Thursday, 8 November 2012

Reasons to go Cycle Touring...


Arriving through my letterbox this week was one of the many cycling magazines that I subscribe to...
One of the sub headlines on the front cover listing some of the features in this month's issue was something that caught my eye.... '20 reasons to go cycle touring this weekend!' 

What a bit of luck I thought because that's just what I'd planned to do anyway...a weekend out on the tourer mixed with a couple of nights in my tent....
Now I must admit that I don't need twenty reasons to go cycle touring in fact I don't even need ten...one is enough for me and that's  because it's fun!! 

I think that I was about twelve years old when I set off on my first cycle touring trip and in those early days I used to spend the nights at Youth Hostels..of course that was back in the days when Youth Hostels were not run like mini hotels as they seem to be nowadays...
However by the time I was fourteen I started doing what I like to think of as proper touring, that is with tent...sleeping bag and cooking equipment....fifty years later I am still doing it.  

Now I'm not going to list all of the 20 reasons that were in the magazine article, but I think that it is worth mentioning a few that would be on my list for those of you who might have never tried it
before....

Freedom and Independence....
As a youngster I think that those two were pretty important. It was an escape for a short while away from the control of my parents.. For adults it is a chance to be free of work and the regime of modern living, a chance to get away from it all....

A chance to Explore.... 
Finding and exploring new places and revisiting old places....

Experience the slow pace of life on the road.... 
There really is a different pace of life when you are living on the road....
When I look back on some of my longer trips such as when I cycled back from Gibraltar, the rides seem to develop their own pace and shape....it's a bit like going back to basics where the only things that are important are food..warmth...and somewhere to sleep...nothing else seems to matter much....
Things that seem so important in our everyday lives can be viewed from a different perspective and don't seem to count for so much when you are out on the road cycle touring....

One of the reasons that was listed in the magazine was because every bike enthusiast should have at least one cycle touring trip on their palmares...it went on to say that  "it's an experience that seals a bond between the rider, the bike and the open road" and that "once you've been on a tour you're a proper bike rider and no one can take that away from you". 
Now I don't know whether that's true, but if it is, it means that I have been a proper bike rider for an awful lot of years...

What I will say, is that I am often surprised at the number of riders that have ridden sportives.... raced...done time trials etc but have never tried cycle touring... 
If you have never tried it, give it a go..I am sure that you will enjoy it and your first trip will open up a whole new and exciting chapter in your cycling experience.....

I have just checked over my touring bike....my panniers are all packed and I am ready to set off tomorrow and meet up with some friends.... When I get back I should have some photos of my mini cycle touring weekend to share with you...Whatever happens with the weather the one thing that I can be sure of, is that the weekend will be fun..!!



10 comments:

Rulebritannia said...

At twelve was your first cycle a penny farthing? Brand new off the hand lathe?

I'm getting my mag tomorrow so I did not read on too far on the post mate.

Anonymous said...

Have a great weekend. Wish I was coming with you. Up here the ground is too saturated to camp at present
Brenda in the Boro
www.cyclinginthesixthdecade.Wordpress.com

Paul said...

Enjoy you're trip Trevor. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Kaleb K said...

Touring is great fun. great way to travel from place a to b as its a different experience from the seat of a car.

jeff said...

Have a great trip! I've love the supported tours I've done, but it's been too long since I did a self-supported tour. I do need to get out and do that again.

rlove2bike said...

Sounds great and I too wish I could go with you. I enjoy touring, but have not done nearly enough of it. I am looking forward to the report and pictures.

Thanks for the post,
RL

adventure! said...

I can definitely think of more than 20 reasons to bike tour. (Maybe not this weekend, though some friends are trying to get me to go cyclocamping.) Love to hear more stories from the era before hostels became more like mini-hotels.

Have fun on your ride!

Steve A said...

Did the mag include your own reason amongst the 20?

The bike shed said...

You are right - going touring is essential to becoming a fully rounded cyclist. And the reason, I think, is that cycling is as much an inner journey as a physical one. Touring with its emphasis on discovery and friendship rather than miles and times, brings this to the fore

Trevor said...

It does seem as if most of you feel the same about cycle touring as I do...
To answer Steve A..Yes Steve the magazine did include my own reason for cycle touring but also included others that seemed a bit convoluted to me...
Mark at 'the bike shed' hit it on the head with his comments regarding the emphasis being on discovery and friendship....
Thanks to you all for your always valued comments...