The Cycle Touring Festival 2018 took place from 4 – 7 May. It was an incredible weekend of inspirational talks and practical workshops – plus the sun shone for the whole weekend, which is practically unheard of in Lancashire.
You can see more details by clicking the links below.
In the media
- We featured on Cycling UK’s website, with a lovely write-up from Stephen Fabes, one of our speakers (read it here).
- Andrew Sykes of Cycling Europe, another regular speaker at the festival, featured us on his website and podcast. See his posts about Saturday and Sunday or listen to his podcast.
What happened at the 2018 Festival?
We had the usual line-up of incredible speakers and workshops, who gave talks on everything from wheel building to astronomy. The full timetable, available below, gives a flavour of what took place.
These were the speakers we had at the 2018 event. We owe all our speakers a huge debt of gratitude, as they give up their time and knowledge for free.
Richard Barrett spent his working life as a professional marketer, but still found time for climbing, winter mountaineering and sea kayaking. He first visited the Harris hills as a teenager and became a regular visitor. He lived in North Harris for a number of years, where he and his wife ran a guest house and, although now a city-dweller, he still makes frequent forays to the Hebrides, reconnecting with the wilderness and catching up with old friends.
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.
At Broken Spoke Bike Co-op, people learn how to fix and ride their own bikes. We run a drop-in DIY workshop, mechanics classes, cycle training, women & transgender nights, build-a-bike classes for people who’re vulnerably housed, and Dr Bike events for our local community. We welcome people from all backgrounds & cycles and create ways for folks to contribute to community cycling culture in Oxford, and further afield.
We’re building a collaborative movement to enable cycling, fixing, and transforming our world!
Rohini and Darren Cash
Lee Craigie raced XC Mountain Bike for Scotland in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and for GB in World and European Championships. She has forced her way through bog and over high cols all over the Scottish Highlands and the French Alps including riding fully self supported off road on a Fatbike from Geneva to Nice. Lee has also completed the Highland Trail 550 and Tour Divide races.
As well as riding her bike, Lee is also a director of The Adventure Syndicate – which aims to encourage an enable women and girls to challenge themselves – and has re-engaged countless young people who have been excluded from school through Cycletherapy, a mountain bike project in Scotland.
Rachel Crolla is an outdoors all-rounder who loves hiking, biking, scrambling and climbing. She grew up in Yorkshire, where she still lives with her partner Carl McKeating and their young family. Rachel is an outdoors writer and photographer who is also trained as a journalist and teacher. In 2007 Rachel became the first woman to reach the summit of every country in Europe – she co-wrote the Cicerone guide book Europe’s High Points soon afterwards. Rachel has since co-written a guide to the mountains of the Massif Central in France and more recently has enjoyed writing about areas in the UK. She and Carl have recently fully updated the Cicerone guide book Scrambles in Snowdonia, which was originally written by Steve Ashton in 1980. Rachel’s first cycling guide to the Yorkshire and Lancashire-based Way of the Roses will be published in 2018. Rachel and Carl are passionate about enthusing the next generation of hikers and cyclists with a love of the outdoors.
Stephen Fabes is a medical doctor and writer who spent six years cycling around the world, crossing six continents, 75 countries, and riding 86,209 km a distance equivalent to more than twice around the earth. En route he visited remote medical projects set up to help different marginalised communities.
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.
Peter is an English language teacher whose bicycle adventures have taken him through over 70 countries – including cycling from Japan-UK and UK-South Africa. Between 2015-2016 he rode from East Africa to the Arabian Peninsula – a journey he will be sharing at this year’s cycle festival.
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.
Ishbel Holmes (AKA World Bike Girl)
Chris loves cycling for every day transport and leisure. He started cycle touring at University in 2003. In 2009 Chris and girlfriend, now wife, Liz spent 2.5 years on a cycling trip between NZ and UK, completing about 10,000 miles by bike.
Now with a family of two kids, 4 and 2 years old, Chris cycles most places in Manchester with his kids and has started a company called Bambino Biking that helps people get out cycling with their children. Offering trial and advice sessions in local parks, hire and sales of cycling equipment.
Chris’s family did a 10-day cycle camping trip in the Netherlands in 2017, eating ice cream and building sand castles. They plan to do a few more in 2018.
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.
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.
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.