Tag Archives: journal

England to Indonesia: approaching departure (5 weeks to go)

departure towards Santander
our departure towards Santander in 2009

I can confidently forecast that on the evening of the 16th of June I’ll be sitting in the middle of my room surrounded by bulging panniers, merino underwear and tent poles clasping my head in my hands. The reason for this is that the 17th of June, exactly 5 weeks from today, is now the official leaving date for my tour to south-east Asia. Within these next 5 weeks I need to get travel insurance, investigate the necessity for vaccinations, for which I’ve an appointment with a doctor tomorrow, procure a water filter, a few spare bike components and other odds and ends. Some of the more difficult challenges will be to decide which of my many cherished jackets I’m going to take with me but I’ll probably just have to Continue reading England to Indonesia: approaching departure (5 weeks to go)

pt.6 – Misty hills and Hari Krishnas

lush and misty Croatian interior
we rose to misty hills and damp grass

The rest of the previous nights riding was a struggle, we knew thanks to the Germans, that we were on the right track but the road was poor and Lallo repeatedly got punctures on his skinny tyres. After dealing with pinch flats and riding with our head torches out of the dark forest we eventually found the road we’d been promised. At this point everyone was exhausted and ready for sleep so we took the first camp we could see which was right on the corner of the junction we had arrived at. It was a very dark night and even with the head-torches shining about the blackness just seemed to envelope our party and it wasn’t until morning that I came to appreciate the beauty of where we now were. Continue reading pt.6 – Misty hills and Hari Krishnas

pt.4 – Finding our feet

slick roads in Slovenia
slick roads in Slovenia

Following the great midday climb up to Dutovlje we sat in a small cafe in the center of town and drank ice cold ‘Lasko Pivo’, a typically good continental beer, and ate damson plums that we found growing along the roadside earlier that morning. Only recently introduced to strong sunlight and with tans still absent, our faces all looked burnt and rosy. The first few days had been a hard start and I noticed a tired, fuzzy expression washed over our parched faces as we slumped down in our chairs under the shade of the cafe.

Before long the rest of the group had arrived and had entered a shop across the square. I finished my beer and went after them, I didn’t need to buy anything but I thought I’d find out what the atmosphere was like, and try and gauge whether people wanted to push on for an early camp to get some proper rest. Continue reading pt.4 – Finding our feet

pt.3 – Disaster

Ellie and Chris Cycle Touring
Ellie and Chris hot on my trail

Toady should have been simple, all we had to do was ride down the tiny stretch of land where Trieste is located (the airport is quite a distance from the actual city) and at the appropriate juncture hop over the border into Slovenia and continue South. Moreover I was quite certain things were going swimmingly for sometime, until after a while of riding at the head of the pack I stopped to find out how everyone was doing. I knew Chris, Lallo and Ellie were right behind me, I could see them when I looked back periodically as I cycled. Sure enough Chris, Lallo and Ellie rolled up beside me and that’s when I realised there was no one behind them so we waited, and we waited, and it soon became clear that I had lost over half of my group on the second morning of a month long tour – that’s going to change things a bit. Continue reading pt.3 – Disaster

pt.2 – All Stop

bicycle building
Sven rebuilding his bike unaware of the faulty tyre

In Trieste we dragged the bikes over to a quiet corner of the airport and with multi-tools in hand all seven of us proceeded to split open our boxes and reconstruct our cycles during which we were met by Joe and Chris sporting tans and fully assembled bikes. In keeping with the theme so far we then managed (just) to ride clear of Trieste Airport to the road about 20 meters away when Sven got his first puncture. With 9 bikes 7 of which had just been disassembled and rebuilt one puncture would not be that unusual, even if it was on a set of Continental Travel Contacts, it could have been that the inner tube wasn’t fitted right, but another puncture on the same wheel an hour later hinted at a more serious problem. As the sun set it because clear we couldn’t keep riding. Continue reading pt.2 – All Stop

pt.1 – Introduction and Departure

The Dalmatian Coast: 2011

This will be be first ride taken from my travel diary and published on CycleFar, it’s both the most recent and one of my favourite tours to date. The plan was simple; I was going to begin where my last ride ended, near the Italian/Slovenian border close to Koper and follow the Dalmatian coast south to Albania. I would, as always, invite nearly everyone I knew in the knowledge that of the people that said yes perhaps half would actually make it past the hurdles of acquiring a bike, camping gear, time off work and the will to spend weeks of their life cycling in a Mediterranean summer. I imagined I would end up with perhaps five of my more athletic and experienced friends and we’d zoom along the coast with practiced ease. Of course it didn’t really happen like that, it happened like this instead… Continue reading pt.1 – Introduction and Departure