The 2015 Cycle Touring Festival was organised by Laura Moss with help from Tom Allen, Nancy Williams and Tim Moss.
Everyone who came to the festival in 2015 was given a blue bike bottle.
These bottles have since travelled all over the world.
2015 Programme of Events
The festival ran from the evening of Friday 1st May until the afternoon of Sunday 3rd.
Throughout the weekend there were a series of talks, workshops, competitions, films and other activities.
TALKS & WORKSHOPS
There were a selection of talks and workshops covering:
- What to look for in a touring bike
- On-road maintenance
- Writing for magazines and books
- Communicating your trip (including social media, blogs and websites)
- Extreme environments (including altitude, remote, cold, desert)
- Bike packing
- Cycling as a woman
- Filming your cycle tour
- Equipment for cycle touring (including tents, stoves, camping kit, and electronics)
There were also a series of regional talks to help people plan their own adventures in all corners of the world:
- UK and Ireland
- North America
- South America
- Australia & New Zealand
The festival is all about sharing stories and experience from the road, helping to build the community of cycle tourists. Each session had time built in for questions and discussion, plus there were plenty of other ways you could get involved throughout the weekend:
- Open-mic session: getting up and telling us your own tales of cycling adventures.
- Competitions: there were a couple of competitions over the course of the weekend.
And of course, there were plenty of opportunities to get out on the bikes and explore the beautiful Ribble Valley!
This is what people said they liked most last year:
“The whole weekend was just very inspiring”
“I have to say it’s the best event I have been to for a long time”
“My favourite thing was to be able to meet and chat with other cycle tourers and be part of the norm”
“I think it’s safe to say you are on to a winner here, the whole weekend was really well organised”
“The best part was just meeting and talking to other cycle travelers”
“The feeling of community was great. The food was good and the cakes were super too!”
“Inspirational, informative and confidence-instilling”
“The feeling of community from interesting people who were kind, considerate and open-minded”
“Being surrounded by so many like-minded people”
“Very informative from people who are experts in cycle touring, a great chance to actually meet other cycle tourists and exchange tips, trips, stories and advice”
“Very personal, not too big! Could easily grab a speaker for a 1-2-1. Availability of tea and coffee was a major bonus”
“Huge thanks to Laura, Tim and all the team for a fantastic weekend. I’ve never enjoyed a soggy camping trip so much! Thoroughly invigorated by hearing so many stories and travel tales, and meeting such smiling, boundless souls. The maps are out!”
“Thank you Laura and Tim for a wonderful weekend, and for an introduction to beautiful Lancashire which I will never again think of as ‘on the way to the Lake District’ “
“A cycle touring festival? Really? It does sound a bit unlikely doesn’t it? In actual fact, though, it proved to be huge success and very enjoyable indeed”
“What an amazing weekend it has been! It could not have come at a better time for me. Having stopped work at the end of December to set off on my bike, I was hoping to get tips and ideas, have questions answered and meet like-minded people. I got all that and much, much more. I have come away feeling inspired, humbled, affirmed, elated, reassured, itching to go and above all I feel I have found my tribe – a great group of people that get excited by the idea of moving on and exploring the world on a bike and are full of generosity and willingness to share.”
“Overall it was bloody great”
Speakers at the event included:
Emily Chappell is a London cycle courier and freelance writer, who to date has cycled across Asia and across Iceland, as well as numerous smaller trips in the UK and Europe. In 2015 she is undertaking two very different adventures: a snowbike journey from Anchorage to Seattle, and the Transcontinental Race – a non-stop, self-supported 4,000km dash from Flanders to Istanbul.
Tom Allen, 31, has undertaken bicycle journeys on five continents and is now a full-time travel writer and filmmaker. Reluctantly best known for the adventure film Janapar, and less reluctantly for his blog TomsBikeTrip.com, he is currently attempting to move beyond being ‘that guy who cycled round the world and got married to an Iranian girl’, with several new projects in the pipeline for 2015.
Helen Lloyd has cycled 45,000km through 45 countries on 4 continents – under the Saharan sun and across Siberia in winter. She has also made remote journeys by river and horse. Desert Snow is her debut book about her Africa ride.
Stephen Lord wrote the first two editions of the Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook. After 20-years of travel and mucking about, he is embarking on a new career as an exercise coach.
Pete & Alice McNeil
Pete & Alice have recently returned from a two and a half year cycling honeymoon riding between picnic spots from the UK to New Zealand. Alice, as well as being a yoga teacher, is now studying for a masters in physiotherapy. Pete, having worked in the cycling and adventure travel industries, now runs ‘Adventure Pedlars’ a company specialising in inspiring and facilitating adventures by bike.
Anna is a cycling instructor and mechanic living and working in London. She cycled 4000 miles solo round the coast of Britain in 2011 and has toured in many parts of the UK and in France. She loves a good long-distance bike ride, her longest and most favourite being the Dunwich Dynamo annual pilgrimage from London Fields to Dunwich on the Suffolk coast – 120 miles overnight!
Neil & Harriet Pike
Harriet and Neil Pike traded backpacks for bikes in 2008 and soon discovered the joy of using pedal power to get high. They’ve sought out mountain routes ever since, exploring Andean mine roads and pushing their Surlys over mountain passes in Ladakh. They are happiest when cycling to and hiking up big volcanoes on the Puna de Atacama. Having settled in Bristol, they are updating Trailblazer’s Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook.
Kevin Shannon is an adventurer, writer, speaker and entrepreneur from the UK. In 2010 Kevin set off from his home in Cheshire, UK and spent a year and a half cycling almost 10,000km’s around Europe – a journey that involved attempted muggings, being hit by a drunk driver and punching a wolf in the face (seriously). Kevin has also walked the length of Serbia (twice) and is currently writing his first book.
Currently he splits his time between his small creative design studio (Chips & Gravy Studios), writing and speaking about his expeditions and having a few micro-adventures.
Suzanne Forup is Assistant Head of Development at CTC and is based in Scotland. Suzanne put some miles under her wheels in Cuba, Panama, Costa Rice, Nicaragua and Southern India before becoming a mum in 2011. Now cycling requires a completely different packing list for Suzanne, mainly featuring copious snacks and Mr Elephant, her son’s favourite toy. Suzanne blogs about her family cycling adventures, and will be documenting her family’s first cycle tour through the Netherlands in mid-May.
Tim has supported over 100 expeditions across all seven continents. He’s organised large-scale Arctic and Himalayan expeditions, climbed new mountains in Siberia and hitch-hiked around the UK on a £100 budget. He’s also set a Guinness World Record for the longest distance cycled on a rickshaw and completed a 13,000 miles bike trip with his wife Laura.
Will Davies is a sound recordist and co-founder of Whalebone Films, a video production company specialising in documentary work. He has cycle-toured in Europe and South-East Asia and is planning a longer trip on a tandem with his soon-to-be-wife/business partner Chloe. They leave in March 2016.
Will Fulford-Jones & Ruth Jarvis
Ruth Jarvis and Will Fulford-Jones have toured widely on bikes, most recently on a 17-country, 22-month ride through the Americas from Rio de Janeiro to New York City. At home in London, they work in publishing; Ruth is a former cycling magazine editor and the author of The Cycling Handbook (Parragon).
Richard quit his day-job with the vague notion of taking his own voyage of discovery around the world. Whilst looking for the right bike, he realised that the UK didn’t have a touring bike manufacturer he wanted to buy from, and that perhaps there was demand for a truly personal service that didn’t cost the earth. He put his own travel ideas on hold while he took himself on a new voyage of discovery – building bikes for a living. He makes between 8 and 12 bikes a month from his workshop in the Oxfordshire countryside.
Katherine & Steve Turner
Steve and Katherine Turner decided to take a one way flight to New Zealand with a tandem to see if they could cycle back home to the UK. It took them nearly two years to do so but they arrived back in London at the end of March last year.
Gregory Yeoman has worked in travel and tourism for 22 years, starting out in 1994 with one of the UK’s leading adventure tour operators, designing and leading cycling and mountain biking holidays in various countries around the world. He has cycled on all 7 continents, adding Antarctica to the list in December 2003, and has planned and completed the following major cycle expeditions:
Nottingham to Athens, St Petersburg to Vladivostok, Murmansk to St Petersburg, 8000 miles around Australia, and John O’Groats to Land’s End for the MS Society.
Editor of Cycling World & Cycling World Ireland. A passionate writer who loves to explore and map addict who invariably gets lost! His two wheeled journey began several years ago and has blossomed into something unexpected but wonderfully rewarding. He gets to travel to so many beautiful places and all because of the simple bicycle. If he can do it then so can you.
Jez works at Longstaff Cycles: founded by George Longstaff they continue the tradition of high quality fillet brazed bicycles, tricycles and tandems. They have plenty of adventure, guiding plus hundreds of thousands of miles of cycling experience over the years, enabling them to help build and prepare your dream machine.
Tom has spent most of his life riding bikes. In 2011, at the age of 24, he cycled around the world, crossing Europe, Asia and the USA in 10 months. Since then, he’s cycled over the world’s highest pass, toured in China on a £15 folding bike and completed numerous trips in Europe. Tom believes that cycle touring is the most rewarding way to travel and plans many more trips in the future.
Starting in Pakistan and finishing in Quito nearly 2 years later, Cress cycled around much of the world, mainly solo. She delivers motivational talks about her bike trip with humour and humility. As an expedition leader and Ambassador for Bramwell International she regularly travels, writes blogs and tests kit providing balance and contrast to her ‘day job’ as a leadership coach and trainer.
Formerly assistant manager at a well known touring specialist, Ben has an encyclopedic knowledge of bicycle technology and its application to bicycle touring. He has spent the last 5 years, designing, maintaining and riding touring bikes, travelling in the UK and Europe both on and off road to understand what works and what doesn’t.
Kate cycled from Texas to Alaska in 2006, criss-crossing the Rockies & exploring N.American responses to climate change. The Carbon Cycle; Crossing the Great Divide (Two Ravens Press, 2012) was short-listed for the Banff Adventure Travel Book Award. Her next ‘journey with a purpose’ will involve S.America, the Andes and biodiversity….
Kate lives in Cumbria and is a keen hill-walker, sea-kayaker and book worm – as well as a lover of cycling, preferably hilly.
Hannah Reynolds & John Walsh
Hannah Reynolds is Fitness Editor for Cycling Weekly, Cycling Active and Cycling Fitness magazines. She is coauthor of Bloomsbury publications “Fitter, Faster, Further”, a guide to sportive preparation and “Get on your Bike”, an introduction to how to stay safe, get fit and be happy cycling.
Nicholas J Dinsdale BSc (Hons), MSc, MSST
Clinical Director of NJD Sports Injury & Bikefit Centre
Nicholas is recognised as one of UK’s leaders in Bikefitting – through his unique 3-Step Integrated Bikefit-Package approach – designed to harmonise Man-and-Machine. A former Sports Therapist to GB Cycling teams and Manchester Wheelers. His unique research into the Shoe/Pedal interface has been disseminated worldwide. Nicholas is a regular speaker at Conferences and winner of two National Cycling Titles.
Laura is the festival organiser. She recently returned from a 16 month, 13,000 mile cycle around the world through 27 different countries. Elsewhere she has crossed the Wahiba Sands desert on foot, walked across Patagonia and run the length of every London Underground Tube line.