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Better Call Seoul: Escape to South Korea

This evening, providing all goes well getting the bikes onto the aeroplane, we should be flying to South Korea. We decided that what we needed in the middle of this extended cycling holiday was, well, a cycling holiday. Our plan is to cycle from Seoul to Busan along the network of dedicated cycle lanes, developed by the Korean government over the last couple of years. We then plan to catch the ferry over to ...

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Escape from India

India has been difficult for us, as anyone following our tweets or the undertones of recent blog posts will know. This is not to say that it is not a wonderful and fascinating country. Even from our brief weeks here, seen through the prism of sickness and stress, it is abundantly clear that this is one of the most different and interesting countries we have cycled through. The main difficulties have been: 1 ...

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You’ve Got to be Careful in India

They say you've got to be careful in India. Everyone's out to rip you off. Even the locals get overcharged and they'll see you coming a mile off. You can't trust any food and don't even think about trying the tap water. Even the purified stuff gets tainted by leaky sewage pipes and as little as a drop on your toothbrush could leave you with a parasitic infection for years to come. The roads are crazy too. A ...

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Four Examples of (the lack of) Personal Space in India

The thing which I have found hardest about cycling through India is dealing with the entirely different rules of etiquette here. The concept of personal space seems to be alien. As an introvert, this has been very tiring. Here are a few examples from our experiences so far. Please do share any stories of your own or advice on how to deal with it. 1. Quietly observing us for an hour Sitting down by a river r ...

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Cycling in Rajasthan

We wake at dawn and move quickly to beat the crowds and the heat. The village is already alive and our friends from the previous night have gathered to see us off. After the obligatory photos, we roll out of town, facing the desert and the day ahead. This is not the wild, desolate landscape you might expect. Even the most barren expanse of sand is dotted with straw huts housing animals and the odd person. W ...

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Cycling across Arabia: a photo diary

We cycled from Sharjah in the UAE, via Dubai, to Muscat in Oman.  Although cycling is very popular with expats, few cycle tourists make it to this part of the world and it's a shame.  With wonderfully smooth roads (oil money put to good use), frequent cafes to rest at and plentiful opportunities for wild camping, in many ways it's a cycle touring dream.  Even the traffic can be avoided by following service ...

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On being a female traveller

We live in the twenty first century, and yet chauvinism, misogyny and paternalistic attitudes towards women are still alive and kicking. Travelling throws these into sharp relief, as it means stepping outside the bubble we create for ourselves with the familiar attitudes of friends and family, and encountering new people and sometimes challenging opinions. The following examples are just a few instances fro ...

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Our video about cycling through Persia and Arabia

Our last two months' cycling has been through some wonderfully historic areas of the world, principally Persia (now Iran) and Arabia (in our case, the United Arab Emirates and Oman), and we have made a short video of our time there. Personally, my favourite so far. In the space of a week, we experienced a temperature change from -10C camping outside Isfahan to +30C in Dubai. That's reflected in the video. T ...

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Iran: the good, the bad and the downright crazy

The Good The people We had already been warned about the extraordinary levels of hospitality we should expect to find in Iran. After a month of cycling across the country, we can confidently confirm that the Persian reputation for generosity and warmth is well-deserved. On our first night in the country, we were cycling around a town at 2am looking for our friend's house. Welcome to my country! This is my w ...

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Come to the Cycle Touring Festival

We are very excited to announce that we are planning a Cycle Touring Festival, to take place in Spring 2015. Our first step is to gauge the level of enthusiasm for this kind of event, so please read on and sign up below if you're interested. The aim would be to bring together those who have undertaken, are planning or who are interested in cycle tours. The festival would offer training and resources to help ...

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Inside Iran: Images from the Islamic Republic

Before setting off to cycle around the world, there was one country that we both looked forward to more than anywhere else: Iran. Here is a little taster of what we found when we got there... Cycling in an Iranian winter We cycled approximately 900 miles in Iran, from the northwest to the south. It was cold, bleak and beautiful. Iranian architecture We visited some wonderful mosques, shrines, palaces and ba ...

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Honk Once for Hello, Twice for P*** Off

I am developing an involuntary reflex. At the sound of a horn, without volition, my right arm rises into the air. Though this may happen against my will, I am quite aware of the cause. Almost every day for the last six months, I have spent several hours at the right hand side of a road, sat on a bicycle, pedalling next to traffic. On each and every one of those days the same thing has happened repeatedly: d ...

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