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Phil's bike

The Spirit Of Adventure

Hello again!

Planet Earth recently had the two hottest days ever, which frankly is a terrifying fact. Alongside that, we had the hottest June in the UK since records began. The big tree outside my office window is seriously suffering from heat stress and lack of rain, and has been shedding dried-up leaves like it's autumn.

No, this isn't a gloom and doom edition of The Spirit Of Adventure, but rather me expressing genuine concerns. We all know what needs to be done, yet none of us (myself included) are doing anything remotely near what's needed. All that means is when we blow past the tipping points, the measure of pain we all will feel, as we're suddenly forced to make huge and dramatic changes to our lives, will be so much greater.

Tipping point is a good way to look at it. Have you ever stood on a see-saw, in the middle, and tried to balance it? Chances are, as you let one side rise, you will have overshot by quite some margin, causing the other side to smash into the ground with force. That's what overshooting a tipping point does, and that (in climate terms) is where we're heading. We're in for some very troubling times!

Swiftly moving on to happier things, the bike you can above belongs to Phil, who emailed me to let us know what he's up to. In a superb example of "You can go touring on any bike", Phil modified his old MTB to become an excellent go-anywhere machine!

Here's what he had to say:
"You’ve encouraged me enough to consider going much further afield in my travels. I’ve always been a utility cyclist and although I’m not quite prepared for over-nighters just yet, I am wanting to explore further.
I’ve dusted off my old mountain bike and made it a bit more appropriate for cycling further distances. I’ve done some scouring on eBay and fitted it with a Brooks cambium saddle and swept back handlebars, as well as stem adjuster. I’ve also fitted a rear rack and some Schwalbe Billy Bonker Tyres (used to have some really knobbly MTB brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr tyres). I think like you’ve mentioned in this article, I’m going to use the trains as a middleman. I’ve got 4 routes in mind around the area that I live in which give 3 distinct environments to cycle through.
Basingstoke Station to Winchester Station - travelling over the transition from the Hampshire Downs into the South Downs. There’s a massive hill to begin with so I think I’ll build up to this one.
Solent Coastal Ride- travelling down the River Itchen and then along the coast between Southampton and Hayling Island. This will involve 3 ferry crossings.
When I reach Hayling Island, I’ll then cycle up a disused railway line up to Havant Station.
Brockenhurst Station to Southampton Central Station - Going from quite a central location in the New Forest, up towards Lyndhurst for a spot of cake and New Forest Pony Watching, over the River Test and then along one of Southamptons superb cycle routes that goes along the industrial docks.
IoW Nautical Naughtiness - this is one of the craziest of all the journeys- but in one day I’d like to travel across 4 of the 5 possible ferry crossings between the mainland and the Island and it’s similar to the coastal route. I’d start the day by getting trains to Lymington Harbour and board the ferry to Yarmouth. I’d then cycle from Yarmouth to East Cowes (making use of the chain ferry too). I’d catch the ferry from East Cowes to Southampton and then cycle Southampton to Portsmouth (making use of a further 2 ferries- pretty pink one included). I’d catch the ferry from Portsmouth to Fishbourne and then cycle the short trip to Ryde before doing the final Solent crossing on the Hovercraft back to Southsea. I’d then do that final coastal leg again (with one further river ferry crossing) into Hayling Island and then back up to Havant with a slightly lighter wallet."

Phil, your bike is awesome, and so are the routes you're planning! And I'm a HUGE fan of combining cycling adventures with trains. In fact, at the end of July, I'm off to cycle the North Devon coast (Valley of the Rocks is stunning!) and will be getting to the start (Barnstaple) as well as back from the end (Minehead) by train.

Now, how about you? What cycling adventures have you had, or what are you currently planning? Simply reply to this email and tell us all about it!

May all the trains you want to travel on always have a free bike space!

The Blast From The Past button is quite straightforward: with every edition, I link a random old WillCycle post to it. If you click it, you will see what old WillCycle post it takes you to.
The button will only ever point at WillCycle.

The Good News

With crop yields under threat from climate change, regenerative agriculture may yet offer hope. These updated practices can boost crop yield, while turning the soil itself into a carbon sink.

Did You Know...?

If you could lay out a child's circulatory system - that's arteries, veins and capillaries - in a straight line, it would stretch for 60 000 miles!
Doing the same with an adult increases that distance to 100 000 miles!

What Did You Miss On WillCycle?

This is the life you're living

This is your only life, so live it well. Instead of worrying about things that you cannot control, focus on what's within your power to control. That's more than what you realise! My heartfelt advice is to forget about your career, unless it will make you feel proud to one day have a tombstone that tells the world how hard …
This is the life you're living

Aero Bars On A Touring Bike

Aero Bars On A Touring Bike
Aero bars, also called tri-bars, are attached to your bike's handlebars, with the primary purpose to get your body into a far more aerodynamic position. They're mostly used by riders doing time-trials or triathlons (hence the tri-bars moniker) but they do offer benefits outside of those two fields. I recently ordered a set of aero bars for my bike, together …

Showcased products

Sugar Skull

A cycling-themed sugar skull design.

Sugar Skull

Enamel Mug 12oz GoWild

Is your camping trip even a camping trip if you don't have one of these?
You can even stick it right on your camping gas stove!

Enamel Mug 12oz GoWild

Random Internet Link

If astronomy interests you, go check out this site, which allows you to visualise the 100 000 stars nearest to us.

And Finally...

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