The unpredictable art of running blogging

I have been blogging for some years. I was a writer and journalist first. My original purpose was to support the publication of my first book, Heights of Madness, and my second and third books thereafter. Over time, heightsofmadness.com graduated into a running blog – a blog that last week pleasingly surpassed 50,000 visits. Writing…

‘Be aware of large vehicles’ and other stating-the-obvious crime

Croydon Council have launched a cycle awareness campaign. The press release reads: ‘From 14 October, campaign banners will be displayed on lampposts, a promotional trailer will be driven around the borough, and stickers and posters will be sent to local business, and placed on vans and lorries.’ Marvellous. What do the posters say? ‘STAY BEHIND….

The madness of the ultra distance runner

‘Busy weekend?’ the Friday conversation goes. ‘I’m going to Jurassic Encounter Adventure Golf at New Malden on Saturday, then, on Sunday, I’ll run…’ ‘How far?’ Sharp intake of breath. ‘Forty…’ ‘Miles?’ ‘Yes.’ I’ve had this conversation many times over the years. Or certainly words to this effect, as this will be my first visit to Jurassic Encounter…

What is Alan Hinkes up to at the moment? … and other questions

Traffic – is that the right way to describe people? – to this blog arrives via a plethora of web searches. Handily, WordPress lists these terms. Many are questions: some are perfectly logical, others make me question the sanity of the human race. However, according to the web search questions, people do not want much….

Back to the Fellsman

I have been back to Fellsman country: that April-time place of 61 miles of running, 13 hours of pain and pleasure, self-doubt and wonderment. I was on a bicycle this time. And rather than retracing every bump of the Fellsman horseshoe, I was simply slipping thorough the valleys and springing over the high road passes of the Yorkshire Dales….

London to Paris: running, rowing and cycling – please sponsor!

PLEASE SPONSOR TEAM ARCH TO ARC HERE Remember comedian John Bishop crossing the English Channel in a rowing boat to raise money for Sport Relief? Bishop raised more than £3million for charity in his so-called ‘week of hell’. He cycled from Paris to Calais and rowed the Dover Strait before running three marathons in three days to reach…

Mallorca: the cycling bit

I didn’t want to go to Mallorca. I wanted to go to Tenerife. I wanted to go to Tenerife to climb 3718-metre Pico de Teide, and thus have stood on the highest slab of ground in Spain. I was overruled. We went to Mallorca. As I said, I didn’t want to go Mallorca. When I…

A mini-Welsh adventure

The first thing – and it really is the very, very first thing – you notice when you return to London from cycling pretty much anywhere in the UK that is not a city or large town, are traffic lights. Hideous, everywhere-you-turn, always-on-red traffic lights. I once counted 60 sets of traffic lights on an eight-mile journey between…

Mont Ventoux

There is something extraordinarily compelling about Mont Ventoux – a mountain of pain, a mountain of victory, a mountain of ghosts. The ascent – 1617m over 21.8km – is one of the most challenging of cycling climbs in the world, with its long association with the Tour de France elevating it to legendary status. Eddy…

Botley Hill

I’ve no desire to climb all the Marilyns – UK hills and mountains with a drop of at least 150 metres on all sides, meaning summits of the ilk of Cairn Gorm, Sca Fell and Carnedd Dafydd are excluded. Besides, there’s more than 1500 of them. It is a list for the super-devoted and the ultra-motivated only. Two…

Bicycles, Brighton and origami canoes

Origami – the traditional Japanese art of folding paper – has never appealed to me. That was until someone came up with the idea of an origami canoe, although made of plastic, not paper (that would be disastrous). Tom and I cycled to Brighton, where the canoes are being developed, to see if it really…