About me

Margate to Land's End - John MillwardI am past  40 years old, born in Birmingham but I now live in Margate. I followed a girl down to Kent some while ago now, and apart from a brief 12 months in Northamptonshire, I’ve been here ever since.

I have a son who’s at that age where he’s still cute enough to get away with things, but smart enough to know it. I like rugby, red wine, kayaks, gadgets and thunderstorms – All of which should never be combined under any circumstances.

The idea for the first challenge came out of a few pints with a mate on a day when my life was a bit upside down. Talking over the second bottle of wine we came up with the amazing idea of getting a flight to Kathmandu, buying a motorbike and crossing China to fly back from Ulan Bator. The following morning I looked into the logistics of this – Its a massive planning operation for fuel, routes and visas. Probably not what I need as a first  challenge. So I scaled back my ambition – just getting to Lands End under my own steam with the help of a bicycle.

So that was my challenge for Autumn 2014 – 483 miles from Margate to Land’s End.

2015 found me wanting more and realising that I had family in Montpellier during July, it seemed obvious just to cycle down there and spend a few days with them. 800 miles, a lot of wine and several beers later Id hopped on a train back to Blighty, battled with bike bags and torrential freezing rain to get back to Margate in one piece. Three of the best weeks I’ve ever had.

2016. Now the challenge was finding the next challenge. I’d cycled East to West in England along the south coast. I’d cycled North to South in France following the rivers and vineyards. So what next? Pretty obvious really, 850 miles over the Alps and down the river Rhine to Rotterdam.

2017. I feel now that I’ve proved I can cycle long distance so I’m dropping the distances slightly and focusing more on holidays. Expect some more photography as I line up tours along the North and South coasts of France.

2018 should be picking up where I end in Nice in 2017 and continuing onward in two stages down the entire West coast of Italy and across to Palermo…

UPDATE on 2018 plans. Having completely forgotten about my idea to ride from Nice into Italy I have been seduced by the idea of the Danube…So now I have booked flights out to Stuttgart and returning from Budapest a couple of weeks and 750 miles later…

2019. Two tours for 2019, neither of which really made it to the blog. There are a couple of posts from the first one, but tailed off around half way between Bilbao and Barcelona. The second one wasn’t a tour really, more a jaunt up the Loire Valley with a hard tail mountain bike and bike packing rig with a raft strapped to the front to paddle back down the river. 2020. The plans for 2020 are currently to cycle from St Malo down the West coast of France and then follow the Pyrenees down to Perpignan to complete my circumnavigation of France. 

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