About me

David Charles the Writer

I studied Middle Eastern history for five years before realising I was really only interested in the story bit. My stories have since been read by many thousands of intelligent and discerning humans. After getting tear-gassed in Tunis, my write-up was re-posted on the Guardian Comment Is Free, where one sharp commentator described me as ‘radical chic’. Nailed. You can find more bylines and other media mentions on my portfolio page.

As well as this blog of 400+ articles, I have written a number of books. Some of these I have published, and most are available as ebooks under my pay what you want policy, which means there is no excuse for not downloading a bit of what you fancy.

For politics and tech enthusiasts: Elevate #10 and Elevate: Open Everything? Two books from the Elevate Festival of Arts and Political Discourse.

For romantic travel buffs: The Soles of My Shoes, hitch-hiking London to Ben Nevis with a girl I hardly knew.

For practical travel buffs: How to Cycle 4,000 Miles When You HATE Lycra, tips for beginners on cycle touring.

For Psychology/Self-Help experimental types (forthcoming): You Are What You Don’t, adventures in positive constraints, from No Walking to No Money.

For speech and self-recording obsessives: Soliloquy, a transcript of the entirety of one day’s speech.

David Charles the Touring Cyclist

I have been cycling almost non-stop since picking up my dad’s old Apollo bike to commute to work in the winter of 2008. In spring 2009, frustrated with airline cancellations, I cycled a childhood friend’s ancient Halfords bike to where he now lived, in Bordeaux. That was the start of my touring career.

In 2011, I cycled 4,110 miles around Britain, a journey that inspired the title of my book How to Cycle 4,000 Miles When You HATE Lycra. A year later, I cycled through France, ferried across the Mediterranean and then circumnavigated Tunisia, as it rebalanced after the Arab Spring revolution.

Since these consecutive mega-tours, I have clocked up thousands of miles around London and have taken many day and night trips, including the famous 2015 Calais Critical Mass. Starting in 2016, I have had the pleasure of joining a monthly ride to the coast with fellow round Britain cyclist Anna Hughes. Seacycles is a friendly group ride with the sole ambition of leaving London for the sea – join us!

Me and vegan cake

2 thoughts on “About me”

  1. Hi David,
    I am very inspired by your Mission Statement. I just found your website today, because I was searching for those who do the Pay What You Can philosophy, so I can do this myself when my Documentary Film is finished.I have avoided the corporate business world all my life, and am looking for a way to offer my art to others without going thru greedy big businesses parasites.

    Many people are trying to talk me out of this, but, like you, I have always shied away from money and financial transactions as well, and I never liked the idea of keeping ideas away from people who have very little to give back. And money is just an illusion anyway. We artists don’t create to receive money in return, but we do it to give to others. And those who appreciate our art will, in turn, give back to us.

    Your PWYW Philosophy page is so well worded, with your permission, I would like to add a similar page to my website as well.

    Thank you for inspiring me, David,


    1. Hi Richard,
      Thanks for your thanks!
      I’ve replied to you by email…

      ps: For anyone else interested, I release (most) of my work as Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) – a “Free Cultural Work”. For more information, see xx

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