• Yorkshire Divide - Source to Sea Trail Race Report

    Before I start rambling, here’s a summary: Day 1, 193km winding up the west of the Dales; Day 2, 210km across the top of the Dales into the Moors; Day 3, 191km down the coast then back inland and heading south; Day 4, 266km going out east then all the way back west. My official ride time was 3 days 21 hours 9 minutes. Read more …

  • Comparison of Cycle Route Planning Apps

    I’m a bit of a map geek and love to spend time reading them and plotting routes. I don’t think there’s a substitute for manually plotting a route, but it’s often quicker to use one of the many route planning apps that are available. I find it interesting how different services will offer up differing routes with the same start and end point, making at times rather questionable choices. Read more …

  • All The Way On The Shortest Day

    It’s the winter solstice today, which prompted a memory …  Read more …

  • Bear Bones Bikepacking BB200 2023

    To quote Bear Bones Bikepacking themselves, the Bear Bones 200 “is a self supported, long distance bikepacking event. The challenge is to complete the route with no outside assistance, support or back-up, meaning you’ll need to rely on your own skills, fitness and determination to get you to the end.” Read more …

  • Highland Trail 550 2023

    This hurt. Physically and mentally. Read more …

  • Lakeland 200 and Lessons Learned

    There’s only 6 weeks to go before the HT550 which is my big event this year—perhaps my big event of any year—and while I’ve been putting in plenty of endurance-paced training rides haven’t really tested myself by riding that much terrain of similar style to what I understand that to be. I thought about riding the Dales Divide group start again this year, but decided instead to tackle the Lakeland 200. The end result wasn’t entirely pretty but with hindsight I can only see my experience doing it as a positive thing and one that will hopefully stand my in good stead for bigger things. Read more …

  • Misery Training

    When I sign up to ride a long-distance cycling event I accept that it’ll be a challenge to complete it. That’s a given, yet I still find myself day dreaming of how it’s going to play out, and in my mind’s eye the challenge element rarely features: the weather is fine, I’m feeling strong, and my bike is running beautifully. And to be fair to my mind, most the time cycling is like that with few dramas. Come mid-race reality though and it’s pissing down with rain, you’re feeling like crap, and your drive chain sounds like a bag of spanners you’ve got to be ready, and that’s where misery training comes in. Read more …

  • A Bike Race Roughly the Size of Wales

    What’s the Welsh for ‘stabby bastard hills’? Read more …

  • JFDI - Summer Solstice Stone Circles Ride

    I don’t think I’m alone in suffering from post-lockdown lethargy. I needed to force myself to get out and do a ‘proper ride’ as I’ve been largely idle since last year. From experience, I know that if I go public with an idea, then I’ll make it happen. I’d had the notion of riding all day on the longest day for a good few years now, so decided to do finally something about it, albeit a little late in the day. Mid-June I realised we were a week away from Summer Solstice so, I booked the day off work and told people I was going for an all-day ride. JFDI. But JFD What? Read more …

  • Salsa Anything Cage HD Review/Warning

    My latest bike build, based around a Bombtrack Hook EXT, permitted me to use fork mounted cages for the first time. I liked the idea of keeping weight lower down than a bar roll, so purchased a couple of Salsa Cycle’s Anything Cage HD with matching Anything Bags. I used this set-up ‘in anger’ for the first time riding the Dales Divide, using one rack for my bivvy tent, and the other for a few spares plus food and arm/leg warmers. They have been used for ~900km of riding, they fulfilled their primary function, however … Read more …

  • Dales Divide 2020 Bike and Kit

    As with my bike for Race Around Rwanda I built up a bike suitable for the Dales Divide on the cheap, fitting parts I had already lying around to a used frame and forks picked up cheap in the classifieds forums. Read more …

  • Dales Divide 2020 Race Report

    I’d been looking for another bikepacking race to take part in since Race Around Rwanda and the Dales Divide, due to take place over the Easter weekend looked perfectly timed. Long enough away to recover, but soon enough to carry some fitness through. It also started and finished in Arnside, less than 20km from my home, negating the need to make any travel arrangements. COVID-19 screwed up that plan and I’d not really thought much more about it until seeing it re-listed on dotwatcher.cc early in August. So, with very little training and very little time to rectify that, I decided to enter anyway. What’s the worst that could happen? Read more …

  • Race Around Rwanda Kit List

    With Race around Rwanda being my first ultra-distance event, I’m sure I was no different to many first-timers in scouring the web for information on what more experienced racers carry with them for such races. So, with the wisdom that comes from a single solitary finish, it’s time to reciprocate … Read more …

  • Race Around Rwanda The Bike

    Through necessity and as a matter of principle, I wanted to keep my whole Rwandan adventure as cheap as possible. This meant building up a bike largely from parts in the bike shed, then scouring ‘fleaBay’ and the sales for bargains where I needed to buy something new. Read more …

  • Race Around Rwanda Race Report

    It’s 3:30am on Sunday 2nd February 2020 and there are 60 or so cyclists milling about the reception area of the Onomo hotel in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, drinking coffee and nibbling at pastries, some lost in their own thoughts but many others introducing themselves to evidently like-minded individuals. “Have you done anything like this before?” …“Have you visited Africa before?” …“Did you sleep?” … “Have you managed to eat breakfast?” … in my case, that’s a no, no, no, and just about. Read more …