Monthly Archives: September 2011

Surfing in the city

Just one more discovery… Munich is hundreds of miles from the sea – and yet it manages to have a thriving surf scene. No, really. At a couple of points along the river, a certain configuration of bridges, banks, currents and coincidence has created permanent natural waves – and on a sunny day, you’ll find […]

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La flâneuse

I’m still in Munich, rediscovering the joy of riding around a city with no particular aim or destination. One of the friends I’m staying with tells me that if you’re lost, or trying to get your bearings, the best thing to do is to walk around in circles, or spiral out from a single point, […]

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Magical Munich

I’d wanted to go to Munich for years, but at first things didn’t look promising. The usually reliable German cycle network let me down, and I ended up riding in circles in the suburbs for about an hour, searching in vain for a signpost to anywhere that looked remotely familiar. The road from Augsburg had […]

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Some welcome ups and downs

And now I’m in Frankfurt. Getting here wasn’t entirely straightforward. “It’s just straight down the Rhein and turn left at Mainz,” advised my friend in Koln. “Keep the river on your left, you can’t go wrong!” So I did. I left her apartment at 5.30am, rode through the empty streets to the banks of the […]

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And a postscript

I’m trying not to make this all about food. Really I am. Partly because that’s already been done (by The Hungry Cyclist, whose idea I wished I’d had first the moment I heard of him). Partly because if I start going on about food, I’ll never stop. But I can’t resist telling you about this. […]

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The Importance Of Cake

One thing I’d forgotten, or not fully anticipated, about touring is – oh my god, how hungry I get! It’s different from couriering – on the road in London I stop and start all the time, and eat as much to assuage boredom as hunger, and am hyper-aware of everything that goes on around me, […]

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Falling on my feet

I’m finally across the Channel, and things are still going swimmingly – apart from the other day, which was my hardest on the road yet. I’d found the perfect campsite, in the corner of a pretty green field in Flanders, and was up and on the road by 7am after a good eight hours’ sleep. […]

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Trying not to be a loser

The art of losing isn’t hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster (Elizabeth Bishop) So, how’s it going so far? Like a dream. Like an absolute dream. I’d forgotten – or perhaps never properly known – how much I love touring. All […]

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How to say goodbye

I’ve been saying goodbye to people for months now, because my friends are the kind of people who’ll regularly skip the country for six months or so, or spend the summer abroad, and every time another one left, we had to acknowledge that I wouldn’t be there when they got back, and so this was […]

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The first day of the rest of the world

It couldn’t have been better. I was worried about all sorts of things. I assumed that saying goodbye to my family would be one of the most harrowing experiences of my life (it wasn’t), and was very concerned that I’d set myself too hard a target for the first day (Llanidloes to Newport is about […]

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