Original inspiration for my trip:

Anne Mustoe is the main inspiration behind my trip. At the end of May 1987 she set off to cycle from London to London via Europe, India, Thailand, Malaysia and the USA. Her first book, A Bike Ride, originally set my mind thinking about my own trip. Sadly, Anne died in November 2009 while cycling in Syria, but her passion for cycling and travelling will forever be remembered by fellow cycle tourers and anyone who reads her fantastic books.

Alastair Humphreys was the final encouragement I needed to actually make concrete plans for my trip. His around the world trip took him four years going south from the UK through the Middle East and Africa, then up the Americas, and across Asia through a Siberian winter back to the UK again. He is my inspiration for cycling on limited resources, spending less than £7,000 in the four years.

The Nuts on Bents (they call them selves that!) are partly the inspiration for the route for the first leg of my trip. They cycled on recumbents (hence the name) from London to Sydney.

Heinze Stucke is an all-round legend. He left Germany in 1960, and has only been back once. Along the way he has visited every country in the world and gained a Guinness World Record.

Links useful for cycle touring:

Couch Surfing. Most people know about it already, but worth a mention. Meet with and stay for free with people all over the world! My profile is here.

Warm Showers. Similar to couch surfing, but with a focus on cycle tourers. My profile is here.

Adventure Cycle Touring – everything you need to know about cycle touring, great for beginners.

Crazy Guy on a Bike. The forum for cycle tourers.

Other cycle tourers:

Sven Pohl arrived at the hostel in Brindisi, Italy, I was staying at and announced he wanted to buy a bike and cycle in to Greece. I said I have a bike, and am heading that way soon! We got Sven a bike and cycled through Greece together for a week before he headed north and I continued to Istanbul.

Andrew and Friedel recently finished their around the world cycle. Their website is a mine of information about cycle touring and the places they visited along the way. They also offered me much advice while on my own trip. Well worth a read.

Chinacycle.co.uk – these guys cycled from London to Beijing. While changing my mind every 15 minutes in Istanbul, I considered a similar route as they did.

Penny Farthing World Tour – and you thought my choice of bike was crazy!

Peter Gostelow – cycled home from Japan.

Tyler and Tara cycled through Europe, North Africa and Asia. Their blog and photos are fantastic!

Other people I’ve met on the trip:

Fran stayed at the same hostel as me in Istanbul on her way to Tehran and India by train. She has been wonderful fun to hang out with, and my official ‘beer sponsor’ while here – many thanks!

Fergus Anderson rode a Triumph Bonneville called Asha (which means luck and hope in Hindi) from Glasgow to Kathmandu. In Istanbul we stayed at the same hostel.

Chris and Kadri motorbiked to Australia and were great fun to hang out with in Istanbul.