Scott Addict Gravel 20

  Yes, that’s right, we’re talking about gravel. Before you spray your cup of tea all over the screen, railing against the shadowy capitalist conspiracy that is clearly responsible for bringing you yet another buzzword and category of bike on which to splurge your hard-fought earnings, hear me out – if not for my sake…

The Capital Trail 2016

I’m a planner. I like, at the very least, to think that I know what lies on the road ahead, to be able to pre-empt, prepare, control.

45NRTH Wolvhammer review

  Although it does happen, it’s not all that often that British winter conditions demand a full winter boot to keep toes pink and wiggly. A combination of overshoes and waterproof socks is usually enough to keep them warm, although keeping them dry is another matter, especially in the perma-bog of the Highlands.   When…

Legal Highs:Guiding in France

It’s been a long time coming, but as of last week I can finally rejoin the promised land, enjoy lovely trails with lovely people, and ride obscene switchbacks until my handlebars get stuck in that position – I passed the French equivalency test that allows me to legally guide and instruct bikes in France, join…

Highland Trail 550 – Part 3

Part 1 Part 2 I managed to sleep anyway, though, and got up at 5 to tackle the Postaman’s Walk along the north shore of Loch Maree, all the way to a hot drink at the Whistle Stop café in Kinlochewe. It was a huge mental struggle to get up and face the long daily…

Highland Trail 550 – Part 2

Part 1   So far I was happy enough with my progress, I knew I had clocked up at least 100 miles a day, probably more on the first day, and that would hopefully see me home in the six days that I was aiming for. I knew that the trail would only get hillier,…

A Vision Quest on the Highland Trail – Part 1

Apologies, I was too busy swallowing flapjack, pedalling and talking to myself to take any photos on this adventure. Besides, the phone was firmly stashed in many layers of waterproofing, somewhere in the depths of my seatpack. So in their place, let the words do the picture-painting for you, and I’ve dug out some photos…

Trials and Tribulations in Patagonia

Patagonia. What was all that about then? It’s been a pretty hectic winter since we arrived home in Scotland in January, but here are some words and photos that I put together for Bikepacker’s Magazine about our trip. “All things look good from far away and it is man’s eternally persistent childlike faith in the…

Iceland: Boots, Bikes and Boldly going…

Soon (this evening in fact), I’ll be heading back to Iceland for a second time to explore more of its mountainous dirt roads by bike, and to learn more about that improbable, impossible and very thoroughly lovely country; that’s not to mention further research on the infinite variations of liquorice-based sweets to be found all…

Patagonia kitlist

Before trips I get a bit… concerned about detail. That’s putting it kindly. Perhaps it’s fuzzy memories of my mum organising the troops before family holidays when everything had to be accounted for – to her credit, can’t remember there ever being one of those “I thought you had the passports…” moments, and in my…

Bikepacking bikes

Bikepacking for me started with a loop of the Cairngorms on a hot, sunny weekend in 2013. I used a couple of harnesses borrowed from Annie to attach oversized, dumpy drybags to the bars and seat of an Orange Elite 26” hardtail, and faded into the moors. A couple of days later I emerged, slavering…

The best laid plans…

It takes quite a lot of work to make a big trip happen, not to mention a liberal sprinkling of money where airfares and equipment are concerned. From the seeds of a vague conversation sometime last winter, to what felt like weeks researching routes, plane tickets and airline policies for bicycles, in summer we paid…