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Touring tip #5: Resist the multitool

Superficially, multitools are very attractive. They’re small, light and there’s definitely a Swiss Army Knife wow factor as you unfold the various blades, revealing one handy function after another. And this… for removing a stone from a horse’s hoof! But just as you wouldn’t want to sit down to the twelve course tasting menu at […]

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Touring tip #4: Star water carriers

Not long ago, someone discovered that cycling water bottles (or bidons) contained a toxic chemical called BPA that was potentially seriously harmful to human health. Some, though not all, bidons are BPA-free, but even if they are, it doesn’t stop them making your drink taste all nasty and plasticky nor providing an excellent long term […]

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Touring tip #3: Pump me up!

As a young cycle tourist in the late 80s and early 90s I used to get a lot of punctures. Fortunately, at that time the charts were full of tunes featuring lyrics about pumping this or that up and I was able to pass the time while fixing punctures by singing them to myself. Pump […]

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Touring tip #2: the Lifeventure insulated mug

When you’re heading off on a cycle camping trip, you’ll need some kind of cup to drink from. Unless, of course, you prefer the rugged Bear Ghrylls drinking-from-waterfall-with-cupped-hands look or you take your inspiration from Ray Mears and prefer to fashion a sturdy and sustainable container for your beverage by weaving together a mess of […]

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Touring tip #1: Why Ordnance Survey maps are best and how to get them for free

The British Isles are blessed with the world’s best maps for travel and adventure, made by the expert cartographers of the Ordnance Survey. There’s nothing like stopping by the side of the road, leaning your bicycle up against a dry stone wall and wrestling with a rapidly, uncontrollably unfolding paper map, like a waiter at […]

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David Hockney, the Bigger Picture and the Aesthetics of Cycle Touring

“You road I enter upon and look around! I believe you are not all that is here; I believe that much unseen is also here.” Walt Whitman, Song for the Road In one of the final rooms of the Royal Academy’s blockbuster exhibition of new work by David Hockney that closed earlier this week there […]

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On Two Wheels in France

As governments around the world seek to improve conditions for cyclists, we take a look at France, a country synonymous with cycle sport but that has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to everyday cycling. From Paris, Kieron Yates talks about cycling in the French capital and the new measures being introduced by the national government to improve conditions for cycling. And Gregory Bossuyt tells of leaving Paris behind him and taking to his bicycle in search of a new life in a new town.

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