Penzance – Plymouth Pootle – a Travelling Ouballies Ride

Penzance – Plymouth Pootle I’ve wanted to cycle from Penzance to Plymouth for ages now, hugging the coastline. It’s an absolutely stunning part of the world, though as anyone would tell you, Cornwall is hilly. What makes things worse is hugging the coast inevitably means going up and down even more. Now to be fair, … Read more

Brighton Bimble – a Travelling Ouballies ride

Will, from WillCycle, cycle touring along the Brighton Bimble GoCycle route

Brighton  Bimble The Brighton Bimble is the latest in my growing series of GoCycle route guides, and will soon be published. This is the story of when I went to cycle it the first time. Gentle  Adventure I’m a huge fan of what I call Gentle Adventures. These are multi-day rides, though usually only around 100 … Read more

The Cheshire Ring – a Travelling Ouballies Ride

My laden touring bicycle

The  Cheshire  Ring If you’re a regular visitor to WillCycle, you’d know that I’m quite a fan of cycling the very many canals in the UK. The reasons are simple, and very obvious: canal routes are often extremely stunning, are almost entirely traffic-free and are relics from the Industrial Revolution. I freely admit to being … Read more

Cheshire Ring – the beginning

The Cheshire Ring – for canal boaters The Cheshire Ring is well-known to canal boaters, forming a very rough triangle, and is made up from six different canals in Cheshire: the Ashton Canal, Peak Forest Canal, the Macclesfield Canal, the Trent and Mersey Canal, the Bridgewater Canal and finally, the Rochdale Canal. The Cheshire Ring … Read more

Devon Coast To Coast – A Travelling Ouballies Ride

Devon  Coast  To  Coast,  aka  NCN  27 This past weekend I cycled Devon Coast To Coast again, along with my friend Caspar (follow him on Twitter – he’s one of the good guys). I know the route very well – after all, I published what I genuinely believe to be the most detailed route guide … Read more

Kennet & Avon Canal – Traveling Ouballies ride

Old Man Ride This past weekend, I went on a leisurely adventure, with three others. Caspar I’ve met before, and I know him from cycling advocacy especially in Devon, but also nationally. Simon’s a journalist at and cycled the first part of my last Grand Union Canal ride. Tommy’s someone I know from Twitter, … Read more

Cycle touring in your 50s

I distinctly remember going off into the African bush as a teenager, carrying an ex-army canvas backpack, containing water, food, and a few other bits and bobs, dressed in T-shirt, shorts and trainers. I had a sleeping bag, but usually didn’t bother taking it with, and I didn’t have a tent. Before nightfall, I’d find … Read more

Introducing The Travelling Ouballies

The Travelling What? In South Africa, a slang (and somewhat derogatory) Afrikaans word for a man significantly older than yourself is “ouballie”, which is pronounced “oh – bully”, with “bully” to rhyme with “Scully”. Obviously, there was a rather excellent band, called The Travelling Wilburys. Given that I’m South African, like the music of The … Read more

So you want to cycle the Grand Union Canal?

Want to know what to expect when cycling the Grand Union Canal? Time  for  a  rethink? I’m all for encouraging people to go on bike rides, but in this case I’ll advise you to change your mind. Why? Let me explain… If you went cycling on the Tarka Trail, in gorgeous north Devon, you’d be … Read more