All posts by James

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 In New Zealand. What’s It Like?

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 Top Cycle Touring Blogs 2014

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 Home To The Old World – What I Miss About England

Building a Touring Bike – Which Bike For Cycle Touring?

This post on buying or building a touring bike assumes no prior technical or mechanical knowledge of bikes. I’m writing it to help anyone that has ambitions to cycle tour but doesn’t know what touring bike to get or what extras they might need to buy.

The most common questions I get asked are about buying or building road touring bikes for around £500 (840 USD). For road touring bikes £500 is also the price point at which reliable, entry-level, bikes become available so that’s what I’m going to assume here.

If you’re considering your first tour then I’m especially honored that you’ve visited I’m sure that, armed with the right knowledge, you will love cycle touring and I expect you have some big adventures ahead of you!

Let’s begin building a touring bike! Continue reading Building a Touring Bike – Which Bike For Cycle Touring?

Reduce Cycle Touring Weight – 5 Simple Tips

Five tips to reduce cycle touring weight. Cycling ultralight is an exhilarating experience but even fully loaded tourers can benefit from reducing cycle touring weight by a few kg. Here are my top 5 tips to get you started.

5 Quick Ways To Reduce Cycle Touring Weight

1 | Chief Weight Offenders: Sleeping Bag

When writing my book, the Ultralight Cycle Touring Guide, I made an infographic showing the weight distribution of my equipment. Chief amongst the weight offenders was my sleeping bag. Though down insulated, which has a good warmth for weight rating, my sleeping bag is quite heavy. If your sleeping bag weighs over 800g and you’re camping in normal spring/summer conditions then you may benefit from swapping it for a lighter model. It will reduce cycle touring weight significantly. Yeti, Lightwave and Rab all make great lightweight sleeping bags and there are many more brands with fantastic products. If you’re in the UK Go Outdoors is worth a look. Continue reading Reduce Cycle Touring Weight – 5 Simple Tips