GOM on a Bike

“Bicycle touring is heightened awareness. It’s the difference between microwaving and cooking a meal from scratch. It’s the difference between standing awe-struck in front of a painting and clicking past it on the internet. Now imagine this feeling every day, all day. Something as simple as THE GROUND becomes very important. Is it level? Soft? Wet? You really begin to SEE the ground. You see people. And landscapes. And food. You might even see yourself. “ –Rebecca Jensen



Firstly, I am no great touring purist. I am quite happy to admit I do sometimes take a train or bus. Come to think of it, I rarely do a tour without jumping on some form of mechanical transport. Whizzing past long, straight, boring bits or having a coffee at 100 mph while the rain runs down the carriage window brings a well-earned guilt-free smile. I have found this particularly applies to trying to get out big city’s. It seems a lot easier to cycle into one than to leave it.

This freedom from ideology is what for me, makes cycle touring a enjoyable experience. It’s not just getting an understanding the lay of the land, all the sights and smells are there to enjoy at your own pace. The freedom to stop and stare when you want. People will readily speak to you when you pull up. How many times have you passed a view in a car and wished you could stop and take a photograph? Fancy a detour? And what about guilt-free eating? 5000 calories a day is a lot of ice-cream!

I do recommend you join the CTC (Cyclist Touring Club) their forum’s are particularly knowledgeable. The magazine is ‘alright’ but still beats the other cycle mags. I am a firm believer in good cycle gear, you have enough to contend with on the road (finding the right way, is one) without addition problems with your panniers, clothing and mechanical failure.

Get an understanding of how your bike works. When at home fix as many things as you can yourself!

I have a a page here about my Dawes Galaxy Tourer and some comments about kit to carry.

Stewart


How far can you go in one day?.... Your average is 40% less than you dreamed 20% less than you want and 10% less than you realistically hoped for.


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    The Rhine Tour 2014

    Fly to Andermatt in Switzerland, ride from the Rhine source through France , Germany and Holland.

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    Western Isles Tour 2008

    My first long-distance trip. Edinburgh start then 17 Scottish Islands. Incl. Arran, Eriskay, Sth Uist. Skye Mull etc. 3 week tour

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    Viva La Espana 2012

    Ferry to Santander and roughly follow The Silver Route to Cadiz. Then on to Teneriffe (ferry). Fly back. 4 week tour.

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    Tour de France 2013

    Fly to Biarittz and bike back home using Eurovelo route. Detour along coast to St Malo ferry back. Two week tour.

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    The Western Front

    One week day-touring. Based at Leper and explore the Western Front. Day visit to the Somme and Bruge.

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    Coast to Coast

    Started at Whithaven and followed Sustrans route to Newcastle. Back via Carlisle following Hadrians Wall (1 week)

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    The Borders Raid

    A nice 3 day tour from Edinburgh onto Berwick then Melrose and over the hills back to Edinburgh. All on Sustrans routes

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    The Cotswolds

    Nice if you can aviod the tourest spots. 4 day tour and not one bit of it was flat! Published cycle route.

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Grumpy says " Money cannot buy happiness but somehow, it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than a on a bicycle".