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eBook Giveaway: Bombay To Beijing By Bicycle

Posted October 23rd, 2012

Win A Copy!

Scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter the Bombay To Beijing By Bicycle eBook giveaway…

Bombay To Beijing By BicycleIn 2001, Russell McGilton flew to Bombay, pointed his bike towards China and started pedalling.

He was diagnosed with malaria just two weeks into the trip. That was followed by a host of other ‘adventures’:

I would be chased by packs of rabid dogs in the dark of night over a mountain pass in Rajasthan, be incapacitated again from reoccurring malarial fevers, every day have inches shaved off my life from overloaded trucks with holy images of an afterlife, be charged by rhinos in a Nepali national park, have a stack with a yak, dodge atomic test sites, split with the girlfriend and have the untimely luck of getting caught in Pakistan during September 11th.

Just your routine bicycle tour then…

We chuckled our way through Bombay To Beijing By Bicycle and would definitely recommend it to other armchair bike tourists.

Want a free copy?

We have 10 copies of the Bombay To Beijing By Bicycle eBook to give away. There are two ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment below and recommend another book that tells a bike touring story, which you’ve read and loved.
2. Go to Twitter and retweet this message: Win a copy of Bombay To Beijing By Bicycle from @travellingtwo and @momentumbooks http://travellingtwo.com/13130
We’ll announce the winners on Tuesday, October 30th.

PS: If you’re based in Australia, then keep your eyes out for Russell’s one man show about his bicycle adventures. It’s on the program of the upcoming Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Russell on his way to Beijing

Posted in Books, Contest

Book Review: Twenty Miles Per Cookie

Posted September 13th, 2012

Twenty Miles Per Cookie Anyone who’s interested in bike touring with kids has likely heard of the Vogel family.

Nancy and John – the parents of twin sons Davy and Daryl – have taken their family on all kinds of two-wheeled adventures.

In 2011 they finished a 3-year ride from Alaska to Argentina and before that epic trip they biked 9,000 miles around the U.S. and Mexico.

It is that initial big bike adventure – through 19 U.S. states and five Mexican states – that Nancy describes in the book Twenty Miles per Cookie: 9000 Miles of Kid-Powered Adventures.

We dove into Twenty Miles per Cookie during a recent bike tour across Europe (our first family bike tour with our son Luke) and found it to be an inspiring and refreshingly honest account of bike touring as a family.

Nancy doesn’t just describe the rosy parts of the journey, like meeting ‘road angels’ along the way, but also the many challenges from bad weather to physical exhaustion.

One quote that really stood out for us was this one:

In my many years of traveling I’ve found adventure is, many times, only one step away from disaster. It springs from the unknown – from having no idea how we will meet our basic needs. It is stressful, but the kind of stress I can look upon and say, “What an unexpected turn of events!” It’s those days that make for the most memorable experiences, and are, therefore, the most rewarding days of a journey.

That – in a nutshell – is what we took away from this book: the message that adventures might not always be easy but they are worth having. Adventures are something that we personally will continue to prioritise as a family, even though sometimes they push us to our limits.

The only thing that disappointed us a bit was the book’s length. Some of the stories left us hanging. We really wanted to know more about the details of the trip but before we knew it we were turning the last page.

Overall, however, it’s a good little read and definitely worth a look if you are thinking about bike touring with kids. If you want to know more, check out the Vogel’s website Family On Bikes or watch the video below.


Book Review & Contest: How To Get To The North Pole (And Bike Around The World)

Posted June 26th, 2012

How To Get To The North Pole How do you cycle around the world? Here’s one view.

Just go. Any bike, any tent, anywhere. It’s true, the toughest step is always the first one! – Matt Bridgestock

That quote kicks off 24-pages of solid advice on cycling around the world. It’s one of 7 chapters in a new book for future explorers: How To Get To The North Pole … and other iconic adventures.

Author Tim Moss does a fine job of laying out the basics of cycling around the world, complete with statistics, anecdotes and inspiring quotes.

Essential questions such as Where do you sleep? and What do you drink? are all answered in a straight-to-the-point style. There’s an overview of the gear required, along with common challenges such as saddle sores, steep hills and accidents.

We particularly liked Tim’s summary of the first steps towards a round-the-world trip:

1. Get a bike, any bike, and start riding it everywhere you can.

2.Test yourself and see how far you can ride in a day. Aim high. You can always catch a train back.

3. Plan a trip. Fly overseas or start from your front door. Do it in a weekend or take a month off work. The details don’t matter, just give yourself a taste of life on the road.

4. If you are left hungry for more then you can start planning the big one. Work out a route you would like to follow, start accumulating the gear, apply for some visas if you want and set a date.

It really doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.

True planners will, of course, want more detail (such as what’s available in our Bike Touring Survival Guide and the Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook) but this book has the basics down pat. We found it a fun and inspiring look at biking around the world.

Want to win a copy?

We have two copies to give away. There are two ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment and tell us what your ideal cycling route around the world would be.

2. Get onto Twitter and re-tweet this message:

Win a copy of How To Get To The North Pole (a book by @nextchallenge) from @travellingtwo http://travellingtwo.com/12569

You can enter until midnight (Central European Time) on Thursday, June 28th. Winners will be announced on Friday, June 29th.

Good luck!


Posted in Books, Contest

Bicycle Touring Books

Posted June 24th, 2012


Posted in Books

Cycling Sojourner: A Bike Touring Guide To Oregon

Posted May 18th, 2012

When we bike toured across Oregon state in the summer of 2009, we didn’t have a guidebook.

We puttered our way through small towns with only a simple map to guide the way. Along the way, we discovered more than our fair share of entertainment. Roads stretching out to the horizon, fantastic farmer’s markets and incredible apple pie in the one-horse town of Wagontire are all strong memories of our time in Oregon.

Cycling Oregon 2009

Just imagine how much more fun we might have had with a little guidance, perhaps in the form of Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Oregon.

Cycling Soujourner It’s a new book, authored by Ellee Thalheimer (also a writer for Lonely Planet and a host of cycling publications).

Inside you’ll find guides to 8 routes around the state. Most rides are around 5 days long and altogether the book provides enough information to keep you cycling for at least a month – probably longer.

Ellee tells anecdotes in each section about the people she encountered on tour, including a coal miner who taught her how to shoot a gun and “Papa Pinot” – one of the state’s best known winemakers.

We liked a lot of things about this book. For the person who wants detailed route advice, there are good maps and turn-by-turn cue sheets.

Cycling Soujourner

The friendly, easy-going tone is also a plus. It’s helpful without being preachy and includes plenty of handy and inspiring tips for bike touring newbies.

In the section about bike touring in general, for example, the book rightly points out that you don’t necessarily need a specific touring bike to travel by bicycle.

If you are a cyclist, then you probably have a bike you can take on a tour. You can use a carbon road bike or heavy steel commuter without braze-ons (which allow you to attach a rack) by using a trailer. You can use rigid mountain bikes with slick tires. Cyclocross bikes, folding bikes and recumbents will do. Touring-specific bikes, especially ones with couplers for airplane travel, are nice but not necessary.

There are also tips for saving money. How about about making your own armwarmers simply by cutting the feet off a pair of wool socks, or creating waterproof gloves by slipping a pair of dishwashing gloves over thinner liners?

Oregon was already a great bike touring destination before this book came out. Now, a few more of its secrets and most attractive rides are even easier to access. Nice work, Ellee!

Posted in Books, Map