Tom’s Bike Trips (& Other Adventures)

My first bicycle adventure was in the Scottish Highlands with two mates. We hadn’t a clue what we were doing. It was miserable, exhausting and brilliant. 

Since then I’ve ridden… quite a lot? In numbers, I believe it’s something like 25,000km and many years of my life spent pedalling, but I never recorded or tracked most of these rides, so these are approximations.

What I have always done, however, is write extensively about these journeys and what I’ve seen, heard and learnt along the way. 

Use the links in the list below as a starting point for finding out more about each trip.

New South Wales Coast (2023)

For my first long ride in the post-pandemic age, I rode north from Sydney, following the route of the New South Wales Coast Cycle Path. The trip fitted neatly around a family wedding in Australia, and I road-tested my newly-upgraded expedition bike in the process.

Bikepacking Armenia (2019)

In September 2019 I led a group of riders the length of Armenia to test a newly designed off-road route across the country, riding an upcycled bikepacking bike I built especially for the trip.

Thailand & Myanmar (2018)

My wife Tenny and I spent a couple of winter months exploring the lesser-visited parts of southern Thailand, spiced up with an ill-advised foray into a restricted part of Myanmar.

Bikepacking Southern Iran (2016–17)

A much-needed solo blast from Shiraz south through the Zagros Mountains, winding up at the ancient port city of Bandar Abbas and having a thorough clear-out of my head while doing so.

The Length Of England Without Any Money (2014)

Is it possible to live and travel without any money whatsoever? Three weeks and 700 miles from Land’s End to Edinburgh on a scrapyard touring bike say yes – but this remains the hardest ride I’ve ever done.

The River Karun from Source to Sea (2014)

In the spring of 2014, Leon McCarron and I attempted to follow Iran’s longest river from one end to the other by any means (including by bicycle), resulting in a challenging, eye-opening journey. Afterwards, we made a feature-length documentary film to share this rare experience of travel in the Islamic Republic.

A recumbent touring bike leaning against a tree in the Netherlands.

Being Made Recumbent (2013)

It wasn’t a long trip – just a few short days – but it was one of the more unusual, in which a Netherlands-based blog reader offered me a free recumbent touring bike, on one condition: I come to his house to collect it. Naturally, I then decided to ride it home to England.

West Coast USA (2012)

My brother Ben and I spent two months in the spring of 2012 riding from Vancouver to San Francisco via British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California, mostly following the ACA West Coast route – but with a few adventurous detours.

Norway & Sweden In Winter (2011)

I spent February 2011 riding 1,600km through Norway and Sweden, from Oslo to the Arctic Circle and beyond. Taking on a solo bike trip in an extreme climate – with temperatures down to ‑33°C – proved to be a fascinating and fulfilling experience, but not without a few tough lessons.

Across Outer Mongolia (2010)

Together with my long-time riding partner Andrew, we made a self-supported bicycle journey across the sparsely-inhabited steppe and mountains of central and northern Mongolia. Wild, epic spaces and cross-country, off-road navigation characterised the riding — a truly spectacular place to cycle.

West Asia, the Levant & North East Africa (2009)

During the first half of 2009 I cycled solo from Turkey to Iran. To make things interesting, I decided to take the scenic route – via Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Yemen, Oman, and the UAE.

The Caucasus & Iran (2008)

After cycling through the coldest winter in Georgia for 25 years, I headed alone for Yerevan. I planned to stay for about 3 days. I ended up living there for 9 months before continuing to Iran. Long story…

Europe & The Near East (2007)

The first long-term journey I’d done. Starting out from my back door, two friends and I set our bearings East.

The Scottish Highlands Off-Road (2006)

This short, painful trip is to blame for everything.