Reflecting on 2015: An Extraordinary Year for CyclingAbout!

In just a few days it will be time to celebrate the New Year rolling in. I can’t believe how quick this current year has flown by.

It has been an extraordinary year for CyclingAbout, and I can’t be happier with the both the content and direction we’re heading in. Over the last 12 months CyclingAbout has experienced a growth in readership by more than a factor of three – that blows. my. mind. What can I say, I’m chuffed!

In May I published an e-Book, of which I am so proud. I spent so much time refining it to the point where you can quickly learn all the tips and information about bicycle travel out of a one-hour read.

I completed a site redesign, and shifted everything over to some quick servers in September because CyclingAbout crashed due to all the increased traffic. The site now loads four times quicker and is able to handle a few million users a month. I really like the more professional look and feel of the website these days, and hope you do too.

Bicycle Touring in One Hour - I'm really proud to have my name on the cover!
Bicycle Touring in One Hour: I’m really proud to have my name on the cover!

The Top 10 Reads of 2015

The most popular information on the website always interests me. This year, there was a huge amount of interest for smartphone-related mapping content on CyclingAbout, as well as detailed information on the new 2016 touring bikes.

  1. The Best Bike Smartphone Cases and Mounts for Cycling
  2. Gear Ratios – How to Select the Best Touring Bike Gearing
  3. Complete List of Off-Road Adventure Touring Bikes with Pricing
  4. The New Specialized AWOL Touring Bikes
  5. The New Cannondale Touring Bikes
  6. The New Salsa Marrakesh Touring Bikes
  7. The New Kona Roadhouse and Sutra LTD Touring Bikes
  8. The New Marin Four Corners Touring Bike
  9. The New Giant ToughRoad Touring Bikes
  10. What’s the Difference Between Cyclocross and Touring Bikes?


Riding folding bikes on the Mae Hong Son loop in Thailand - July 2015
Riding folding bikes on the Mae Hong Son loop in Thailand – July 2015

The Top Reads from Previous Years

Although a few resources from 2015 are now some of the most popular on CyclingAbout, here are pages from previous years that are ‘evergreen’ – still attracting lots of attention every single day.

  1. A Complete List of Touring Bicycle Manufacturers with Pricing – October 2013
  2. List of Hub Dynamo Power Supplies – March 2012
  3. Understanding Bicycle Frame Geometry – October 2013
  4. The Best Apps for GPS Navigtion On A Smartphone – January 2014
  5. 700C vs 26 Inch for Bicycle Touring – December 2011
  6. GPS Navigation: Bike Touring or Cycling with a Smartphone – January 2014
  7. Gates Carbon Belt Drive: Everything You Need To Know – May 2012
  8. List of XXL Bikes for Tall Cyclists – August 2014
  9. The 30 Nicest Touring Bikes in the World – May 2014


BaliByBike Beach
Paul van der Ploeg riding along the beach in Bali, Indonesia – December 2015

My Proudest Resources from 2015

Sometimes page views aren’t indicative of the quality of content that I try to create for CyclingAbout. Here are some resources that I created this year which are unique, highly detailed and took a long time to piece together.


Putting the Tern Eclipse folding bike to the sword in Thailand - August 2015
Putting the Tern Eclipse folding bike to the sword in Thailand – August 2015

My Favourite Short Films from 2015

I’ve just got back from a mountain biking trip in Bali with professional cyclist Paul van der Ploeg, and I really love the video blogs that we produced for #BaliByBike! Here’s part one, part two, part three and part four.

Paul van der Ploeg riding inside a volcano in Bali - December 2015
Paul van der Ploeg riding inside a volcano in Bali – December 2015

The End of Alleykat 🙁

Although 2015 has been a wildly successful year for CyclingAbout, it has personally been the toughest year of my life. In the month of March, Kat and I headed in separate directions, shortly after completing our 31,000km, two-year bike trip from Europe to Australia.

I have kept it quiet not because I don’t want it to be public knowledge, but rather that I’ve found it extremely hard to deal with. Kat is the person who I spent almost every hour with over multiple years. As a team, we tackled and won every challenge that travelling on a tandem bike threw at us. Kat managed to make me both the happiest and saddest I’ve ever been. She knows more about me than any other person on the planet, knowledge that she used to help me understand myself. I owe so much to Kat, and it pains me that we couldn’t continue to be partners in crime.

That should go a long way to explaining why a lot of the content that you read here is now is written from my perspective, rather than ‘Alleykats’.

Riding near Bedugul, Indonesia - December 2015
Riding near Bedugul, Indonesia – December 2015

A Big Thank You to You, the Readers!

Thanks for reading, contributing, getting in touch and generally supporting this website. I am more determined than ever to continue providing A+ content on CyclingAbout. There are so many exciting rides, resources, reviews and projects coming over the next 12 months, I don’t even know where to start! Don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly emails, follow us on Instagram, like us on Facebook and leave us comments where you can.

Happy adventures for 2016… send us a postcard from wherever you get to!

Owner and Publisher

  1. Sorry to hear about the “end of Alleykat”. I hear more and more stories of far distance travelers that follow their own ways after a long trip (or during it). Could it be that travel increases our desires and expectations for the new and unknown? Could it be that while sharing a multi-year cycle trip, a couple spends more time together than what a “normal” couple would during their whole life, so issues seem to come more often than usual? Nevertheless, all the best to both…

  2. It’s a very interesting topic, Joe – I will of course only be able to speak on behalf of my own experiences.

    I would say that relationships on long trips fold for the same reasons that they do for “normal” couples. Whether that’s feeling restricted within a relationship, issues with trust, differences in expectations, communication problems or simply growning apart (this would incorporate desires for the new and unknown); it is highly likely that these problems are expedited with the intensity of travel. I don’t believe that travel is ever specifically the cause of a break up – it’s more likely than not that the layers underneath simply expose themselves and make deficiencies known.

    For me personally, I believe the reason our relationship didn’t work (after travelling so successfully for so long) was due to a lack of honesty with ourselves; we both had very different motivations for completing the trip. It wasn’t until finishing that it all became apparent. Despite continually growing together over the 2+ years of travel, we were put in very different places moving forward, ultimately creating an incompatibility. It never crossed my mind that a lack of honesty (whether recognised or not) would result in my relationship’s demise! Ahh, we live and we learn.

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