Category Archives: on the road

My friends in Tok

I had a long way to ride after leaving Chistochina, but I was fresh and energetic after a few days off the bike (and a handful of hearty meals), and within an hour or so decided that I would try and push on to the home of John Rusyniak, a tall grey-haired gentleman I’d met […]

Leave a Comment

A cold snap

You won’t mind if I’m not strictly chronological about this, will you, dear readers? The problem is, the rhythms of cycle touring are such that one generally has a lot more to report than one has the time, energy or internet access to record. So I’ve fallen a long way behind with all the major […]

Leave a Comment

Of motels and chance encounters

I ended up staying in a motel when I got to Glennallen, for reasons I won’t go into here (mainly because I’ve vowed to avoid that old cycle touring cliche and keep bodily functions  to a minimum in my blog, though I promise to tell you if we ever meet in person), and while it […]

Leave a Comment

Rediscovering the glow

The morning after Caitlin and Reese took me in, I woke up to the smell of petrol, rolled out of my emperor-sized bed, and realized that my stove pump had failed once again, quite spontaneously, and was wafting noxious fumes out of my open pannier and into the palatially furnished room. (This wasn’t the first […]

Leave a Comment

Period drama

I almost wrote a blog post about menstruation last night. But then I talked myself out of it. I don’t always think very much about who reads my posts – because when I do it usually stops me writing anything at all. There’s no one version of me that could possibly be acceptable to all […]

Leave a Comment

The opposite of paranoia

Over the years I’ve spent on the road I’ve got used to the fact that when I need help, help will appear – although I’ve never stopped marvelling at it. Sometimes it’s positively magical – I could tell you several stories of times when I’ve been cycling along, desperately fantasizing about what it is I […]

Leave a Comment

Whiteout

Summer’s at its height, and until a thunderstorm cooled the air a couple of hours ago, I’d been sitting sweatily at my desk for what felt like days, wishing generally that I could be out on my bike, and specifically that I could spirit myself back to the chilly wastes of Iceland, or forward to […]

Leave a Comment

Valley of the Cold

The other night, sheltering from a blizzard in Reykjavik’s youth hostel, I ran into the only other cyclist I’ve met on this trip – a cheerful Bahraini entrepreneur called Yassir, who made it his New Year’s resolution to travel more, happened to watch The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, and booked a passage to Iceland […]

Leave a Comment

On being human

There’s a receptionist in St James’s who continually mistakes me for a man. As I walk in he greets me with “hello sir!”, then does a double-take and speedily backtracks: “I’m so sorry – madam!”. And then he ushers me chivalrously towards the lift, apologizing all the way. Last time I embarrassed him even more […]

Leave a Comment

Don’t go to Balochistan

Note:  A few days after I wrote this post, the cyclist concerned gave an alternative version of events. I currently have no way of knowing whose account is more accurate, and since the bulk of my argument still stands, I have left it as it is. ______________________________________________________________________________ You’ll probably have heard – a couple of […]

Leave a Comment