Posted by: paulgilders | December 27, 2011

Previous Cycle Tours

Just to give you a flavour of what is to come, I thought I’d outline some of my previous cycle tours.

Grand Teton National and Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA, 1992

Cycle touring for me really started back in 1992. I had started cycling when I was without a car during my 2-year period in the US. After a year or so of work, I took a month off to tour some key parts of the country. As part of this vacation, I decided to hire a bike from Jackson Hole and undertake a 5-day tour around the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.  It was a stunning 5 days – hot days and very, very cold nights.


Southern England, 1995

Back in the UK in 1995 I had a yearning to go touring again and decided to take an 8-day solo tour around England. I didn’t camp, but stayed mostly at Youth Hostels to make an anticlockwise circumnavigation of London – taking back-roads all the way. Highlights were the Malvern Hills, the Cotswolds and the back roads of Kent and Sussex.


Oslo, Norway, 1995

Also in 1995 I was lucky enough to get sent to a conference in Oslo. After the conference I had 3 days to myself and hired a bike to cycle lovely gravel tracks to the north of Oslo. No camping on this occasion – relying on ski station accommodation. The air was wonderfully cool and clean.


Southern England Coast-to-Coast, 1996

In 1996, my mountain-biking friend, Shaun, and I decided to ride one of the many Coast-to-Coast routes in the UK. We chose the Southern off-road route from Weston-Super-Mare to Eastbourne. The week was one of my most pleasurable cycling experiences – fantastic quiet trails, mostly along the top of the Ridgeway or the Downs with the added bonus of credit card touring – i.e. warm showers every night and a few pints of beer to assist with recovery.

To finish the tour on top of the white cliffs of Beachy Head was an incredible sensation.


Ireland, 1997

In 1997, Gill, Tom and I went on a tour of Ireland. Tom was only 4, but was a happy sleeping traveller most of the time. We cycled from Rosslare across to Waterford and then took a train to the west coast to cycle around the Bearer Peninsula. We struggled with some of the incredibly steep slopes – more built for tractors than cyclists.


New Zealand, 1998

In 1998, on our way to Australia, we stopped off in California and in New Zealand. We spent 5 weeks in New Zealand – starting at Auckland and making our way to Napier. We then took a train down to Wellington and crossed to South Island – initially cycling to Nelson from Picton and then taking a bus down to Greymouth and cycling from there to Lake Wanaka. The highlight of the trip was our crossing Haast Pass. We had to do a little bit of pushing, but it was a very satisfying day. The picture on the header of the blog is of Tom and I cycling past Mount McKinlay on the West Coast.


Tasmania, 2007

After a cycle-touring drought of 10 years, at the end of 2007, we managed to get away to Tasmania for a 3 week tour. Poppy and I cycled on the tandem while Gill and Tom had their individual bikes. Tom also pulled a heavy trailer and was still faster than the rest of us. Here we are camping at the little town of Snug on our way to Bruny Island.


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