Ever thought about pedalling off somewhere? Touring inspiration please…

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  • Ever thought about pedalling off somewhere? Touring inspiration please…
  • Premier Icon BigDummy

    I've not done a remoptely big tour for years. This picture was from a short excursion I did into the Peak District a couple of autumns ago. I was really at rather a low ebb and didn't feel like it at all. It took me an age to get started off from my brother's place in Salford after hours drinking coffee and setting the world to rights. I got the train out to Glossop, and rode out along the cycle track along the reservoirs south of the main road in steady and rather disheartening drizzle going East.

    Eventually (I can't quite remember where) I turned South and started climbing up over the moors. My mood really started to lift as I climbed away from the valley and tooled along quite a high, twisty road on which I barely sawy a car. I'd been meaning to camp, but as I cam down toward Ladybower I realised that that was one of the stupidest ideas I'd had in a long time and turned instead up onto the high road to the left as you come down the ladybower road and skirted the ridge before dropping down onto Hathersage, where I checked into the Youth Hostel. By the time I'd had a shower, trogged to the pub and got two pints and a pie down me I was feeling really rather glad to be out. Bike picture, the views weren't great that week:

    Rousing stuff BigDummy πŸ™‚


    Did the Danish section of the north sea cycle route a couple of weeks ago. It was great i Can't wait to do something similar again. Trip report


    In 1989 I flew to Istanbul with my Saracen Trekker for a few weeks touring around Turkey. I came home exactly a year later having cycled around Turkey, Israel & Palestine, Egypt, Crete and a couple of other areas in Greece. I worked in Israel and Crete to get a bit of money to keep myself going, and eventually buy a flight back from Athens. At times I no money and had to live out of supermarket skips & dustbins. I got caught up in West Bank riots, chased & bitten by feral dogs, spent some weeks cycling around Egypt with a German armed robber who'd escaped from prison, ripped my toes up by mountain biking in sandals, got accosted at gun point by Israeli soldiers in a refugee camp, met loads of people, some who I never want to see again, saw tons of beautiful scenery, cycled tons of brilliant pistes, trails and wadis, all on a rigid MTB, and I slept out a lot in the desert & mountains under the stars.

    The best year of my life. Get on your bike and go forth!

    Never having thought I'd be in a position to do this, but suddenly have something of an urge to do some kind of ridiculously pointless tour for no apparent reason other than there's a lot of stuff out there, and as my life goes on IΓ€m likely to have more responsibilities/less health and fewer opportunities to simply piss off for a few months (or more). Every now and then there are posts on here with some great travelogues, Iran, Sri Lanka, Laos, Iceland, Epping Forest etc… which are really memorable. Unfortunately many were from before the 'new' site and I can't find them.

    Anyway, it's never been much more than idle daydreaming before, but maybe a good thread with some tales of your small/ epic/ classic/ tragic/ good/ bad/ exotic/ home-grown adventures, or links to blogs you've done, pictures or anything might just inspire me. Equally, anything that you've been thinking could make a good trip- don't be shy, the more the merrier… πŸ™‚

    I've done two or three in Scotland now, documented on here but unfortunately lost to the Big Hack Of '08.

    One of them made it to the Charge website though, rather fancy flash type thing found here:


    Have joined the dots between Glenfinnan, Cape Wrath and Carbisdale for a 15 day trip next year. can't wait!

    ebygomm, could fancy a Norwegian extension of that, maybe with some skis for the northern section.

    baktrian kamelskuttle- fantastic. Made me smile. Thanks!

    13thfloormonk, up till now I've mainly stuck to Scotland or North, depending on where you're dotting the lines on that one you could have a great trip. I never really think of it as "touring" round there though, just figuring out how to ride loads of great places in whatever time available.

    >Ever thought about pedalling off somewhere?<

    Frequently… πŸ˜‰

    See here:


    'Tis a good point crouch_potato, I hesitate to tell people i go 'touring' but then they see my 'tourer': a Marin rocky ridge with freeride tyres and 710mm bars. Makes it fairly obvious what sort of touring I'm doing. πŸ˜€

    what Heather Bash say's

    you'll find plenty of inspiration on there.

    Scotland is my personal favourite but my god there's a lot out there. PQ off've this very forum has just got back from a tour of the 'stans', search for peter quaife on crazyguy for his blogs.

    Premier Icon simonhuscroft

    About 7 years ago rode from Vancouver to San Francisco down the coast. Also did some MTBin on North Shore / Whistler. The touring was awesome camping at state parks for a few bucks a night.A lot of them are either in beautiful forrests or right on the beach. You also get to see Seattle / San Fran both of which are cool places as cities go. Vancouver is by far the best city i have been to though.

    Was supposed to cycle all the way to LA but loved the North Shore so much went back up for some more.

    simon – how did you find the roads in the US?

    Have wanted to do a similar thing but taking in Vancouver Island and maybe a bit of the North West coast as well


    I've done a few off road and on road tours on my own but only in the UK and for a maximum of five days at a time. However, I'm just waiting for the right time (if ever there is a right time – I should really be saying this to my family first, not an internet forum although I think it's at least 18 months away) to do what I have to and I'll be going on the longest ride possible. I'm going to go across USA first, then South America, NZ, OZ and then take it from there. I'm not much fancying Asia though, I might get myself over to Africa. I've travelled across North Africa and then down the East Coast to Cape Town but not by bike.

    Never done it but always wanted to get a one way ticket somewhere and ride back. A lad I worked with dis this. Flew to Germany and cycled back. Not exactly a year out of his life but he had a job to keep.

    I have got a very good friend in Tenerife. Alway wanted to cycle through France, Spain and then get a boat accross. Just to roll up in his local for a pint.

    I took my bike over there a couple of years ago on the plain and toured the volcano for two weeks. That was good.


    I would love to buy a mobile home and just drive across America finding all the best mountain biking.
    I would also love to do a ride across America on a road bike.


    Premier Icon simonhuscroft

    Roads were fine. Most of them have nice wide shoulders (almost comparable to bike lanes over here!) and they weren't all that busy. Did Vancouver Island as well.Set off from Vancouver over to the island. Rode down to Victoria. Then ferry to Washinton State and down from there.

    Could not recommend it enough.

    Tanks Simon.

    did you take in any forest roads? We spent a week on Vancouver Island in an RV and wished we could explore more of the west coast but there aren't really any roads!

    I WILL camp at long beach in a tent before i die πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable

    By way of a contrast to all that exotic stuff, me and the GF did a 3 day mini-tour from our front doors the other year. Set off from Bristol, down to Bridgwater, over the Quantocks to Porlock, then back via Exmoor. We had lots of stops for ice cream and beer and it was great. I bet you've got somewhere equally as nice within riding distance of you.

    Ah, go for lunch and then all these replies on my return, thanks all, will keep checking them. Had stumbled onto the crazyguyonabike site- plentyto fire the imagination, but I'm sure some people on here have stories to tell.

    Mr Agreeable, I am very lucky, all my riding starts from my door pretty much, can do 100 miles of mostly singletrack with a handful of tarmac crossings no problem, and do a few bivvy trips each year from home. In fact, thinking about it earlier, I can't imagine riding away from it- maybe best to get away first and ride back. Still, there's interesting stuff elsewhere that is worth a trip. Problem is where to start…

    13thfloormonk- are you from Edinburgh? Sure I've seen someone that looks like someone on that charge site riding a rocky ridge round the pentlands.


    ebygomm, could fancy a Norwegian extension of that, maybe with some skis for the northern section.

    There's already a Norwegian section of the North Sea Cycle Route, the whole route goes through Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, England. More info here

    I'd love to complete more of the route, Norway especially. But the loss of the ferry services to Norway means it's much harder to do then it used to be.


    I have always wanted to sail around the coast of Britain, do Le Jog on my 70's moped and a recent buisness trip to Finland made me think that would be a lovely tour by bicycle..

    Not done those things mind you, but I think about them. πŸ™‚


    simon, how long did your trip take? Its about 1000mile isnt it?

    Loving this thread. really helping to inspire me. Hope this is not too much of a highjack but i did the Transalp this summer and loved it. Great event, really well organised and some stunningly beautiful scenery. But have just come down to Earth with a bit of a bump and feel like i'm in the doldrums. Lack energy and drive – particularly around mountain biking. today on my commute to work was only thinking 'wouldn't it be nice to just cycle off somewhere….'

    I guess i just need to try to organise some other trip to look forward to.

    Anyone else found themselves at a low ebb after a great event/achievement/adventure?

    yes, i'd imagine it's pretty common, I feel like that within a couple of days of a big ride!

    Planning is a great help, even if it's just sitting down with maps or plotting stuff on tracklogs.

    Crouch_Potato, yes I am from Edinburgh, although I don't appear anywhere else on the Charge site, and usually ride my Charge up the Pentlands.

    Perversely, I will take the Rocky Ridge up there if there's a particularly difficult climb i want to try and clear, i think the rear tyre on the RR is a bit stickier or something…

    Where would i have seen you?

    Edit: +1 for planning, choosing some daft route then sitting down to make it reality can keep me occupied for a month of evenings!


    Glad I'm not the only one dreaming of cycle adventures…
    I cycled over from the UK to the Beijing Olympics last year and had a whale of a time. The hardest step is definitely putting everything else like jobs/houses/girlfriends on hold to chase dreams but after that the fun begins. I'd never really been camping before/bought a visa/built a wheel so don't let any of those things stop you!

    There are a few pictures on my site

    13thfloormonk, funnily enough you said exactly that at the time (you were riding a marin 'cos it had a sticky rear tyre). I bumped into you one night hanging around the woods round the back of the barracks by the motorway. I was working in Edinburgh this last year, not any longer though. Nice wee report you linked to with some good stuff i recognise and odd bits I'd thought of doing.

    PQ, have to say i admire your trip reports, I've spent the last few hours reading them. I've always fancied Kyrgystan and the Tien Shan, and was pissed off to miss out on a 'job' for a summer there a few years ago. Looking at your stuff reminds me why i wanted it.


    when i was 20, back in 2003 (that really hot summer!), i got bored of my job and decided to visit the GF in munich.

    quit my job. bought a BOB Yak. booked a ferry ticket. hitched the BOB to my old mtb and set off for portsmouth.

    nice leisurely ride along the Siene to paris. a fwe days there then out east;Troyes; through the Voges mountains to Mulhouse; along the Rhine to Strasbourg; the black forest to Stuttgart; again trough the black forest to Lake Constance; along the lake to Lindau; though the foothills of the alps to Bad TΓΆlz and then along the Isar to Munich.

    around three weeks and 1600 miles.

    Almost completed an alpencross this year. Rode around Bodensee (Lake Constance) with a friend too. slept rough in the parks during the day and rode/drunk/ had a fire at night.

    if you've got the chance you should do it.

    Ah yeah, i remember, riding your gf's pink singlespeed? Embarassed that i trot out the same chat regardless of where i meet people though πŸ˜†


    isaetterry cycle touring

    Friends web site, huge trip!

    13- yup, that was me. Your patter was better than many marin riders I've happened upon.


    Mrs Boblo and I have just got back from a Channel2Med ride in France on Disharmony II, our tandem. Ouisteram to Montpellier. It's a lttle over 750 miles and 10,000m of ascent! France is bloody hilly. 14 nights camping at the end of the season. No kids and all the sites on the verge of closing. Laaverly.

    last year, we rode from Northern Norway to Gavdos, Greek island off Crete (Euro end2end). That was just shy of 4000 miles through 12 countries and again, very hilly. 33,000m of ascent!

    Quite fancy the ride accross USA next year but Mrs B is not so sure….



    Parts of my trip last year – never regret a single moment of the time I took out from my life.

    Next time I'll be taking less stuff and travelling less during the day.


    Eventually got to Luxemburg

    this is a useful tool for wishful planning as well:


    Wow, some inspiring trips here. I went on my first biketour this summer (in Finland – thanks for those to helped from here!) and had a great time. It's so nice just to get away from everything & live so simply – I didn't plan anything, just had the maps with me and made sure a couple of days before the flight back that I would be able to get to a trainstation in time.

    I'm now planning at some point to do the length of Patagonia at somepoint when I've saved up enough cash.


    I think I remember you planning your Finnish trip…you're Finnish right? I was a bit rude about how intertesting Finland is for cycling…sorry again.

    Bit of a jump from Finland to Patagonia though. Bit hillier mebbies πŸ™‚



    last winter for me !

    done a fair few scottish ones too but not taken photos so no write up

    More interesting stuff to keep me occupied/reading/watching for a good while. Thanks folks. Anyone else? keep them coming…


    I cycled out to Ukraine in 2005, then south to Macedonia and back via the former Yugoslav states. Thoroughly recommend Eastern Europe – lots of interesting history, friendly people and great scenery.
    On the way through Poland, I met a couple on their first touring trip, cycling from Scotland to Turkey, and they are still riding! :

    Just spent three and a half months riding China Kazakhstan Uzbekistan Kyrgyzstan and back into China.

    Overstayed a visa in China and ended up staying on a moneychangers floor hiding from the police; attempted robbery and threatened murder in Kazakhstan; Stayed on a marijuana farm; Bribed my way onto the oldest medressa in Central asia at sundown; Got caught up in the recent Urumqi riots and arrested as a suspected journalist. Camped in the middle of sandstorms; stayed in yurts; lots of bivvying in the middle of nowhere; became incredibly ill a hundred miles from the nearest habitation and had to cycle; rode through snowy passes at altitude; Drinking from brown streams and puddles after running out of water; met lots of wonderful people, met lots of people who i never want to meet again. Was offered a wife in Kyrgyzstan; Invited into many people's homes; ate some incredible food and much more food which was awful. Was I believe in the last hundred people to EVER experience the ancient islamic city of Kashgar (due to be knocked down, and from what i gather still no access for foreigners). Rode the olympic cycling facilities in Beijing. Bivvied out on top of the great wall.

    I feel bad that I came home, should have shrugged off all percieved responsibilities and kept going.

    Go ride, you can always find ways to make money and keep going.

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