Strathpuffer 2017:The Return of Pace and Momentum

This was my fifth Strathpuffer, but I’ve never stood in the damp January air listening to the piper, shivering before the traditional run to the bikes, and faced the prospect of doing all the hard work myself. If that was a daunting feeling, there wasn’t too much time to dwell on it, as the shout…

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.

The Alp-Packer – an alpine ITT?

The journey from Geneva back to Bourg took four and a half days, some of which was unforgettable for the right reasons, and the rest of which was… unforgettable.

Iceland: Across the Kjolur in winter

  Kjolur – One of the historic mountain roads crossing the Icelandic Highlands, mentioned in the Sagas. It crosses from Gullfoss in the south, between LangJökull and Höfsjökull glaciers, to Blöndudalur in the north.     “Your hair’s frozen again”.   I pat my head, feeling the now familiar crinkling of a frosty quiff, before…

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…

Þakka þér Ísland!

Well then. We arrived back home last week after an interesting month. It had been a hard winter at the point when we left for Iceland, five weeks ago. Well, by ‘hard’ I mean that we had been jollying around Chile and Argentina for a couple of months, followed by six fairly intensive weeks of…

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…