Taranaki's Pouakai Ranges

Brasher Hillmaster II GTX Review, Tested To Destruction

Brasher Hillmaster II GTX walking boots review: I’m willing to bet that a few of Cyclefar’s readers like walking. After all, to enjoy cycling is to enjoy life and there are many ways to experience the world. I have seen a fair bit of the great outdoors standing in these Brasher Hillmaster II GTX walking boots and now as I prepare to leave New Zealand (three weeks to go!) I’m also preparing to leave my beloved boots behind. I hope I don’t spoil the surprise by saying that these boots have never ever let me down in the estimated 500+ miles traveled in them.

I bought the Brasher Hillmaster walking boots on a recommendation from my dad who’s a keen walker and, whilst penniless at university, he kindly subsidised the price for me, telling me his philosophy ‘buy once buy right’. More specifically ‘buy leather’. Leather boots have the distinct advantage of being easy to clean, easier to care for and more water resistant than synthetic shoes in my opinion.

The leather is a fully waterproof layer before you even hit the Gore-Tex membrane underneath, and with so few seams, washing and waxing them is a simple and satisfying task. Leather boots tend to bounce back time and time again with a tin of wax and ten minutes of your best massaging. Continue reading

Global Blog Views traffic

Thank You Cyclefar Readers!

I’ve really enjoyed writing content for Cyclefar over the last few months. As some of you may know Cyclefar is not a new website, the domain was registered on the 13th of June 2010. However, I was young and the first half of Cyclefar’s life was spent as a test bed for all kind of ideas, writing styles and content.

As I’ve begun to find my feet in life so has this website. I want to thank everyone that has read posts, browsed galleries, commented, shared and ultimately contributed to the growth and success of cyclefar.com. I know how much great content exists online, each one competing for your time, interest and interaction. Continue reading

Katadyn Mini Review

Katadyn Mini Water Filter Review

I don’t do any marketing for Katadyn but if I did I think ‘water so good the eels want it back’ might be a winner.

Having a way to purify water, especially when you’re unfamiliar with where you’ll be travelling, is essential. The average person can survive weeks without food. You can still feel safe from mortal danger if you have to skip the odd meal or two but the same cannot be said about water. Without water you’ll be lucky to last more than 3 days.

There is a helpful rule to remember these limits called ‘The Rule of Threes’. You can survive three minutes without air, three hours without shelter (in a dangerously cold environment), three days without water and three weeks without food.

Continue reading

Thorn Sherpa Review

Thorn Sherpa Review – Steel Frame Touring Bicycle

I’ve been collecting my thoughts for this Thorn Sherpa review since I first built the bike in my grandad’s shed. I built it in the middle of winter four years ago. I had attempted to build up my new Thorn Sherpa frame in my garage, but at a fun dampening -2°C I received a better offer from my grandad who told me I could use his quintessential English ‘shed at the bottom of the garden’, fitted with a cast iron multi-burner.

Thorn Sherpa review.
Thorn Sherpa attachment points.

I took my tools, stacked up in front of a small fan heater, and hauled the Thorn Sherpa frame and components up the road to a balmy 22°C Costa-del-English-Shed and had a fun couple of days tuning the gears and perfecting the cabling, sweat gently beading on my forehead. Thanks grandad! Continue reading

Bicycle Saddlebags VS Top Bar Bags

Bicycle Saddlebags – You Don’t Need Saddlebags Anymore!

I’ve always had a love hate relationship with bicycle saddlebags. I love that they can carry my tools, that they are quite light and sit out of the way when I’m cycling. But I hate that they’re too small to carry a snack or micro-sized pump, are difficult and often fiddly to access and they are very heavy in relationship to what they can hold. In other words, when you look at the overall weight of your bicycle saddlebag, complete with multi-tool, spare innertube and patches, the bag actually accounts for a significant percentage of that overall weight. How inefficient!

Until recently there wasn’t really any alternative to the bicycle saddlebag. The new innovation that I’ve come to prefer has recently trickled in from the bike-packing or mountain bike touring movement. In an effort to find ways to carry luggage on bikes that have no business carrying luggage, bicycle product designers came up with the top bar bag. Continue reading

Cycle Touring In New Zealand

Cycle Touring In New Zealand. What’s It Like?

I hadn’t done any research about cycle touring in New Zealand before I arrived here. I didn’t really know much about this beautiful and remote country at all.

First let me tell you the problems I’ve faced, then I’ll tell you what’s good so you’ll be able to make your own conclusion.

New Zealand’s Road Infrastructure

New Zealand, almost uniquely for a developed country, is a hard place to assess from the saddle of a bicycle because Continue reading

Cycle Touring Blogs

Top Cycle Touring Blogs 2014

Here are some of my favorite cycle touring blogs I’ve been reading this year. Some of them I have followed for many years, others are recent discoveries but all of them have something to offer a cyclist. Whether that be inspirational stories, useful information or beautiful photographs you’ll find what you’re looking for in the links below.

Ultralight Cycle Touring Blogs

I mention ultralight cycle touring blogs separately as they have been my special interest since arriving in New Zealand. Continue reading

Cold Winter Solstice

Home To The Old World – What I Miss About England

After 5 days of cycling from Leicester to Dover and briefly pausing in Reading to see my Dad, I left England on the 23rd of June, 2012.

By the time I disembark from my flight on the 6th of August 2014 at London Heathrow, I will have been away for 2 years, 2 months and 2 weeks!

For those of you who don’t know, I spent the first 6 months cycling from England through France, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, India, Australia, finally arriving in New Zealand with my partner Ellie. Continue reading

Ultralight Cycle Touring and Fully Loaded Bicycle Travel