Why Write a Book?

Ian : June 20, 2014 12:48 pm
This was a question I considered long and hard before putting pen to paper. In January 2012 – somewhere between Mexico City and Oaxaca – I first started thinking seriously about turning my experiences into a story to share. Writing a book had always been on my mind, but in one of those fleeting ‘wouldn’t more »
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Telling the Story

Ian : June 6, 2014 11:07 am
After a rather lengthy hiatus from writing about my Pan-American bicycle trip – which ended in October 2012 – I’ve decided to resume the blog once more, but this time from an altogether different angle. As many followers will be aware, I’ve been working on a book about what was an incredible and privileged 15 more »
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9 Months On

Ian : July 12, 2013 8:04 am
This day 9 months ago I rode over Paso Garibaldi at the southern tip of Argentine Patagonia and ended my Pan-American bicycle journey after one year and three months on the road. It’s difficult to comprehend just where the time has gone between then and now. Only yesterday I was talking with some friends about more »

To the End of the World

Ian : October 16, 2012 7:16 pm
I tried not to think of Ushuaia as the ultimate goal for almost the entire length of this bicycle journey. After all, it should be the bits between Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and here that really count. Yet, rolling around that final snow-lined corner to see the southernmost city in the world neatly spread along the more »

Land’s End

Ian : October 5, 2012 7:17 pm
The wind beaten streets, the old industrial buildings and the converted turn of the century store fronts hint at a place located at the ends of the world and in another time. Names such as Avenida Magallanes and Calle Menendez point to stories of discovery and exploitation. Punta Arenas is the largest settlement in the more »

The Wild Patagonia

Ian : September 28, 2012 8:46 pm
The past 9 days have definitely been some of the wildest and most remarkable of the trip so far. I’m now in El Calafate, Argentina after windblown cycling on the historic Ruta 40, days gazing at the jagged and stunning Mt. Fitz Roy, standing awe-struck at the Perito Moreno glacier and crossing an international border that more »

Carretera Austral Part II

Ian : September 19, 2012 1:51 am
KM 1,240 signals the very southern limits of this road in Chile. Beyond Villa O’Higgins, a settlement of 500 people nestled in the shade of the dwindling Andes lie Ice-Fields, fjords, forests and wildlife that purchase viagra online are truly remote and pristine in every sense. Reaching this outpost on the southern frontier was a more »

Carretera Austral Part I

Ian : September 10, 2012 6:47 pm
I’ve been looking forward to cycling this ribbon of road through Southern Chile for some time now and to say it has exceeded expectations would be an understatement. Fjords, glaciers, ice-fields, crystal clear rivers, new wildlife and an agricultural living in this isolated region of the world are all elements of the northern Austral which more »
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The Final Frontier

Ian : September 3, 2012 2:19 am
Tierra del Fuego may actually be the final frontier for this journey but it all feels like I’m moving somewhere very different at the moment. I’m in Puerto Montt, Chile a clapperboard town that lies at the head of the famous Carretera Austral or Southern Road and will be the last major settlement for weeks more »

Motivationally Speaking

Ian : August 27, 2012 12:01 am
The last couple of weeks have been amongst the most challenging and tiring I’ve had on the entire trip but not for the most obvious of reasons. The notion of losing ‘motivation’ for cycling and touring had frightened me from the very start as I considered it a very deep hole to dig out of more »

Northwestern Argentina

Ian : August 15, 2012 7:19 pm
The swift change to life over the border and into Argentina has been pretty surprising. Replacing chicken and chips with sandwiches and veg, dirt roads for paved and expense for bargains has taken a few days to accustom to yet the spirit of the Argentine is already beginning to capture in the penultimate country of more »
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Salt and Sand

Ian : August 6, 2012 11:49 pm
Bolivia certainly saved the best until last in terms of landscape but the worst in terms of roads. I feel I’ve been tossed around like a ragdoll on over 380kms of sandy washboard tracks but at least there has been something to admire with giant salt flats and a Wild Western looking desert making their more »

High Times on the Altiplano

Ian : July 26, 2012 2:16 am
A respite has finally arrived! I’ve landed upon the high Altiplano (high plains) of South America after one of the biggest pushes of the trip so far, covering 710km in 5 days from Cusco, Perú to La Paz, Bolivia. It has been an epic ride to the almost treeless flats with a gorgeous cycle around more »
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The Lost City

Ian : July 17, 2012 1:44 pm
Great expectation can be the ruination of occasion. It can also be an ideal appetiser to the grand spectacle. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect in the days preceding my visit to Machu Picchu – the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ – as I would need to battle swathes of tourists in a place more »

The short road to Cusco

Ian : July 13, 2012 3:48 pm
The big Andes of Peru are over for the time being and not in the fashion I had hoped for. The rear wheel’s rim has cracked again for the 3rd time on trip meaning the ever unwanted bus journey. However, I have arrived to Cusco and there’s probably no better place to spend the repair more »
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Canyons and Cordillera

Ian : July 7, 2012 7:36 pm
What a couple of weeks of riding. Peru has thrown down the gauntlet since Trujillo but in return I have had a pretty spectacular path at 4000m+ altitude. Although I’m getting less air for my breath, it would probably have been taken away by this landscape anyway. It will be quite difficult to describe in more »

Into Perú: Rough roads and history

Ian : June 19, 2012 7:55 pm
I’ve left Ecuador behind in what again feels like a whirlwind few weeks and made my way into Peru. There is almost too much to write about the past while so here’s a snippet of my experiences as the England vs. Ukraine football match continues to distract on the telly. I knew the road out more »
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The Valley of Longevity

Ian : June 6, 2012 10:56 pm
After 8 days of solid riding through the mountains of Ecuador, I’m pretty tired and looking to put the feet up. Vilcabamba seems like the perfect place then for more than just one reason. A few decades ago, some French and US scientists came down to southern Ecuador to study the people of the Vilcabamba more »

0 degrees – From Colombia to Ecuador

Ian : May 28, 2012 3:48 pm
It’s been an action packed few weeks since my last blog entry from Medellín, Colombia and that’s partly the reason I never managed to put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard. I’m now a good haul of kilometres further south and taking some days to assess next moves in Ecuador’s high mountain valley capital, more »
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The mileage of smileage

Ian : May 11, 2012 1:33 pm
What a cracker of a first week in Colombia. The past 6 days has seen me travel from the glorious walled city of Cartagena on Colombia’s Caribbean coast to its antithesis, the modern skyscraped metropolis of Medellín, nestled in the northern Andes. As my good cycling friend Urs would say, “this can only bring about more »

All aboard for South America

Ian : May 2, 2012 7:13 pm
It’s finally here: land of the Andes, great salt lakes, majestic colonial cities, mountaintop empires, rain-soaked gravel roads, Patagonian pampas and El Fin del Mundo. I haven’t been as excited in a long, long time for a single stretch of land. South America might just be incredible! 5 days on a sailboat rounding the Darién more »
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Forwards and Backwards

Ian : April 21, 2012 1:32 pm
It’s been an interesting first week back on the bicycle to say the least. After a month’s break from cycle touring to swan around in Tajikistan I didn’t expect it to be as tough to get going again. Subsequently I’ve found myself asking some questions that hadn’t yet reared their ugly heads on the journey more »

Time Flies in Tajikistan

Ian : April 5, 2012 8:15 pm
‘Time flies’ has never applied to reality so much as in the past 3 weeks for me. I’ve arrived in Alajuela, a small town on the outskirts of Costa Rica’s capital San Jose, 18 days after leaving the same spot for Tajikistan to visit my girlfriend Áine. Getting moving again already seems like it could more »

3rd time unlucky

Ian : March 10, 2012 11:12 pm
And so we do it all over again. For the 3rd time on the trip, my rear wheel has failed and needs to be rebuilt. These seasonal trips to the bike doctor are getting a little frustrating but it does provide time to reassess and really examine the problem. Last Wednesday, about 20kms south of more »

El Salvador

Ian : March 3, 2012 2:27 am
El Salvador is Central America’s smallest country but it packs a lot of goodness into that space. Upon arriving last Wednesday, I headed straight for the beach to hang out with surf bums and take in the first ocean sunset for quite some time. I wasn’t sure what to expect from El Salvador before I more »
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The road to Atitlán

Ian : February 27, 2012 3:46 am
Guatemala marks the beginning of the Central American bicycle tour and just over the halfway mark in terms of miles. Although one of the poorer countries in terms of economy, it’s far richer for the people and its landscapes, the latter dominated by some truly striking but testing mountains. The two day ride from San more »

To the ends of Mexico

Ian : February 17, 2012 10:22 pm
With the 350South website having been hacked and deleted over a month and a half ago, there has been a severe dearth of blog activity. Not to worry though, we’re back in action! A lot has happened in the intervening time too. I’ve moved right the way through Mexico and am now in the magnificent more »
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Reserva Mariposa

Ian : February 16, 2012 10:16 pm
After a few months of waiting, I finally made it to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Reserva Mariposa, straddling the borders of Michoacan and Mexico States. Spending the morning in the company of millions of Monarchs was an unforgettable experience. The road to the Reserva Mariposa and in particular the El Rosario reserve section more »
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Ian : February 16, 2012 9:42 pm
I experienced a fair bit of relaxing in Guadalajara in the fine company of Isis and Marcus – who I met by a Taco stand in La Paz (as you do) – and their friend Jose Juan. A city I had been told could be worth skipping was in fact a city never to be more »
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High hills and a road less travelled

Ian : February 16, 2012 7:03 pm
What a difference a day makes. Unexpected journeying in the countryside of Nayarit state has again revealed the kindness and warmth of the Mexican people and encouraged me to take the road less travelled. Leaving Tepic just over a week ago, I decided it best to head off the relative comfort and safety of Autopista more »

Sea to Sky in Western Mexico

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:40 pm
Heading out of La Paz last Tuesday marked a new beginning to this journey. For the first time in over 6 months, I was truly out on my own with the remainder of one continent to cycle through and a whole other at my feet. Although myself and Lee had cycled the US West Coast more »
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Separate Ways

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:39 pm
With the New Year comes some pretty big changes to the 350South journey. After chatting last week in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico we mutually decided that it is time to head our separate ways and experience individual journeys to Ushuaia and the bottom of the Americas. The decision comes after a while of pondering more »
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Night of the Spines!

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:38 pm
The Night of the Spines! December 28th shall go into lore as the day in which the desert defeated Ian. After one single night in the desert outside of El Cien, Baja, a burst water bladder, a deflated Thermarest, restless night’s sleep and a flat tire were the consequences of a poorly chosen camping spot. more »
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Back on the Baja

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:37 pm
With a week spent in San Diego waiting for my rear wheel to be rebuilt, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the rubber has touched the road once again and the wide open desert is home for the second time. Waiting for the rear hub to be stitched into my rear wheel more »
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The Truck

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:36 pm
The machine: An 18-wheel, Eaton-Fuller Transmission born rough and ready right out of Reseda, California. The load: 85 boxes of Roma Tomatoes, 50 of Sweet Peppers. The Mission: Tijuana by morning for some serious export (and get Ian to the border before nightfall in the city) Little did I know of the experience about to more »
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The Baja Desert

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:35 pm
A place of true aridity, incessant winds and dearth of the usual services, the Baja California desert is not your typical cycling hotspot. However, 350South found it’s something special and travelling through on bikes was a big ol’ bag o’ fun in this dry and silent landscape. Mexico has been the perfect tonic to the more »
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Question Time – San Diego

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:34 pm
We asked you a few weeks back for any questions you had about the 350South journey. It was a veritable Santa’s postbox and here is a selection of the questions and answers. Thanks again to all who submitted! What do you miss most from home? – Maire Comerford Lee: I miss a reflection of myself more »
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San Diego

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:32 pm
After 4 months of hardcore cycling, ahem, we’ve finally laid siege to San Diego. Leg 1 is complete and the North American continent sufficiently explored by the 350South boys…. bring on Mexico and Central America! With a healthy 5789 miles on the clock, last Friday’s balmy evening saw 350South’s Irish half enter San Diego and more »
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A week by the bay

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:31 pm
I rode into San Francisco with the idea of staying 2 days. I ended up spending 8 there. Although there was a hint of laziness to the whole affair, this colourful city was up there with the best on this trip and provided a safe haven to eat, drink, be merry and watch Ireland kick more »
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And everything seemed just fine…

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:29 pm
With just a score of miles under the 5000 on the clock, it seemed fairly remarkable that not one single problem had occurred with my courageous and intrepid Long Haul Trucker. Ah… how wrong one could be. For almost 4 months now, Bessy has been put through the ringer. The gravelly Dalton Highway tested her more »
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The Redwoods

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:28 pm
Nothing can adequately prepare you for the Redwood Forests of northern California. They are a landscape all to their own and one that deserves huge respect and protection. I can still remember the first time I heard about a Redwood tree. It was back in primary school, probably 3rd class in a Geography or Nature more »
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The touring mind

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:27 pm
Along today’s 91 mile ride from Portland to Lincoln City, Oregon I got to thinking once again about the life and times of the touring cyclist and compared it with the life that I originally imagined it would be. The magic, the excitement of being truly free on the road, choosing the path less travelled more »
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Seattle to Portland – to the sea!

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:25 pm
Leaving Seattle was the start of a new but soon to be brief chapter of 350South. Lee and myself had decided to ride alone for a while and take touring at our own pace, meandering down south with a view to meet in San Diego before a probable nervy entry into Mexico. On the ferry more »
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Parting ways

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:24 pm
After 91 days on the road, 350South is now about to undergo a brief, temporary change whilst exploring the western US. With 3,900 miles on the clock and many many more to go, we are temporarily going our own ways to explore the western seaboard of the USA as we both have specific things we more »
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Ian : February 15, 2012 10:23 pm
Subtle is not a word we would use to describe the change from our wilderness experiences to the world we’re now in. With a bang, we’ve found ourselves riding on three lane highways where the noise of cars and trucks almost drown out our own thoughts and the ‘remote’ cycling experience seems to be a more »
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7 days in Vancouver

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:22 pm
We’ve been here a little longer than originally anticipated but it’s hard to leave this city once you get a taste of it. Our Vancouver experience is one shaped by the people we’ve met and people may be the best way to explain it. We arrived into Vancouver on a warm, breezy Tuesday evening as more »
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Out of the mountains and into the desert

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:21 pm
Leg 1 nearly complete! We are now on the excitable final descent into Vancouver after 3400 miles and 70 days of furious pedalling since leaving Prudhoe Bay on July 16th. And we really couldn’t have asked for a more interesting and changeable landscape to herald our arrival. The last time we wrote, Banff provided a more »
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Whitehorse, Yukon to Goat River

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:18 pm
Well, it’s been a while! Despite the lack of a blog entry in at least 3 weeks, plenty has happened on the 350South trail and we’ll do our best to fill you in on it in a very condensed few paragraphs. Firstly, where are we? Well, right now the beautiful (but crazily expensive) mountain town more »
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Delta Junction to Whitehorse

Ian : February 15, 2012 10:17 pm
With almost a month under our belts, we are well and truly into the swing of the bicycle tourist’s life and have settled in for the long haul to Ushuaia, Argentina. Since leaving Fairbanks, the scenery and landscape has taken quite a large leap from that on the Dalton Highway and services have also finally more »
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Ian : February 15, 2012 10:15 pm
This blog was written from Mexico City after the website had been hacked and deleted and so recounts some experiences from the first week of the journey The 9 days spent on the Dalton Highway, or Haul Road, as known to those who work it was an eye-opening experience as it marked the christening of more »
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