|Corax is a hardcore Swedish cyclist-cum-mountaineer who spends all his time in the mountains, miles from civilisation with a few bags of instant noodles for company. His website inspired us to begin cycle touring, and though he doesn’t update it these days, he’s still out there doing amazing stuff.|
Cass Gilbert has our favourite touring blog – one that is constantly giving us new ideas. He cycles the kind of dirt routes we love, takes excellent photos and writes beautifully. On top of this he’s been excellent company for a few months in Huaraz.
Whenever we’re battling a gale on the Puna or can’t feel our hands on a soggy descent from a pass we cast our minds to these lot. Worsley in his little boat, or Cherry-Garrard camping in -70C. Helps remind us we aren’t even close to knowing the meaning of the word ‘suffering’.
Cycle Friends and Blogs We Read
- Matt Pierle doesn’t have a website, but was the first cyclist we ever rode with and we love him dearly. Sorry we made you cycle through Tierra del Fuego at such a pace!
- Frogs On Bents: We met Ben and Sylvie and their funny recumbent bikes on the Carretera Austral. After a 2 1/2 year RTW trip they’ve settled (for the time being) in Britain to start a family.
- Lorenzo: We’ve cycled longer with Lorenzo than with anyone else, and he has cycled for longer than any other cyclist we’ve met (16 years and counting). A beautiful person with a wonderful philosophy on life.
- Linda and Raul are ‘Casa de Ciclistas’ hosts in La Paz. Raul is an avid cyclist and helps organize a race UP the Death Road every year, whilst Linda runs ‘Helping Hands‘ – a small charity which assists marginalized Bolivian youths gain an education. They’re wonderful people who host cyclists. Let us know and we’ll put you in touch.
- Wishfish: We met Anna in Huaraz in July 2013 and enjoyed her company for a month. With a like-minded world view, we enjoy reading her well-written blog, and gawping at the lovely photos. Anna’s account of making framebags in 2011 encouraged Harriet to get the sewing machine out before we set off for the Himalayas.
- Big Sur: Sarah and James were another great Huaraz find. We like their travelling pace and attitude towards cycle touring, and hope to use it to our advantage to catch them up further south! Their site is a great read, and has beautiful photos. We’re slightly worried about their coffee problem though….
- Worldbiking: Eric and Amaya are up for anything – be it mountains, deserts or jungle – as they look to fulfill their quest to cycle every country in the world. We’ve never met, but feel as though we have. One day our paths will cross.
- Bicycle Nomad: Another set of virtual friends, Sarah and Tom cycle the same kind of ripio roads we revel in. Their website has loads of useful route information as well as fascinating tales from the road.
- Cycling the 6: Steve Fabes’ blog is a fantastic read. Follow his back road adventures as he attempts to cycle the length of the six continents. Steve has cycled more of the routes on our Andes by Bike site than anyone else, and has helped hugely with contributions and updates.
- Na Krańcach Świata: We can’t even pronounce that but these guys are always up to something interesting. We translate their blog from Polish to follow their travels and their photography is simply spectacular. Can’t wait to see what they will do next.
- Bike Grease and Coffee: Kurt is bikepacking around the world on a fat bike. Very cool indeed.
- Pedaling Nowhere: is the site of Logan Watts – full of interesting tales, route info and great photography all related to bikepacking.
- Andes By Bike is the website we set up to help cyclists on remote unpaved routes in the Andes. Details on 8,000km of dirt and 80x4000m passes, and counting…
- Tour.tk and travellingtwo.com have everything a beginner needs to know about heading off on a bike tour. Tour.tk have a very useful PDF document about touring in SW Bolivia.
- GoBicycleTouring has links to heaps of blogs and useful resources.
- Bikepacking.net is a great resource if you want to make a frame bag or want ideas for going lightweight.
- Betzgi Veloreisen is an extremely useful site with lots of lovely stats and information about all the high passes he’s cycled.
- Cycletrailsaustralia.com – for those cycling in Australia, Graham has put together great route info on many back roads.
- GPS Visualizer has been invaluable to us for converting .gpx to Google Earth or Google Map files.
Stuff we like:
- Trailblazer Guides Laura Stone’s Himalaya by Bike is fantastic, as is the Trekking in the Everest Region guide. We’ve also used their trekking guides to Ladakh and Annapurna and been very happy with the wonderful hand-drawn maps and other useful info for getting away from the crowds. Stephen’s Lord’s Adventure Cycling Handbook helped us out a great deal when we set off on our first trip across Europe in 2008.
- Brixton Cycles, our local (when we’re in the UK) bike shop. It’s a commie cycle coop and the main stockist for Surly in the UK. The knowledgeable staff are always up for a chat about handlebar set ups, new components and anything else bike-related.
- Our MK3 tent from Integral Designs. A single wall lightweight mountaineering tent, it’s as solid as a rock and will take a beating from the wildest winds. Looks small, but is much more comfortable to sit out a storm in than our previous Mountain Equipment Dragonfly 3XT.
- H Pike frame bags. Not yet available commercially, but have worked superbly well on our Himalayan trip and Cordillera Blanca bikepacking jaunts.
- Marathon Extreme tyres – Schwalbe no longer make these, which is a real shame. We’ve found them to be excellent off-road, and they almost never puncture. For our purposes they’re much better than the heavier Marathon XRs, which we previously used.