Interview 033: Ian Finlay | My Endless Summer + Tips for Cycling The Pamir Highway

This blog post was written by Ian Finlay on Sunday, April 19, 2020.

My Endless Summer

A guy quit his job to cycle around the world and has shared details of his amazing journey. Ian Finlay has pedalled 29,000km and visited 29 countries, travelling more than halfway around the equator. Once the planet is open for business again, Ian will make his way back home to complete a full circumnavigation. 

 

The keen cyclist from Cumbria, England set aside three years to see the planet and try new things along the way. Over the last 18 months the 53-year-old has ridden from his UK home to New Zealand by the classic Silk Road route.

Ian has shared the roads with many cyclists along the way and although they have all since moved on, they continue to follow each others’ onwards journeys all over the world. 

“Australia from Cairns has proved to be a physical challenge, with big distances between towns in a heatwave and drought on top of the usual summer sunshine. The beaches, though, are so beautiful and numerous. I’ve had the opportunity to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef, take a light plane over Heart Reef and fly in a stunt plan over Airlie Beach. I’ve got to meet some beautiful people, including homestays with three who’d been following my journey for over a year.”
Ian Finlay

Earlier, Ian travelled through Tajikistan, which borders Afghanistan, to ride through the Bartang and Wakhan Valleys. He said this was the most ambitious part of the whole trip; one he feared the most but also enjoyed the most. 

It took 10 days to cycle through the Wakhan Valley. The challenges and experiences through that valley have changed me. So many fears, values, preconceptions, beliefs and aspirations dealt with in such a short time.
Ian Finlay

Ian has also discovered a love of writing during his trip and already has more than enough material to write a book about his experience when he gets home. His journey will continue on to China, South Korea, Japan, South America, Canada, North America and Southern Europe.

Follow Ian on his adventures at:

Show Notes

~ 01m 20s     Thanking my newest Patreon supporter and answering a question about Brooks saddles
~ 03m 45s     Intro to Episode, who is Ian Finlay
~ 11m 45s     You stop aging when you travel, and advantages of bike touring later in life rather than when younger
~ 18m 45s     Bike and setup: Rohloff hubs, dynamos, Brooks saddles, solar panels
~ 24m 15s     Mechanical issues, crashing into cars more than once
~ 28m 30s     Cycling through Turkey
~ 33m 30s     Mapping and navigation apps
~ 36m 00s     Cycling in Europe, the story of the Gypsy camp
~ 41m 30s     Flying from Eastern Europe to SE Asia for the winter
~ 45m 45s     Challenges of cycling SE Asia, paying bribes at the border
~ 54m 40s     Home for a wedding and off to the Balkans, which Balkan country he’d like to visit and explore more
~ 62m 30s     Kazakhstan and Central Asia, story of the woodcarver in Khiva, Tunnel of Death
~ 73m 15s     What he loved about Tajikistan, tips on cycling the Bartang & Wakhan Valleys, story of the blocked fuel line in the middle of nowhere
~ 01h 25m     Leaving the Pamirs and going to Osh, Kyrgyzstan, plans to return another time and where he’ll go
~ 01h 27m     Cycling Australia and New Zealand, Covid-19, Going home
~ 01h 36m     Where to find Ian Finlay, next episode Luke Grenfell-Shaw, concluding notes

About the Author
Traveller. Cyclist. Expat. Over 15 years experience living abroad in six different countries. I've travelled to over 40+ countries and met countless travellers, cyclists, and other expats. As a passionate cyclist I've had opportunities to bike tour in some truly amazing places. While definitely not an expert at bike touring, I'm passionate about sharing bike touring stories and helping others learn hacks, tricks, and techniques to improve their touring experience. I look forward to you joining me on this journey of learning about and becoming a better bike tourist.

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