Anna Hughes

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December challenge: watch the sun rise and set (and write about it)

On December 1, 2018, Posted by , In #GetOutside,Writing, With No Comments

Last January I cycled from Bath to Ware over the course of two days, days in which I saw the whole day from sunrise to sunset and every moment in between. It was quite an experience, to be conscious of the slow shift of the earth, and feel wild nature…

Planning LEJOG? Here’s some advice

On November 13, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,LEJOG, With 2 Comments

Land’s End to John o’ Groats is one of the most iconic rides the UK has to offer, completed by hundreds of people each year, each experiencing the varied landscapes, challenging terrains and pot-luck weather that makes cycling in this country so special. Cycling UK recently announced a network of…

The Media vs Cycling

On November 12, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety, With No Comments

You might be forgiven for thinking that cycling is a dangerous past time. That to step outside the house and mount two wheels requires extensive safety equipment, that the roads are hostile, that you’ll be among a pack of law-breaking mavericks, or that you’re almost guaranteed to be knocked off…

My vegan journey

On November 3, 2018, Posted by , In Vegan, With No Comments

“So what do you eat?” It’s the first thing on most people’s lips when they find out I’m vegan, and it’s usually followed by something along the lines of “How do you get enough protein?” It can be a frustrating question – there’s an underlying assumption that I must be…

Dear Jamelia

On October 20, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety, With 2 Comments

I write this as a road user who happens to ride a bike. When I ride my bike, people shout at me. They yell at me to get out of the way. They swear at me and say, ‘Get on the pavement!’, and when I do that, pedestrians moan that…

October challenge: outdoor swim

On October 1, 2018, Posted by , In #GetOutside,Cycling, With No Comments

‘…being by and in water is more than just a pleasure, it is at the core of our human condition’ ~ Sir Alistair Hardy, 1950s I have swum off most of the coastline in Britain. From the luscious coves and clear turquoise waters of Cornwall and the furious surf of…

Tips for safe cycling #8: filtering (and safe use of the ASL)

On August 29, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety,safety tips, With No Comments

It’s one of the joys of cycling that bicycles don’t have to wait in a queue; if traffic is stationary or slow-moving, you as a cyclist are perfectly entitled to move past. Getting to the front of the queue can be advantageous: you get a head-start when the lights change,…

A right to protest

On July 20, 2018, Posted by , In Politics, With No Comments

It starts as soon as I step off the train. The platform is full of people holding banners, who had escaped my notice as I sat in the carriage reading my book. Placards are held downwards, at rest, hiding, shy, slogans upside down. I suddenly wish I were clutching something…

Gorge to gorge ride

On July 7, 2018, Posted by , In BAM,Cycling, With 1 Comment

Since I made Bristol my home almost a year ago I’ve been keen to ride out to Cheddar Gorge, that tourist attraction and cyclists’ mecca. I have a vague notion that I visited as a child, but the gorges and caves of Britain fade after a while into one blurred…

June challenge: camping/sleeping outside

On June 1, 2018, Posted by , In #GetOutside,Cycling, With No Comments

I always used to hate camping. On my first big cycle tour, around the coast of Britain, I eschewed canvas for a plan and a bed each night. Writing for Al Humphrey’s blog I explained why this not only gave me two months’ worth of comfy sleeps, it also saved…

Cafe Surplus – a new venture

On May 21, 2018, Posted by , In Food waste,Lifestyle,Vegan, With 1 Comment

Every year in the UK alone, 10 million tonnes of food is sent to landfill. I’ve been involved with organisations since arriving here in Bristol that address the issues of food waste, FoodCycle among them, and have learned loads about the issue at all stages of the process. My next big project…

May challenge: grow (or forage) your own

On May 11, 2018, Posted by , In #GetOutside, With No Comments

As the season has finally sprung towards summer, now is the perfect time to get outside and get growing. Cultivating your own food is a satisfying and enriching experience, not to mention easy, cheap and delicious. In a garden Tomatoes and courgettes are among the more beginner-friendly of vegetables to…

Tips for safe cycling #7: road position

On May 1, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety,safety tips, With 2 Comments

Much of riding safely on the roads is about positioning. Taking a safe, sensible position can avoid those tricky scenarios which can quickly become dangerous interactions. Don’t hug the kerb Many cyclists ride close to the kerb, either to stay out of the way, or because that’s where the cycle lane…

Lost Lanes West

On April 27, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,Touring,Writing, With 3 Comments

‘A road is for travelling between places, but a lane is a place in itself.’ The latest addition to my travel bookshelf is Jack Thurston’s Lost Lanes West, a compendium of 36 ‘glorious bike rides’ in the west country. The success of Jack’s previous books, Lost Lanes and Lost Lanes…

Forth Clyde Cycle Ride

On April 24, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,Touring, With No Comments

It’s long been on the list, the Forth & Clyde canal, one of the remnants of our industrial past, an ancient yet timeless example of Georgian ingenuity, an inland link between two great bodies of water, a navigational gift and an easily-ridable path. The Forth and Clyde canal was once…

FoodCycle

On April 14, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,Vegan, With No Comments

Being a bit of a food enthusiast (aren’t we all?), I love a bit of Masterchef, the challenge I enjoy most being the waste and scraps challenge, where the chefs make gourmet meals out of vegetable peelings, fish heads, rough meat cuts and wrinkled leaves; in other words, food that…

Tips for safe cycling #6: brakes

On April 13, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety,safety tips, With No Comments

It might sound obvious, but having proper control of your brakes is essential for safe cycling. Here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your brakes.* Use both brakes It’s best to always use both brakes, gently, at the same time. If the front…

The Kids Conundrum

On April 11, 2018, Posted by , In Lifestyle, With 11 Comments

When I was at primary school my sister Sarah and I ran a ‘Save the Earth club’ in our bedroom with whichever friends we could coerce into coming. It was fairly boring: let’s do some wildlife word searches and then go and pick up some litter. The irony that we…

April challenge: active travel to work

On April 10, 2018, Posted by , In #GetOutside,Cycling, With No Comments

Though it still feels like winter, it really is spring. Honestly. There are new leaves on the tree opposite my boat and I can even see some blossom starting to bud. Now might be the time to dust off the bike and start breathing in some of that warm(ish) air. Active…

Falafel Friday: Eat a Pitta

On April 6, 2018, Posted by , In Falafel Friday,Vegan, With No Comments

St Nicholas Market is a buzzing, vibrant feature of central Bristol, a must-see for visitors and an example of some of the fine Georgian architecture that proliferates the city. It’s also a terrific location for lunch. Stalls line the narrow walkways, overflowing with the smells and sights of cuisine from around…

The joy of travelling slowly

On April 3, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling, With 2 Comments

Slow travel is a state of mind. It’s about making the journey mean as much as the destination; it has less to do with speed than the experience of travelling. I was fortunate enough to appear on a panel alongside eminent travel writers Christopher Sommerville and Nick Hunt at the…

Bump, Bike and Baby

On March 15, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,Writing, With No Comments

This is a guest blog from Moire O’Sullivan, a mountain runner and adventure racer whose journey through motherhood while winning Ireland’s National Adventure Race Series is recounted in her new book, ‘Bump, Bike and Baby’. Here she explains why she writes, and how being a mother has impacted upon her adventures. The Healing Power…

Sonnet for the seasons

On March 13, 2018, Posted by , In Writing, With No Comments

A landscape lain with pure-white driven snow, Beneath the deep-set flakes are snowdrops hid, The air hangs thick with smoke from coals aglow and ice-laced water causes ducks to skid. Soon leaves will bud and blooming bulbs will blaze and nestlings stake their claim to river’s edge. Fresh spring succumbs…

Cafe Kino Falafel Friday

On March 9, 2018, Posted by , In Falafel Friday,Vegan, With No Comments

In an arty patch of Bristol, full of independent venues and bicycles, stands Cafe Kino, a 100% vegan workers cooperative and the scene of this week’s Falafel Friday search. Many of my friends have recommended Kino with its delicious-looking menu and impressive range of cakes. It’s a well-establised part of…

March challenge: go for a run

On March 9, 2018, Posted by , In #GetOutside,Running, With No Comments

I never used to understand running. Why would you put yourself through sweaty, painful, injury-inducing exercise that was slow and boring? Give me a bicycle any day. But then I signed up for an Ironman triathlon, and was forced to learn to run (a marathon of all things – having…

Marianne Martin – Winner of the first Tour de France Féminin

On March 8, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,International Women's Day,Pedal Power, With No Comments

This is one of my favourite stories from my book ‘Pedal Power’ – I just love the thought of women triumphantly riding the Tour de France. It’s a tragic indication of the status of women’s sport that this no longer happens. It wasn’t about the money anyway. We did it because…

Eileen Sheridan – The Mighty Atom

On March 8, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,International Women's Day,Pedal Power, With No Comments

The ride from Land’s End to John o’ Groats is the most iconic in the British Isles; from the bottom left-hand corner of England to the top right-hand corner of Scotland, the ‘End to End’ ride extends 870 miles through steadily morphing landscapes, stretching from the devilish Cornish hills to…

Alfonsina Strada – riding with the men

On March 8, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,International Women's Day,Pedal Power, With No Comments

The 1924 Giro d’Italia nearly didn’t happen. The multiple-stage race through the mountains and landscapes of Italy had been staged almost every year since its launch in 1909, but a dispute over pay in 1924 led to a boycott by many of its top riders. In a post-war era, staging…

Annie Londonderry: the first woman to cycle around the world

On March 8, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,International Women's Day,Pedal Power, With No Comments

It took a remarkable woman to set off to ride a bicycle around the world in 1890s America: Annie Kopchovsky had a husband, three children and responsibilities as a housewife. It was not just a novelty for a young woman to leave those duties, but to do it in pursuit…

Frances Willard: ‘She who gains the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life’

On March 8, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,International Women's Day,Pedal Power, With No Comments

Bicycles are just as good company as most husbands, and when they get shabby or old a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community. ~ Ann Strong, Minneapolis Tribune, 1895 The advent of the safety bicycle meant that cycling boomed. Starley’s invention had…

Tessie Reynolds – a pioneer of rational dress

On March 8, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,International Women's Day,Pedal Power, With No Comments

On International Women’s Day we celebrate those women who have made an impact on our lives. Tessie Reynolds was one of those women: a young cycling enthusiast and an unintentional pioneer of gender equality. This is an excerpt from my book ‘Pedal Power: inspirational stories from the world of cycling’  Miss…

The Drastic No Plastic challenge: conclusions

On March 2, 2018, Posted by , In Lifestyle, With No Comments

I wandered along the shingle for a while, my steps uneven on the shifting ground, noticing just how much litter there was. Almost all of it was plastic. How ironic, I thought, that these single-use items are made from a material that lasts forever.

A lost love

On February 7, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,Eat, Sleep, Cycle,Round-Britain,Touring, With 4 Comments

What happens when an adventure gets in the way of a relationship? Seven years ago I left London and a boyfriend to cycle around the coast of Britain. What might have happened had I not gone? We met four months before I was due to leave, both of us working…

An apology to my bike (and a guide to fixing a new gear cable)

On February 6, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

My bicycle is my most trusted possession; she is my passport to adventure, my free ticket to work, my trusty pack horse and my faithful steed. But I’ve been guilty in recent weeks of not listening to her. And you will ignore your bike at your peril. A happy bike…

The Drastic No Plastic challenge

On February 3, 2018, Posted by , In Lifestyle, With No Comments

Plastic waste has loomed large in the public consciousness in recent months, due in no small part to Blue Planet II, campaigns such as Switch the Stick, and the extended 5p levy on carrier bags. Companies are queueing up to reduce plastic packaging and broadcast their plastic-free credentials. But just how…

February challenge: a lunch hour adventure

On February 1, 2018, Posted by , In #GetOutside, With No Comments

The lunch hour: that sacred 60 minutes in the middle of the day when you’re not required to work. It is so tempting to eat a sandwich at your desk and crack on through with that endless list of emails (I know, I have done it), but instead, could you…

January challenge: could you walk 1000 miles?

On January 28, 2018, Posted by , In #GetOutside, With No Comments

This month’s challenge is to walk more. That could be walking to work, or taking a stroll during your lunch hour, or going for a Sunday ramble to the pub. It could be finding the footpaths that go through unexplored parts of your local area, it could be heading out…

Get Outside in 2018

On January 28, 2018, Posted by , In #GetOutside,Cycling,Lifestyle, With No Comments

Fresh air is a wonderful thing. Spending time outdoors makes us happier, healthier and gives us time to enjoy the miracle of nature; something that is all too easily overlooked in the hectic routine of modern life. In January I spent two days enjoying some fresh air in the New…

The merits of women-only rides

On January 22, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

Gender-specific activities, it seems, will never be without controversy. A BBC East Midlands video promoting British Cycling’s women-only ‘Breeze’ rides has drawn a fair amount of comment, not all of it positive: ‘why are these even necessary?’; ‘inclusion by exclusion is not inclusive.’ I once took part in an overnight bike…

Slow ride home

On January 11, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling, With 2 Comments

The sun has not yet risen as I pedal away from my boat, ahead 140 miles of riding over the next two days. This pilgrimage is to my twin sister’s house so we can spend our 35th birthday together. Pale blue and grey is reflected in the canal as the…

Carrot or Stick?

On January 5, 2018, Posted by , In Lifestyle, With No Comments

A proposed 25p tax on coffee cups has been all over the news today, and in my inbox appeared an email from 38 Degrees asking me to share the petition supporting the tax. It stated that the levy could seriously tackle plastic pollution and save the environment. Obviously, I agree…

The danger of delete

On January 4, 2018, Posted by , In Eat, Sleep, Cycle,Writing, With 2 Comments

When I migrated this website to its new operating platform, I ditched a large number of my old blog posts. They were either outdated, irrelevant or simply badly written. Given that I was promoting myself as a writer, it would be foolish to put anything out that I was less than happy…

BAM January sale

On January 3, 2018, Posted by , In BAM,Lifestyle, With No Comments

I write this as I sit here in my BAM Raja yoga pants. I don’t even practice yoga but my, these pants are comfy. I am proud to put my name to the BAM bamboo clothing brand: as one of the latest BAMbassadors  it’s my job to wax lyrical about…

My car-free year

On January 3, 2018, Posted by , In Lifestyle, With 5 Comments

My New Year’s Resolution way back in 2012 was to live without a car for a year. This wasn’t just my car, it was any car: friends, colleagues, taxis, Dad. The challenge was an illustration of what’s possible when you try; I wanted to demonstrate that car-free could be a…

The Kingfisher

On January 2, 2018, Posted by , In Writing, With No Comments

An ode to the delicate little kingfisher I see flitting up and down the canal A flash, a splash, a burst of blue, A rocket of iridescent hue, A fleeting jewel on endless wing, He catches fishes as a king. Alighting on a branch he gleams In stark contrast to cold-stripped beams,…

Veganuary Diary

On January 2, 2018, Posted by , In Vegan, With No Comments

My sister is taking part in Veganuary as her birthday present to me. She is an omnivore so this is a real challenge. Below is her account of eating animal-free for a month. 1st January I woke up at around 4:30am feeling really rough.  Too much champagne.  Then I suddenly remembered that I…

Resolving to be resolute

On January 2, 2018, Posted by , In Lifestyle,Vegan, With 3 Comments

I nearly broke my New Year’s Resolution last night, less than 24 hours into 2018. It is to spend less time on Twitter (and to stop reading the news*) and resist being drawn into Twitter spats with people with whom I’m likely to never agree. But to see a tweet…

Tips for safe cycling #5: See and Be Seen

On December 27, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety,safety tips, With 1 Comment

If you are still cycling in the depth of winter, good for you. Not only is it cold and wet, but your journey to and from work will probably be made in the dark. Lights are a legal requirement (red for rear and white for front*). Always carry spare batteries,…

BAMbassador

On December 21, 2017, Posted by , In BAM,Ironman,Lifestyle, With No Comments

I’m excited to be a new BAMbassador for Bamboo clothing, a UK company that manufactures clothing from bamboo. BAM is exactly the kind of company I support: ethical, environmentally friendly and honest. In fact, their ‘sales’ pitch is “We’d genuinely rather make a bit less money and have loads of…

Go vegan for January

On November 23, 2017, Posted by , In Lifestyle,Vegan, With No Comments

I have a request. For the first month of 2018, go vegan. It’s not often I suggest people change their lifestyles: usually I present my own choices and leave others to make up their own mind. But this time I am making an exception, because in all the actions I…

West of Wales to east of England

On October 17, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling, With 2 Comments

8.30am. Whitesands Bay, St Davids. James. Bicycle and man stand expectant on the beach. In the bay, the sea builds and curls, crashing and frothing as wind patterns the surface. Gannets circle then drop like arrows, tucking their wings tight in a torpedo-dive. Waves surge up the sand and fizz…

Ten reasons why maps are better than apps

On October 16, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

“Being able to read a map can open up a whole new world…” – Ordnance Survey. There’s a week for everything and this week is National Map Reading Week. Launched last year by Ordnance Survey, the idea is to encourage and teach the art of reading maps, a skill that…

Time to call time on The Archers?

On October 4, 2017, Posted by , In Lifestyle,Vegan, With No Comments

My mother never liked The Archers. Radio 4 would always be playing in the kitchen while we were getting dinner ready, so Just a Minute, I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and The News Quiz were staples of my childhood, but when the opening bars of The Archers theme struck…

In search of Thames Head

On October 4, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

The Cotswolds glow with Autumn as we ride along narrow lanes that disappear down tunnels of trees. Leaves drip and swirl golden onto the carriageway and horse chestnuts lie split and smashed on the tarmac. The land sits flat and open, farmsteads hemmed in by sand-coloured walls constructed from slabs…

Three sonnets for National Poetry Day

On September 28, 2017, Posted by , In Writing, With No Comments

It was at the age of 17 that I was introduced to the sonnet, during my ‘A’ level year when curious minds feed on endless titbits offered by teachers, minds open to exploration and suggestion. I loved the ingenuity of the form, at once restrictive and inviting of creativity, and I…

The war on the roads

On September 21, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety, With No Comments

‘Should reckless cyclists face the same consequences as dangerous drivers?’ asks Good Morning Britain on Twitter. The cycling community sighs collectively. Each time someone is killed on a bike or by a bike, it’s headline news. It perpetuates the perception that cycling is dangerous; it justifies people’s hatred of cyclists….

Another reason to Go Dutch

On September 13, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety, With No Comments

In the Netherlands, drivers are taught to open the car door with their far hand. It’s an indication of how bicycle-centric their culture is; by performing the ‘Dutch reach’ the driver is forced to turn their head and body, so can see if a cyclist is about to pass, therefore…

The unstoppable Chris Froome

On September 11, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Pedal Power, With No Comments

Chris Froome has cemented his place in the list of cycling greats with a win in the Vuelta España to add to his victory in the Tour de France earlier this season. He is the first cyclist to win the double since Bernard Hinault, the dominant rider of the 1980s,…

King of falafel #2

On September 9, 2017, Posted by , In Falafel Friday,Lifestyle,Vegan, With No Comments

I was released from my bar shift early last night, so I went on the hunt for falafel. Falafel King in Clifton Down was a long walk up a hill (isn’t everywhere in Bristol) but worth venturing out for, so I’d heard, and still open at 10.30pm when others had closed…

The morals of having children

On September 4, 2017, Posted by , In Lifestyle, With 13 Comments

When speculation emerged in July that Kate Middleton might be pregnant with her third child, a letter from charity ‘Having Kids’ urging the couple of reconsider met with a considerable public backlash. The charity: for the good of the environment, we should be having fewer children, and those in the…

Falafel Friday: Edna’s Kitchen

On September 1, 2017, Posted by , In Falafel Friday,Vegan, With No Comments

Today was the turn of Edna’s Kitchen. Friends had recommended it; news articles describe it as legendary. I was about to find out. Edna’s kitchen sits at the top of Castle Park, the small kiosk offering a number of yummy-looking dishes including meze salad boxes of various sizes, halloumi, and, of…

October event: guided ride and talk

On August 31, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Pedal Power, With No Comments

On October 1st I will have the pleasure of leading a guided ride and giving a talk in the beautiful Cotswolds. The ride is a 45-mile round trip between Calcot Manor Hotel near Tetbury and its sister hotel, Barnsley House, near Cirencester, and will be mostly along country lanes with…

Falafel Friday week three

On August 25, 2017, Posted by , In Falafel Friday,Vegan, With 2 Comments

Today it’s the turn of The Bristologist, a ‘Plates and Slates’ bar on Corn Street. They do a falafel wrap as part of their lunch menu: £5.95 for a wrap stuffed with hummus, raita and leaves, served with chips. I’ll be having it without the raita. Pubs are inevitably more…

Falafel King: king of falafel?

On August 18, 2017, Posted by , In Falafel Friday,Vegan, With 2 Comments

It’s week two of #FalafelFriday and I’m lining up the big boys. With a name like Falafel King, I’m expecting something spectacular. This is the street stall at the head of Narrow Quay, outside Bristol Hippodrome, the little sister of the Cotham Hill-based restaurant. I can have my falafel in a…

Falafel Friday: week one

On August 11, 2017, Posted by , In Falafel Friday,Lifestyle,Vegan, With No Comments

As a vegan in a new city, seeking out places to eat can be a challenge. But there’s one dish that I’m pretty much guaranteed to be able to find: falafel. For years it’s been a staple of mine, from take-aways to street stalls to restaurants. So, how will Bristol…

Why am I running away?

On August 10, 2017, Posted by , In Boating, With 1 Comment

It’s raining again. Droplets run Matrix-style down the windows, the sky fading from grey to black beyond, the river surging beneath. I look out at the choppy, relentless waves and feel uneasy. The Thames is a beast with which I’m not familiar. I have been battling it for four days,…

Captain’s log: London to Bristol by narrowboat

On August 10, 2017, Posted by , In Boating, With 2 Comments

This is a lightly edited version of the cruising log I kept on my move from London to Bristol by narrowboat. Photos of the journey can be found here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm6dJKna  22nd July 2017. DAY ONE. The cruise to Bristol begins! Limehouse to Kensal Green. 11.5 miles. 12 locks. 9 hours Beautiful…

What price freedom?

On August 6, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

While working on my bike in a DIY workshop, I overhear a customer speaking to the mechanic about his child’s bike. Can you fit stabilisers? he asks. I cringe. Stabilisers are the cycling instructor’s nemesis. They are an anti-teaching tool – how not to allow your child to learn the…

How to teach a beginner to ride a bike

On August 6, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

Summer is a great time to get your kids out and riding their bikes. This is the method I use to teach complete beginners how to ride – it’s remarkably effective and typically gets the rider going within half an hour. It works for adults, too. Disclaimer: even with this…

Slow travel

On July 6, 2017, Posted by , In Lifestyle, With No Comments

We emerge from the Channel tunnel into hills that roll just as they do in Kent. The rain still falls. Graffiti adorns trackside walls. People stand on station platforms clutching mugs of coffee as we flash by. By being on the ground we see others, the homes they have built,…

Le Tour de France – a look back in time

On July 1, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Pedal Power, With No Comments

This week sees the 104th edition of the Tour de France. A staple of the cycle racing calendar, it is an institution that has been held almost every year since its inauguration in 1903. As a cycle tourer, I’m not particularly a racing fan. Pelotons and breakaways don’t mean much to me….

Stop killing cyclists

On May 31, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety, With No Comments

Yet another cyclist has been killed on London’s roads. On the morning of 22nd May, a man in his 50s was involved in a collision with a lorry, suffering fatal injuries. The news of this latest tragedy upset and angered me more than usual. I have just returned from a…

Copenhagenize

On May 22, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Pedal Power, With No Comments

In the automobile boom of the 1960s, people abandoned their bicycles and began to drive. This miracle form of transport, so quick and easy, dry in all weathers, was a status symbol; to have one was to be rich. But then came the problems: congestion, ill health, laziness. The cycling…

The spirit of the bike

On May 12, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

‘Friends’ Season 7 Episode 9 Ross: If you’re not going to ride this bike, I’m going to have to take it back. Phoebe: What!? Why? Ross: Because… because, it would be like you having this guitar and never playing it. This guitar wants to be played. And this bike wants…

Breifne Earley – from the depths of despair to World Cycle Race champion

On April 25, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Pedal Power, With No Comments

In 2014, Irishman Breifne Earley took part in the World Cycle Race, a 18,000 mile non-stop ride around the planet. Overweight and never having been on a bike tour, he was not an obvious candidate to cycle round the world, but motivated by the breakdown of his relationship, his career…

Never argue with a ticket man

On April 20, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling, With 3 Comments

Since a man was badly injured in the process of being removed from an overbooked United Airlines flight last week, there have been several other reported incidents of people being forcibly removed from flights. I was removed from a train once. It wasn’t my finest moment, but it’s an illustration of what happens…

Isabelle Clement – Wheels for Wellbeing

On April 18, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Pedal Power, With 2 Comments

Isabelle Clement is the Director of Wheels for Wellbeing, a London-based charity that enables people with a disability to access cycling. I was inspired by Isabelle’s story after having stumbled across this video, and was pleased when she agreed to be part of my book, Pedal Power. Isabelle’s story appears in…

The birth of a book

On April 14, 2017, Posted by , In Pedal Power,Writing, With 2 Comments

Last night we held the launch party for Pedal Power. It was a really enjoyable evening with lots of people to talk to, all within the setting of the lovely Stanfords travel shop in Covent Garden. Thanks to all who attended and made the evening possible. Copies of Pedal Power…

Does the world need another book?

On April 7, 2017, Posted by , In Pedal Power,Writing, With No Comments

I’m about to publish my second book, ‘Pedal Power: inspirational stories from the world of cycling’. It was a remarkably condensed project: two months of researching and cramming as many words into the day as I could, gathering tales from across the spectrum of two-wheeled wonders. The book is about…

Mike Hall – a tribute

On April 2, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Pedal Power, With 3 Comments

On Friday, the tragic news emerged that endurance cyclist Mike Hall had died. He was killed in a collision with a car while taking part in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race in Australia. Mike was well known in the endurance racing community, having won the first World Cycle Race in…

Tips for safe cycling #4: Lorries

On March 27, 2017, Posted by , In Road Safety,safety tips, With No Comments

Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), buses, trucks and coaches make up the smallest proportion of traffic on UK roads, yet are involved in the highest proportion of fatal collisions with cyclists. It’s a scary statistic, and one that is being addressed through safer lorry design and advanced training for drivers, as…

Thomas Stevens – first to cycle around the world

On March 22, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Pedal Power, With No Comments

This is an edited extract from my new book Pedal Power, available to preorder here. Thomas Stevens, a free spirit and explorative soul, lived in San Francisco, where he would listen to the constant whispering of the Pacific Ocean and dream of adventure – and what better adventure than to…

A comment on cycling infrastructure

On March 21, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety, With 7 Comments

Confession: I whacked a car window today. It was the conclusion of a conversation with a driver that had grown more and more heated as we both tried to make our voices heard, a conversation that had no end other than anger. She yelled expletives; I used my fist. Her…

Inspirational women

On March 8, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Pedal Power, With No Comments

International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. One of the chapters in my soon-to-be published book Pedal Power is entitled ‘Wonder Women’ and features stories of women throughout the ages who have repeatedly shown that cycling is not just a…

The social media bubble

On March 6, 2017, Posted by , In Lifestyle, With 3 Comments

A recent programme on Radio 4 explored the concept of the Social network bubble – the fact that our Facebook timelines show us only a limited number of posts, using algorithms to determine the information it thinks we would most like to see. These same algorithms are responsible for bombarding you on…

Pedal Power – an introduction

On March 3, 2017, Posted by , In Pedal Power,Writing, With No Comments

My new book, Pedal Power, will be published on 13th April by Summersdale. It’s a collection of stories from all aspects cycling, from professional riders to stuntmen to long-haulers to those who use the bicycle as a form of rehab. It’s available to pre-order here, and below is a taster…

The philosophy of sewing

On February 28, 2017, Posted by , In Lifestyle, With No Comments

The curtains in my bedroom hang too long and the sunlight filters through them, nudging me from sleep each morning. Cutting them to size and stitching blackout material to the lining has risen to the top of the to-do list. Not for me the sewing machine, its power requirements too…

Billie and Kajsa

On January 4, 2017, Posted by , In Cycling,Pedal Power, With No Comments

On 1st January 1938, a young lady named Billie Fleming set off from London to complete a challenge that no one had ever attempted before: to set the women’s record for the most miles cycled in a year. The challenge had been launched in 1911 by Cycling magazine and was…

Basic Bike Check

On December 30, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety, With No Comments

New bicycle for Christmas? Here is a simple check that will help keep it road worthy.   A – air B – brakes C – chain D – direction E – everything else     Air. Pump tyres to the correct pressure – it is written on the side of…

The BeST ride: Greenwich to Peacehaven along the Meridian Line

On October 30, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

It’s the idea of my friend Ed, to celebrate the end of British Summer Time by cycling along the Meridian Line from capital to coast. We meet at the top of Greenwich Park, the whole of London laid out below in a blur of early-morning mist, the avenues of trees…

My vegan week

On October 15, 2016, Posted by , In Lifestyle,Vegan, With No Comments

My sister’s house has been home this week while my boat has some work done in the marina. To say thanks I’ve cooked dinner each night. For a sister and brother-in-law who are both meat-eaters, my vegan cooking has been something of a change for them. They’ve really loved it…

RideLondon 100

On August 8, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling, With 5 Comments

This is the fifth year of the RideLondon-Surrey 100, one of the legacies of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and the first time I’ve ridden in such a huge sportive. Nearly 30,000 people registered for the event, and I queue up at the start surrounded by hundreds upon hundreds of…

I Need One Dance

On July 29, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

14th April 2016. David Cameron was Prime Minister. Boris Johnson was Mayor of London. Roy Hodgson was England manager. Bernie Sanders was giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money in the US Presidential Primaries. Chris Evans was the presenter of Top Gear. Peggy Mitchell was the queen of the…

In praise of lentils

On July 26, 2016, Posted by , In Lifestyle,Vegan, With 2 Comments

As a vegan, I’m often asked, “What do you eat?” One of my staples is lentils – a food I had barely eaten before becoming vegan, but something I couldn’t now live without. Lentils are high in protein and carbohydrates, and a good source of iron, fibre, B vitamins and…

The unlikely Ironman

On July 26, 2016, Posted by , In Ironman,Running, With No Comments

This is the mother of all triathlons: a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. In June I travelled up to the Lake District to take part in the Lakesman iron-distance triathlon, an event I’d been training for solidly for 6 months. I’d never run…

Tips for safe cycling #3: Hazardous surfaces

On July 13, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety,safety tips, With No Comments

For the second time in two weeks, I’ve fallen off my bike. This isn’t a great score for someone who teaches people to ride bikes for a living, but perhaps it’s for a reason; just call me Anna ‘I Have Accidents So You Don’t Have To’ Hughes. The first fall…

Cycle Touring Festival 2016

On May 28, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling,Touring, With 1 Comment

It’s the second annual Cycle Touring Festival and I’m here in the beautiful setting of Waddow Hall in Lancashire. The weather is gorgeous and it’s very green: trees and long grasses cover the steep slope that leads down to the water. Some local boys have been walking across the top…

Tips for safe cycling #2: Taking the lane

On May 13, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety,safety tips, With No Comments

According to Transport for London (TfL), 77% of accidents happen at junctions. It’s understandable why this can be a hotspot for collision: there are two or more directions of traffic, visibility can be reduced, and confusion is common. For cyclists, the statistics are more scary: junctions are where most fatalities…

Open letter to Boris Johnson

On April 28, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

Dear Boris, Your Cycle Superhighways are advertised as “safer, faster and more direct” routes into the capital, providing routes for cyclists along the roads they might otherwise drive down – quick, direct routes into the capital that follow trunk roads. The infrastructure for motor vehicles is direct and clearly signposted, whereas…

The Daily Shower

On April 27, 2016, Posted by , In Lifestyle, With No Comments

Chris Stark from Radio 1 doesn’t shower in the morning. Scott Mills thinks it’s disgusting. I don’t shower in the morning; I don’t shower in the evenings either. Often I go an ENTIRE WEEK without washing. But don’t I smell? Well, no. Let’s start with hair. It’s a fairly common rumour…

The vegan Ironman

On April 12, 2016, Posted by , In Ironman,Running,Vegan, With 4 Comments

When I have taken on challenges before, I’ve shied away from my vegan diet, unsure of whether I would survive intense physical activity on a plant-based diet. This time there’s no question: I’m vegan. Even with such a gruelling training regime, I’m sticking to it. And it is gruelling: I’m…

Ironman 70.3

On March 28, 2016, Posted by , In Ironman,Running, With No Comments

Yesterday I completed a half ironman. This is something I never thought I’d do – just the name sounds ridiculous. Maybe that’s why they call it that – to put people off. Because actually, I found it easy. Well, as easy as swimming 1.2 miles, cycling 56 miles and running…

Midnight riding

On March 28, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

It’s 10.30pm when my alarm goes off, waking me from a brief nap. I set my snooze alarm twice before finally dragging myself out of bed and dressing in my cycling gear. It’s pitch black outside, with a few stars and an almost full moon visible between the clouds. I…

Five things cycling around Britain taught me

On March 23, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling,Round-Britain, With No Comments

It’s possible to cycle round the world. I haven’t done it myself, but I know plenty of people who have (including Al Humphreys, whose map this is). The world might seem impossibly huge – but keep the pedals turning and the miles soon pass. It’s true of any distance –…

Reflections on being an author

On March 20, 2016, Posted by , In Eat, Sleep, Cycle,Writing, With 9 Comments

It’s a year since I became an author, the culmination of three years of hard work putting pen to paper (well, fingertips to keyboard) and scraping together the story of my 4000 mile bike ride around the coast of Britain. I wrote a couple of blogs about the writing process…

On running

On March 19, 2016, Posted by , In Ironman,Running, With No Comments

I’m teaching myself to run a marathon. I’ve never run a marathon before, and this is not just any marathon – it’s a marathon after having swum 2.4 miles and ridden my bike for 8 hours. I am taking part in the Lakesman iron-distance triathlon this summer, something I’d never…

A grand adventure for less than a grand

On March 8, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling,Round-Britain, With No Comments

A little while ago I was interviewed by Alastair Humphreys for his Adventure 1000 blog which aims to demonstrate how you can have a big adventure without spending loads of money and without being a super fit adventurer. Alastair has collated that interview along with loads of others in his new book…

Tips for safe cycling #1: Door Zone

On March 3, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety,safety tips, With No Comments

When I was 18 I moved to Manchester to start a music degree at Manchester University. To get from my student house to campus I had to cycle up Wilmslow Road through Rusholme – the Curry Mile – a busy route shared with vans unloading at the kerb side, buses,…

Why do I do it?

On February 24, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling,Lifestyle,Round-Britain, With 1 Comment

For as long as I can remember I have ridden a bike. It wasn’t so much a conscious decision to be a ‘cyclist’ but it just so happened that cycling ticked all the boxes. It was the quickest way to get to school, the cheapest way to get to university,…

Liverpool to Manchester ride

On February 6, 2016, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

I’ve always been fascinated by watercourses, the web of rivers and streams that dissects the land, flowing endlessly towards the sea. I love the path that they cut, both natural and manmade; it’s fascinating to see how we built our societies around rivers as a source of life, of trade,…

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…

Writing a book

On November 29, 2014, Posted by , In Eat, Sleep, Cycle,Writing, With 4 Comments

The book ‘Eat, Sleep, Cycle’ has been in the writing for two and a half years. I never thought I would write a book, but I had lots of positive feedback from the readers of my blog, so about six months after I returned from my adventure I decided to…

The Great Helmet Debate

On October 30, 2014, Posted by , In Cycling,Road Safety, With No Comments

As a cycling instructor, I am frequently asked about helmet use. Many of the comments I hear from frustrated road users conclude with, “and they’re not even wear a helmet!” It seems that most drivers would prefer it if cyclists wore helmets – those who don’t are deemed irresponsible. It’s…

How they do it in the Netherlands

On August 27, 2014, Posted by , In Cycling, With 3 Comments

I recently went to the Netherlands on holiday, and was absolutely bowled over by the culture of cycling. I knew that the Dutch are world leaders in cycling, but you have to see it to believe it. Everyone cycles. Young, old, black, white, cool, geeky, students, office workers. Riding a…

A microadventure

On May 23, 2014, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

I’m standing at the top of a hill in Richmond Park with four new friends, about to embark on a microadventure. The plan is to cycle from the confines of the city until we are surrounded by the Surrey countryside, to eat, drink and be merry, then sleep under the…

Which bike should I use for touring?

On May 3, 2014, Posted by , In Cycling,Touring, With No Comments

If you’re touring, you’ll be on that bike for hours, days, weeks and maybe months at a time. While there’s no such thing as a ‘right’ bike (people tour on town bikes, road bikes, recumbents, mountain bikes, even Bromptons), it’s important to have a bike that’s right for you. The…

Adventure podcast

On January 24, 2014, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

I had the recent privilege of being interviewed by Roz Savage for her Adventure Podcast. Roz is a record-breaking ocean rower – the first woman to solo row the world’s three big oceans: Atlantic, Pacific and Indian. She has written two books about her ocean rows: “Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons…

Cycling to the sea

On December 20, 2013, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

ON 1st August 2011 I cycled from London to Southend — the first step of a 4000-mile, 10-week journey round the coast of Britain. The route is fairly flat, tracing the River Thames from the confines of the city to the salt-tainted air of the coast. At the time I…

What’s going on with all these cycling deaths?

On November 22, 2013, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

That was a question asked to me by my elder sister, who’s been told by her husband that he doesn’t want her riding a bike anymore. The statistic is terrifying — six deaths in thirteen days! — but, to put it in perspective, in total there have now been an…

An unfortunate incident

On August 10, 2013, Posted by , In Cycling, With 5 Comments

N.B. Please don’t let this post put you off cycling in London. Cycling in London is (most of the time) brilliant — quick, easy, free, enjoyable — and I find most drivers to be courteous and considerate. Then there are the unfortunate few… This happened as I was on my…

Life at Sea

On June 8, 2013, Posted by , In Sailing, With 1 Comment

I’m currently living on a sailing boat, journeying round the coast of Britain. The trip is run by South West Marine Training, and is called the Round Britain Experience (as is the boat) — aside from a previous two day excursion, which involved motoring round a harbour, I’ve never sailed…

Sailing round Britain

On April 28, 2013, Posted by , In Sailing, With No Comments

A day on the boat begins at around 7am, when the combination of ropes and waves knocking against the hull forces me out of my cosy sleeping bag and into the cold heads. The boat is rocking even though we’re moored – a floating pontoon doesn’t offer much stability, and…

The joy of two wheels

On April 18, 2013, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

You might not have heard of Brixham — it’s a tiny fishing village on the south coast of Devon. There’s no railway station there, no way to get there other than by car or bus. It’s 270 miles away from where I live. I’m going there because that’s where my…

Oban trip

On March 29, 2013, Posted by , In Cycling,Round-Britain,Writing, With No Comments

I have just spent ten days in Oban, on the beautiful western coast of beautiful Scotland. It’s been a bitterly cold March everywhere and Oban was no exception – zero degrees and a hefty wind chill to boot. But the sun shone most days and there was only the occasional…

The Good Doctor Bike

On March 5, 2013, Posted by , In Cycling,Otesha,Touring, With 3 Comments

A sunny day in mid September. I’m riding down a street I’ve never ridden down before, and I see a man I’ve never met before, and then I notice his finger outstretched towards me, and I hear him say,  “You’re famous!” This is one of my favourite moments of my…

A day in the life

On February 19, 2013, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

5.20am. My alarm goes off, rousing me from my light slumber; I never sleep deeply if I know I have to get up early. I quietly rise and dress, then creep downstairs to make breakfast – flask of tea, marmalade sandwich and an oat muffin to eat on the train….

Pedal East

On December 29, 2012, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

On 23rd December, I joined a group of 30 cyclists riding from the Western-most point of England to the Eastern-most point of England – Land’s End to Lowestoft. The total mileage was more than 450 – an epic effort in just three days. It was the brainchild of Daniel Hughes…

Snow Day

On December 12, 2012, Posted by , In Cycling, With 2 Comments

As it gets colder, and wetter, and colder, and snowier, it’s easy to leave the bike at home in favour of the car or the bus. But winter cycling can be fantastic – as long as you’re prepared, you shouldn’t have a problem. It might be cold at first, but…

Dunwich Dynamo XX

On July 4, 2012, Posted by , In Cycling, With No Comments

London Fields, 8pm. Hundreds of cyclists mill about, some in groups, some by themselves, some nonchalantly sipping pints, as if they weren’t about to cycle over 100 miles. Some excited, some apprehensive, all ready to ride. Road bikes, mountain bikes, recumbent bikes, a Boris bike. Single speeds, tandems, tourers, some…

Lake District first edit

On March 24, 2012, Posted by , In Cycling,Eat, Sleep, Cycle,Round-Britain,Writing, With No Comments

I took a trip up to the Lake District to get away from the city while I started to write my book. If it’s good enough for Wordsworth, it’s good enough for Hughes. The Lake District is absolutely stunning, and I took the opportunity to try out my new camera,…

Lake District revisited

On March 24, 2012, Posted by , In Cycling,Eat, Sleep, Cycle,Round-Britain,Writing, With No Comments

The time has come to remove myself from the routine of daily life and begin to turn my cycle trip blog into a book. A writing holiday is in order, to the Lake District. Ten days full of promise and hopefully a book at the end. Perhaps some Wordsworth inspiration…

Capital Ring

On July 17, 2011, Posted by , In Cycling, With 1 Comment

I’d been curious about the Capital Ring ever since reading an article in the Observer about two people who walked it over the course of a week. The Capital Ring is a 78 mile route around the periphery of London, linking green spaces with river-side paths, winding quietly through the suburbs…