Cycling
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When strangers expressed astonishment at the length of our journey, our standard response was to shrug it off. ‘It’s not that tough,’ we’d say, pointing out that it was essentially just a lot of short bicycle rides one after the other. ‘The first ten miles are the hardest.’ This wasn’t just a glib response. Of...
Start spreading the news

Start spreading the news

Villa Laurinda, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 10am, 20 July 2013     640 days, 17 countries and 28,683km later…     Battery Park, Manhattan, New York City, USA 2pm, 21 April 2015     Made it.     from New York, NY, USA
Song of the South

Song of the South

To a European visitor, no part of the US feels more foreign than the South. This is not a matter of landscape or geography but of attitude. The South feels different because, for reasons both quantifiable and intangible, it is different, and because those who live there are happy to see those differences – their...
It's too late to stop now - A week in New Orleans

It’s too late to stop now – A week in New Orleans

Crossing the border from Mexico into the US six weeks ago felt like the end of… something. Leaving the Spanish-speaking Americas didn’t signal the climax of our trip; at the time, we still had more than 4,000km to ride. Even so, more than at any other border crossing, we sensed we were leaving behind a...
And finally...

And finally…

Several places bill themselves as the cradle of country music, which has long been an interest of ours, but few have a better claim than the handsome old railroad town of Meridian in eastern Mississippi. Meridian was the birthplace of the great Jimmie Rodgers, the Singing Brakeman, who became country’s first superstar in the late...
Two breaks for the border

Two breaks for the border

North of Mexico City lies a string of pretty old cities, settled by the Spanish in the 16th century as they mined the region for silver. Of those we visited, the most personable is Santiago de Querétaro, a checkerboard of squares and churches connected by immaculate residential streets. The most captivating is Guanajuato (pictured above),...
The fat of the land - Touring the Sierra Gorda

The fat of the land – Touring the Sierra Gorda

For all that we’ve enjoyed our time in Mexico, the cycling here has sometimes been a little utilitarian. There have been fine rides along the way – the two-day climb from the Guatemala border to San Cristobal de las Casas, the three-day oceanside stretch west of Salina Cruz, the up-and-over ribbon road connecting the coast...
Cycle Touring Festival, May 2015

Cycle Touring Festival, May 2015

About three weeks ago, we mentioned the launch of the Cycle Touring Festival, organised by fellow long-distance cycle tourist Laura Moss. The list of speakers and panellists has now been announced, and it’s an impressive collection: among those present will be Emily Chappell, currently cycling from Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle (and our favourite cycle blogger);...
Sunday in Mexico City

Sunday in Mexico City

Running diagonally through the heart of Mexico City, the Paseo de la Reforma is the kind of arrow-straight, tree-lined, monument-strewn boulevard that travel writers are contractually required to describe as ‘Parisian’. For six and a half days each week, this grand avenue is soaked with cars, buses, vans and taxis, honking and weaving and running...
In Oaxaca

In Oaxaca

It takes a stubborn cyclist to tour through Mexico without taking in the city of Oaxaca de Juárez. The alternative routes through the country to the north are apparently a bore, while bypassing the city to the south requires an extended visit to the troubled state of Guerrero. It’s not quite correct to say that...
On the up

On the up

From the city of Campeche, a colonial jewel box on the banks of the Atlantic, we rode for 12 consecutive days to reach the beaches of Oaxaca – south-west on the edge of the Gulf Coast, west through the heartland of Mexico’s oil industry, south to cross the country at its thinnest point, then west...
Veinte mil

Veinte mil

When Will pulled into the Guatemalan town of Huehuetenango a month ago, his eyes met those of a tall, lanky man who’d just stepped out of a minibus. The man was wearing a giant rucksack, which led Will to assume that he was a backpacker. However, when he immediately pointed to Will’s panniers, acknowledging with...