New wheels: my Specialized Vita Elite

I think I was still recovering from severe windburn sustained during the Newcastle-Edinburgh jaunt, so I never got around to posting a pic of my new bike: a Specialized Vita Elite, which is a sporty little hybrid with flat bars. It can cope with mudguards, rack and panniers; and is actually a more comfortable touring […]

Newcastle-Edinburgh bike ride

After the Reading Half Marathon, I moved into cycle training mode, bought a new touring bike (another post on that later) in order to ride – unsupported – from Newcastle to Edinburgh (Sustrans Route 1, “Coast and Castles”) over three days with a bunch of mates. Here we all are at the start of the […]

Holiday highlights from Sicily

It already feels like a long time ago that Phil and I came back from a wonderful two weeks in Sicily. I’d never been to the island before, but was assured by everyone that had that I would enjoy it immensely. Largely because of the food. And they weren’t wrong. We spent the first week […]

Sport Relief Million Pound Bike Ride

Sport Relief almost passed me by this year, but I happened to catch the programme on the Million Pound Bike Ride on BBC1 last Thursday. David Walliams instigated the ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End, with a group of celebs including Davina McCall and Patrick Kielty. I’m not a big fan of celebrities-doing-their-charity bit […]

Shopping by bike

I decided enough was enough yesterday, I needed to remind the muscles in my legs what they were there for. So I dusted off my bike – I know, I know, it hasn’t been used since the Barmouth-Yarmouth ride at Easter – and wobbled off over to the other side of Reading. There was an […]

Barmouth-Yarmouth bike ride (Norwich-Great Yarmouth)

And the end was in sight… Route: Out of Norwich on minor roads through Little Plumstead and Panxworth; then onto the noisy A47 at Acle and into Great Yarmouth for a paddle. 23 miles Fuel: A more filling, if lukewarm, Travelodge breakfast – bowl of muesli, scrambled eggs and beans on toast. Celebratory fish and […]

Barmouth-Yarmouth bike ride (Peterborough-Norwich)

Another crap night’s sleep, but a much heartier breakfast at the Peterborough Alwalton Premier Inn set us up nicely for the next leg of our adventure. Route: Out of Peterborough on the A605 to Whittlesea; a wiggle down minor roads (and a peculiar cycle path that took us randomly around a field on bone-shaking rocky, […]

Barmouth-Yarmouth bike ride (Stoke-Peterborough)

After an average night’s sleep in the Stoke Talke Travelodge – not so much a symptom of a lumpy bed as the start of a sore throat – we were off on day two…and it was a biggie. Route: A lengthy crossing of Stoke from the north-west out south-east to Uttoxeter; minor roads through Tutbury, […]

Barmouth to Yarmouth bike ride (Dolgellau-Stoke)

Route: From Dolgellau along the A494 to Bala; A5 to Llangollen for lunch; A539 to Whitchurch; A525 to outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent then a wiggle through Alsagers Bank and Audley to Talke (north-west of Stoke). Undulating from Dolgellau to Llangollen, a bit hilly from Llangollen to Whitchurch, and bloody hilly around Stoke. 89 miles Fuel: Bowl […]

Barmouth to Yarmouth bike ride (London-Barmouth-Dolgellau)

Booking bikes onto trains isn’t easy. Most of them are only able to transport two or three bikes at a time, and there were 12 of us trying to get into Barmouth last Thursday – not counting anyone else outside of our group. As a consequence, Phil and I had to leave London at 6am […]