The Cycle magazine article.

14893945667_c330eb3b15_zI wrote an article that appeared in Cycle in 2004 about our ride around India. When I returned from France with the girls I wrote to Dan Joyce the editor of Cycle to see if he would like another article. He did. So I  cobbled together an edited highlights from our blog. For ‘regular readers’ a lot of the content of this story will be very familiar. It’s been edited…and here for you to read  is the proof copy he sent to me prior to publication. It has minor errors, but you’ll get the gist.

In other news….life rushes in. It’s a principle of science that nature abhors a void, vacuums are there to be filled. More on that later.



  1. Dear Simon,
    Thank you for your moving, honest and brave account in Cycle magazine. I have also suffered loss in similar but different circumstances. My wife was on the 32 bus in Tavistock Square on 7/7/05 when it blew up. She survived that but has quietly lost it, culminating in her burning and poisoning the children. Mine were 5 & 2 when I became a single father and they used to refer to me as mummydaddy. I also resented happy families, but things do get better and there are some gains, which are initially difficult to see, e.g. you will find yourself bonding with your daughters in a way that would have been impossible before.

    Good luck on your journey!


    1. Blimey Lee what a nightmare. I remember that day so well. Yes you are right about the bond. It is special. I treasure it.
      Thanks for your thoughts and good luck with everything.


  2. I too have just read your article in Cycle. I’m sure that will stick with me for a long while. I admire your frankness and openness at a time when nothing much can be easy. But I am sure your approach will stand all three of you in good stead. All strength to you.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I consider myself very lucky to have known love, even if only for a while. It’s getting easier and we are still riding the bike!


      1. Dear Simon, thank you for sharing your story and your incredible journey with your daughters. I was amongst the clucking women at Mossaic, marvelling at your brave adventure. It sounds like it was both a wonderful and painful experience for you all. Best wishes to you, Joanne.

        1. Hi Joanne
          Thank you. Thank you for clucking and thank you for writing to me now. It’s funny I sort of expected at least one of your group to be a CTC member. How funny. I don’t know if it was you who gave us the lentils and sausages in a tin, but the girls LOVED them. Anyway, our adventure continues and we are still riding the bike!


  3. Simon, I remember meeting you & girls that damp morning in Creon, (me, also being one of the group). While chatting & learned of your journey and the recent huge sad loss, I offloaded tins of food (lentil & sausage rocks!), tupperware & campsite info. After cycling Surrey hills this Sunday I retired with a cuppa picked up Cycle magazine and I was delighted to find your story, while also being touched (sad) and massively Inspired reading about your journey, as I did often wonder how you got on. Also I got to see “the tandem” I didn’t see at campsite. Well done, team! I wish you well for the future and next tandem adventure. I was with some of Creon group cycling adventure (Coast and Castles) last bank holiday weekend. Beautiful.. I’ve shared via post with them, and they enjoyed. Thanks for sharing.

  4. ……what a beautifully touching article on your trip in the Cycle mag…..every blessing in the future for you and the girls…

  5. Thoroughly enjoyed your article in June/July Cycle mag. The one thing that doesn’t seem to be mentioned is how you got that sizeable unit to Bordeaux to start your ride. I would love to know.
    With best wishes to you all.
    Mike Caulkett

    1. Mike that is a great question and one that I am delighted to be able to answer. I looked long and hard for a solution to this problem. European bike express, trains, anyvan.Com all featured in my research but none worked.
      I was talking this challenge through with a work colleague at the BBC, John Partington. He immediately and unbelievably kindly offered to deliver and collect us. We put the tandem on the roof and the trailer in the boot of his skoda and the pair of us drove to Bordeaux. The return journey was an even bigger problem. Originally we planned to go to sete, but as I said in the article we decided to head South. This meant a huge difference in the distance but John agreed to collect us regardless of where we ended up. He was instrumental in allowing this journey to happen. I will always be indebted. I’d like to think it could have happened without him buy I doubt it would.
      Lots of people offer to help you when you are bereaved. In this case it was a huge ask. But we are still friends!

  6. Simon, I’ve just sat and read your article in the CTC magazine. Thank you for sharing such a lovely journey, both on the canals and the less enjoyable journey with grief.

    1. Thankyou James, I have had some lovely comments from people who have read our story. I am really touched that it has affected people. I hold by everything I said, cycling is great, great therapy. With best wishes, and thanks. Simon

  7. Just read your wonderful article in the CTC mag. and it made we cry. Though I know you’re a humanist, I wanted as a Christian to respond “May God bless you and your family”. Very inspiring and uplifting story – your daughters sound brilliant, and a credit to you as father. All strength to you all.

    1. Thankyou David. Wishes and blessings can be bestowed and received regardless of one’s beliefs! Thanks for writing. We are all on the mend. I hope you never have to go through anything like we have, but should you, take heart in the possibility of recovery… wherever/however we are….we humans are amazing.

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