These are some of the speakers currently lined up for the 2018 Cycle Touring Festival.
More speakers will be announced as we get closer to the event.
Jenny Bell and Lars Henning
Jenny and Lars rode mountain bikes from Mexico to Colombia with a tiny Mexican guitar. They will perform original songs and share stories inspired by the people, music and culture they encountered on their journey.
Rohini and Darren Cash
I started mountain biking, racing downhill and adventures such as the multi day Tour of Mont Blanc. Two years ago I moved over to the world of bikepacking, and after 14 adventures in that space of time, you could say I now have the bug. To share my experiences, I produce films of my adventures that hopefully inspire people to go out and explore the beautiful world we live in.
After a career spanning two decades testing and reviewing bicycles and writing on cycling technology for some of the UK’s leading cycling publications, Richard is currently technical editor of Cycle magazine. His day job is building award-winning custom bicycles at his workshop in west Wales.
Stephen Lord wrote the first two editions of the Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook. After a couple of longish bike tours, he decided to go into personal training and holistic health coaching, recently qualifying as a CHEK practitioner specialising in corrective exercise.
John began touring in the 1970s and later raced for the Royal Navy throughout the 1980s. During the 1990s, given the important needs of a young family, he refocussed on a limited amount of cycle touring and middle distance athletics. With his children reaching their late teens in the early noughties and his aging body feeling the impact effects of middle distance running, he returned to full time cycling in the early 2000s.
Since then, he has developed a Keen interest in Audax riding and spent time touring throughout Britain, Belgium and the French Alps. More recently, bikepacking has caught his interest, with nights under canvas in dark sky areas giving him the opportunity to mix his passions for cycling and astronomy.
Alice has not long since returned from a two and a half year cycling honeymoon riding between picnic spots from the UK to New Zealand. As well as being a yoga teacher, Alice has recently set up a yoga studio in Hope. Her husband, Pete, runs ‘Adventure Pedlars’ a company specialising in inspiring and facilitating adventures by bike.
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.
Laura is a director of The Adventure Syndicate, a collective of female cyclists who aim inspire, encourage and enable more women and girls to get into cycling.
The book about Laura’s round-the-world cycle – With The Sun On Our Right – will be launched at this year’s festival.
Tim has supported over 100 expeditions across all seven continents. He’s organised expeditions in the Arctic and Himalaya, climbed new mountains in Kyrgyzstan and crossed frozen Lake Baikal on foot. 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, who organises the festival.
The book about Tim and Laura’s round-the-world cycle – With The Sun On Our Right – will be launched at this year’s festival.
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.
Three years later he was back in the saddle to cycle from Greece to Portugal for his follow-up book ‘Along The Med on a Bike Called Reggie‘. In 2015, to complete the trilogy of European rides, he embarked on Europe’s longest south to north ride. His adventures on his now semi-famous bicycle have been published in ‘Spain to Norway on a Bike Called Reggie’. Signed copies of the book will be available at the festival.
In 2015 James set off from the Cycle Touring Festival on his first solo trip which took him to Vietnam and back. He’s also cycled 20 countries in 100 days for Re~Cycle, the bikes to Africa charity. He’s writing a book, sometimes writes a blog and shares the experiences of his most recent trip in a talk titled The Consciousness Cycle.
Charlie Walker is an adventurer, writer and speaker. He specialises in long distance, human-powered expeditions, often by bicycle. He has cycled 50,000 miles through over 60 countries. Other adventures have included a 3-month unsupported ski trek in Russian Arctic winter, a 1,000-mile hike across the Gobi, a dugout canoe descent of a croc-infested Congolese river, and a crossing of Mongolia in the company of a semi-feral pony and a stray dog.
In 1981, Neil set out for a 4 week tour of Europe armed with a tent, touring bike and a map of Europe and hasn’t stopped since. Having tandemmed to Australia with his wife in 1997, Neil has since organised over 100 cycling holidays for both the Tandem Club and Cycling UK. Over the past 15 years, Neil has specialised in family holidays but this has combined with taking groups on bespoke trips all over the world from Sri Lanka to China, Cambodia to numerous locations in North America. Organising many of these from scratch has given Neil enormous pleasure and a deep insight into the joys and problems of taking groups around the world.
I retired from the telecommunications industry in 2009 and set off to see the world by bicycle. I travelled solo through 20 countries over 14 months and in the years since, I’ve added another 18 countries to the list. When I’m not cycling, I like to spend my free time walking the Lakeland Fells.