I’m Tom from England. That’s me on my most recent journey: bikepacking the south of Iran over the winter of 2016/2017.
For the last decade I’ve been going on bicycle adventures to places like Sudan, Iran, Yemen, Syria, the Arctic, Ethiopia, Armenia and Mongolia. There’s about 40 countries on the list, but numbers are boring.
A love of adventure is what drives my journeys, and a love of writing is what drives this blog. I share stories, ideas, news and knowledge on the subject of modern-day bicycle travel. So if you’re just dipping a toe into the world of adventure cycling, or you’re planning a big trip and are looking for a voice of experience to help out, you’re probably in the right place.
Why adventure cycling?
I guess it started when my parents took the stabilisers off my first bike and I disappeared across the village green, aged 4. Cue much fretting and wailing from aforementioned parents.
Aged 6, I completed my first long-distance cycle tour: a lap of Rutland Water, all 17 miles of it.
As an older child, one of my ambitions was to ride my BMX off a ramp into the River Welland. (I built a ramp, but wasn’t quite brave enough to take the leap.)
At university I got fat and lazy and spent much of my final year trying to burn off the beer and cheesy chips by throwing myself down the hillsides of Exmoor on a mountain-bike.
Then I went to Scotland and spent a week lugging my bike and gear through rainy off-road trails in the West Highlands. Thoroughly miserable, the most fun I’ve ever had on a bike, and the trip that sowed the seeds.
The logical progression from there seemed to be to try and ride as far as possible and see what happened. In late 2006 I began planning a long trip called “Ride Earth” — a journey around the world by bicycle. (This is where the story gets more interesting. I set off, but have never really finished.)
I’ve travelled to over 40 countries on 4 continents on my bicycle since then. I’ve been spending months at a time on the road, setting up home wherever I see fit, and meeting hundreds of other cycle travellers in the process. Rather than a quick lap of the planet and a pat on the back, this somehow became my full-time occupation; I have no fixed abode, although I have bases of sorts in England and Armenia.
My blog today, as well as continuing to recount tales of adventure, is largely about exploring the broad potential of bicycle travel as a tool for making personal, meaningful journeys, and sharing what I discover in the hope of making bicycle travel accessible to all who dream of it.
If you’re just such a dreamer, if you’re midway through planning a journey, or even if you’re a seasoned veteran of life on the road, there’s something here for you.
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