Cycle Touring – Where To Begin?

Ah, the thrill of the open road! Nothing but you, your bike and the wind in your hair. Well, that and a couple of panniers stuffed with essentials!

Travelling by bike, you’re immersed in the scenery, an extension of the landscape as you feel the earth’s undulations underfoot, or under wheel. The journey is the reason for your trip, rather than a means to an end.

Emily Chappel, via Brooks England

Emily Chappel, via Brooks England

For me, cycle touring is the ultimate bicycle based adventure; the pinnacle of free and easy living where the simple pleasure of riding a bike is amplified ten-fold. It’s the only way to explore – slow enough to inhale your surroundings with gusto, but sufficiently fast that you can cover large swathes of your chosen country. Cycle touring offers freedom and flexibility; pull over and stop whenever and wherever you please, linger over campfire cuppas or gourmet lunches. Why not sleep out in the wildnerness, hang your hammock in an orchard or check into a boutique hotel? There’s so much pleasure in giving in to the whims of the weather, your body (and your bike!) and just ‘going’ with it.

But that’s not to say that a little bit of planning would be amiss, and anyway, day-dreaming and plotting your trip is half the fun. Though there’s a lot to be said for booking a return flight with no itinerary to bridge the gap, in my experience a bit of research and even the vaguest of plans ensure you’ll draw the maximum pleasure from your time on the road. If you’d like to find out more about planning your first cycle based adventure, head over to Total Women’s Cycling to read my piece on just that.

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