As the light dawns

You open your eyes, not quite sure what time it is, and not bothered by it, either. You know it’s still early, so you lie there for a bit, looking at the tent above you, and listening to the sounds outside. The light breeze whispering through the nearby trees, the verbal battles fought by songbirds. Outside your tent, the world is slowly waking up to a new day.

After a short while, you unzip your sleeping bag, then the tent, crawl outside and stretch. You take your time to look around you, and smile at the view. Next, you fill the mug in which you’ll be boiling water and place it on your camping stove, so you can have that all-important first hot brew of the day.

Coffee (or tea) in hand, later you stand and slowly turn around, absorbing the landscape around you, knowing you’ll be packing up soon, and will probably never return to this same spot. Sipping your hot drink slowly, you feel alive, and glad to be just where you are, at that moment in time.

That satisfaction, that deep happiness, shows as an involuntary smile on your face.

This is the reality so many cycle tourers experience regularly, and you can join them.

Cycle touring remains the very best way to explore an area. While cycle touring doesn’t have to involve camping, I believe you’ll find it hugely adds to the experience, but it remains perfectly acceptable to use B&Bs or hotels to overnight in.

There’s something enormously calming, almost mesmerising, to be found in spinning the pedals as you traverse the landscape under your own power. Hills that you wouldn’t register as hills when driving soon will slow you down, and your legs will tell you that you’re going uphill, but of course you can stop as often as you want. 

See also  Wild Atlantic Way - Day 13

There are no rules that state you must cycle at a given average speed, or that you must cycle a certain minimum distance per day. You may choose to do 20 miles in a day, or 80 miles – it’s entirely up to you, and neither is wrong, or right.

Cycle touring offers a great freedom, more freedom than what most people tend to experience in their lives. It will take you to places you may never have visited before (and may never visit again) often along routes you wouldn’t, or couldn’t travel by car.

Going cycle touring is far easier than you think, and I’ve previously compiled a bunch of information to help you, beginning with cycle touring FAQs, but also looking at cycle camping, and a number of other cycle touring posts.

The only thing stopping you is you. Go on. Go cycle touring. You will love it!

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