Time and tide and all that (and evenings with writers and travellers).

These days I’m struggling to add thoughts, comments and items of interest here. It’s purely a time thing. when I’m not riding, I’m coaching, when I’m not coaching I’m writing for multiple sources and when I’m not writing (or photographing) for them, I write a bit here. I find it a shame, as compiling the blog feels like some form of contribution to the cycling community, no matter how insignificant.  I guess the contribution is still there, but spread all over the place. In that vein, I’ve cut and pasted a blog post I wrote last week for Cyclopaedia shop after our successful evening with Jet McDonald. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, I’m cut and pasted it below (or you can read the latest news pages of Cyclopaedia shop here). In the meantime, If you’re interested in updates about Cardiff JIF, JIF kids or brief viewpoints from me, you can always get them on Twitter; @cardiffjf @jifkids @cyclestuffblog.

Mind is the Ride_Outlined

Last night, Ian represented the shop on a panel of speakers organised by cycle storage manufacturer Odoni-Elwell and Cyclopaedia client, Future Inns. The theme of the evening was long distance cycle touring and journeying, in every sense of the word.

The primary speaker here was Jet McDonald, a cyclist, writer and performer who spent a year cycling from Bristol to Inida. The journey for Jet was as much metaphysical as it was physical and Jet gave us an insight into how his thinking has changed as a consequence of those long hours in the saddle. Jet uses his bike as both a prop and a road map; tracing his journey along the lines provided by his Thorn touring bike. The thing that struck me most about the talk was the kindness of strangers. We all at one time or another, fear vast tracts of the planet, yet time and time again, people are proved to be kind, welcoming and caring no matter irrespective of geo-politics or poverty. Jet’s book about the journey – “Mind is the ride” – will be published shortly by Unbound books.


Jet’s talk prepared the ground for a fascinating, informal Q&A, where Jet was joined by long distance cyclist Nia Thomas – her first cycle tour took her from the high Altiplano of Bolivia, through the Andes and on to North America – and Ian, who was invited to discuss bike fitting and the impact of riding position on cycling comfort. This session matched Jet’s talk in length and could easily have gone on much longer; the questions were interesting (‘What kit could you not do without?’, ‘What proportion of time was spent under canvas?’, ‘2 months, anywhere in the world, where would you go?’) and came thick and fast. If after attending the evening you didn’t want to strap some panniers to your favourite bike and head off into the wild, then you really needed to check your pulse.

Keep your eyes peeled for other events organised by the Cardiff cycling community; they are illuminating, inspirational and enjoyable and in the case of this one; enjoyable free to attend.


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