S01 E03: Cycling

Episode Three sees Peter get on his bike and take a trundle through the world of travel cycling.

He chats to author Helen Moat about her long distance ride from England to Istanbul on a sit-up-and-be bike.

A Biking Viking helps him read out your travel tales involving two wheels.

And he lists his Top 5 cycling experiences on the plains of Burma, an island littered with bombs near Tallinn and the back blocks of Tanzania.

There’s an update too, on the quest to find ‘Tache.


Expert Guest: Helen Moat

Helen Moat - Author

Helen was born in Northern Ireland and spent her childhood travelling the length and breadth of the island in her Dad’s Morris Minor.

She is the author of Slow Travel: The Peak District  and Time of Birds, a book about her cycle across Europe to Istanbul.

A keen walker and cyclist, she’s an advocate for slow travel.

Visit Helen’s website | Buy her books on Amazon | Read her story on The Guardian

Photo of the week

Two boys with their bike made from wood in the back blocks of Tanzania
Two boys with their bike made from wood in the back blocks of Tanzania

Your cycling stories

The Biking Viking

Before each episode we ask you, the listener, to send your related tales of mishaps and misadventures to feature on the show.

In this episode, I was helped out by Claus Andersen, AKA the Biking Viking.

Sadly, not of all them can make it. You’ll find the best of those that didn’t below.


From Dave in Luxembourg

“Looking two arbitrary points to make an interesting ride, I decided to cycle from the highest point in Luxembourg to the lowest, a nice ride of about 100 kilometres.  

I started at The Kneiff, riding up a muddy path for the last 200 metres to reach the summit.

As I got off my bike I noticed a car parked in the field and an elderly couple having sex on a blanket beside it. 

 While I was pleased to see age had not dimmed their desires I tactfully mounted the Kneiff-stone to photograph the view opposite, allowing the elderly lothario time to replace his trousers behind me. 

 They grabbed their things, jumped in the car and sped off. 

 It was a more exciting start to my adventure than I imagined.”

From Diana in Melbourne

“I’d been in Kathmandu for a week and decide it was time to go to Pokhara. I didn’t tell anyone where I was going. I just bought a bus ticket and went. 

The guesthouse had bikes so I hired one to explore the town.

I was bumping down a potholed dirt road in the middle of nowhere when I heard someone call my name.

I looked up and saw two friends from Australia waving at me.

I hadn’t told anyone I’d be in Pokhara. And this was back in the day, so there were no mobile phones and social media to keep track of people.  

I didn’t know they would be here. They didn’t know I would be there.

It was just serendipity on a bike.”

From Alex in Middlesbrough, UK

“Crossing the street near the Ben Thanh market in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, I was nearly knocked over by a cyclist with six live ducks hanging upside down off the handlebars. 

There were three ducks each side. Their feet were tied together and the handlebar slotted between the gap between their legs.

The thing that struck me was how serene and still they were.

I was almost like they were resigned to their fate.”

Got a story to tell?

If you’ve got an amusing, horrifying or salutary tale about cycling on your travels tell us in the comments below.

And while you’re at it, why not check out the list of our upcoming episodes?

If you’ve got a tale to tell about any of the topics we’ve got coming up, send it to us using the form on the page for the chance for it to be read out on the show.

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