‘The sport of cycling consists of sitting on a luxurious saddle and being moved rapidly in the direction you wish to go by unseen heavenly powers’. Jerome.K Jerome
Hello and welcome to The Hungry Cyclist website, a little corner of the internet dedicated to my passion for cycling and food. My name is Tom Kevill-Davies, I love riding my bicycles, I love to travel and I love to cook and eat good food. It really is that simple.
As the name of my ‘alter ego’ suggests a love of food is the main reason I travel and when out on the road I only have three appointments. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eating is the only real to do list of my day and being on a bicycle burning stupid numbers of calories, I always arrive perfectly equipped.
‘Hunger makes the best gravy’ an old relative used to advise me, and from my ‘luxurious saddle’ food has never tasted better. I still dream about the succulent salsa soaked fish tacos I enjoyed while cycling the pacific coast of Mexico; the home-made humus served with warm pitta bread in the Arab villages of Israel was biblically good and the fresh ceviche of the Peruvian Amazon remains to this day a firm favorite. But not wanting to come across as a glutton, I need to explain that it’s not just the taste of the food that keeps me riding from meal to meal.
I am intrigued by where food comes from, where ingredients are grown and how recipes are made and perhaps most importantly by the people who make it and eat it. In my opinion food is as important to culture as music, science, politics, art and religion because it is integral in all our lives. Whether we are growing it, catching it, transporting it, selling it, buying it, preparing or eating it food is everywhere and from the saddle of mans’ greatest invention it has never been more intriguing or accessible.
Riding my bicycle along the beaches of Brazil I have witnessed the back breaking work of the local fishermen whose daily catch provides a perfect moqueca. I have been soaked-through by the monsoon rains that irrigate the paddy fields of Laos to make the sticky rice of a perfect breakfast and I have suffered under the sun that dries the coffee beans in the mountain plantations of Colombia. I have camped next to rivers of migrating wild salmon in Canada, woken to the smell of fresh tortillas in Guatemala and sipped sweet tea with Bedouins under night skies in the deserts of Egypt.
My fascination with food could easily be a passion for music, art, architecture, human biology, plants or even wine for another, but could I have had these witnessed all these encounters on a different mode of transport? I don’t think so. In recent years the travel industry has changed as fast as the airplanes that jet millions around the world. No longer a luxury pursuit for a lucky few, today millions can travel creating a global industry worth tens of billions of dollars annually. Economics is making it harder to get off the beaten path to see what you want to see as ‘the industry’ becomes more and more determined to keep you on the most profitable track. But on a bicycle you choose your own way
‘The world is getting smaller’ is a phrase often touted as new generations embrace developments in communication and transport across a planet occupied by a truly global population. But on my bicycle the world is still as big as it ever was. A mile is still a mile. An hour is still an hour. The hills are still as steep and hard to get up, and just as much fun to come down. The rain is as wet as it ever was and the sun just as energy sapping.
The world is no less fascinating today than it was yesterday but life moves faster and faster and the devil is in the detail. And in my eyes it is the details that make our world so fascinating. I am yet to find a mode of transport that exposes me to these details so successfully as the bicycle and until I do I will stay in my saddle cycling and eating the world.
Enjoy the website and enjoy the ride!