Hello strangers.

It’s amazing how effectively two small children can curtail cycling adventures isn’t it?

So you might have been wondering what I’ve been doing during these last couple of years.

One project I’ve been working on is a craft beer subscription business called Imperial Beer Club, specialising in boxes of really interesting high strength beers.

I also ordered some new pants on the internet last weekend.

One of the things about having a mail order business is a heightened interest in parcel tracking, and these new pants have been all over the place in the last week!

They started in the Netherlands, before being shipped (in the wrong direction) to Germany and from there to the UK, where I’ve tracked their progress through a series of depots to a newsagent in North London where they are waiting for me to collect this morning.

I hope they fit.

So why am I telling you all this?

Well somewhat ironically the first outing for these new pants is a trip to the Netherlands.

When I step off the ferry at 8am tomorrow not only will the pants will have gone full circle, but I’ll be starting my next bike trip – from Hoek van Holland to Calais via Rotterdam, Antwerp, Gent and Brugge – sampling some of the local fare along the way.

By which I mean beer.


I’ll be blogging about the beers over at the beer club, but I’ll add a few updates here too.

See you tomorrow.



Normal service is resumed

by Mark on May 26, 2013 · 0 comments




Learning to walk again

by Mark on May 25, 2013 · 0 comments

It feels strange now the cycling is done.

Not just mentally, physically too.

Walking uses a different set of muscles and is accompanied by a sense of dizziness.

I just don’t feel at home on 2 legs yet.

I’m spending a few days in St Ives before returning to London. The sun is shining, and there’s a good selection of Cornish ales to try before I get back to work.

The ales aren’t exactly helping me walk straight, but I am getting plenty of practice hiking up and down the big hill my B&B is at the top of.

Hills. You just can’t get away from them in Cornwall.

This journey has been so much more challenging than cycling the Rhine.

On the Rhine trip the relationship between time and distance was straightforward and predictable.

This trip introduced hills, headwind and even hailstorms into the equation.

They make a big difference.

Not just to average speed it is possible to maintain, but to the physical effort required to overcome them.

The cumulative effect has been exhausting, and while the soreness in my legs has passed quite quickly, I’m still a few sleeps away from fully recovering my energy levels.

The first 6 days in particular really pushed me (even harder than I had known it would), as have the last 4 days through Devon and Cornwall.

In contrast I’ll remember the 5 day stretch from Windermere to Bath as the easy bit, although even the easiest of those days would normally be classed as a heavy dose of exercise.

I will post more details on the trip, it’s planning and logistics in the next week or two.

In the meantime people keep asking me how I feel now I’ve done it.

I can sum it up in one word.


Bike computer stats:

Ride time: 104h 2m
Distance: 1,061.11 miles
Ave distance per day: 70.74 miles
Ave speed: 10.2 mph
Max speed: 42.5 mph



Penzance to Lands End (and back again)

May 23, 2013

The weather forecast for today on the chalkboard in my hotel reception looked none too rosy. 11 degrees, showers, and a strong cold wind It didn’t fill me with much enthusiasm. Still, it looked fairly bright so I made an early start and rolled out of Penzance at 9.15am. I passed on the direct road […]

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Lostwithiel to Penzance, and the mining trail

May 22, 2013

I had a lazy start to the day, which meant I didn’t get cycling until almost midday. I was glad I stopped when I did last night, because the enormity of the hill I was confronted with as I left town would surely have reduced me to tears. It took a fair while to ascend, […]

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Tiverton to Lostwithiel, and fatigue causes forgetfulness

May 22, 2013

I ripped up the plan and decided it was time to take a more direct route today. I was knackered before I even started, which may go some way towards explaining what happened next. I spent the first couple of miles fighting a sense of having forgotten something, and mentally running through a list of […]

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Bath to Tiverton and the breakfast hostage

May 20, 2013

After a lovely weekend at a nice hotel in Bath it was time to get back on the road. To aid an early start I ordered an early breakfast from room service, to be delivered between 7.30-7.45. I was showered, packed and ready to go. But where was breakfast? At 7.50 I rang reception and […]

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Dogs in shop windows

May 17, 2013

No. You aren’t coming in. There is something inherently fascinating about dogs in shop windows. Here’s another one from a few months ago, this time on Marylebone High Street in London.

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Bristol to Bath, a day of disused railway lines

May 17, 2013

I only had a few miles in order to reach Bath, just 12 miles by road according to Google maps. I’d spotted a sign for the Bristol-Bath cycle route near the docks the previous afternoon, and thought it would be easy to pick up this morning. It wasn’t. I ended up on the Whitchurch Way, […]

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Gloucester to Bristol and I spoke too soon

May 16, 2013

I got up to a beautiful sunny day. Hotel reception had no idea whether I’d paid or not, but seemed happy to take it on trust that I had. It seemed about par for the course as far as this hotel is concerned. Weirdly protective over potted plants too. I set off following the NCN […]

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