Anna Hughes

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Lost Lanes West

On April 27, 2018, Posted by , In Cycling,GetOutside,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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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 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,…

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…

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….

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…