Tour de UK

Since we started our bike trip throughout the globe we have made frequent trips home. While unusual among the world biking community this came about due to family health issues and a desire to make a regular check in. As it transpires it has not only enabled us to see friends and family but also, I believe, means our appetite and enthusiasm for  travel remains high. Tourism lethargy has not been a problem.

Given my return trips are often packed with visits to Dudley, Edinburgh, Bristol and, in June, Glastonbury, I rarely ride my bike during this time. It feels odd but there is simply no time between dinners, beers, DIY tasks and trip planning. However, this visit would be different. The Tour de France was starting in Yorkshire and having cycled to Alps d’huez to watch the race last year there was only one way to travel to Yorkshire to observe proceedings ….. yep, we would cycle.

Despite falling just after Glastonbury festival we quickly washed our gear and prepared for our trip North. We we’re riding from Dudley to Otley having booked a pitch at the Festival of Cycling, Harewood House. Our friends would meet us there for a weekend we had been planning while back in South East Asia.

We took two days to arrive following a stop over in Macclesfield. Having been off the bike for over a month the first day felt tough and, having climbed an occasional stonker, we set the GPS the next day to minimise ascent. I’d ridden in Yorkshire before! Friends gradually trickled in having arrived from Denmark, Scotland and the South of England. In fact, given some pals had a nine hour drive from London I don’t think it had taken us much longer in travel hours.

Watching the Tour in Yorkshire really was a fabulous experience. The sun was shining (mostly) and crowds came out in force. While many watching were new to the sport and I sense blown away by the speed of the riders the atmosphere was electric, the bunting plentiful and the Yorkshire ales brewed especially for the Tour did justice to this great British craft. Having watched the ceremonial start at Harewood we went to Knaresborough the next day, watching near a house that had been painted like the polka dot jersey. It was unfortunate that the festival did not meet expectation but the location and weekend overall was brilliant. I left on the Monday for a short ride to Harrogate and having caught up with my pals in Otley I would get the train home. Soon we would be leaving for our final trip.

After the tour John and I had gone separate ways…both heading to see family before we would meet again in Colchester before catching a ferry to Denmark. It was the first time either of us would embark on solo cycle tours.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the sense of freedom out there on my own I missed having someone to laugh with as I found myself on an unrideable bridlepath in Yorkshire and then tried to check into two incorrect hotels in Colchester when I arrived the following day. John always checks out final arrangements while I just try and wing it!

So, having met up with my cycle buddy we set the GPS (that required my patience) and rode to Harwich.


Right now we are riding in Denmark, having taken a wee detour for a wedding, and will be embarking on our final tour for now. So, keep reading and we’ll keep riding. Blogs on bike lanes and country wide cycle culture and our ride home for Christmas coming soon.

Bikemind does linked-in.

Given I have now been riding my bike around various parts of the globe for the past 15 months or so I decided it may finally be time to update my linked-in profile. So,  while I still follow the worlds of social enterprise and waste and recycling, my online networking profile now reads as that of blogger and biker. Here then is my spoof CV for such an intrepid traveller.

Key statement
With over 20, 000km now cycled on both road and off road tracks Naomi is an accomplished rider and has fallen off only once in the part two years. A chief planner extraordinaire she has negotiated numerous border changes, cast her eye over various maps and guide books and assessed key climatic zones. With that in mind she was confidently able to promise sunshine every day to her cycle buddy John. While long gloves, leg warmers and rain jackets have been required on a few occasions she continues to smile, laugh and sing…..probably all to the annoyance of others!

1. Hated sport at school though before team games and competition were introduced I quite enjoyed riding my bike in the summer holidays.
2. Following teenage years and that rebellious stage of drinking and smoking which continued on a little longer than it should, Naomi purchased her next bike, aged 21, with the help of good friend fuzzy Jim.
3. In her mid twenties a different Jim ( boyfriend at that time) would “encourage” her to cycle the vast distance between Bristol and Bath and up hills which quite frankly she often grumbled through. Both Jim’s were responsible for leading Naomi up really muddy paths, though rivers and riding in the pitch black by moonlight alone.
4. Single and desperate for a holiday she signed up to ride on an organised tour through Vietnam in her late twenties much to the amazement of her friends. She was even found training on an exercise bike before work!
5. A holiday romance, on said trip, with a guy who had also cycled Lands End to John O’Groats, led Naomi to think that it was a good idea. It was and a year later, 2005, saw her complete that trip with Daisy Tom.
6. Arran, Islay and Yorkshire would all feature as trips with the girls where Naomi was the only one who could fix a puncture and carried spares. She was also the only one who liked single malt whisky on the Islay tour.
7. Jim 2 became her accomplice on a ride through the Outer Hebrides and this time he was at the back despite the fact that Naomi was carrying more kit!
8. She successfully completed a tour of Sri Lanka in December 2011 during which her fate to cycle the globe was sealed. Training then began in earnest with ten or so spin classes a week and rides out trying to keep up with her friend Darren on his carbon racer.

In addition to riding she had undertaken a few independent trips to far away places. With that had come a reputation for setting off earthquakes and trying to pack in far too much to the itinerary. (Remember the Barcelona trip Maz?)

Key achievements
1. Still riding the globe with a complete stranger after 15 months. Pretty amazing.
2. Summiting the Thorong-la pass in Nepal, passing landfalls, rivers, cliff edges and precarious bridges.
3. Remaining on the Cairo to Capetown tour despite hating the initial experience and going on to ride over 40km naked through Namibia. (trust me that was a miracle!)
4. Riding Alpe d’huez and some other Cols with full touring kit – the boys were impressed.
5. Setting off in the first place and just deciding to go for it.

Naomi is looking to continue her journey, write a book, share her experiences and encourage others to live their dream. She hopes she may eventually drop a few pounds and get rid of her silly tan lines.