From the Archive: Cycle Touring and Expedition Notes

 Cycle touring / Expedition notes


  • What, why, how, when


  • Endurance
  • Enlightenment
  • Promote alternative existence
  • Cycling
  • Extreme
  • Wilderness
  • Charity
  • Creatity
  • People
  • Philosophy, perception of space, time


Be truthful about aims. Plan and budget lots of small targets. Rejection is great. Learn from mistakes. Say thank you.



  • Demographic


  • Clear aims, end outcomes
  • People - skills, personalities
  • Project management, network, plan, practice techniques.
  • Minimise environmental impact.
  • Show respect to locals, schools, customs, authorities.
  • Permission - British council, Embassy, High Commission. Sell expedition to others.


 Risk assessment


  • Extremes heat acclimatisation, water, shade, long sleeved shirt
  • cold
  • Altitude diamox


  • Vaccinations
  • STD
  • Bilharzial
  • Malaria
  • Tick Borne Encephalitus
  • Bugs permethrin, don't sleep on the ground
  • Deet
  • Diahoerra sip fluids, control vomiting Stemetil, imodium, phosphate, diaralyte, tinidazole
  • Altitude sickness


  • Magic letter
  • Globe with route
  • Gifts
    • Stamps
    • Thankyou letters
    • Emails
    • Contact book



 South East Asia

  • Singapore -> Flores
  • Bangkok -> Hanoi -> Laos -> China
  • Bangkok -> Cambodia -> Saigon
  • Laos -> Phnom Penh -> Mekong


  • Lombok -> Mataram -> Sengiggi
  • South Banyunangi -> Bali
  • Singapore -> Jakarta -> Java -> Surabaya -> Mount Bromo (volcanoes, mountains, rainforests)
  • Pulag Maduraa
  • Chennai to Bangkok


  • West Kalimantan
  • East Malaysia

    • Sabah
    • Kuching
    • Sarawak
    • Brunei
    • Lake Toba
  • Sulawesi + Sumatra



  • Chiang Khong / Huau
  • Xai border crossing


  • Mountains

Chiang Mai

  • Ruins
  • Great food
  • Cheap accoms
  • Mountains Tak Mae Sot


  • Flat


  • Tak Bai
  • Surat -> Thani
  • Hua Hin
  • Beaches Gulf of Thailand
  • Penang -> Alok Setar -> Sadao -> Krabi -> Ranong
  • Bangkok -> Cambodia



  • Shigaste
  • Tashilhnpo
  • Kumbum
  • Everest
  • Rongbuk


  • Taklamakan desert to mountains
  • Aksai Chin plateau
  • Mt Khailash, Lake Manasarovar, Mt Goria Mandhata
  • Trans-Himalaya -> Gangdise Mountain range
  • Tanggula Pass
  • Transation from high plateau to lowlands sub tropical Nepal
  • Ranu Valley
  • Namche Barwa regions
  • Riwoque pass area


Non existent roads. Nomad people that live in Gers. Carry spare water (sterilize water).

Gobi desert.


Heihe to Tengchong Zhongguo


  • Nov march
  • March - May

West season march -> May Summer May -> Aug Autumn Aug -> Nove Late summer / autumn - dangerous floods , land slides

  • North Lao
  • North Yunnan
  • Sichan Highway


  • Right next to Hong Kong


  • Isolate beach, furthest tip of Shenzhen


  • Most common way to get around is by bike


  • Famous rice terraces

Dongcheng, Donguan, Guangdong (province)

  • Filled with expats who have started their own businesses
  • Best place in Dongguan to stay / live
  • Has different parks and small mountains nearby to do day trips

Ghangzhou, Guandong

  • Largest province in Southern China
  • A lot of expats.
  • Has great transportation but more inland so not the cheapest to travel from.

Chengdu, Sichuan

  • West of China (Southwest)
  • A lot of mountains nearby to explore



  • Duct tape
  • Cable ties
  • Piece of leather
  • Aluminium tube


  • Bag
  • Mat
  • Liner
  • Tent
  • Trailer
  • Bike
  • Clothing

  • Universal sink plug

  • Lock
  • Light
  • "Nelise" tourist map
  • Rohloff (maintenance free, change gears when stationary)
  • Buy good quality expensive clothing
  • Notebook computer (Skype, internet, website update, sort photos)
  • Bicycle cape (also serves as picnic cloth)

  • Headtorch (rechargeable, light weight)

  • Waxed matches

  • Tinder from pencil sharpener


Astrid Domingo Molyneux

  • Eat where the locals eat (cheaper, more fun) (Astrid Domingo Molyneux -

David Rothschild

(Adventure Ecology) - Captivate, articulate, educate, reactivate - Get out there, exploring as a tool, call to action

Bob Allison

  • Think small rather than big
  • Build on previous research
  • Stay enthusiastic / keen and be flexible

Anthony Brooks

  • Avoid bears with cubs
  • Keep up wind
  • Light a fire
  • Never leave food out
  • Black bear fights vigorously
  • If brown bear attacks play dead

John Adams

  • Don't open your mouth without the facts

Ben Mcnutt

  • Keep feet dry 8 out of 24 hours
  • Look up and down when setting up shelter for deadfall and patternation of leaves (flooding), animal runs (roost), too close to water, valley bottom (cold sink),
  • Leave itinerary with trustworthy person

 Hallam Murray

  • Kevlar tyres
  • Ridgeback 604 mountain bike
  • Fit bicycle accessories of the highest quality (cassette, chain, rings, pannier racks)
  • Dawes super galaxy
  • Good bike is tough, rugged, low gear ratios, wide tyres with plenty of tread, low centre of gravity
  • Remember to take a chain tool, crank remover, cassette remover, spare tyre, inner tube, puncture repair kit, patches, glue, brake blocks, gear cables, spokes, light oil for chain, waterproof grease
  • Richard's bicycle book by Richard Ballantine
  • Karrimor Icelandic panniers
  • Top bag / rucksack good for on / off the bike
  • Cannondale front bag for map, camera, altimeter, compass, notebook, tape recorder, vango Zephyr tent, optimus stove (plus back up bottle)
  • Hat
  • Medical kit
  • Money belt
  • Avoid headwinds
  • Drink regularly
  • Carry sugar, salt, dried milk, tea, coffee, porridge oats, raisins, dried soups.
  • Use a toothbrush to clean chain
  • In an emergency: wire, string, dental floss, nuts, tin, gaffa tape

Accross Continents (

  • Fix a date to leave
  • Brutal budget
  • Train yourself in skills you are missing
  • Buy the best gear
  • Leave time to sort out visas
  • Research the weatehr
  • Keep passport with you at all times
  • Magic letter your intentions translated into local language
  • Do a trial run first if time allows
  • Serrendipity: don't fret over the unknown, you will learn to cope- by relaxed about it an keep a sense of humour.

Andrew Welch

  • Go off road
  • Take a leap into the unknown
  • You will make many connections along the way
  • Relationships of team members
  • You will send back excess stuff
  • I spent 5 Euros per day in Euro, 2/3 in India, more expensive in tourist areas. £3500 over 7 months in Europe. £3000 over 9 months in Asia. £1500 on Mongolia trip.
  • Snack on dried fruit, nutes, biscuits. Accept hospitality.
  • Take a strong bike set up if you are going on rough terrain. 


  • Medical handbook for mountaineers - Peter Steele
  • Bicycle Expeditions by Paul Vickers
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