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 over the place. Problem is, March is still wintertime in … Continue reading Iceland: Boots, Bikes and Boldly going…

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 defence I just like knowing that every little thing has … Continue reading Patagonia kitlist

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 a little and desperate for a shower, but also permanently … Continue reading Bikepacking bikes

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 up and committed to what we hoped would be our … Continue reading The best laid plans…

Riding Vicariously

We’re funny creatures, aren’t we? In a world of infinite distraction, unknowable mystery and singular beauty (not to mention the internet), human beings are drawn to boredom like a toddler to exposed electrical sockets, among our many other faults. Despite ourselves, we seem to have an unerring ability to pass from novel amazement to outright disinterest in the blink of an eye. The Second Coming … Continue reading Riding Vicariously

Bikerafting the Rough Bounds

“And this is where Rob thought he’d broken his leg”, said Andy, pointing to a mass of tightly packed contour lines on the map as he talked about the last time he had been to Knoydart. “Good job he hadn’t too, because if something happens out there, well… It’s not going to go well. Are you sure about going on your own?” I looked again … Continue reading Bikerafting the Rough Bounds

A Journey Through the West Highlands

Summer had arrived in Fort William, and the town was baking beneath the scrutiny of an unblinking sun. Call me a sceptic, but given the weather that we typically see in this part of the world in July I was neither expecting nor coping with it. I finished the meticulous packing of my frame bag, looking for the perfect piece of kit to fill the … Continue reading A Journey Through the West Highlands

Crossing Iceland: Nyidalur to Hella

We went to bed for the second night at Nyidalur hut expecting the next day to be a windy one – come morning, I can’t say we were disappointed. One of the main poles of the tent had been bent, and we had a struggle collapsing it without it going airborne. The wind was gusting above 60 miles per hour, and continued to rise as we … Continue reading Crossing Iceland: Nyidalur to Hella

Crossing Iceland: Godafoss to Nyidalur

Apologies. This post is a long one, but it’s one that I’ve been piecing together for a while, and it seems that there is rather a lot to say (too much to subject a reader to in a single post). At a glance, it’s an account of a crossing, by bicycle, of the Icelandic interior, which is neither a superhuman feat in itself, nor especially … Continue reading Crossing Iceland: Godafoss to Nyidalur