The 2019 Festival was simply awesome. We had world class speakers and lots of inspiring films to enjoy.
You can download the full weekend programme below. This has details of all the talks and workshops which took place.
2019 talks and workshops
Tales from the road
Free LEJOG (Tom Allen)
Cuba unplugged: A journey through 60 years of revolution (Frank Burns)
A literary cycling tour of the north of England (Caroline Burrows)
Family cycle touring – on land, on water, on rails, on bikes (Louise Clines & family)
Cycling central America (Megan Fitch)
Out of Africa: Mwanza to Muscat (Pete Gostelow)
Wall to wall: from the UK to China (Peter & Christine Lloyd)
New perspectives on the Middle East (Rebecca Lowe)
Nine strangers, cycling across the USA (Rachel Lundy)
Carretera Austral – with kids (Ed March-Shawcross)
Cycling places you ain’t supposed to (Dan Martin)
‘Classic Rock’ by bike (Oli Warlow)
Tales of the unexpected – mishaps and surprises from a senior cyclist (Ann Wilson)
I’ve got two weeks – where should I go? (panel)
I’ve got a weekend – where should I go? (panel)
Cheap bicycle touring hacks: how to make your money last on a long distance tour (Tim Millikin)
Flying with bikes (Neil Wheadon)
Cycling UK’s offroad LEJOG (Sam Jones of Cycling UK)
Grown up gap years (Debs – Brakes and Cakes)
Camp stove cookery (Sharon Tomlinson & Laura Moss)
Mind, body, planet
Adventures in the Andes: The Life Cycle biodiversity bike ride (Kate Rawles)
Campsite yoga: keep your back healthy and pain-free while on tour (Stephen Lord)
Tread lighter (Libby Bowles)
Mental health and cycling (panel)
Hear from the Cicerone authors
Rediscovering Wales (Richard Barrett)
Cycling into history (Richard Barrett)
Cycling the Camino de Santiago (Mike Wells)
A trail of two cities: cycling from London to Paris (Mike Wells)
Bushcraft: Intro to bushcraft
Bushcraft: Tools and gadgets
Bushcraft: Creative cooking
Creative writing workshop (Caroline Burrows)
Film making workshop (Geoff Broadway and Barry Godin)
Star gazing – weather dependent (John McGuire)
Tarp making (Brenda Cupryna)
Tarp pitching (Graham Ashton)
Ready, steady, COOK: the great camp stove cook-off
Punctures and roadside bodges (Ghyllside Cycles)
Gear and brake adjustment (Ghyllside Cycles)
Broken chains / tools for the road (Ghyllside Cycles)
Tubeless demystified (Ghyllside Cycles)
Wheelbuilding (advance booking required by contacting Ghyllside Cycles)
Cycle touring kit
Our favourite bits of kit to take on tour (Megan Fitch)
Choosing luggage (Richard Hallett)
Frame building (Richard Hallett)
Cycle electronics and lighting (Richard Hallett)
Family cycling equipment (Chris Leakey)
Bivis and tents – show and tell (Tim Moss)
Children are welcome to any of our talks and workshops, but there will be some specific child-friendly activities going on, including a special session on bike maintenance for children and a family tent with games on offer.
PLUS tell us your own story in the Open Mike session on Saturday night! You will have three minutes to tell us about your adventure before the bell is rung and you have to get off the stage.
Tom has undertaken bicycle journeys on five continents and is a creative explorer, film-maker and author. Well-known in the cycle touring community for the film Janapar and his blog TomsBikeTrip.com, he is still attempting to move beyond being ‘that guy who cycled round the world and got married to an Iranian girl’ by leading the development of the Transcaucasian Trail across Armenia and Georgia.
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.
Caitlin really likes creating open spaces for people to learn and ask questions. She works as one of the coordinators, and as a cycle mechanic and teacher, at Broken Spoke Bike Co-op — a community cycling project based in Oxford.
Having spent 6 years working underwater with the world’s largest sharks, rays and turtles, Libby has witnessed the impact of humans on the marine environment. She mixes a love of marine conservation and education, accepting a pupil’s challenge to take action, on a homemade bamboo bike. Libby is back in the UK after cycling in Australia, New Zealand and southern Africa. She continues her mission with a rather unusual new sidekick.
Geoff is a filmmaker and photographer and looks after the film programme at the Cycle Touring Festival. He re-discovered the joys of cycle touring 8 years ago and now heads off each year to explore different parts of the UK and beyond by bike. His travels have included cycling across Spain, following the length of the Danube river and exploring the wilds of Romania.
Frank joined as a life member of the CTC (now Cycling UK) in 1978, the year of its 100th birthday. The excruciatingly painful memory of his first 100 mile reliability ride is still with him, but it ignited the fire that was to lead to a lifetime of club riding, audaxing, and long distance adventuring. His first ever tour was to the Pyrenees in Cataluña, and in succeeding years, he has ventured across some 25 countries, including end-to-ends of Japan and New Zealand.
Caroline Burrows is a cyclist, writer, and a teacher. As a cyclist, she’s taken her bike to Argentina, wondering why she was the only one obeying the ‘Prohibido adelantar’ road signs for no overtaking; and in Mexico was glad she’d had her rabies vaccinations when chased by a pack of dogs. Closer to home, she’s done a Literary Tour of the North of England seeking out the authors and locations from the novels she studied during her degree.
She is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing, and in between deadlines, is trying to explore more of the North of England even though the Pennines keep getting in the way.
Debs admits being ‘generally rubbish’ at cycling, but following a leisurely ten-day tour of Normandy got the bug for touring and next took on the pointy mountains of New Zealand. Since then she and Jo Welford have completed a two-year bike ride across 30 countries, racking up just under 20,000 miles and almost as many cakes. Debs is also an Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion, and they are both now back settled in their respective careers trying to squeeze as much cycling adventure time out of holidays and weekends.
Sam likes helping people learn more about mechanics and cycling to improve their cycling journeys. He’s been in the industry for ten years, and has still found no better bike than a fixie (even if it sometimes makes him cry). He also works at Broken Spoke Bike Co-op in Oxford.
The Clines Family
We are Jeremy (50), Louise (42), Esther (9) and Nathaniel (7). We’re a car-free family that loves to travel. Happiest taking off on our bicycles with our camping gear in tow, we also use trains and ferries to boost us along the way. Our lifestyle aims to be as eco-aware as possible yet there are compromises the whole time. In the last year we have enjoyed a five week trip overland through the Netherlands and Germany to Finland by bike, ferry and train as well as cycling from Liverpool to Sheffield on the Trans Pennine Trail during a chilly October half-term.
Megan started in the cycle touring business in 2008 by helping kickstart a small online garage business, The Bike Trailer Shop, geared towards selling items which made cycle touring and commuting easier. She started a blog after she became a mother to promote sharing activities you love with your family, in order to pass on that same love to future generations.
She has toured over 15,000 miles worldwide with her daughter, and cycle commuted some 40,000+ miles as a family. Megan and her family currently live in Bray, Ireland.
Barry started mountain biking, racing downhill and adventures such as the multi day Tour of Mont Blanc. A few years ago he moved over to the world of bikepacking, and after multiple adventures he definitely now has the bug. To share his experiences, he produces 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.
Lucy started working with bikes three years ago and is now a mechanic, cycle trainer, ride leader, and frame builder.
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.
Sam Jones works at the national charity Cycling UK as Senior Campaigns and Communications officer. When he’s not campaigning for safer roads or increased access in the UK, he’s either busy planning his next adventure whether it’s on two wheel or his two pins, or trying to squeeze one into the nights between his working day. His current pet project being to make sure he sleeps outdoors at least once a month for 2019, an idea he has nearly sold successfully to his colleagues now spring has arrived.
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.
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, 6 and 3 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.
Christine & Peter Lloyd
Peter and Christine moved to Cumbria about 35 years ago and, having both sort of retired, dreamt up the idea of cycling the “Wall to Wall”: Hadrian’s Wall to the Great Wall of China.
In January 2017, they kissed their grandchildren goodbye and set off eastwards to China. They have cycled over 20,000 km and are booked on a container ship which will (hopefully!) get them back in the UK for the 2019 Cycle Touring Festival.
Stephen Lord wrote the first two editions of Adventure Cycle-touring Handbook. In 2016 he qualified as a CHEK Practitioner, teaching holistic health, lifestyle and exercise.
In July 2015, Rebecca set off on a year-long, 11,000km solo cycle ride through Europe and the Middle East to Tehran. Her main aims were simple: to challenge preconceptions about this long-misunderstood region; to survive; and to develop buns of steel that would be the envy of all she met. She will leave it to the audience to gauge her success.
Rebecca works as a journalist specialising in human rights and the Middle East. She is currently writing a book about her journey, which explores past and present connections between the Middle East and the West. It is due to be published by Michael O’Mara in 2020.
Rachel Lundy describes herself as an ordinary woman who loves exploring countries by bicycle. In 2012 she set her first goal to cycle the length of the UK. She loved it and promised herself she would cycle as many places as possible. After a bad day at work in 2016, she decided to give up her job and meet up with 8 strangers to independently cycle across the USA. This is the story she will tell at the 2019 festival.
Ed & Charly March-Shawcross
Ed, Charly, Izzy (aged 7) and Will (aged 5) have been cycle touring together since Izzy was born and before Will had been thought of. They love spending time together outdoors, cycling, climbing, running and playing.
They have taken lots cycle touring holidays in Europe and then in 2018 Ed and Charly resigned from their jobs and took to the road on ‘The Big Trip’, through northern Europe and then Patagonia. They returned from their adventures at the start of May but ‘The Big Trip 2’ is already being planned.
Dan has cycled fifty thousand miles from London to Cape Town via the Middle East and the eastern coast of Africa in 2004/5, from Korea to Cape Town via the Axis of Evil and the west coast of Africa in 2007/8, and from Saudi Arabia to Johannesburg via Yemen, Somaliland, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2014/15.
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.
Tim cycled 46,500km around the world between May 2015-2018. He says that simply riding his bike makes him happy whether this is short or long trips. On his around the world bike trip, he spent just £9,000 in three years, and travelling low budget by bike has enabled him to see the world in a unique perspective. He will be sharing his best money saving tips as this year’s festival.
Laura is the festival organiser. During 2013-4, she completed 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 was previously 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.
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 – was launched at the festival in 2018.
Kate is passionate about using adventurous journeys to raise awareness and inspire action on our major environmental challenges. She has recently returned from The Life Cycle: Colombia to Cape Horn by bamboo bike, exploring biodiversity loss.
A former lecturer in environmental philosophy, Kate set up Outdoor Philosophy to explore big questions about human/nature relations in nature rather than lecture theatres. In 2006, she cycled from Texas to Alaska along the spine of the Rockies exploring climate change. Her book about this journey, The Carbon Cycle; Crossing the Great Divide, was shortlisted for the Banff Mountain Festival Adventure Travel Award, 2012. Other ‘adventure plus’ journeys include the Gyre to Gaia ocean plastic pollution sailing voyage with Pangaea Exploration.
Mike Wells is an author of both walking and cycling guides.
He has been a keen cyclist for over 20 years. After completing various UK Sustrans routes, such as Lon Las Cymru in Wales and the C2C route across northern England, he then moved on to cycling long-distance routes in continental Europe and beyond. These include cycling both the Camino and Ruta de la Plata to Santiago de la Compostela, a traverse of Cuba from end to end, a circumnavigation of Iceland and a trip across Lapland to the North Cape. He has written a series of cycling guides for Cicerone following the great rivers of Europe.
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.www.cyclingukholidays.com
Oli tries to use his bicycle as much as he can to get around. It therefore seemed logical when he decided to complete all 82 rock climbs in the book ‘Classic Rock’ in 2018, to shun any motorised transport and just use his bike to get between them. This resulted in an incredible 3-month adventure from Cornwall to the Isle of Skye, 2000 miles of cycling, 27 climbing and cycling partners and even a 200mile diversion to attend a wedding.www.classicrockbybike.com@classicrockbybike
Ann retired from the telecommunications industry in 2009 and set off to see the world by bicycle. She travelled solo through 20 countries over 14 months and in the years since, she has added another 18 countries to the list. When she’s not cycling, she likes to spend her free time walking the Lakeland Fells.