Ten Years of Cycle Touring

Garry McGivern in Nevada

Today the 18th June 2018 marks ten years of cycle touring, on the 18th June 2008 I set off on my very first long-distance cycle ride and the start of my cycling adventures! The longest distance that I’d cycled before this was 200-miles, and now I was about to embark on a 1500-mile trip from Spain to England!

Man on a bike
Garry down the New Forest on a training ride in 2008

After completing that first long-distance cycle ride, I found I had a real taste for long-distance cycling and cycle touring and haven’t looked back since!

In ten years of cycle touring a lot of miles have passed, 52,679 to be precise! And in those 50,000 odd miles, I’ve been shown nothing but warmth and friendship wherever I’ve been. Often when I’ve not been able to find somewhere to stop for the night, complete strangers have taken me into their homes and given me a bed and food for the night and taken nothing in return!

Family outside their shop
One of the many families that have taken me in for the night

At times the roads have been tough, and I’d be lying if I said I’d enjoyed every day, of course, I haven’t but the tough days have been very few and far between and are soon forgotten! Replaced with the many wonderful days I’ve had in the saddle!

In ten years of cycle touring, I’ve cycled in 38 different countries on five continents, and I don’t have any intentions of stopping just yet! And although I’m not cycling very much at the moment, I will return! By my reckoning, I’ve still got another 158 countries and at least one continent to cycle and explore! Plus parts of the countries I’ve already cycled in, that should keep me going for a bit!

In the ten years of cycle touring, I’ve raised with your kind help over £18,000 for charities.

Touring bike
Passepartout on the Isle of Wight in 2008
The bike

My ten years of cycle touring have all been on the same bike! My trusty Thorn EXP now nicknamed Passepartout! Which if anybody doesn’t know: Jean Passepartout was the fictional character in the Jules Verne novel, Around the World in Eighty Days, and is the valet of the novel’s Englishman’s main character Phileas Foggs.

While I never cycled around the world in eighty days, and my names not Phileas! My bike is like my valet, carrying my bags!

Man with a glass of port
Enjoying a glass of port in Portugal in 2009

Many of you have been with me right from the start, and I thank you for the support you’ve given me over the past ten years, and I look forward to the next ten years and beyond!


Some of the daily blogs that I send out when touring have now been re-written and made into E-Books and paperbacks which are available to buy from Amazon.

May 2018 Update

Ships waiting out at sea

The month started off well with a cycle ride to Salisbury and the Isle of Wight; It was only a short ride, as I only had a couple of days to spare!

Salisbury cathedral
Salisbury cathedral

Bit of a strange place to go you may think, especially after the poisoning of that former Russian spy, but I couldn’t think of anywhere else to go that wasn’t too far away and that I’d not been to in the past month or two! I think I got away without picking anything up! But then who could tell I seem to have so many things wrong with me, it would just get lost in amongst all my other ailments!

Police line
The scene of the poisoning in Salisbury still cordoned off

The rest of the month has been spent at home as I’ve had something on nearly every day, not that I think I would have been able to go too far I’m in a lot of pain most days and it doesn’t seem to matter whether I sit, stand or cycle! The only way I seem to get any relief is by laying down!

Netley Abbey
Netley Abbey



Things on the hip front are moving in the right direction albeit very slowly! I’ve had my pre-operation assessment which seemed to be okay, (just seemed like a lot of form filling to me) and I’ve had the occupational therapy people around to assess my needs post operation! I’ve also attended “joint school” and not the type you smoke! It was more about the detail of the operation, what physio to do, diet and what anaesthesia they use, all useful stuff but no doubt I’ll have forgotten it all by the time I have my op! In theory, it’s all done to aid a speedy recovery! I’m all for that!

Floating Bridge
The Floating Bridge on the Isle of Wight was working for once

Not having any time to go on another tour this month and spending a lot of time at home, has given me plenty of time to make loads more videos! Which can you can find on my YouTube channel. And luckily for you, there’s still more to come! I’m still editing the videos from last months tour to Swanage and London, and I’ve still got the ride I did at the beginning of this month to Salisbury to do, I bet you can’t wait! Subscribe to my YouTube channel then you’ll always know when a new video gets published!

Bicycle on a table
Garry’s new workbench

I forgot to mention it, but a few months ago I noticed that my old patio table was rotten, so I decided to make a new one. Anyway, after making it, I was going to have a barbecue to try it out, but I couldn’t find any friends to come round! So it now comes in handy as a workbench!

Thursday 24th May Privacy Policy

A legal requirement I think!

Your data privacy and security are important to us. So, we have updated our privacy policy to make it even more transparent.

Our privacy policy updates will give you more clarity and control over how we collect and use your personal data when delivering our updates.

Here’s a rundown of what we’re up to:

  • A clearer, simpler privacy policy. That means less legal-speak and a clearer explanation of what data we collect, how we use it and the rights and tools that are available to you.
  • We’re preparing for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This means new requirements as to how we process EU personal data. We embrace these changes and our policy updates are intended to reflect the transparency this law requires. Learn more here.

I hope you’ll find these updates improve your experience and reinforce our commitment to your data privacy and security. If you have any questions or comments, send me a message. Not that I understand any of it myself, but I’m sure I could figure something out!

P.S. It’s not me who collects any of this information! All this is way above me!

Friday 11th May. Adgestone to Bognor Regis. 38 miles.

Portsmouth harbour entrance

Seeing as there was no rush this morning I decided to use the phone to navigate a different route from the campsite to the ferry or rather the Fastcat. And I certainly did go a different way, it took me way off the beaten track through housing estates and across fields! All good fun!

Dirt track
My route across the fields

Once off the island the ride home was hard going and what normally takes me about two and a half hours took nearly four! There was a strong headwind and because my hip was hurting I stopped at every opportunity!

Beach near Ryde

Despite the struggle home and cycling across fields it was still an enjoyable day.

Garry McGivern
On the Fastcat

But I think now is the time to get this hip sorted, everything is becoming too painful! After all I was told it would all be done and dusted within 4-months, that was 6-months ago now!