Why I Prefer an Abandoned Mountain Bike to an Expensive Tourer

Around 30 miles into my cycle tour to the north cape of Europe someone asked how I would get the bike back to Britain. I replied that I would probably just leave it, after all it was an ancient mountain bike I had found abandoned in a stairwell so wouldn’t be a great loss. ‘You can’t … read more

Why I’ll Never Cycle Land’s End to John O’Groats

Great Britain has much to offer the touring cyclist – lush scenery and plenty of historical interest. I’ve cycled many thousands of miles all over Britain yet have never cycled the great staple of British cycle touring – Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG). Nor do I ever intend to. These are the reasons why. Logistics … read more

Dealing With Aggressive Dogs on Cycle Tours – Easy and Extreme Methods

They may be man’s best friend but dogs can be a serious threat when cycle touring. Even when only playing they can cause a crash or damage equipment. They can also carry rabies and cause serious or fatal injury. Luckily serious attacks are rare but if you cycle tour a lot you will probably encounter aggressive … read more

Cycle Touring is a Fantastic Way to Lose Weight

For losing weight quickly cycle touring is hard to beat. If you cycle 50 miles a day and eat normally you will almost certainly lose weight. For many cycle tourists it’s a challenge simply getting enough calories! Cycling with loaded panniers uses a lot of energy so on long tours it’s possible to lose a lot … read more

Dealing With Bike Noise on Cycle Tours

Bike noise can drive you mad on tour. It doesn’t always signify a serious problem but is best to address: something is loose, flexing or rubbing against something else with too much friction. Sound tends to resonate through the frame making it hard to locate the source. Answering the following questions can give some clues as … read more

Bike Repair Skills a Touring Cyclist Should Know

With almost mathematical certainty bike components break or need adjusted. You may be lucky and have no technical problems on a tour but you will have better peace of mind if you know how to deal with things if they do go wrong. This is a list of useful skills to know but you should consult … read more

The Problem With Panniers – Alternative Methods for Carrying Gear

Panniers are used by most cycle tourists I encounter. They can carry large amounts of gear, while keeping the centre of gravity low for good handling. Most are waterproof or have a waterproof cover so your gear is kept clean and dry. However, they have a number of disadvantages: They are difficult to carry off the … read more

Cheap and Simple Steps to Make a Touring Bike More Durable

Fit Longer and Better Quality Bolts It’s not just the frame material and components that make a bike durable – the little things like bolts and bearings matter too. It tends to be these that manufacturers skimp on because they figure, probably correctly, that most people won’t think about them too much before buying. They should! … read more

Smartphone or Dedicated GPS Unit?

Smartphones nowadays can do pretty much anything a dedicated GPS unit can do. So why spend a lot of money on an extra device? What advantages do dedicated GPS units like those from Garmin have? Let’s examine these devices a bit closer. A smartphone is a small general-purpose computer that does a lot of things but … read more

What is the Best Wheel Size for Cycle Touring?

Choosing the right wheel-size in a touring bike is very important. Getting it wrong could mean being stranded in the middle of nowhere with a broken wheel and no way to repair it. So which wheel size is right for you? To get a better idea of the effects of different wheel sizes imagine two very … read more

Could Peer-to-Peer Sharing Work With Touring Bikes?

Online peer-to-peer services like Uber and Airbnb have transformed many industries. Could a similar system be used for sharing touring bikes? An internet company, Spinlister, offers peer-to-peer bike rental/hire. It isn’t aimed at touring bikes specifically, but there is no reason why it shouldn’t be used for it. While some people tour constantly, most will spend … read more

Cycle Touring in Scotland

The weather isn’t as bad as is often made out; in fact the eastern side of Scotland has a fair amount of sunshine. It may not be a huge country but that makes it good for short–medium tours and the long coastline and wide variety of landscapes make it seem much larger. What’s more if you’re … read more