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No plans necessary: Cyclist Rolf Riley takes on Cyprus “one day at a time”

rolf on bike

Tired of the UK’s ‘live to work’ ethic, cyclist Rolf Riley, aged 53, cut the safety net and set off on a life’s journey around the continents. Now, with just his bike and guitar in tow he has set off on a remarkable unplanned road trip around Cyprus. Here is his story.

Riley got his first taste of freedom back in 1976, when he was just 15-years-old.

“My parents bought me my first ‘racer’ style dropped handlebar bicycle, so I rode to Paris and back that same year with two of my school friends, sleeping rough along the way. That was the happiest two weeks of my life.”

Over the years, Rolf succumbed to what he calls “societies expectations”. He got married, bought a house and worked on his career; but that only made him “fat, unfit and miserable”. He even stopped cycling, and when he reached a whopping 23 stone he knew it was time to change.

“My doctor told me some hard truths, so I decided to get fit and I remembered those days of fun I had at 15 so I started on my rusty old mountain bike”.

From there he got better and better, thinner and thinner. After losing his mother three years ago, Rolf decided that life was too short to sit in societies ‘box’, so he rented his flat in Brighton, loaded up his Dawes Galaxy bicycle and embarked on an amazing adventure, which has led to this impromptu road trip around Cyprus.

bike bogaz

Rolf and his bike in Bogaz.

Rolf has ridden on every piece of road in North Cyprus (where he is based), including many ascents to Kantara and Buffavento castle, St. Hilarion castle and he has even ridden to the tip of the Karpaz.

From the mountains and the safe roads, to the polite cypriot drivers, Rolf loves everything about Northern Cyprus.

“Only the other day whilst riding past the huge Turkish flag on the hill in Northern Cyprus, a white van driver came along and handed me a cold bottle of water! That would be unheard of in the UK.”

Along the way, Rolf has been updating his blog ‘Cycling in Cyprus with no particular plan’ which he calls his  personal “scrapbook”.

“People are mostly supportive and interested but some people don’t believe me when I say I have ridden the kind of mileage I do! One thing I have learnt is that I can do anything I want to, all I have to do is commit to it and only then does success become a forgone conclusion.”

Rolf’s Cypriot adventure continues, and if you want to follow him then check out his blog here.

About the author

Alexandra Gagan

Editor & Writer of Life North Cyprus. E: [email protected]

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Alexandra Gagan - November 15, 2014

Hello Alina,

Thank you very much for commenting.

As a matter of fact we met up with Rolf last week, so there will be a article about his following adventures very soon!

So do make sure to watch this space!


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