Blog Archives

The 10 most popular posts

I am just a ‘hobby-blogger’. I don’t chase reading stats to make a living out of my ramblings. I simply write for fun, and if my scribblings entertain or inform just a handful of people, I am happy. In other words, within the world of blogging, my website is small-time, creating barely a ripple on the surface of the blogosphere.

However, today I wandered into some of my administration pages and encountered a few veritable surprises, especially on the ‘Top Posts’ page that logs the number of hits for each post. Although the predominant theme of the whole website is ‘cycling’ (and I do apologise if you are a non-cyclist), and more specifically, my long expeditions in some faraway country, it is not entirely about cycling. Hence the cover title of ‘Serendipities of Life’, which opens the door to writing just about anything that catches my attention.

The statistics of the most-read posts, since I began blogging in 2010, reveal that amongst the top ten posts, six have nothing (or very little) to do with cycling, even though many of my posts would never have featured as a ‘serendipity’ if I hadn’t been on a journey of discovery on my bike. So, if you have nothing better to do over the next few minutes, take a dip into some of my most read posts.

  1. Land’s End to John O’Groats on a Moulton bicycle. The most read post of all time was my account of riding the 1000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in the UK, perhaps the most iconic of British routes that many people aspire to. Probably a key factor was the fact I completed it on a small-wheeled Moulton bicycle:
  2. Joe Tasker 1948-82. Joe and I were not only born in the same small town in County Durham, but we went to boarding school together. He became one of the most daring and successful climbers of his generation, pioneering ascents of the world’s highest peaks without oxygen, and operating with scaled down teams and minimal equipment. Sadly he died on Everest, with his partner Pete Boardman, in 1982. I had met with him just days before that expedition, and he had sent me a postcard from basecamp just before the final (and fatal) assault. I received that postcard 7 days after the confirmation of his death. Part 1:…………….      Part 2:
  3. A ‘peek’ amongst the peaks, and not just about the bike. A fascinating visit to the Peak District in Derbyshire.
  4. Ushaw College 1808-2011. My school was almost one of a kind. A Roman Catholic Seminary, its origins came out of the Reformation, and its construction coincided with that period of growing tolerance and eventual emancipation at the beginning of the 19th century.
  5. A “breeze” through the Outer Hebrides. A singular cycle ride through all the Western Isles, the Inner Isles, ending up on the islands of Mull and Iona.
  6. Coba: human sacrifice and scary heights! An encounter with Mayan history on the east coast of Mexico.
  7. Brixworth Anglo-Saxon church. A rare and fine example of some pre-Norman architecture very close to home.
  8. Damien Hirst: a genuine artist? A few reflections after visiting a Damien Hirst exhibition in the Tate Modern.
  9. Santiago-Muxía-Finisterra. Back to cycling again. The last stage of my cycling expedition from my home in Cambridgeshire to Santiago de Compostela in NW Spain. On this leg, I left Santiago to reach the most westerly point of the Spanish peninsula.
  10. Latin as a school’s ‘lingua franca’. I had a very classical education. Four of my ‘O levels’ were classical subjects: Latin, Ancient Greek, Roman History and Greek History. Hence much of the day-to-day language of the school was a derivative of this classical bias.

It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver - Mahatma Gandhi.

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