These are some of the speakers we have welcomed to the CTF in the past. Details of the speakers for the virtual CTF in 2021 will be added here over the coming weeks.
Rob Ainsley is a cycling writer, but does more cycling than writing. He’s collecting international End to Ends, has ridden all Britain’s rhyming coast to coasts, and once biked to all the places in the world called ‘Bath’. He lives in York but is usually somewhere else.
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.
25 years ago, Mikel started travelling by bike. Initially with his wife Rose and later with their children Eki and Lur, they’ve enjoyed family cycling holidays every year since.
He is the author of some books and articles about cycle touring.
Tim and his wife were looking forward to an Indian summer of tandem touring when illness intervened. Faced with supporting his wife through chemotherapy in London, Tim decided to ride a London orbital multi-day route on the days she was in hospital. When he couldn’t find one, he decided to create one using public transport for access. When not in London, Tim and his wife enjoy walking and cycling in the Lake District.
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.
Caroline Burrows of VerseCycle will be presenting her talk about ‘A Literary Cycling Tour of The North of England: from Jane Eyre to Dracula’ in which she cycled to locations and landscapes associated with authors, poets and their works, even though the Pennines got in the way. She writes and performs short stories and poetry, which are often about cycling, but sometimes about love and heartbreak, or depression and anxiety. Her work can be found on YouTube/Facebook/IG/Twitter: VerseCycle.
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, Louise, Esther and Nathaniel. 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.
Lilith Cooper and Abi Melton
Lilith (they/them) and Abi (she/her) are a queer couple who, after wobbling off on their first cycle tour in 2016 clutching a Google Maps print out, have never looked back. Together they help run the Edinburgh Zine Library and when they aren’t riding bikes, or in Lilith’s case trying to convince Fife College students to ride theirs, they are making zines and running community art workshops. Their first book ‘Gears for Queers’ is published June 4th 2020. They live in Kirkcaldy, Fife.
On Fool’s Day, 1985, John set out on a two year solo odyssey from Cork to North Cape to Cape Town, via Madagascar and ending in Harare, Zimbabwe – 33 countries, 33,000kms and ‘long before the tech-umbilical’.
His book ‘Quondam: Travels in a Once World’ recounts not only the inner rawness and surrealness of that experience but the consequences thereafter.
Jacqui Godfrey & Dominic Strowbridge
Jacqui completed the British Cycle Quest last October and is now one of the volunteers managing the Quest. She is also British Cycling’s Breeze area coordinator for South London and started ‘collecting’ BCQs on the recommendation of a fellow Breezer. Her partner Dominic still has 140 to go but Jacqui doesn’t mind revisiting clues with him. It’s a great excuse to see the best bits of Britain by bike
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.
Eleanor is a Welsh lass living in Bristol. She’s always ridden a bike to get around but really discovered two weels as a way of exploring and discovering new places when she was procrastinating on her PhD thesis. She’s dabbled in everything from touring around Scotland to racing across Europe and last year rode Paris-Brest-Paris on a fixed gear so has developed an eagle eye for elevation profiles!
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.
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.
Ed & Charly March-Shawcross
Ed, Charly, Izzy and Will 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.
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.
Fearghal is from Dublin. He teaches at a comprehensive in South London, travels adventurously and writes and speaks on Adventure, Education and Geography.
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.
Andrew Sykes was a mild-mannered secondary school teacher of French when he decided one summer to get on his bike and cycle to visit a friend in southern Italy. He wrote the popular cycling travelogue ‘Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie‘ based upon his experiences as a naive touring cyclist and has published two more books since. He can be found blogging and podcasting at www.cyclingeurope.org
Jack began has been exploring the British countryside ever since he set up a school cycle touring club as a way to avoid having to kick a ball around a muddy playing field. He is the author of the bestselling Lost Lanes series of cycling guidebooks and has written about cycling for The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Rouleur and all the main cycling magazines. In 2004 he started presenting The Bike Show, a cycling radio show on London’s art-radio station Resonance FM. It’s now podcast and has had more than 5 million downloads. He lives in Abergavenny, on the edge of the Black Mountains in Wales and is gently introducing his two children (aged 6 and 4) to the pleasures of travelling by bike.
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.
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.