Tom’s Bike Trip

Whether it’s tales of cycle touring across the sparsely-inhabited steppes of northern Mongolia or stories of what it’s like to pedal across the unpopulated inland plateaus above the Arctic Circle in the dead of winter,  you can rest  assured Tom’s adventures will whet your appetite for more adventure.

Tom is Englishman Tom Allen and here’s what he had to say about cycling Scandinavia in the winter– Day Five of his Tour: Managing the Cold

I crawl out of my tent to find that my thermometer is registering -16°C. I still haven’t found a ‘proper’ thermometer to calibrate it against, so I take the reading with a pinch of salt. If anything, it’s possibly a little high.

It’s difficult to describe winter cycling, because a winter is not a static thing. In fact, as it’s turning out, this Norwegian winter tour is characterized by the necessity of constant adaptation. Not simply the air temperature, but the wind speed and direction, the cloud cover, the level of sunlight or shade, and the time of day all factor into my decisions. I have to constantly monitor these variables, plus the road conditions and gradient, my level of exertion both current and past, what I’ve eaten and since how long, my water (and coffee) intake, and the clothes I’m wearing now and previously.

All of this is necessary to produce the desired end result: sustainable progress, finishing the day warm and dry whatever the weather has been doing. It’s not a particularly simple task yet.

Tom has focused on honing his writing, photography and video-making skills since his original Ride Earth blog.  In fact, Tom’s Bike Trip is now one of my favorite bicycle touring blogs, not just for the great writing and inspiring photos, but also for the practical advice.

Some recent helpful posts include how to make the most of a GPS on a cycling trip, the best camping stove you’ll never buy,  and 10 Tips for Planning your first off-road Cycling Expedition.

Tom never glosses over a subject.  His blog posts are thoughtful and in-depth while at the same time getting to the heart of the matter without a lot of blah-blah.

For visual bicycle touring inspiration, have a look at Tom’s stunning photos from his winter bike tour and his many videos.

Tom’s latest project is a book about his various cycling adventures.   He’s blogging  about the entire “colossal and terrifying” writing process so you can tag along on this journey and see how he tackles new challenges.

If you’re not already a fan, I encourage you to check out his excellent bicycle touring blog: Tom’s Bike Trip.

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