World Tour Galleries

Over the years, I've done a number of longer rides, mostly in various countries of the high mountains of central Asia, but also around the middle east, SE Asia & Africa. I've also done a number of rides in the far north of North America - Yukon, Northwest Territories, Alaska. 

In this section, I've packaged some photos into slideshows with some background info and context. On the Ladakh (India), Nepal and Iran pages, there are also a few (soundless, alas) video clips that I hope people might enjoy).

This page takes off on something of a tangent. International bike touring is a huge topic, and there's no way this page can even begin to do it justice. This page is is a bit of a sampler, and a chance for me to share a little about some of my past roaming around on a bike. In the future, I may hive this off into an international site. I hope to keep the key focus here on backroads touring on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.  

Check out World Tour slideshows

Click on the pics to jump to the slideshows, and a few video clips.  The pages below are in chronological order, except for the Far North (Yukon, NWT & Alaska) and Eastern Indonesia pages, which I've stuck at the bottom as the few sometimes fuzzy photos predate my first digital camera, when I started to appreciate photography.

This trip along the Karakorum Highway fulfilled a long time dream. I didn't manage to ride the top of Khunjerab Pass, getting turned back by immigration police, and had to put my bike on top of a bus for the trip into north Pakistan. This was the trip that whet my appetite for the high mountains of Central Asia and introduced me to Xinjiang, Kashgar and the mighty Taklamakan desert, which I rode for a thousand kms. 

I flew into Diyarbakir, ancestral capital of the Kurds in eastern Turkey. A long standing ceasefire broke down just before I arrived - and limited my wild camping, as I was advised at checkpoints that night patrols could misinterpret my presence. But what an area, incredible history, ancient architecture, great food, friendly people, and excellent riding. I finished by crossing a mountain pass into the Republic of Georgia.  A surprise and delight.

I flew into Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan. I rode the fabled Pamir Highway into Sari Tas in Kyrgyzstan, including long days along the Panj River, the border with Afghanistan. Then on to Kashgar in Xinjiang, China. This was a hard ride, days on end above 4,000m, but also a trip of incredible sights, breathtaking riding, friendly people, and unnerving army checkpoints. This trip was also great for meeting hardy cycle tourists on epic cross Asia tours.

Met a Japanese cycle tourist in north Alaska who talked about Madagascar. Years later, I had my chance, and flew into the NE corner of Madagascar then made my way back to Antananarivo, the capital. In many places, river bridges or ferries were no longer in place, but local entrepreneurs were always around to paddle a Canadian cyclist across. Idyllic islands, parks with extraordinary wildlife, and hard highland riding back to the capital.

On riding trips in Central Asia, I met a few cyclists who had done the ride through Iran. In spite of Iran's reputation in the western media, they were all blown away by the friendliness they had experienced. I flew into Shiraz in the SW, rode into the Dasht-e Kavir desert in Central Iran, looped west back to gorgeous Isfahan, and then south back to Shiraz through the Zagros Mountains. Incredible people, hospitality, history and riding.

Ladakh is the NE district of the Indian state of Jammu-Kashmir, nestled into the high Himalayas in a touchy neighbourhood complete with border disputes with China and Pakistan. I enjoyed an epic first ride from Jammu to Kashmir, Ladakh and Manili so much, I went back again, this time for 10 weeks, focusing on the remote Buddhist valleys of Ladakh. Incredible place and people, complete with many of the world's highest mountain roads, including multiple passes over 5,000m.

Flew into Kathmandu, took a bus to Pokhara, then rode NW into the fabled Kingdom of Upper Mustang, following the holy Kali Gandaki river between the mighty Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountain ranges. Reached Lo Manthang, one of the world's last enclaves of Tibetan Buddhism.  Incredible mountains, rugged riding (lots of hauling the bike), high altitude, local hospitality and fantastic Buddhist architecture and culture. 

Years past, I did some rides where I flew up to the far north, then made my way south by bike. Spectacular country. Tough riding, exceptionally remote, lots of wildlife, and, in places, bugs beyond belief. Now that the Dempster Highway has been extended north from Inuvik to the Arctic Ocean at Tuktoyuktuk, I'm thinking of going back again to reach the Canadian Arctic Ocean. Photos here predate my first digital camera, so may not be up to standard - but give a good idea of this grand country

The Indonesian Island of Bali is well known, but there's much more to the east in the island chain known as Nusa Tenggara. I flew out to eastern Flores, then made my way back through rugged, fascinating Flores, Sumbawa and Lombok. This was after the notorious Bali bombings, so tourists were a rarity, and I was welcomed. I speak enough Bahasa to get by on the basics, and this was a super trip. Photos here predate my first digital camera, so may not be up to standard - but do give an idea of local flavour.

Each of the international rides in this section included a route map.  This page pulls together all these maps into thumbnails so users can toggle about should they wish.

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This website does not encourage anyone to undertake activities in the backwoods without considering fully issues of safety, access and readiness. There are no guarantees with any information provided in this website.  Please read  the FAQs, research further as appropriate, and use your judgement at all times