About The Author

Mark Swain was born in Singapore in 1958, where his father was stationed in the RAF. He has lived in many countries, and as a young man found it hard to break the habit of a nomadic life, spending a great deal of his youth hitchhiking around Europe.

With a low boredom threshold, Mark has had dozens of jobs and quite a few careers, but only one wife. Studying Graphic Design at Hastings College of Art, he ran off and joined the Army in search of adventure. Later he found himself travelling the world on the QE2 as a silver-service waiter and going to the Falklands war. 1984 found him in Tokyo, where he met his wife Lorna. Between then and now, Mark has pursued many careers – eventually setting up a risk management and business training company. At 54, when not writing, he still works as a management consultant and motivational speaker. He sleeps little, yet there are never enough hours in his day.

Mark and his wife Lorna have three grown-up children and live in Canterbury, Kent. He plans to repeat this cycle trip with his grandchildren – when they arrive.


For my father, Ken Swain, who worried about me too much, and for my son Sam, who has taught me how to worry less.

I am indebted to my parents for their kindness in spite of my refusal to conform, to my children for their good advice, to Colin Bowyer for taking the burden of business responsibility from my shoulders and not least to my wife for her support, and for helping me to make sense of my life.

Steve Walsh provided us with a target to aim for, hospitality at the end, advice and much else. Martin Latham gave me invaluable encouragement and advice. There are many more. People have always been generous to me, regardless of my lack of restraint. Thank you. I love you all. And, by the way, I may never learn to shut up.

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