About

Emily roadHello – I’m Emily. I like bikes. A lot.

I spent 2011-13 cycling across Asia, from Wales to Japan. In February 2014 I cycled across Iceland. I spent the first three months of 2015 cycling from Anchorage to Seattle, and that summer competing in the Transcontinental Race. After dropping out halfway (with a suspected heart problem that turned out to be nothing more than grumpy intercostals), I’ll be back in summer 2016, to finish the job.

In between my adventures, I work as a cycle courier in London, England. I used to blog about it as That Messenger Chick. I’ve never enjoyed a job so much, or stuck with it so long, but there’s very little career development in couriering, so I’m delighted to have found other ways of cycling and writing full-time. (Luckily, I never wanted to be rich.)

My first book was published by Guardian Faber in January 2016. You can also read my stuff on the Guardian Bike Blog, on Moving Target (the world’s longest-running courier ‘zine …probably), Slow Quest and Alastair Humphreys, and in Oh Comely, Coven, BoneshakerThe Ride Journal, Vogue and Diva Magazine. Occasionally I think I should write about something other than cycling. If you’d like me to contribute to your magazine or blog, get in touch and we’ll see if we can work something out.

I also do some (less glamourous) copywriting and editing, to keep body and soul and bank balance together, and have a background in academia that I don’t often admit to.

My hobbies (when not riding, breaking, fixing or talking about bikes) mostly revolve around food and books. I constantly fantasize about taking up new sports, but spend too much time cycling to have any spare energy. I also like making friends, so drop me a line if you fancy a chat, and particularly if you live along my route, and want to offer me dinner and a hot shower.

Media:

Since my first book came out I’ve done quite a few media interviews. You can read (and listen to) some of them here. (Please let me know if you find a link has expired – I think some of them won’t be up forever.)

And you can watch me doing my thing in this Microsoft ad.

Awards and Accolades:

2010: Courier of the Year at the UK National Courier Awards
2012: Jupiter’s Traveller Award from the Ted Simon Foundation
2012: Travel Blogger of the Year at the British Travel Press Awards

38 Comments

  1. Posted August 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Good luck with your new life on the road…

  2. Pistaboy
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Good luck for the journey Emily. May your pedals feel light, and the smile on your face stay throughout.
    Godspeed.

  3. mike t
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    so jealous.. will be watching the blog to look out for calls for emergency cake, just in case!!

    have an amazing time, and if there *is* anything I can do PLEASE ASK!!!

    love mike

  4. Herve
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    All the best Emily. It takes guts & many of us are undoubtedly envious and admirative of your decision. May you ride safely & get the sedentaries among most of us to travel in spirit at least with you to the sound of your good words on this blog.

  5. Posted August 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed your previous blog, and am now looking forward to your posts from around the world. I’m now even more envious of you up coming adventure than I was of your career as a messenger. Sadly, the real joy of riding a bike, as a (supposed) grown up, came too late for me. I have to work on to retirement, and hope to maintain both myself and my bikes fit enough to continue, the ride of my life. I wish you the best of luck, and great success on your pedalling adventure. Cheers!

  6. TwitKingaby
    Posted August 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Hi Emily, like my welshcyclist friend above I was also envious of your career as a courier and your new endeavour fills me with admiration & even more envy reading. I look forward to reading the blog. All the very best of luck, I shall miss bumping into you on an irregular basis around town. Dx

  7. Posted August 30, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Have fun with your new life, tailwinds and blue skies all the way :)

    Shane

  8. Posted September 5, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Hi Emily!

    It is amazing what you are doing! Good luck! My bf and his Dad are currently cycling to Rome from Holland, they also started 1st September.

    If you are passing through/near the Hague Holland let me know you are more than welcome for dinner! I will pass your blog round my international Twitter friends and hope you get some meals and night stays around the world…you never know hey!

    Have fun!!!

    Liss

    http://www.twitter.com/lisswin

    • admin
      Posted September 8, 2011 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Thank you! Unfortunately I’m not planning to pass through The Hague. Maybe on my way home – or if I get very lost!

      And thanks for passing on my blog – I will always be very grateful for a meal and a bed for the night.

      Keep in touch… x

  9. Posted September 18, 2011 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Love the website – engrossing, and with a nicely distinct style! Safe travels and steady tailwinds

  10. Tony Pearson
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Emily I am thrilled to bits for you. I’ve only just stumbled on this via Henrik’s blog but I’m really chuffed because you have just solved all those “I’ve got nothing to read” moments for the next few years. Thanks for that. I have a bit of catching up to do but then I will be following your progress on a regular basis. I don’t know you very well, but well enough to know that you will have a ball and the world will be richer for your words. Stay safe.

  11. Posted October 9, 2011 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    Good luck on your trip! I have just come across your blog and will be looking forward to reading your posts.

  12. Posted November 7, 2011 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    I’m jealous of your great adventure! You have a great blog. Good luck on your trip and be safe. I’m curious as to your end destination?

    • Posted November 7, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      The end destination – all being well – will be back where I started: Llanidloes, in Mid Wales. But that’s many years off yet…

  13. Kanishk Saxena
    Posted December 7, 2011 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Hey Emily,

    Bumped into your travelogue via Moin Khan’s FB page.

    A big thank you to travellers like you for for giving us live feeds of a world beyond the confines of a 4×4 office cubicle, and keeping the travel bug alive in us!

    All the very best for your journey of self-discovery :)

    Do feel free to get in touch in case you need a place to crash sometime in New Delhi, India.

    Cheers!

  14. Posted December 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Hi Emily
    It was nice to see you in my town..Me and my family was happy share a day with us..
    God Bless to you..
    Mehmet

  15. Joy Murray
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Well done you for getting so far. Your mum keeps me up to date on your progress. You’ll knowby now that she’ll be flying North soon on the Newtown Mobile. I shall miss her company and her updates on your travels, so I’ll have to follow your progress myself then. I’ve got myself upgraded fromWindows 98 to XP so I’m in 21st century now too. All power to those knees as you pedal on. So looking forward to your book at the end of it all. Best wishes to you.
    Joy Murray

  16. gandom
    Posted January 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    hi emily
    do you remember me?!
    i love hesam!!

    • Posted February 1, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Gandom! Of course I remember you. It was so nice to meet you in Esfahan. I hope our paths will cross again someday… :)

  17. Raheel
    Posted February 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Hey, Emily its Raheel student in Freiberg, Germany. An Engineer by profession.
    I am originally from Lahore Pakistan.

    I came across your webpage from Moin Khan fb page.
    Here is some information that i want to know for assisting you in Pakistan.

    I want to ask you if you need some hosts in Lahore or Rawalpindi?
    though i am not in Lahore at moment but in these two cities i can for sure arrange because my family lives in both of these cities.

    Secondly , in which cities of Pakistan(especially in Punjab ) you are looking for hosts? I had classfellows mostly from Punjab in my bachelors class . All of them may not be knowing you directly but if you can specify a city , i can look if i have a contact over there who can offer you a night stay or city tour may be…

    All the best for your companionship with road.

    Cheers
    Raheel
    Freiberg, Germany

  18. mahdi
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    hi
    i hope you dnt forgot me.
    you have lunch with us in zanjan.your website is wonderful i read it and translate to family.
    i m so happy to remind me that memory.
    goodluck

  19. Umair_NYC
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi Emily,
    I heard about your inspirational story from Moin Khan’s Adifferentagenda on facebook. He was lazy in travelling the world on a motorcycle whereas you on the other hand are using a bicycle which requires human energy and effort. Although both of you are showing an amazing show of character and strength. I would like to wish you all the best and I am sure that my native people of Lahore Pakistan will be very welcoming and kind hearted. I am sure Moin Khan will be there to take care of you as well but if you need anything please contact me via my email and my friends can get in touch with you there. Do visit Bashai Mosque, and check out Lahore’s amazing food as well. Also, please let me know if you are planning to visit USA, I have friends all over the country who can host you. All the best, and be safe.

    With Best Wishes,
    Umair Chaudhry
    New York, United States.
    Native of Lahore, Pakistan.

  20. Shukri Rehman
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Just heard your next expedition would be Karakoram Highway.. I just can tell you its very adventurous tour and takes at least 20 hours through car vehicle to reach Gilgit and then additional 5 hours to Hunza valley and then addtiona 4 hours to reach reach China border.. in between you would see around 8 to 10 mountains peaks which people die for seeing it live and one of them is the Killer Mountain (nangaparbat).. as far as people is concerned their hospitality is at highest level and very accommodating. so definitely I am sure you would not have any tough challenges in the highway… What I would say Good Luck and God Bless

  21. Posted June 30, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi Emily,

    Found your site via ‘The Bicycle Touring Weekly’.

    Love your story. Look forward to following, and also catching up on your previous couriering activities.

    Nigel :-)

  22. Amit Chaudhary
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Call me when you reach India 09996073515.
    I live 160 km north of Delhi in Kurukshetra. Will do my best to help you in any matter. Enjoy your ride Em!

  23. Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Hi Emily,
    We had a talk on touring last night at a women’s only night at the London Bike Kitchen, Hoxton. A few names of great women tourers were dropped (Dervla Murphy being one) but I have linked your blog as a current inspiring traveller! Best wishes, Juliet

  24. Posted January 6, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi Emily,

    You are doing great job. God bless you and if you have any plan for Pakistan in up coming year or in future then let me know. I am here to help you and I must try my best for you in my country.

    You are always welcome and enjoy your ride……….!! Cheers Ali

  25. rino
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    good luck, from Canada

  26. Sarah Searle
    Posted October 13, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Happy to have met you this evening Emily and I look forward to following your adventures from a safe distance! Hope the wrist heals fast; good luck!

  27. Posted March 26, 2015 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic blog Emily. I’m about to embark on my first cycle tour around Iceland – I’m now going to find your story so I can read it and get even more excited!

  28. Posted May 3, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Awesome black and white photo.

  29. Jeremy
    Posted January 6, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I think I used to see you sat reading and supping coffee in Pret on Broadwick St W1 most mornings.
    I’m happy you’re doing what you love.

  30. Posted January 12, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi Emily, great to see you following your interests rather than clocking up years in a corporation. Looking forward to reading the book! Peter

  31. Roddy Kemp
    Posted March 2, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just finished reading your book. It’s beautifully written.
    The insights are endless and all very human, both about yourself and those around you, from friends to cab drivers.
    Beyond that it is visceral – you really feel what you have experienced.
    It’s one of those books where you are sad that there are no more pages.
    Thank you.

    • jon hart
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      well said Roddy Kemp

  32. bernard
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    We certainly will read your book … and buy it.
    If you comes to Ypres, Belgium you’re welcome : bed+shower+dinner

  33. Alistair Duncanson
    Posted September 28, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I was reading your book on the Aberystwyth to Birmingham train last Friday(23/9/16) wondering why a group of men were pointing at my book and the behind me. It was only when I went to get off that they told me you were sat behind me and that they were in school with you. I’m sorry that I didn’t complement you on your excellent book,my brain only worked out what to say once it was too late. Congratulations on a wonderful and compelling read that painted the picture of you and the many other couriers. Good luck with all your adventures and I hope to read about them in future books. Alistair

  34. Phill Stamp
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Hi’ nice to meet you on RAB ……just thought i’d say , you,write as well as you cycle and i now understand why you didnt look too phased by walking five minutes back to the feed stop .………with a puncture in Scotland .. Beautiful place for a walk !

3 Trackbacks

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>