I’m Rob Ainsley, a cycling writer based in York, England.
Sometimes I write for amusement (see Fun stuff) but it’s also my living. I contribute regularly to magazines and books, and give talks on cycling and cycle-touring. Here are a few examples of what I do.
I’ve also written, and sometimes co-written, edited or contributed to, over two dozen books. These include the Bluffer’s Guides to maths, university, Japan, the internet, computers, and cycling (Oval/Bluffers Guides/Haynes, 1988-2018); 50 Quirky Bike Rides (Eye, 2006); Great Cycle Journeys of the World (New Holland, 2010); The Sideways Guide to Composers (Future, 1993); Inside the Orchestra (Future, 1994); That British Style (Kodansha, 2000); and a few computer manuals.
I write a monthly humorous column on everyday cycling for Cycling Plus magazine, and research many of their ‘Local Knowledge’ routes. I also write for Cycling UK’s magazine and website, and occasionally for BBC Music magazine.
I give lively and humorous talks on everyday cycling and touring, illustrated with unique images from twenty years of touring the world.
I occasionally write pieces for guitar. Here are four recent examples, inspired by bike rides.
Patterns for guitar (MP3, 6min 20sec) inspired by a ride to Zebra Hill, North Yorkshire. Photos, info and links to the score on the Zebra Hill page.
Reflections for guitar (MP3, 6min 30sec) inspired by a ride around Yorkshire’s largest lake. Photos, info and links to the score on the Hornsea Mere page.
Workings for guitar (MP3, 5min) inspired by a ride around ‘Yorkshire’s Machu Picchu’. Photos, info and links to the score on the Coldstones Cut page.
Etude for guitar (MP3, 3min) inspired by MTB rides on collapsed roads over the ‘shivering mountain’. Photos, info, and links to score on the Mam Tor page.
Lyric piece for guitar (MP3, 4min) inspired by slow summer evening ride in the Staffordshire Peaks. Photos, info and links to the score on the Hen Cloud page.
I also arrange a few things for the instrument. The YouTube videos below have performances with scores. You can download PDFs of them.