Local adventurer at Corby’s Celebration of Cycling

Adventurer Tom Allen who will be at Corby's Celebration of Cycling on Saturday (June 22)
Adventurer Tom Allen who will be at Corby's Celebration of Cycling on Saturday (June 22)

Intrepid cyclist Tom Allen, who has made a film about his epic journey across three continents, will be at Corby’s Celebration of Cycling on Saturday (June 22) to answer questions about his four-year trip.

Tom, of Middleton, was just 23 when he set off in 2007 for an adventure of a lifetime which he has made into the film Janapar: Love on a Bike.

The film will be shown at a pedal-powered cinema in The Lab in the Cube at 4pm, followed by a question and answer session with Tom.

It follows his journey from Middleton on his overladen touring bike, without a map or guidebook.

By the end of his trip, he has not only conquered mountain ranges and 13,000 miles, but has fallen in love with an Armenian-Iranian girl and persuaded her to get on a bike and join him in his adventure.

Tom and Tenny are now married and planning another epic two-wheeled journey, this time to Iran.

Janapar, the Armenian word for journey, was edited by Tom’s friend and former BBC producer and director James Newton.

Tom said: “The film tells the story of a fairly typical Westerner in his twenties who decides to jack it all in and hit the road. That was me, five years ago. Since then I’ve been travelling the world with little more than a bicycle, a tent and a video camera. The core of Janapar’s story, however, is not in the traveller’s tales but in the unexpected relationship I found which fundamentally changed the way I look at life. The resulting film is highly personal, but I’m comfortable sharing it now because of the universal messages in the story.”

The film was premiered last September at the Raindance Festival in London and is being screened at venues around the UK.

Cllr Paul Beattie, a volunteer for Sustrans, a national cycling charity which supports the Corby cycling festival, said: “It’s quite a coup for us to have Tom at the festival and I hope people will come along and see his film.

“This is the second celebration of cycling we have held in Corby. Last year’s was a huge success and we hope people will support it this time and enjoy the fun.

“Cycling ticks all the boxes. It’s a sustainable form of transport, it’s healthy and, most of all, it’s fun.”

The festival, which runs from 10am until 3pm, in the square outside the Cube, is being staged by Corby Council and the county council.

Attractions will include a crazy bike try-out area, pedal-powered Scalextric, sound system and smoothie-maker, a BMX mini-half pipe and a wall-of-death display on The Bomberdrome by Northampton group, The Ministry of Bikes.

Rockingham Forest Wheelers and Adrenaline Alley will also be at the festival and the Bike Doctor will be in attendance to give free cycle checks.

Cllr Beattie, a keen cyclist, said: “Corby is a great place to cycle in, with plenty of green spaces. If people come along there will be information and advice available to help them get the most out of cycling.”

The event is free and there will be no admission charge to the screening of Janapar.