We pass on a few tips to make trav­el­ling with your bike less of a chore.

For English ad­ven­turer Bene­dict Allen, ex­plo­ration is a per­sonal busi­ness, best done by in­ter­act­ing with in­dige­nous peo­ple, on their terms, alone and with­out backup.


What were the early in­flu­ences and ex­pe­ri­ences that set you on the road to ex­plo­ration? My fa­ther was a test pi­lot, and I used to watch him fly over our back gar­den as a lit­tle boy. One day he dipped the wing of a plane – it was a Vul­can Bomber – as a way of say­ing hello. I still re­mem­ber the ex­cite­ment – I was prob­a­bly aged four or less. I think hav­ing a pi­o­neer as a fa­ther made all the dif­fer­ence. It made it seem pos­si­ble to do some­thing a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent. By the age of ten I an­nounced my de­ci­sion to my par­ents. My mother was ap­palled: it was bad enough for her hav­ing to worry about my dad. Now I was go­ing to fol­low suit! But I was a dreamer, a ro­man­tic, as well as mis­sion-ori­en­tated like my dad. So I did my jour­neys in my own way, off to far corners of the world.

Were you ever drawn to climb Ever­est? I have never had an in­ter­est in Ever­est. I have an in­ter­est in moun­taineers, or some of them, be­cause I share at least some of their de­sire to push them­selves, to reach into the un­known. But why to­day would some­one climb Ever­est? It is not the most dif­fi­cult place to climb or reach. Sadly, the name car­ries ku­dos; as­cend­ing it is about brag­ging rights. I’m more in­ter­ested in a lit­tle old lady who has pushed her­self to the limit in climb­ing a lo­cal hill. She has done it for her­self. She needs no one to ap­plaud her. Antarc­tica is prob­a­bly the largest blank on the map. Did that ever ap­peal, es­pe­cially given the rich British her­itage of ex­plor­ers there? Walk­ing to the South Pole is not ex­plo­ration, al­though it may well be an as­tound­ing ath­letic feat. The land it­self en­chants me, but very early on I de­cided to learn about the world through in­dige­nous peo­ple, who see places like t he Ama­zon, or Arc­tic, or Bor­neo, as their home. As a re­source, not a threat. And as the Antarc­tic has no in­dige­nous peo­ple, I quickly specialised in places else­where.

Scott is seen as the quin­tes­sen­tial British ex­plorer, dy­ing a ‘noble’ death, hav­ing failed

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