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 the French MTB instructor’s union, and even (I assume) join … Continue reading Legal Highs:Guiding in France

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 preparing for a Winter Mountain Leader assessment in the Cairngorms, … Continue reading Þakka þér Ísland!

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 reality of that illusion that has made him the triumphant … Continue reading Trials and Tribulations in Patagonia

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

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…

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

Shimano Epic Enduro – the return of XXXC

Sometime in the spring of 2014 an unusual bike race crossed my attention – it was in the south of France, was called the ‘Epic Enduro’ and had stats to make your legs tingle. 90km, 4,300m of climbing and thousands of metres of special-stage descending on natural, rocky trails. I saw some very pretty photos online, and thought about for a moment. “Sod it, I’m … Continue reading Shimano Epic Enduro – the return of XXXC