Anna Hughes

Yearly Archives: 2015

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On reaching John o’ Groats

On October 13, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Touring, With 5 Comments

It’s been two weeks since I returned home from LEJOG, but real life starts straight away and this is the first time I’ve had the time (or inclination) to sit down with my laptop. On the road, everything is simple. You wake, dress, eat, and ride. Nothing is more important…

The Charity Shop Tour

On October 2, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Touring, With No Comments

Knowing what to take on a cycling tour can be the trickiest part – you don’t want to take too much, as it ends up being dead weight, but you don’t want to take too little because you’re bound to need that one thing you omitted to bring. Looking back…

LEJOG wrap up: week four

On September 30, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Touring, With No Comments

So, this was it: the final push to John O’Groats and the end of the tour. This was to be the longest week in terms of mileage (340) but the shortest in terms of events (only two). Without the pressure of a schedule, it really was all about the cycling….

Into the Highlands

On September 23, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Touring, With No Comments

Yesterday I spent most of the day tracing waterways, from the River Clyde to the Forth and Clyde Canal, to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. The West Loch Lomond cycle path led me loch side for 17 glorious traffic-free miles, with absolutely beautiful views across the loch. I pitched…

Roadside maintenance tips

On September 22, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

Anything can happen when you’re out on the open road, and here are a few tips of how to cope when things go wrong. Prevention is better than cure  The main thing I’ve learned in all my touring is that things are less likely to go wrong if they are…

LEJOG week three wrap-up

On September 21, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Touring, With No Comments

This week has seen me travel from the metropolis of Manchester to the Lancashire hills, through the grand scenery of the Lake District and onwards to the flood plains around the Solway Firth. I’ve crossed the border into Scotland and now I’m in the bustling city of Glasgow. The cycling…

It’s not easy being… vegan

On September 19, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Vegan, With 1 Comment

I’ve been vegan on and off for around five years. I don’t see anything wrong with humans using animals as a source of food per se, but it’s the way we do it that I don’t agree with. The environmental impact of the meat and dairy industry is something to…

Into Cumbria

On September 17, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Touring, With No Comments

It’s raining in London. While the roads that I usually ride down are surging with overflowing drains, I am pedalling from Lancaster to Kendal under a piercing blue sky. I feel exceptionally lucky: out of the 16 days that I’ve been on the road, there’s been only one day that…

LEJOG week two wrap-up

On September 14, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Touring, With No Comments

I’m now halfway through the LEJOG book tour: 13 days down, 13 to go, 490 miles down, around 500 to go. The halfway point on any tour is potentially difficult – I have as much to do as I’ve already done, and it seems an awfully long time ago that…

A tribute to a colleague and friend

On September 14, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,Round-Britain, With 2 Comments

Many people helped and supported me during my round-Britain bike ride by offering a bed for the night, a meal at the end of the day, or by riding with me for a section. Regretfully, many of these didn’t make the final cut of the book; restricted by a word…

Coping with loneliness

On September 10, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,Touring, With No Comments

I was asked at a recent talk if I got lonely on the road and how I coped with it. I don’t often get lonely – I am very content being by myself – but sometimes you feel that you need some kind of comfort. I’ve written a few tips…

In search of the lost railways

On September 10, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Touring, With No Comments

In 1963, the Government published a report entitled The Reshaping of British Railways, written by a certain Dr Beeching. It recommended the closure of around 5000 miles of railway line and over 2000 stations that had ceased to be profitable in the New Age of the Motor Car, and over…

LEJOG tour so far: week one

On September 6, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Touring, With 2 Comments

The first week of the Eat Sleep Cycle book tour is drawing to a close. I’m sitting in a field just north of Wells, laptop on knee, eating the leftovers of yesterday’s curry, having pitched up in a campsite. The tour started last Sunday with a cancelled train and a…

The C-word

On September 6, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Touring, With 2 Comments

Anyone who’s familiar with my round-Britain trip will know I’m not the camping type. Perhaps it was the forced nights-under-canvas on family holidays, perhaps it was the cold, wet, and fitful sleeps I suffered as a festival-going 20 something, or perhaps it was simply that a duvet and a shower…

Talks and travels

On September 4, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Touring, With No Comments

Day Four of the LEJOG book tour Last night I gave a talk at The Curator Cafe, Totnes. It was the third talk on my Land’s End to John o’ Groats book tour, having started the tour at Bike Chain Bissoe near Truro, and spoken at Rockets and Rascals in…

The best laid plans…

On August 31, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Touring, With 1 Comment

It’s the day before the LEJOG begins: in twelve hours I’ll be setting off from Penzance and pedalling to Land’s End, before turning back on myself and heading north west for that far-off destination of John o’ Groats. I’ve never ridden LEJOG before, but this is a special kind of…

Lessons from the road

On August 27, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,Round-Britain,Touring, With No Comments

Yesterday I met with Claire Taylor, author of Detour blog, a project that tries to open up adventurer culture in London. We spoke about what it’s like to go on that first tour; what you need to know, and how you learn it. As an experienced tourer it’s easy to…

The Pedalling Pedlar

On June 28, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG,Touring, With 1 Comment

In September 2015 I shall be embarking on the famous End-to-End ride, from Land’s End to John o’ Groats. It’s a distance of 1000 miles, and I’ll take a month to ride it, because as well as enjoying the cycling and exploring new places, I will be promoting my book: Eat,…

London to Brighton – a lesson learned

On June 25, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

I never much liked the idea of organised bike rides. They seemed to make too big a thing of cycling, like it’s not something someone normal would do. I always baulked slightly at the forced sponsorship. The sheer number of people would spoil the enjoyment – I am much happier…

Cycling as a woman

On June 3, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

One of the panel sessions at the recent Cycle Touring Festival was entitled ‘Cycling as a Woman’. I was asked to sit on the panel alongside touring aficionados Emily Chappell and Helen Pike. We covered many issues in the discussion that I thought would be useful to revisit here, especially…

A quick dash through the Lancashire hills

On May 5, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling,Touring, With 1 Comment

Bank holiday weekend was spent in the Ribble Valley at the Cycle Touring Festival – a gathering of cycle tourers old and new organised by round-world cyclists Tim and Laura Moss. It was a melting-pot of ideas from over 200 cyclists, some veterans, some novices, the young, the old and…

River Swim

On April 13, 2015, Posted by , In Boating, With No Comments

It’s the kind of outlandish idea that is conceived at the end of the night when too much booze has been drunk. We decide I’ll swim down to Jonny’s boat, then we’ll both swim back to mine. We are moored about 15 boats apart. I wake and instantly remember the…

Exchanging Places

On February 23, 2015, Posted by , In Cycling, With 1 Comment

Part of my job as a cycling instructor is to deliver SUD (Safe Urban Driving) courses to lorry drivers. The SUD was introduced because, while HGVs make up the lowest percentage of vehicles on London’s roads, they are involved in the highest proportion of fatalities. The course involves taking a group…

Which is easier, writing or riding?

On January 27, 2015, Posted by , In Eat, Sleep, Cycle,Writing, With No Comments

Having cycled 4000 miles then written a book about it, many people ask me which was easier. Before I started the cycle trip, I thought I knew a lot about cycling. I was a daily cyclist and had been my whole life – how hard could it be to turn that…