, including drop-bar road touring bikes, each of which is built to order and fully customisable.

Unit 19
Wapping Wharf

(Second location on Brick Lane, London.)

0117 403 2314

Do you know of any UK touring bike specialists not listed here? Please let us know in the comments – such shops are hard to come by.

Upcoming Events

Save The Date: 1st–3rd May 2015 for the UK’s very first Cycle Touring Festival!

If your calendar is anything like mine, you’ll already be fighting off an encroachment of frankly irritating weddings, bachelor weekends, milestone birthdays, must-visit festivals and other far-future shenanigans. How are we supposed to fit any adventures in? Can everybody stop getting married already?

If you’re in or near the UK, though, the 1st–3rd May 2015 is one weekend you’ll want to put a big fat circle around right away. (Here’s a handy link to auto-add it to iCal, GCal, etc.)

Because, thanks to the diligent efforts and sheer enthusiasm of these two world cyclists (welcome home, guys!), those dates will see the UK’s first ever Cycle Touring Festival taking place. Whoop!

Expect a fun weekend of inspiring talks, tour-planning workshops, food and revelry among like-minded people. Even I might stand up and say something coherent for a change. Heaven knows, we might even get some cycling in too.

Absolutely everyone is welcome, from total newcomers to grizzled veterans of life on the road. It’s all happening in the grounds of Waddow Hall, Lancashire, amid some of the best rural cycling routes England has to offer, and with camping space for ruddy tons of us.

I’m helping the guys get things up and running, part of which is helping spread the word about the happening. So this is a heads-up to let you know that a limited number of discounted earlybird tickets will be released at the end of this month.

More full-price tickets will be available closer to the time. It’s a not-for-profit event, so pricing is accessible as we can make it. We want maximum attendance and revelry, y’hear?

Click here to sign up at the Cycle Touring Festival website to be among the first to hear when the first batch of tickets go on sale. Don’t forget to put it in your calendar! (I’ll also drop a line to my own mailing list subscribers at the same time.)

P.S. If you’re still being non-committal about the date you’ll set out on your own big cycling adventure, why not start from the festival? There’s nothing like a looming deadline…