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Adventurer Helen Lloyd Shares Her Experiences at the Half Moon

Wednesday 18 December 2013, 16:56
By Phil Bovey

Helen Lloyd, sat on the dirt

Helen Lloyd, global adventurer and long-distance cycle tourer, has had a relationship with Webtogs, the Wincanton-based e-retailer of outdoor gear, for more than four years. She's not only a user of the outdoor clothing and equipment we sell, but also writes as a guest contributor to our outdoor blog, the Tog Blog. Taking into account the places she's been, it's safe to say she's one of our most extreme kit testers!

Webtogs are hosting a public (and free) event at the Half Moon Inn, Horsington, on Saturday 28th December, during which Helen will give a presentation on her travels, with opportunity for questions and chat. Of course there'll also be opportunities for a few drinks – the event is taking place in a pub after all!

Desert Snow by Helen Lloyd, book coverThe Half Moon Inn, Horsington

Be sure to mark the date in your calendar if you're a fan of adventure travel, travel photography or cycle touring, as she's an authority on all these subjects and more. She's also the most interesting person you're likely to meet this year.

Helen Lloyd was born in 1981, and raised in Norfolk, England. Having studied aeronautical engineering at university, she spent four years working in the engineering industry; a feat which she describes in somewhat miraculous terms given her addiction to life on the road ever since!

Helen has always had a strong interest in sports, starting off in hockey, dipping into rowing and diversifying into mountain biking, snowboarding and adventure racing... a taste of challenges to come.

Helen Lloyd canoeingHelen took part in a youth expedition to the Indian Himalayas aged 16, a trip that ignited her passion for all things travel-related. Having caught the bug, she embarked upon a series of further travels, spending her gap year in South America, travelling the Silk Route through Asia, and traversing the Karakorum Highway, amongst her many achievements.

Arguably Helen's greatest feat to date came on 2009, when she left her job to cycle the incredible 25,000km distance from London to Cape Town, South Africa. Here at Webtogs the team was happy to help her out with kit, many amongst them secretly wondering if they'd ever see her again. Helen, however, stunned all her doubters by competing the epic, solo journey 20 months later, having survived (amongst other hazards) wild animal encounters, extreme high temperatures and sandstorms. All this whilst traveling unassisted through some of the least stable regions of what remains the world's least developed inhabited continent.

Throughout the course of her journey Helen raised vital funds for the Welbodi Partnership, a charity striving to improve medical care for children in Sierra Leone, where one in five still die before their fifth birthday. Her relationship with this good cause continues today.

As well as being a prolific blogger and writer of one of the most visited outdoor blogs on the Web, Helen wrote a book, 'Desert Snow', documenting her African adventures. It has since risen into the top 10 in the Amazon bestsellers list for terms Africa and travel, and into the top 30 for Adventure, as well as receiving numerous five-star reviews. Not bad for a lady who spends the majority of her time travelling between far-flung destinations by pedal-power (and occasional paddle-power).

Camels in a truck

Following an initial foray in the polar region earlier this year in Northern Scandinavia, in New Year 2014 Helen will head out onto 'the road' once more, on what could potentially be her toughest challenge yet. Her destination is one of the coldest and least accessible places on Earth: Eastern Siberia. Starting at Lake Baikal, she will follow the infamous 'Road of Bones' to the coldest inhabited place on earth, before carrying on into the wilderness when the road ends. If all goes well she will finish her journey on the Bering Sea.

Armed with some quality Rab clothing from Webtogs, and knowing the stories of her past successes, we're sure she'll reach her goal.

You can catch Helen Lloyd at the Half Moon Inn, Horsington, from 7.00pm on Saturday 28th December, before she jets off to Siberia in the New Year. It's completely free and anyone is welcome to attend. It's set to be a pretty informal occasion, and basically an excuse for a drink and a chat with a truly great adventurer, blogger and author.

Helen Lloyd cycling through the desert

The Webtogs team will be there too to share in all the adventure and cycling-related excitement (and of course help it all run smoothly). The Half Moon serve food too, so there'll be opportunity to grab a bite to eat before or after Helen's talk, if you're not feeling too over-indulged so soon after Christmas!

If you can make it, it would be great to see you there, and Helen will no doubt appreciate the support ahead of what is by anyone's measure, a daunting challenge! If you can't, please join us in wishing Helen Lloyd good luck in her future endeavours, wherever in the world they may take her.


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