Ten Years of Cycle Touring

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!

Books

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.

4 Replies to “Ten Years of Cycle Touring”

  1. Speaking of the hospitality you’ve received, Garry, one inhospitable encounter that you spoke about was with the West Australian police in 2012. If memory serves me correctly, you hid out in McDonalds after they’d told you to get a helmet and leaving when you thought the coast was clear only to be spotted by them again. That’s when you scored yourself a ride in the cop car!!! I suppose you could call that hospitable! ;))

    1. Haha! Well remembered Bev! Yes, the first time I got stopped by the police was just as I was about to enter the Nullabor Plain on a Saturday, with no shops around and tomorrow being a Sunday I had no chance of getting a helmet! Despite telling her that I didn’t know that was the law (even though I did!) and that I was on a charity cycle ride and had cycled all the way from England without a helmet She was having none of it and fined me! Now that wasn’t very hospitable! And she was English!
      The next time was after the Nullabor in Port Augusta, and I still hadn’t bought a helmet, even though I knew I should have, that was when I hid in McDonald’s!
      Later on that day my luck finally run out or maybe I got lucky when I got pulled over by another police car! I explained to them that I’d been trying to buy one for a while now, but what with being on the Nullabor, where there aren’t any shops and then the Easter weekend there hadn’t been anywhere to buy one, but I was hoping to finish early today to be able to buy one. I said lying through my teeth!
      There was no way that they were going to let me ride my bike without a helmet, so they gave me three options! Walk onto my destination which was about 10km away, but there was no shop there to buy a helmet! Walk back to the last town which I’d passed where there was a bike shop, but that was 15km away! Or option three, stash my bike behind a bush, they would then drive me back to the previous town so I could buy a helmet and then drop me back at my bike!
      Now that’s what you call hospitality!

      Keeping the flies away making good use of having to wear a helmet!

  2. Hi Garry! I take my hat of to you. You just do it. I’ve never seen you walk up a hill. I’ve experienced some of that hospitality when you’re on the road. One of the round the worlders has just broken the penny farthing hour record at Herne Hill.
    Best wishes – Malcolm

    1. Thanks Malcolm, the kindness and hospitality of strangers never ceases to amaze me! On a Penny Farthing, that would have been hard work!

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