Travel

Nuclear Tourism in Ukraine

A colourful Ukrainian banknote holds place in a black and white notebook resting on the keyboard of a small Apple laptop

To mark the 30th anniversary of the worst nuclear accident in history I’m publishing my notes from a trip to the Ukraine back in 2010. The contents of the following three pages started out as excitedly scribbled paragraphs in a little black Moleskine,…

Leaving Las Vegas

Arty-farty shot of a red sportscar parked by the side of a very long, straight desert road

I’m not sure exactly where I found my mojo today, but something happened between sneaking out of Sue’s place and pausing for air in the middle of Death Valley, something that turned the world right-ways round again. It may be down…

Of Fear and Loathing

Vintage photograph of a dude on a yellow folding Brompton bicycle

House of The Rising Sun plays on the radio while I’m sitting in Eat, a down-to-earth yet trendy cafe in downtown North Vegas, wondering what to make of their signature dish: Shrimp and Grits. I ordered it because I have no…

A Day on The Interstate

Interior shot of Ford Mustang and my knees

The day begins much like those before it with jet lagged cursing at the is-it-morning-yet alarm clock. Jump out of bed, throw things in bag, throw bag in car, throw car at at pre-dawn San Francisco. Get my bearings as…

Vegas or Bust

A red Mustang lurks in a hotel garage

10:50 on a Sunday morning and I’m not out enjoying my new bike on the first dry day since I took delivery nearly two weeks ago. I’m at the airport. Not in the shiny A380 I first thought was waiting…

Lap of Britain in a VW California

Black and white photo from the centre of a long, straight road as it snakes off towards the horizon

Nothing is as big a turn off – on any level – as a caravan. Their sad, beige contents are usually flimsy, they smell of chemical toilets, and they make your car handle like a combine harvester. You’re unwelcome everywhere you go, except for authorised caravan sites where you can mingle with your balding peers and bicker about the latest outrage in the news.

Why anybody would voluntarily do this is beyond me, but a camper van – now that’s an entirely different proposition. For a start you’ve got a vehicle which drives like a car, reverses like a car, and fits in a regular parking space. There’s leather, alloy wheels, a rack for your surfboard and a towing hitch for the trailer with your dirt bikes. Could this be the ideal mix of camping adventure and home comforts? We rent a VW California and take it for a lap of Britain to find out.

New York, New York

A line of yellow taxis waits as people cross on a zebra

This place isn’t just larger than life, it’s larger than everything. Whoever built it didn’t read the rule book because they had no intention of playing by the rules. Keep up.

LGKS – it’s a wrap

Old building in the hills, looks like a ranger station

Well, that’s that then, back to normal. The bike’s had its post-trip service, my riding gear has been washed, and … and … what? Happy to be ‘home’ in the UK? Not really. I stopped for a burger at Ryka’s…