Category: Mainland Europe

Street-view Sri Lanka – a cycle tour

I have been to Sri Lanka twice before, once on a minibus and beach holiday, and once on an organised bike tour.  So why a third time? The reason is a tad on the nerdy side.  Sri Lanka happens to be one of the…

Seven Days in Provence

When I lived on the Island of Bali, we used to regularly witness a phenomenon locally known as ‘Bali Magic’; the unsuspecting tourist would arrive on the Island, and its irresistible lure would make such an impression on them, that life-changing decisions would be…

Porto Impressions

Here is a snap-shot view of a long weekend in Porto.  I went with very little knowledge of the place and returned with a handful of impressions, that would almost certainly change if I lived there. Observations of a city that seems to be…

Tour de Hollande

Holland conjures up lots of iconic images in my mind, like windmills, dykes, tulips, coffee houses, brothels and people with a fascination for the colour orange, as well as, and much more importantly, bicycles.  So after much virtual ‘recccying and googlage’, I put together…

Strava, Streams & the Serra de Bernia

…….and so it came to be that I found myself on a road-biking holiday in Calpe, a resort just along the coast from Benidorm. I had confessed my love of the road less traveled to the group leader (Keith the honorary Bella Velo), so…

…….here comes the sun!

  Barcelona!   Beautiful trails through pine clad hills, gravel tracks up dry river beds, classic road-bike climbs ….. gambas al ajillo, Rioja.  I will definitely be back for more!  This blog describes my winter escape to seek out some Mediterranean sunshine and to discover…

Alps June 2016 – The back story

In June last year (2015), I found myself at the end of a ‘rolling’ six-month contract (in the Oil industry) which had rolled its last. With no prospect of renewal and, more importantly, no desire to look for more work in the corporate world,…

An unfortunate turn of events.

The mission for the day was to temporarily relocate to a house further up the valley, as the chalet I was staying in was booked out for a couple of nights. My new residence happened to be the home of the chalet owner, who was…

Col du Petit St Bernard II or a ride ‘gastronomique’?

Improving on my last ascent of this col shouldn’t be too hard, as on my previous trip I found the road ascent a bit dull, and then got chased off the mountain by the rain and cold, so surely room for improvement?  I decided…

‘Doom’ du Vaugelaz II

I planned to extend Dome de Vaugelaz I, which was one of my favourite rides in June.  So why try to improve it?  Dunno!  I just thought that perhaps it wasn’t quite long enough, so I added an additional loop to the beginning and…

Ghostly ski resorts & off-road bliss

The plan was to ride along the valley to Villaroger and then try the un-surfaced road up to Les Arc 2000, keeping high above Les Arc 1600 & 1800 and linking with Peisey Nancroix ride that I did last trip.  A higher than average…

Peisey Nancroix Bike and Hike

The Plan was cycle up the Peisy Nancroix valley, lock the bike at the end of the road and continue on foot up to Lac de la Plagne and a Refuge called Entre le Lac. It was 40 km in total, a 24 km…

Knotted Chains

Today was about bike building, buying food and sussing things out. Bike building involved a knotted chain which tested my zen bike maintenance skills. I was on the verge of splitting it and using my super-link, when I decided to think about it logically…

South London to Landry

The Plan was to get from South London to Landry, a small village close to Bourg Saint Maurice in the French Rhone Alps.  It involved many stages and means of transport, but the bit that stressed me out the most was going through central…

Alps Autumn 2016

With my first alpine trip becoming a distant memory,  I decided another trip was in order and much to my delight, the chalet extended my ‘residency’ to another three week trip. This time I built on my local knowledge and didn’t waste time disappearing…

R & R

T’was a day of rest, contemplation and noting down everything before I forgot it.  It felt like everything had lead up to the last ride; The Roselend Epic.  I couldn’t get it out of my head, but also couldn’t help wondering how many more epics there…

Last Chance Saloon

I awoke from a terrible nights sleep due to eating a huge portion of pasta the previous evening, and the women in the room upstairs going to the loo at least 3 times.  I couldn’t decide between Col de Madeleine (with a train ride)…

A low point

A bit of a low point for me. I don’t know if I was losing patience with the weather, or just using it as an excuse.  It was cold and wet, not pouring rain or freezing cold, just uninspiring.  I knew that my residency…

Photo-shoot and a surprise find

Predicting the weather was becoming a real obsession.  We decided that a photo shoot was in order, so set off with Sam, the bike and the dog in the van to find some worthy shots.  The bottom line was that the light was wrong. …

A Gravelly Descent

The plan to do the Roselend Epic (via the ‘closed’ Cormet d’Areches road) with a local cyclist called Ben had cratered. It was raining at 8 am and then again at 9 am and after a bout of email ping-pong we decided against it. …