Oxfordshire-based travel writer and adventurer Simon Parker will kick off his Riding Out tour this Spring with a series of theatre and literary festival appearances around the UK.
Riding Out will see Simon share the highs and lows from his 3,427-mile cycling expedition around the perimeter of the UK during a global pandemic.
Guests will be taken along for the ride via a series of intimate anecdotes, high-quality short films, photos and audio clips. Simon will visit more than 50 locations in Britain and will be offering guests the opportunity to read more in his new book, Riding Out.
An esteemed travel writer and international broadcaster, Simon’s world fell apart when the COVID pandemic put a stop to global travel. Overnight his ordinarily jammed schedule was left empty, and like many, his mental health spiralled to a place of misery and hopelessness.
Things deteriorated further with news of a close personal tragedy, and Simon knew that something drastic had to be done to change his downward trajectory. He turned to the only therapies he could trust: travel and exercise.
Setting off on a 3,427-mile solo cycling expedition around the edge of Britain was no mean feat. Simon camped on Scotland’s isolated beaches in Shetland, Orkney and the Highlands.
On his travels, Simon met a myriad of inspiring Britons, all drawing strength from their situation and finding hope in the darkness. Simon portrays a tale of resilience and determination, the healing power of gentle exercise, and how new beginnings can emerge with new scenery.
“Like millions of people all over Britain, I struggled to stay positive in the early days of the pandemic”, said Simon, “but by hitting the road and putting my faith in adventure and exercise, I was able to find solace in the epic landscapes of Britain and learn to find comfort in the unknown.
“This trip gave me an opportunity to digest the fractious events we were facing. It was an expedition on home soil, but it made me feel alive rather than simply surviving. I learned so much from so many people, and I’m looking forward to sharing those lessons with audiences this year. The pandemic is hopefully coming to an end, but these lessons are timeless and universal, and I plan to implement them into the rest of my life.”
Riding Out is guaranteed to captivate and delight audiences around the country. A portrait of Britain during a time of uncharted hardship – a tale of extreme highs and devastating lows told through intimate humour, film and photography. Simon’s journey affirms the healing power of nature, passing landscape, and old fashioned adventure.
2022 tour dates in venues across Oxfordshire
11 April – Banbury Mill Arts Centre
22 April – Chipping Norton Literary Festival
10 May – Oxford Tap Social
05 August – Wilderness Festival, Charlbury
The talk will be followed by a Q&A, and his new book, Riding Out, will be available to purchase.
Riding Out is a story of optimism and hope, and a ground-level portrait of Britain as it transforms from a country in crisis to a nation on the mend. From Shetland to the Scillies, Dover to Durness, Simon learns that life’s sharpest corners are best navigated at the gentle pace of a bicycle.
The book will be released on 21 April 2022 but you can pre-order a copy from the following booksellers: