When I was a boy, we used to holiday in some remote glens in the North West of Scotland. It was here that I developed a taste for the outdoors and climbed my first Munro solo in my very early teens.
It was also here that I came across off road bike touring for the first time. I sat on the door step of the offgrid cottage (Cadubh) we were renting in Glen Achall and several bikes trundulled past on the landrover track, loaded with panniers and heading east. I now know that this glen forms part of a Coast to Coast link that can be ridden in a day but at the time they seemed to be heading into total wilderness (that’s what it felt like when I’d been walking from the cottage). I was amazed at what could be ridden and where they were going!
I have tried backpacking on foot (Wales, Scotland, Rockies and Norway) and really liked it but the freedom of cycle touring (and cycle touring off road) was what inspired me. After a decade of mountaineering and sea kayaking (and some ski touring when I lived in Norway) I eventually returned to mountain biking after the kids were born as a means of keeping fit in the outdoors.
The ‘discovery’ of bikepacking as a means of combining travelling and camping by bike was a revelation. The Welsh Ride Thing and the Mach ‘n’ Back events were a great introduction and the Bear Bones Forum ( has been a source of loads of inspiration and knowledge.

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