Hi! I’m Tom, originally from England, but the island was too small.

For 18 years I’ve been pedalling the world... and peddling the word:

Travelling by bicycle is a revolutionary act, and the closest thing to freedom on the open road.

Here at TomsBikeTrip.com I tell original stories, trail-test new ideas, and share hard-earned lessons about cycle touring and bikepacking. A love of adventure has powered my AI-free blog since 2006. Welcome!

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  • Help!

    It’s 20 days ’til the date I’ve told everyone I know (and plenty I don’t) that I’m going to leave on to cycle round the world — is this the part where the nerves are meant to kick in? I guess it would be weird if not, since the furthest end-to-end distance I’ve ever cycled […] Continue reading →

  • Progress

    It’s all gone a bit mental. 1 month ago I was negotiating a sponsorship deal. Today I have a bin-liner full of camping gear next to me, a fully-built-up bike and trailer in the garage with shiny new Magura brakes and forks freshly fitted to it, a sack of cycling clothes from ProBikeKit.com, and have […] Continue reading →

  • Did Something Stupid

    This weekend, I voluntarily pitched myself from a small metal cage, mounted at the head, so to speak, of a massive erection. It was a singular act of spontaneity. I had not woken up that particular morning with an unexpected yearning to experience the delightful sensation of a gravity-assisted plummet. Nor had I pulled up […] Continue reading →

  • Ride Earth

    Over the last few weeks, I’ve been putting together a website for the Ride Earth project, in which I aim to mountain bike round the world. More information at ride-earth.org.uk. Continue reading →

  • Joining the protest

    Andy and I jumped on an early train in order to take part in the cycle protest that was to precede the main marches and demonstrations against ‘Climate Chaos’. Arriving at 9:40am and with a supposed leaving time of 10:00am from Lincoln’s Inn Fields, a couple of miles away from the station, we quickly hopped […] Continue reading →

I’ve written a range of guidebooks and travelogues to read at your leisure, whether you’re preparing for a bike trip, living life on the road, or home and dreaming of the next big ride.

How To Hit The Road: A Beginner’s Guide To Cycle Touring & Bikepacking

First published in 2017 and updated in 2021, this book is my comprehensive newcomers’ introduction to the art of the bicycle-mounted adventure.

Every aspect of a cycle tour or bikepacking trip is covered in 34 chapters, split over three parts: pre-trip planning, initial execution, and adapting to the long haul.

As well as broad, practical advice, I’ve woven inspiring and reassuring anecdotes throughout the book – because getting away from the starting line isn’t about knowing everything, but having the confidence to begin.

Drawing on my personal experience of almost two decades of adventure cycling, more than 50 veteran riders from diverse backgrounds have also contributed to this guide, making it one of the most well-rounded introductions you’ll find to this radically liberating form of independent travel.

Whatever you’re planning and wherever you’re going, if it involves a bicycle and the spirit of adventure, How To Hit The Road has got you covered.

Janapar: Love, on a Bike

My first travelogue, originally published in 2013 and the subject of a successful crowdfunding campaign, telling the true story of my first 3½ years on the road.

This was far from your typical long-distance bike tour, however. From the cover blurb:

When twenty-three-year-old Tom Allen and his friends set off from their English village to cycle around the world, they were expecting physical hardship, extreme conditions and a serious case of culture shock. But the hours spent poring over maps could never have prepared them for the experience of life on the road: the petty squabbles, the extreme hospitality, the unexpected joys and dangers.

And then Tom meets Tenny, a feisty Iranian-Armenian girl with dreams of her own, and hits a crossroad. Should he give up his grand plan for the girl he loves, or cycle off and risk missing out on the greatest adventure of them all?

Temporarily out of print (except in the USA), Janapar is still available as a Kindle ebook from all Amazon portals worldwide.