A 1986-style Devon Coast To Coast

selective focus photography of black cassette tape

1986 was a great year – Duran Duran were a supergroup, and it was my last year of school, in South Africa. In 1986, computers existed – I owned a Sinclair ZX Spectrum – but it was largely the pre-digital era. Mobile phones weren’t a thing, so you couldn’t phone people as such, only places, … Read more

The WillCam mount options

Some people seem to have had a little difficulty in figuring out how to use the different mount options that comes with each WillCam, so I put these instructions together to help. The bike mount options First up, we’ll look at the options for mounting the WillCam to your bicycle (not your helmet). Your new … Read more

Potholes and Pavements, by Laura Laker

Potholes and Pavements: A bumpy ride on Britain's National Cycle Network, by Laura Laker

I must confess a few things I thought before reading this book:1) Laker is a journalist, and British journalism is probably at it’s lowest, and least trustworthy, ever. As a result, not knowing Laker’s work very well, I was seriously apprehensive.2) I’ve written about Sustrans and the NCN before, so thought there wouldn’t be much … Read more

Le Grand Tour – by Andrew P Sykes

I’ve a confession to make, right from the outset: I’ve read all of Sykes’ books, and I’m a big fan of his work. Why am I starting a book review with this disclosure? Simple: this will be a positive review. However, it’s a positive review because it’s a great book, and not because of his … Read more

#RideForGaza

WillCycle isn’t meant to be political, as in, I have deliberately and intentionally kept politics off this site. I’m not about to change that. This is not a political post. Instead, it’s a call for basic human decency, and human rights, alongside a call to accept the rule of law. Have you ever heard someone … Read more

And they called it puppy love

I have a new love in my life: he’s called Alfie, and he’s the most adorable ball of fluff I’ve seen in a while. Alfie’s a Shih Zu puppy, though I’m convinced there’s another breed in there somewhere, too. I’m not a Kennel Club snob, and while I have nothing against “pure breed” dogs, I … Read more

Why do you ride?

woman in brown coat riding a bicycle

When I got back into cycling, it was because my kids – still little at the time – wanted to go riding further than just up and down the pavement in front of the house where we used to live. As a result, I got a really cheap mountain bike, which I absolutely loved! That … Read more

Cycle tour destroyer

If like me, you spend considerable time planning and preparing for a cycle tour, then you’ll be excited when the day comes to go cycle touring. Finally, a chance to escape the everyday humdrum of life, and explore the world in the best way possible: on two wheels, and under your own efforts. Because you’re … Read more

Best-value helmet cam

So, you’re looking for a decent-quality cycling helmet camera? You want a battery life of around two and a half hours, decent video quality (4K), digital image stabilisation, AND WiFi connectivity, right? The WillCam OK, I don’t manufacture these, but as I do sell them, I get to name my product. From the outset I … Read more

Upgrade is the new N+1

Upgrade is the new N+1

My bike is, as I’m writing this, eight years old, and has carried me over many thousands of miles. As you’d expect, it took a battering over that time, including a few crashes. Most cyclists know the supposed formula of N+1 to determine the ideal number of bikes to own. In that formula, N equals … Read more

Peace of mind when solo cycle touring

A 70 year old reader of my newsletter, The Spirit Of Adventure (you are signed up, aren’t you?) emailed me, explaining health issues he overcame, and asked the following: “So the question I have is, while venturing out alone, whether cycle camping or touring, what would your top ten tips be for planning a trip … Read more

Book review – Wild Camping the Wild Atlantic Way

Wild Camping the Wild Atlantic Way - a book about cycle touring the Wild Atlantic Way

Every traveller’s journey is unique to them, and is a snapshot in time. This book tells the story of when I cycled the bottom half of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. If I had to cycle exactly the same route today, I’d end up with a completely new, and different experience. This is my adventure, and … Read more

Just be

For most of your life, you were told to become this, or become that, or to strive to be better, be different, or simply be something else. Far too many cyclists – on a daily basis, and as a normal part of their ride – try to be faster. Many try to be the fastest … Read more

Top ten worst things about cycle touring

Obviously, I remain an enormous fan of cycle touring, and often wish I was financially able to go cycle touring for half the year, every year. And why not? After all, you get to experience so many wonderful things, see stunning sights, and meet interesting people along the way. However, cycle touring isn’t just moonshine … Read more

Dart Valley Cycleway

The view along the Dart Valley Cycleway

Dart Valley Cycleway cycle route overall rating: ⭐⭐ This 6.3 mile route is gorgeous, and will make a great day out, but is quite a mix. From the outset, you need to understand that the entire route isn’t traffic-free. Surface on the Dart Valley Cycleway Most of the route has a good tarred surface, but … Read more

10 Cycle touring mistakes

ten mistakes when cycle touring

We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. Here’s a list of mistakes that are easy to make when cycle touring, and easy to avoid. 1 – Not taking your time My advice for planning a tour is simple: take your leisurely cycling speed, on a laden bike and similar terrain, then work out what … Read more

Keeping your cool

How to keep cool when cycle touring on hot days

With climate change comes the reality of hotter days. When cycle touring, that has real-world implications for you, in multiple ways. You No matter how advanced we may think of ourselves as a species, the fact remains that we’re still only mammals. That means our bodies like to remain with a core temperature of around … Read more

Kit review – Time ATAC XC4 pedals

Time ATAC XC4 pedal review

Time ATAC XC4 pedals overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A kit review for pedals? Yes! Because ATAC XC4 aren’t your normal bicycle pedals. In a world dominated by Shimano pedals, ATAC XC4 pedals offers numerous advantages. Knee problems can be solved by pedals? During an Audax ride I did in 2023, I was chatting with a rider … Read more

Wet-weather camping

Strategies for camping in the rain

If you do cycle touring in the UK, and you usually camp along the way, sooner or later you’ll end up camping in the rain. After all, the UK is luscious and green because of the rain we get, so you can’t really complain. Of course, not all wet-weather camping is the same. It depends … Read more

Kit Review – West Biking Panniers

Kit review of West Biking 25 litre panniers

West Biking 25 litres panniers overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Panniers are essential cycle touring pieces of kit, as well as extremely useful for commuting. Generally speaking, price tends to be an indicator of quality, and you get what you pay for. However, there are exceptions! Around seven months ago, I decided it was time to replace … Read more