Bicycle touring now, be that in the form of transcontinental hauls or brief bikepacking blitzes, is enjoying a popularity far at odds with even just a few years ago, let alone in the time of trailblazers like Stevens. We live in an age when the advancement of technology and ease of both domestic and international travel are making the world an increasingly smaller place, and as a result more and more people are taking to their bikes in combat. These people want to recapture the mystique of planet earth again, attempt to fill in the gaps that escape the automated transport experience, and discover the secrets that bicycle travel affords.

‘It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them,’ reads one famous line written by Ernest Hemingway, a keen cyclist. ‘thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of the country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.’

This doesn’t strictly relate to topography either. Sure, the impression that Hemingway gives is of a physical incline in the road underneath him, but the contours of a country are myriad in definition. Two wheels will indeed grant you a self- earned passage through some of the most spectacular and unseen landscapes that the world has to offer, but they will also provide a portal into the varying experience of human life on earth. In realising that, the nuances between a cyclist on a tour and a tourist on a cycle become clear, and the multifaceted nature of an adventure cycling journey can be enjoyed to its full.

That’s why – assuming that, having got this far, you are one of these adventurers – you’ll find heaps of practical advice peppered throughout the book, designed to answer questions and provide insight into all aspects of adventure cycling, making getting out there yourself as irresistible as possible.