Find out more about the 2017 Cycle Touring Festival:

See what talks and workshops took place

Download the full programme

Scroll down to see who the speakers were

Bikepacking in the Cairngorms

2017 Speakers

These are some of the speakers that we welcomed at the 2017 Cycle Touring Festival.

Geoff Allan

Geoff Alan - Cycle Touring Festival

Best selling Geoff Allan (humourously) talks about the experiences and challenges involved in writing his first publication, The Scottish Bothy Bible, which has become an instant hit with both outdoor and armchair readers alike. A true labour of love, the book contains detailed descriptions of each bothy listed, including fascinating histories, route descriptions and key local attractions, as well as stunning photography. The guide is celebration of the the unique network of open shelters which a remarkable feature of Scotland’s outdoor culture, and has already become a classic of the genre. 

Cress Allwood

Cress Allwood

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.

Heidi Carroll

Heidi Carroll - Cycle Touring Festival

Sam and Joe Carroll (10 and 8 years old), from the northeast of Scotland, have grown up thinking it’s normal to go cycle touring every holiday.   Their adventures began and grew in the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland islands.   Along the way, they found plenty of fun and wildlife.   (They’ve also toured in Faroes, Iceland and France). Last year, Mum and Dad, Heidi and Brad, didn’t have to work hard to persuade the boys to un-school and head to Japan for six months.  They combined cycling and wild camping with working as volunteers on organic farms (WWOOF), learned a lot about the rules of hot spring bathing, and ate a lot of rice.

Rohini and Darren Cash

Rohini & Darren Cash

We are Darren and Rohini Cash. We like the outdoors, food and wandering and we like to keep our lives simple. We tour by bike but also ride local having just moved to Snowdonia. Lately we have ridden the Tour de Manche, the Trans Pennine Trail and the Way of the Roses. We tend to use our GPSs for everything.

Barry Godin

Barry Godin - Cycle Touring Festival

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.



Richard Hallett

Richard Hallett

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.

Tom & Thomas Ivor

Tom & Thomas Ivor

Realising that having children had left dust on their bikes, Tom and wife Katie set about finding ways of exploring the world with a newborn, a toddler and a five-year-old. Thomas Ivor’s now off to climb and ride between Britain’s ‘Three Peaks’ in his own right, aged 7.

Presentation: “The Touring Diary of Thomas Jones, Age 7¾”

@FamilyByCycle and @Thomas_Ivor

Dan Joyce


Dan Joyce is the editor of Cycle, the magazine of Cycling UK (formerly CTC). He’s been a cycling journalist since 1991 and has probably published – and rejected – more touring articles than any other editor. He’s also written touring articles for other cycling magazines and the national press.

Helen Lloyd

Helen Lloyd - Cycle Touring Festival


Helen says she’s an engineer, but also writes books and spends most of her time doing other things… mostly in remote corners of the globe. Like cycling through Siberia in winter, packrafting in Nicaragua, horse-riding in Kyrgyzstan, and riding her motorbike across Africa. After a prolonged separation, she is now reacquainted with her mountain bike and, loving cycling again, has her sights set on the Iditarod race.


Stephen Lord

Stephen Lord

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.

Claire Mason

Claire Mason - Cycle Touring Festival

In June 2014 I embarked on an 18-month cycling adventure from London to Tokyo. Now back home, alongside working as an Assistant Psychologist, I decided to use my touring experience to design and create an eco-friendly, illustrated Cycling Travel Journal – which was successfully kickstarted last November. When not cycling I love wild swimming in the sunshine, and relaxing in a beer garden with a view.

Cycle Travel Journal

Joe McCool

Joe McCool

Joe is 65 years old and has been an active cyclist from about the age of 12.  A member of several cycling clubs over the years, he also introduced traditional touring to the Hillington CC, back in the 80’s.  He has toured in Scotland, South of England, Holland, Spain and France, but his real expertise is Ireland, which he will be speaking about at the festival.


Alice McNeil

Pete & Alice McNeil
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 Moss

Laura Moss

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.

Tim Moss

   Tim Moss

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.


Judith Pope


Judith is training the next generation of cycle tourers (her two boys) with various bike combos – as they are too young to ride solo and her eldest has special needs.  Enjoys exploring the UK and making frame bags.
Also long time employee of walking and cycling charity, Sustrans.

Laura Ricketts

Laura Ricketts - Cycle Touring Festival

Laura loves the wild places of the world and is always looking for an exciting journey to get her there. Her first cycle tour took her from her hometown of York to Turkey and back again. Since then she has cycle toured in smaller doses in Scotland, Cambodia, China and Kazakhstan. She is currently pedalling back to the UK from Saint Petersburg, arriving just in time for the festival!

Kev Shannon

Kev Shannon

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.

Ben Smith

Ben Smith

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.

Andrew Sykes

Andrew Sykes is a mild-mannered secondary school teacher of French who one summer decided to get on his bike and cycle to visit a friend in southern Italy. He subsequently wrote the popular cycling travelogue ‘Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie‘ based upon his experiences as a naive touring cyclist.

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.


James Thomas

James Thomas - Cycle Touring 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.



Scot Whitlock

Scot Whitlock

Editor and owner of Cadence digital cycling magazine and a successful author of several books. 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 and the pen. If he can do it then so can you.


Ann Wilson

Ann Wilson

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.

Ian Yarroll

Ian Yarroll

Ian has cycle toured in many parts of Europe  and the UK, including bikepacking trips to Iceland, the Alps and the Pyrenees  and  road tours to Spain, Ireland, France, and Scotland.  Ian’s current enthusiasms are exploring the back roads and dirt trails of Spain and island hopping in Scotland.