A map showing all bicycle routes so far
2010 - LEJOG Route

It all began here. In 2010 I cycled the length of the UK in 2 weeks. Basically I was a little bored with my life, I was 21 years old and realised I had done nothing meaningful at all with it, and that if I died tomorrow, there would be almost nothing to say I did in my life. I was working in a clothes shop at the time, feeling lost and frustrated at being unable to find another job.

I decided I would do it and raise some money for charity too. I was pretty scared. My friends thought I was mad. My parents thought I was stupid and didn’t encourage me at all. I didn’t care. I knew I could do it. I laid off the beer for a few weeks before, and went on some big rides (the biggest, 80 miles). I already had a suitable bicycle, and I just needed to add a pannier rack, buy some pannier bags, get a tent and hit the road. The other stuff like a sleeping bag, stove and pots etc. I already had from festivals etc. I used a CTC route guide to help me on the trip.

And so one day I set off on the trains down to England, down to Land’s End from Glasgow. I was super nervous. And I was feeling a bit emotional. I wound up at the hostel, something I’d never slept in before, slept, and then headed to the start line the next day. This was it. I began pedalling, pedalling up and down the challenging hills of Cornwall. It was beautiful. The nature and the English countryside; the people I met. It was all so interesting. And then before I new it, I was at my next hostel. I looked back to the hills in the distance and thought, “Wow, I just cycled from all the way over there!”

The trip continued without a hitch. And I was just amazed by both how comparatively easy it was to cover distance on a bicycle and how travelling this way connects you to the world.

LEJOG cycle route map
2012 - Eurotrip Route

In 2012, I was reaching breaking point in my job. The whole situation was driving me crazy. I had been 7 years in the same job and had ended up worse than where I began. I knew in the back of my head I would go on another big trip…and I began imagining cycling through exotic lands between scanning t-shirts. I told some people in my work that I dreamt of doing this, and I was just met with discouragement, and a lot of “Yeah Jamie, sure.”

One cold February day, just before lunchtime one Monday morning, I spontaneously walked up to my manager and handed in my notice, scribbled on the back of a bit of paper. I never looked back. It was probably the best decision I had ever made in my life. I finally had freedom from my slave-job which was slowly succeeding in turning me into a number and a robot.

I made some upgrades to my bicycle, bought some new gear, and made a very rough plan of which countries I wanted to go to. And that was it.

I got the train/boat to Rotterdam and I was for the first time alone and out of my country, doing something I loved. After 2 weeks, I researched about blogging, and bikeramble.com was born in a student dorm somewhere in Amsterdam. And the story kicks off from there. I had such a great time. And the experiences and people I met on the trip changed my life.

I cycled over 8000km through 14 countries in 6 months. You can read a summary of my tour of Europe here. (I don’t, however, recommend the old blog posts!)

2014 - Glasgow to Barcelona Route

Once I returned from my trip I had no money left. I wondered what to do. I realised that I liked bicycle touring so much, that I’d like to do it on a more permanent basis. Also, the experience of travelling opened my eyes to the world, and broadened my knowledge; so I actually found it easier to get different and better jobs that I actually enjoyed.

I began working in a bicycle shop and eventually became a paid and qualified mechanic. And I worked a few other odd jobs which I thoroughly enjoyed and which brought in the cash.

I studied to become an English teacher, and took a CELTA course to teach English as a foreign language, and passed. That was the last hurdle to living on the road.

In early 2014, about a year and a half after returning from Europe, I had sold everything I had in my life except my bicycle and touring equipment. And left.

Now I felt totally free. The choices, the limitless possibilities. I cycled about for a while and worked in a hostel in Rotterdam. Then cycled for a few more months and visited some beautiful places and met some beautiful people. Each day produced a deeper understanding of the world and of myself. I wanted to work a little as a teacher and in the end wound up in Spain. I found a job in an English academy and also for a business English school for a year and a half. This was also a great experience, and I discovered that I love teaching.

2014 Glasgow to Barcelona route map
2016 - Barcelona to Athens via Morocco Route

In early 2016, I had saved up enough money and fancied a change. I had the urge to go exploring again. I set myself the goal of cycling to Thailand (or something like that, as I like to leave the options open). It was another great adventure, where I cycled through many countries and cultures, and learnt so much! By the time I got to Greece it was winter, and after a month working in a seaside hostel, I decided to head to Crete to keep a bit warmer. I never made it though, and got stuck in Athens (you can read a summary of Barcelona to Athens here).

To cut a long story short (that is, to summarise a book of experience), I ended up living with around 400 refugees in a squatted hotel in central Athens for over a year. You can learn a bit more here, but as for the rest, you’ll need to wait a few years until I’m done travelling and have time to write about it.

2018 - Athens to China Route

In April 2018 it was time for me to go. Leaving Greece was one of the hardest decisions I had to make. But after a year and 4 months of volunteering, I was feeling a bit burnt out and couldn’t offer much help any more, not without going crazy. Everyone has a mental breaking point.

And now I’m on the road again. The route “plan” is to cycle to China, but I don’t know what I’ll do there, if I’ll stay, if I’ll go somewhere else. I don’t care. I’m free and learning, and these two things make me feel very lucky, and very happy.

Bike Ramble Turkey to China route map


  1. Hey hey!!! Amazing journey, impressive inner strength and drive.
    Thank you for sharing. Please keep posting your stories and maps.
    All the best, Madeleine (from Mallorca)

  2. Hey I just found your site completely by accident while looking for tips on cycling through Morocco. I’m fascinated by your story and I’m now setting aside time to read back through the blogs. As a relative newcomer to bikepacking it’s great to find inspiration in the stories of others. My trips are nothing like yours though as I’ve focused on flying to somewhere in Europe and then riding home to Warwick. But there’s always time to do something more ambitious.
    Stay safe and thanks for the blog.

    • Did you complete your trip in Morocco? I came across this site from looking for the same thing! And I’m curious for any advice.

  3. Hi there,

    I read your extremely helpful blog about cycling from Aktau to Beyneu and then on to Samarkand. I’m planning on cycling from Istanbul to Kashgar in summer 2020 and will also be crossing the Kyzyl Kum in the summer months (July/August). Would it be possible to give you a call to get some tips?

    Thanks a lot,

    Ini (from the UK)

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