It seems that video trailers for books are all the rage right now...who knew? Never one to be out of fashion (ahem...) I've decided to jump on the bandwagon, and I've put together a short teaser trailer for The Road Headed West, my book about cycling across North America one summer. I hope you enjoy it.
Why not come along to one of the launch parties for the book? I'll be giving talks in the following locations:
7th July - Canterbury
7pm @ The Gulbenkian Cafe. Free entry and free glass of wine.
10th July - London
7pm @ The Spectator Bar, EC1A. £5 entry and cheap drinks.
23rd July - Belfast
7pm @ Common Grounds. £2 entry.
26th July - Coleraine
6.30pm @ Lost & Found. £2 entry.
7th August - Bristol
7pm @ Roll for the Soul. Free entry.
This time three years ago, I was cycling the Desert Road in New Zealand, en route to Wellington with 7000 miles of pedalling on the clock (and, unbeknown to me, another 7000 to go before I would make it home.)
Al and I are delighted to announce that, after a year of hard work, our film 'Into The Empty Quarter' is finally ready to be shared with the world!
The movie will have its world premiere at the wonderful Royal Geographical Society in London on Saturday 16th November at 6.30pm.
After that you can catch it on DVD, as a digital download and (hopefully!) at a selection of film festivals over the coming months.
To WIN a pair of tickets to the world premiere, please 'retweet' this link, or 'Like' on Facebook here. The winner will be selected at random.
'Explore' for those of you who haven't heard of it, is the ultimate indulgence event for the expedition/adventure lovers among us.
Each year hundreds of enthusiastic speakers and delegates gather together in the auspicious halls of the Royal Geographical Society and spend an entire weekend planning adventures.
I can't speak highly enough about the event, nor tell you how effective it is at providing inspiration and practical help for anyone who has ever dreamed of heading off on an adventure.
If you live in London, then you definitely must go. I'd also argue it's worth travelling from other parts of the UK to come to (I first attended when I was still living in Northern Ireland, and it was the catalyst I needed to set off on my subsequent cycling adventures.) It really is that good.
This year's conference will take place from the 15-17 November. Visit the website for prices and details on how to book.
Below are 5 reasons why you should be there:
Over the next few months I'm excited to be giving quite a few public lectures on some of my past adventures. Here are some of the ones I'm most looking forward to:
16th September - NIGHT OF ADVENTURE
Venue: Vue Cinema, Leicester Square
Talk: The Six Peaks on a folding Bike
18th September - TALES OF ADVENTURE
Venue: The George Pub, London
Talk: The Six Peaks
23rd September - ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY, NORTHERN IRELAND
Venue: Queen's University, Belfast
Talk: On Foot Across China
If you're free on any of the above dates, do come along and say hi!
This coming Sunday (12th May) I'll be talking about my walk across China at the London Eco Film Festival.
There's plenty of exciting things happening all day - the festival is split into themes, with a different screen for each (such as Conservation & Environment, Expeditions & Adventures etc.)
Highlights (I reckon) will be cameraman Doug Allan talking about his 30 years of wildlife filmmaking, and the screenings of Tom Allen's feature-length cycling odyssey 'Janapar', and Dave Cornthwaite's short, 'Swim 1000.'
I'll be speaking at 12.30pm, in Vibe Bar Screen 2 (Brick Lane.) Check out the full programme here, and come along to say Hi if you're free on Sunday!
Last week I wrote about trying to avoid wishing away time by wanting to be somewhere else. I have slowly grown to find a reasonable level of contentment in London, buoyed by once more being surrounded by loved ones and the comforts of city life.
Today my mind is on fear and excuses - some the biggest barriers (for me, at least) to personal happiness. In the past I can pinpoint the moments in my life where opportunity has come calling and I have either seized it, or let it pass me by. The times when I have done the former have been those which have shaped me as a person and led to greater fulfillment, and the latter are those which I regret. Opportunity comes in many forms, and often represents a big change; a shift to a lack of stability. My psyche certainly, and I would imagine most people's, does not readily accept change - a move away from the comfortable and the known, into the murky depths of uncertainty. While this can be terrifying, it's also at the very heart of living an adventurous life. Seizing upon opportunities to escape routine and to broaden horizons is what adventure is all about - to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield! Pushing personal limits and seeing what we are capable of. It is possible, of course, to make opportunity for ourselves by luck, judgement, skill and determination. But it is equally important to recognise that opportunity when it comes along, self-made or out of the blue. It is crucial to think beyond the initial fears, excuses and cop-outs.
This is certainly a little late, but worth blogging about even after the fact. On the 3rd June (just 1 day after returning to the UK from expedition in China) I was extremely honoured to run with the Olympic Torch along the stunning North Coast of Northern Ireland.
I'd first found out about my nomination at the start of the year,whilst still in the mountains of Northern China. A teacher has put my name forward after I gave a tour of Belfast schools, encouraging kids to get outside and get active. I must admit that initially I felt quite detached from the whole thing. The email came through while I was sitting by a roadside in a remote area of Shanxi province watching snow cling stubbornly to the few brave (and bare) trees that dotted the hillside. I was less than a quarter of the way through the toughest journey of my life, and the idea that in a few months I would be jogging through a small Irish village carrying a flaming hunk of metal while hundreds of people cheered seemed remarkably alien. At that stage I didn't even know about the white jumpsuit, but I imagine I would equally have struggled with that.
As the months passed however and I happily found myself still alive on the other side of a rough winter, news of the build up for the Olympics filtered through, and I had time to ponder the whole thing. I'd be carrying a flame which would pass through the hands (not literally) of 8000 inspirational people, travelling the length and breadth of the UK and ending up in the Olympic Stadium to mark the start of one of the biggest moments ever in British Sport. That, I figured, was pretty cool.
This Thursday (the 1st September) I'll be giving a talk at the fantastic Tollymore National Outdoor Centre.
The Centre itself is a great location, and I'm delighted to be able to tell my story there for an hour or two. Tollymore is near Newcastle, and more detailed directions are on their website here.
So if you're based in Northern Ireland and keen on cycling, adventure or just feel like coming along for something a bit different, it all kicks off at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5, and even better, all proceeds go straight to UNICEF. Good stuff, eh?
I'll even promise a few as-yet unseen clips from the upcoming documentar
See you there!
Dear friends, readers and casual passers-by,
I am delighted to be able to announce the launch of my new expedition (and undoubtedly the hardest thing I'll have ever attempted!) - Walking Home From Mongolia
The new website is http://walkinghomefrommongolia.com
Setting off in November, it will be an epic 2,500 mile journey from Mongolia to Hong Kong by foot and portable kayak (packraft), and is being supported by National Geographic who will broadcast a TV show of the journey. I will travel in winter, from the wastelands of the Gobi Desert to the glittering skyline of Hong Kong, via the Great Wall of China, the Yellow River, the ancient city of Xi An and the limestone peaks of Gulin.