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Peter Gostelow

Adventure cycling

About Me

I was born in London, but grew up in a small village in the middle of England, not far from the home of Raleigh bikes. Sadly I never owned an iconic Raleigh Chopper, but have fond memories of riding BMXs and MTBs – the craze for most kids growing up in the 80s and 90s.

Following university I took off with a backpack to travel solo through southern and eastern Africa, using whatever local transport was available. Bicycles didn’t feature, but the journey sparked a desire to see more of the world, rather than pursue a job and career in the UK. Not long later I came across the inspiring stories and books of long distance cyclists who had toured the globe on two wheels. It sounded a much more adventurous and fulfilling way to travel.

In 2003 I moved to Japan to teach English. By this time the idea of travelling by bicycle had grown. In 2004 I spent a three-week holiday cycling around the island of Kyushu, a journey that instantly fuelled thoughts of undertaking something bigger. And so the following year, without a great deal of planning, I left Japan with the aim to cycle back to the UK. The Long Ride Home covered some 50,000km over about three years.

Restless for more two-wheeled adventures, and fulfilling a wish to return to Africa, I left the UK a year later in 2009. The Big Africa Cycle was another long solo bicycle journey, following a circuitous 35,000km route that finished in Cape Town, South Africa.

In 2013 I returned to Africa and taught English in Tanzania, using the long holidays to explore more of the continent on two wheels. Two years later I rode north through the Horn of Africa, departing Africa on a cargo boat travelling from Somaliland to Oman. That journey finished in the UAE.

Shortly afterwards in 2016 I took up a teaching post in neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Adventurous cycle tours sadly featured far less frequently during the following years as I balanced full-time work while studying for a Masters degree. In 2020 I planned to leave Saudi and hit the road again for another long bike adventure, but the unforeseen arrival of a global pandemic put a hold on that. Fingers crossed for 2021.

Over the years I have shared some of my experiences from the road – speaking in schools, universities and clubs, as well contributing to publications including The Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook, The Adventure Cycling Magazine and the Cycle Touring Magazine.

5 Comments

  1. So inspired Peter. Love all your stories.

    Love, darkest berry. 🖤

  2. Hi Peter. Guess you’ve about forgotten us? We live in France & Tim has been encouraged to cycle from west to east of the U.S.A – at 67 jrs old! He’s concerned about the type of bike & sadle he should use. Now we’re wanting to use yiur vast experience!
    Hope all is well with Mum, not be in touch for some time. Give her my love.
    You can always cycle past our way any time!
    Love
    Liz

    • Forgotten about you? No. Although it is 2 years since you wrote this comment, which is a reflection of how little attention I have given this blog. Well with any luck you both had a fantastic ride across the states?

  3. I read about you Peter, I’m so inspired. You do things which are of a great uniqueness. You made me understand a saying “nothing is impossible under the sun”
    Gloria, Tanzania.

  4. Wonderful ,colorful and very good composition . Such as beatiful photos. .
    Greetings from Costa Rica

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