About the author

Tim Moss

Tim Moss has supported over 100 expeditions across all seven continents. He has climbed new mountains, crossed a desert on foot and recently cycled 13,000 miles around the world. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society London and a Guinness World Record Holder. He aims to encourage more people to live adventurously. Read more...


  1. 1


    Interesting. It doesn’t change my opinion of what he wrote in his final blog, though. In fact the opening lines of this piece confirm them further. Julian seems to think he’s the only one who’s cycled thousands of miles across deserts and along rivers (there are quite a lot of us these days), and that all the criticism came from armchairs and office desks. If that’s not audacious, I don’t know what is!

    In my opinion, avoidance of anger has nothing to do with fashion – it has to do with clear thinking. What good is change if it’s reactionary and ill-thought-out?

  2. 2

    Keith Whelan

    Like Tom above, it does not change my opinion of his initial post. Although he may have been trying to express his anger at various things, his anger overshadowed any point he was trying to make, whether valid or not. This post seems to be more relaxed and conversational in its approach and thus makes it easier to take in the points he is trying to get across. That said, there are still many points I disagree with completely. But each to their own. I guess he will never be accused of subscribing to the populist view,which is perhaps his biggest fear?

  3. 3

    Alastair Humphreys

    I really enjoyed following Julian’s journey, and he does have some good passionate points, expressed eloquently. But until he apologises to Mark Beaumont then I’m afraid that that vitriol will corrode faster than his anger can change the world.

  4. 4


    Just felt the need to add a real-world example. In 1979, millions of people in Iran got angry. So angry, in fact, that they overthrew the established monarchy and opened the way for a revolutionary new future for their country.

    Thirty years later, the youth of Iran finds it difficult to understand what all the passion was about. Anyone can now easily educate themselves to the circumstances of post-revolutionary Iran, a new Islamic state born, of all things, out of Anger.

  5. 5

    Mark Kalch

    I have never cycled round the world, but old mate’s attack on Mark Beaumont still made me think he was…how shall I put it? A bit of a plonker!(Not quite as eloquent as the previous 3 comments!)

  6. 6

    Laura T

    Well written and interesting, but as with the manifesto on his website, what I really want to hear is the exact form the ‘change’ would take. What ‘solution’ is Julian proposing? It is all very well saying that things must change, and I agree that we need a re-emphasis on community with people being put back at the heart of things. However, how is this to be done? Tom makes a very valid point – anger and rage are all very well, but to me they are futile (and potentially can make things worse) if not backed up with workable, realistic solutions.

    However, impressed how much debate Julian has sparked and that, at least, is a very positive thing.

  7. 7

    Nick W

    Interesting stuff…I suppose every pastime needs a bad boy and lets be honest, we all like rants! Having said that, first rule of doing anything when you’re putting yourself out there: Don’t slag anyone off, especially if they’re competitors. It makes you look stupid and quite frankly reeks of jealousy, which is what most people will see. If someone pisses me off with their antics, I keep it to myself and stick to the age-old game of one-up-manship. If there was no competition, life would be dull.

    I take my hat off to anyone who has accomplished such a feat as cycling around the world, so well done you angry young man!

  8. 8

    Jackie Queen

    I enjoyed following Julian, but was greatly disappointed in his final outpourings against Mark B. That really was uncalled for. Julian is looking for a perfect world and says we need ‘anger’ to change the world. He talks of the golf courses and the water they use – for only the privileged few. The world is a very unfair place and I cannot see a day when all men will be equal.

  9. 9

    Andy Redman

    I loved everything Julian wrote about up to that final rant against Mr Beaumont. I applauded the “not for charity” stance, not because it’s wrong to challenge yourself and make money for charity at the same time, but because it’s become the default accepted appoach for experiencing the world. Obviously many people are genuinely and passionately fired up by a cause first and then seek ways to serve that cause. Though I suspect that in reality for many people the initial real motivation is “I would like to see this place / try that experience”, quickly followed by a search for a charitable cause to justify such an idea. This hints that far from being a selfless act, it is a selfish act dressed up as a selfless act to make it acceptable. Then of course there are all kinds of mixed motivations in between.

    So is the selfish act masquerading as a selfless act such a bad thing? In isolation of course no, it’s a good thing, but overall as a pattern it’s causing distortion. “The lone adventure” on the “40 days and 40 nights in the desert” is a holy quest, a tradition whereby the human can leave the fold to experience real insight and learning. Look at Satish Kumar for example who’s extraordinary penniless walk around the world in the 1970’s resulted superficially in peace tea being delivered to the 4 leaders of world, but perhaps more importantly a deeper understanding of the kindness and beauty of the human kind. This kind of information is REALLY important when we are constantly told by media that people are selfish, violent etc. and that society is broken in every way. You get what you focus on in life, and I fear we are focusing in a turbocharged media fuelled frenzy on the negative. So yes some things are bad, but we need pure adventurers of the spirit to go and seek truth in the world without being warped by the purpose of “charity”. It’s the same reason we need artists of all kinds to be driven to challenge us through their own pure curiosity, not so they can make a fortune from Mr Saatchi.

    I also agree that anger is important. Truth can lead to anger, and anger is the force for change. BUT what the point that Julian is missing is it’s WHAT YOU DO WITH ANGER that is crucial. SOme very angry young men in Nigeria have just slaughtered 100 men women and children. Anger is a strong force and if you turn it to negative it can have strong negative results.

    I believe lashing out at Mark Beaumont was a ciminal waste of some pure anger, turned to negative action, picking on one person. That one person is an innocent target, well intentioned but misguided maybe, part of the system yes, but evil enough to warrant a torrent of abuse like that no.

    So Julian, we all know the world is in a mess in some ways, you’re not the only one who’s noticed mate. Real grown up intelligent men work out what to do about it, form a plan and then lead people to action. If you’re so bloody angry, stop trying to justify the fact you cocked up, appologise properly to Mark, and get on with the real work of solving the worlds problems.

    Welcome to the world, it’s certainly a fantastic challenge!

    Much love.

  10. 10

    Neil Cowburn

    Pinning all the world’s problem on just one person is unjust and morally reprehensible, for no one person is to blame. We all are. Including Julian himself.

    Anger is an incredibly passionate and energetic emotion. Until Julian turns his passion and energy into acts of a constructive nature. If you truly believe what you say, then lead by example. Interesting debate is not enough to change the world.

  11. 11

    Steve Blethyn

    Hmmm? Where to start without offending? Sure there is quite a bit of change brought about by anger, but has it ever been change for the good or does it just make the angry person feel better momentarily, possibly at the expense of others? Throwing insults around is not the best way of expressing ones opinion either, it just make others view you in more of a negative way than they may have done in the first place.
    As for the charity bit… does it matter? I’ve done loads of things that were not for charity, but for my own selfish gain. I’m also doing some things that, hopefully, will get some much needed funds into some well deserved pockets. If I’m doing this challenge anyway, why not try and do some good for somebody else while I’m at it, especially if I can help a cause that I feel very strongly about. It doesn’t make it any less of a challenge after all.
    Keep the anger somewhere else!

  12. 12


    I work as a cycle courier, my holidays are spent cycle touring. I like to work/travel/live with as little impact on the planet as possible. Sometimes I’m proud of myself because I stick to my principles, sometimes I let myself down. To me, cycling is a political action. It’s a statement of my intent, my vision for one aspect of a better planet, a world where people behave in a way which is better for the environment, not just in a way which seems better, or more convenient, for them.

    And all of what I’ve written above is my perspective, my opinion and it’s my right to express it. Just like Julian Sayerer has the right to express his opinion. I don’t see what the big problem is. Mark Beaumont chose to put himself in the spotlight, he chose to be endorsed by corporations. There are many, many people who see corporations as a social negative and for good reason. Julian Sayerer is one of those people and he’s got the right to say so, just as we all have the right to our opinion.

    For my part, I love reading what the guy has to say. He give a refreshing antidote to countless mundane cycling blogs, (including mine), which spend more time focusing on miles covered, calories eaten and altitudes reached. He also writes with beautiful clarity and fluidity.

    There are many strands to cycling. Personally, though I love touring, I wouldn’t want to restrict my days to staring at the milometer with the pressure of having to reach 100 miles+ to break a record. Equally, I wouldn’t want to stare at my triple-clamp forks bouncing their way down a mountain side, or bust a gut in a road race, or for that matter do 180 degree spins on a bmx. But that’s cycling and it’s also people – we’re all different and if we have the guts, we can be pretty unique. Julian Sayerer had the guts to cycle round the world and he’s had the guts to express what he probably knew would be fairly unpopular opinions.

    And personally, I like people with guts.

  13. 13

    Tim Moss

    Thank you for all of the commentary guys. Some interesting stuff.

    There seems to be a recurring sentiment along the lines that anger needs direction and purpose if it’s to be useful or constructive (e.g. Andy, Tom, Neil) which is something I think I’d agree with.

    Steve, your idea that if you’re doing a big challenge then there’s no harm in raising some money for charity at the same time is something I’d go along with because that’s how I tend to operate myself but I think Andy also raises a valid point in that, as a pattern and it can have side effects. And, as if it’s used simply as a tool, then I suspect that’s part of what’s Julian’s tag line alludes to.

    It’s a shame that a lot of the commentary was directed at the old posts on Julian’s website rather than this new one but I guess that’s only to be expected.

    Again, thanks for taking your time to share your thoughts so far everyone. By all means keep them coming. And, if you’re reading Julian, thanks again for writing this for me.


  14. 14

    Mark T

    Any man/woman with an ounce of grey matter movement would have to agree with Chris’s comment above. Look, you don’t need an electron microscope to see that it takes intelligence and guts to not only ask the right questions, but to also answer in an incredibly articulate way on key issues such as big business and government policy. You’re a dude!

    Julian – your blog was very refreshing especially compared to the usual tosh of egotistical ‘extreme’ or so called ‘adventure’ writing blogs. You’re a man on a mission, searching for meaning and willing to go against the grain for it – for that my hat comes off to you. I’m look forward to reading your book.


    PS What’s all this demanding an apology stuff? Julian apologised on his blog. FFS we’re not at primary school.

  15. 15

    Andy Redman

    Hi Mark T

    Julian didn’t really apologise on his blog if you read it carefully. At first I found this pretty funny, then after some consideration I began to think this was a strangely negative and harmful end to an extremely positive and heroic adventure.

    Mr Beaumont is hardly the root cause of all evil. Yes he’s a representative of Lloyds, but presumably his intention is to achieve good things. I imagine he’s seeking publicity in order to raise more money, not promote his own profile. If this is such a very bad thing then would you call the Dalai Lama a **** for going on telly? Have you ever been a customer of a high street bank? Maybe you’re a nasty supporter of the evil system, perhaps you should be outed on the internet for being a bottom feeding scum sucker.

    No one (here) is “demanding” an apology. Personally I just think Julian made a bit of a mistake going overboard in his rant, alienating people in the process. So I’m suggesting a real apology could in the long term, help refocus attention back on his inspiring achievement, away from this other bloke and his stupid Lloyds backers.

    Then given that Julian has made so much of the worlds problems with clarity, intelligence and bravery, it would be much more interesting to see what would happen if he can turn this anger and passion he’s found on the road, into powerful solutions instead of wasting it away on a playground slagging off.

  16. 16

    Andy Redman

    Just watched the million pound cycle ride… hmmm, three days, big heated tour bus full of bicylce mechanics. Puts this feeble cycling around the world on your own with no money thing into perspective. Oh well, we won’t get Julian’s challenge on HD, but I look forward to the book.

  17. 17


    On August 10th 2009 I wrote the following on Julian’s blog:

    Hi Julian,

    Like your writing style. You’re rather negative about a lot of stuff though. Idealistic is good, but in my experience realistic always wins out!

    Anyway got a question about your route and can’t find any place on your site to ask about it so doing so here. When you’re travelling back from Shanghai to Bangkok aren’t you travelling over longitude you’ve already covered and so you will not be adding any new distance to your record attempt i.e. Milage covered in cycling from Bangkok to Singapore will not be eligible for inclusion in your record attempt. Is my understanding of what guinness book of records requires incorrect?

    Best of luck with your trip and really hope you break the record.

    10 August 2009 23:56

    Julian has not broken the record and almost certainly will never be credited by Guinness as the record holder. Now, whether he gains the record or not shouldn’t detract from the fact that he cycled around the world on a tight budget, without support and did so pretty quickly. However, his blatent dishonesty in claiming to have broken the record and his verbal tirade against the actual record holder is very immature and petty IMO.

    If Julian was not so blinded by irrational anger then perhaps he’d have seen (or accepted it when it was pointed out to him) the flaw in his route and made the necessary ammendments.

    Also, in another post on his blog I (and others) pointed out that Julian actually took longer than James Bowthorpe to complete his round the world ride. According to Julian these extra rest days are within the Guinness rules because the clock stops when bicycle and rider have reached the point from which they will depart for a differnt leg of the journey. This may be the case. A very clear clarification of the rules by Guinness is needed. Is it noble behaviour though for Julian to “rest-up” in Shanghai or wherever else and then claim to have broken the record? It may well be within the rules and that’s fine, but many of the actions by bankers and politicians that have led to the current economic mess were also “within the rules”. From all his talk I would have expected Julian to hold himself to a higher standard.

    In the above blog Julian has written:

    …hope will never do anything about the world other than continuing to hope, and if people think that they can improve the world by hope alone, then they will never need do anything else.

    It seems to me that Julian thinks that he can create positive hange in the world through anger alone. He is willing to receive charity but not give it. He is happy to denigrate Mark Beaumont for accepting support from corporations but seems to forget that he too was sponsored by corporations and took advantage of the rules in any way he could.

    Vin Cox is currently attempting to break the record that Julian claims to have broken. He has a good video on his YouTube page where he mentions Julian’s ride.


    All the best,


  18. 18

    Andy Welch

    Anger, in the form of angst (the realisation that you are not living the life you want to be), can create change for the better.

    Passion without Reason. Reason without passion. A balance seems to be a sensible option.

    Speed bike rides, in my opinion, won’t teach you as much as going slowly.

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