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Inspirational presentations

Speaking To Entertain, Educate, Inspire And Motivate



Presentations to Schools

Chris speaks to pupils about the importance of having a dream, about connecting with their passions, about recognising and seizing opportunities, and about the vital nature of thorough preparation. The slideshow of the journey provides a fabulous Geography lesson: how better to experience variations in climate, terrain, culture and peoples than on a bicycle? Alternatively, a lecture about the use of description, dialogue, drama, humour and the creation of atmosphere in 'Why Don't You Fly?', accompanied by readings and slides, makes for an ideal English lesson for pupils of over-fourteen.
Chris adapts the duration and the nature of presentations to suit individual requirements. He offers to bring along the travel-worn bicycle and some of the equipment he used, and he presents a free signed copy of 'Why Don't You Fly?' to school libraries. 
To book a school visit, contact Alex Corkran
07790 364784 or email


"Thank you for coming into school last week for 'World Book Day'. The assembly, and talks you gave, were an inspiration to all who heard them, and I look forward to reading your book over the Easter Holiday."
Allan Gilhooley, Headteacher, Lacon Childe School, Cleobury Mortimer

Just a message from everyone at Lacon Childe – we would like to thank you for spending World Book Day with us. Your assembly gave us the best possible start and you have been a great talking point. Your time with us, and your preparation, are greatly appreciated.
Jane Cullen, English Teacher, Lacon Childe School, Cleobury Mortimer

You came to school to talk to our Lower Sixth girls last summer, and I wonder if you would like to do the same again this year? The feedback on your talk was extremely good.
Pam Rutter, King Edward VI High School for Girls, Edgbaston

Every child interested in geography should have the availability to read this book, as much for its excellent descriptive English as the content.
Julia Leedham-Green




‘The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.’
Albert Einstein

During lavishly illustrated presentations, Chris demonstrates with the help of some breathtaking photography just what it is possible to achieve with a healthy body and a well-made bicycle. His lungs and legs powered him into headwinds, across deserts and up to mountain passes (and a wonderfully indomitable, reliable and adaptable source of power they proved to be).

How does it feel to trade domestic comfort and security for life as a nomad and to pare one’s life down to the bare necessities? What is it like to push at the frontiers of one’s physical and mental endurance? What is the effect upon the human spirit of struggling against hurricanes in the Gobi Desert by day and shivering alone in culverts at night? How does the agnostic westerner react to the religious fatalism of Islam and Hinduism in encounters with locals?


Chris at Ottakers Burton
Book signing at Burton created a lot of interest

As well as attempting to answer these questions, Chris speaks about the importance of having a dream, about connecting with one’s passions, about recognising and seizing opportunities – and about how he wore out three sets of tyres, three chains, two sets of gears, two pairs of boots, and fell off the bike six times.

The human body is a powerful, flexible and immensely sophisticated engine that thrives on hard work, but advances in technology have all too often led to its neglect and a resulting decline in physical condition. Since returning from China in September 2001, Chris has more than quadrupled the 16,500 miles covered during the ride by cycling 125 miles a week to and from work in all weather conditions. His colleagues are incredulous. ‘Why don’t you drive?’ they ask. The power of the ‘human engine’ is sadly underestimated and its potential largely unrealised by those who prefer to rely on the internal combustion engine to the long term detriment of their health and the environment.

Presentations generally last from 60 to 90 minutes, plus as much extra time as necessary to take questions afterwards. Chris displays the travel-worn bicycle and some of the equipment he used, and signed copies of ‘Why Don’t You Fly?’ (short-listed for the 2011 Rubery International Book Award) can be made available afterwards.

As well as regularly speaking at private functions and schools, Chris has appeared at

The Assembly Rooms, Ludlow
Chequer Mead Arts Centre, East Grinstead
The Talbot Theatre, Whitchurch
Evesham Arts Centre
Coach House Theatre, Malvern
The Courtyard, Hereford
Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Cheltenham Town Hall
The Torch Theatre, Milford Haven

Details of forthcoming public appearances are posted on the Blog

The Great Oak Bookshop
in Llanidloes
loaded bicycle
The loaded bicycle can be displayed to promote events
The presentation took place in the town's arts centre and attracted an
audience of 65
book signing
Presentations are followed by a book signing. 25 copies were sold by
the Great Oak Bookshop
Gaby and Karin, proprietors of The Great Oak Bookshop


'Both Jean & I really enjoyed the Chris Smith presentation and appreciated the effort not only for the talk but to bring his expedition bike was, in my view, a masterpiece'.

Donald Lever (membership secretary, National Clarion Cycle Club)


Thank you for the very enjoyable, witty and informative lecture you treated us to last week.
Barbro Millward (Sutton Coldfield National Trust)

I need hardly say we were all completely in awe of your epic adventure and comments ranged from 'truly inspirational', 'very courageous', 'unbelievable' and 'brave' to 'foolhardy' and 'crazy'! I am currently reading your book and I am halfway through India so still have much excitement and many surprises to come. I wish you the best of luck for the future and at least you will always have the satisfaction of saying that you achieved your dream while the rest of us just thought about it! Thank you once again.
Brian Cash (Droitwich 97 Probus Club)

A quick note to say thank you for your presentation to MCCC at Ashwood Marina on Tuesday evening. I hope you enjoyed talking to us as much as we all enjoyed hearing about your epic bike ride. As Bob Morgan said in his introduction, you are no mere mortal and your story about your trip was truly inspirational.
Beryl Heath (Chairman - Midlands Coastal Cruising Club)

I really enjoyed the additional touches of very detailed maps and an inspirational maxim accompanying each stunning photograph of your journey to Beijing .
Liz Allen-Back (The King's School, Worcester)

We met when you gave us Droitwich Probus '97) your ‘ UK to Beijing ’ talk. I am just coming to the end of your marvellous book, which is so much more than a travel book. I have enjoyed it so much – you have so much to say about the countries that you cycled through and the people that you met. My very best regards, and thank you again for giving ME an ‘Incredible Journey’.
Terry Peasley (Hon Sec Droitwich Probus ’97)

What a great feat of endurance your ride was. You have been an inspiration to myself and many others. Not that you will remember but I was the chap at Crewe library who asked how it was you were able to photogragh yourself on the front cover of the book. You have been an example to us all of what can be achieved. Brilliant.
Mark Pountain

Just to say how much I liked your talk at Eastbourne Under Ground Theatre and loved your book. All the best with whatever you decide to do next.
Jen Popkin


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