Europe & The Near East 2007 Films The Film

From The Cutting Room Floor #2: Quite Interesting Sleeping Arrangements

The second in this series of Janapar bonus video clips will raise a smile with many cycle-tourists. For some of the best two-wheeled travel tales derive from overnighting under the most unlikely of circumstances.

On this particular evening, Andy and I found ourselves kindly gifted the use of a small-town football field changing room somewhere in rural Turkey, in which I had the chance to demonstrate my highly sophisticated sleeping system to the camera.

This scene didn’t make the final cut for a similar reason to the first clip: there was a limited opportunity to encapsulate the six months for which Andy and I rode together before the film’s attention had to return to why we went our separate ways and the story that unfolded as a result.

Many short scenes of our journey between England to Armenia were assembled in order to do this, including the cashpoint incident, the Stambouli musicians, and the spontaneous roadside party you’ll see in the full-length feature. This clip (as well as next week’s) is an example of a perfectly good scene that couldn’t make the cut.

Janapar: Love on a Bike is available instantly as an iTunes-compatible HD digital download from There’s also a handful of first-batch DVDs still available (purchases of which now include a free digital download too). 

Alternatively, you may find that one of the public screenings I’m hosting this summer happens to be in your area.

Europe & The Near East 2007 Films The Film

From The Cutting Room Floor #1: The One Where Tom Puts A Hole In His Face

One of the tragedies of art is how much perfectly decent stuff is chucked away. The 300 hours of footage I shot for Janapar is a case in point. The finished film is 79 minutes long, so for every minute of footage I shot, another four hours were binned. (Admittedly, plenty of it was shite, but a lot of it wasn’t.)

Beginning today, then, I’ll be bringing the best of this extra material back to life. For those who’ve seen Janapar, these clips will explain a few things glossed over in the main feature. For those who haven’t seen it, they’ll be entertaining glimpses of life on the road in their own right.

The first clip answers the question of why Tom appears to be exhibiting the remains of a black eye in some of the Armenian winter shots.

This dramatic scene was included in the main feature until quite a late stage in the edit, but it needed to be quite lengthy to make sense, and so it stalled the momentum of the story, which at that point was resolving the earlier question of how Tom & Andy came to be separated.

We found that we could ‘hide’ the injury in later scenes and explain the conflict more concisely and poetically through Andy’s parallel love interest, and so it had to go. (This particular tale is fully recounted in the book, as it did become a significant turning point.)

As always, your questions and comments are very much welcomed. Next week’s clip will bring a touch of comedy in some rather unusual sleeping arrangements.

Books Europe & The Near East 2007 Other People's Adventures

The Weave Of The Ride (or, Janapar from Andy’s point of view)

Tom, Mark and Andy in Montreux

In the summer of 2007, my best mate Andy Welch and I set off from my front door. We’d called our expedition ‘Ride Earth’, and were all set to cycle round the world. But the experiences that followed changed all we thought we knew about, travel, adventure and cycle-touring. 

Weave Of The Ride, Andy’s own account of that eight-month journey from England to Armenia, offers an alternative perspective on the story that ends with Ride Earth’s disbandment and the beginning of two new solo adventures. In this guest post, Andy goes into detail about his new book. 

Europe & The Near East 2007 Films Middle East & Africa 2009 Mongolia 2010 The Caucasus & Iran 2008

Video: 3½ Years Into 3 Minutes

A super-short blast through my time away from the UK, from bolshy beginnings in 2007 to humble homecomings a few weeks ago.



Look out for more video coming very soon. Merry Christmas!

Europe & The Near East 2007

A Quick Look Back At The First Year Abroad

One year ago, I pedalled away from my front door on a bicycle, with the vague intention of cycling round the world.

As it happened, the bicycle itself proved quickly to be the least important part of my new way of living. It was simply a vehicle which connected me in an incredibly intimate way with the people and places I encountered. It was these encounters that have defined my life ever since the day I left, not the physical act of pedalling.