twitter instagram 
WillCycle - cycle touring, traffic-free cycle routes, cycle camping and great cycling T-shirts and caps
The old Princetown railway

The Spirit Of Adventure

Hey there!

Crumbs, clocks are changing in a week's time, and that means dark commutes (though lighter for a little while in the mornings). Now I don't know about you, but in a month of Sundays nobody will ever convince me that changing clocks all the time is somehow a good idea!

I recently got some new pedals for my bike. There's nothing newsworthy about pedals, right? Hmm, not so fast there! See, for years now I've been riding with SPD pedals. Unlike road-pedals, you can still walk (mostly) normally with SPD shoes, and when cycle touring, you will spend time off the bike too.

However, I have had knee problems for many years now, between several different bikes. Someone on Mastodon told me about different pedals, which allows more lateral movement, while keeping your feet securely clipped in. Oh, and the cleats for these pedals are compatible with SPD shoes!

It gets better! The reviews of these pedals are glowing, with so many people saying how much better for their knees these are. Except, I've never heard of them before! Now I'm certainly not planet earth's foremost technical expert on bicycles, but I thought I knew a thing or two about pedals for touring bikes!

Which pedals are they? Time ATAC XC pedals, and I will ride with them for a while, then do a full review.

The bad news is I managed to get COVID again, and am in no state to go testing the new pedals yet, as even slight exercise induces seemingly non-stop coughing fits. On a related note, the only thing I found in any way effective against the coughing is copious amounts of Vicks, lathered on hourly.

May the next accidental wrong turning you take lead to the best café ever!

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

Change is possible! In Tallinn, Estonia, cycling and public transport is taking over from car dominance.

Did You Know...?

Tissue paper was used as gas mask filters during WW1. At the end of the war, which coincided with what became known as the Spanish Flu (which started in the USA) Kimberly-Clarke repurposed stockpiles of then unneeded tissue paper as disposable product to sneeze into.
In doing so, the humble tissue was born.

What Did You Miss On WillCycle?


Vagabond is define as "a person who wanders from place to place without a fixed home". Traditionally used as a slur, but oh how times have changed! Cycle tourers are vagabonds! It's true! When you go cycle touring, you're literally moving from place to place, without a fixed home (while on tour). That's the very idea behind cycle touring, and …
light sea dawn landscape

Who wants to be a smelly tramp?

water drop
There's an inescapable reality about cycle touring and wild camping: there's no on-suite bathroom with built-in shower. Personal hygiene is important at any time, but certainly comes to the fore when cycle touring and wild camping. Having said that, there are many things you can do to maintain personal hygiene. Wipes or flannels to the rescue Most wet wipes are …

Agony Uncle

OK, I need your help here: Agony Uncle is a rubbish name, so email me your suggestions for a better name, please? The winner will receive a random cycling cap as reward!

Anyway, the idea behind Agony Uncle is simple: send me your questions about bicycles, cycle touring and camping, and I'll either answer them, or ask others to answer them. Obviously, I requested questions in the previous edition, and you certainly didn't disappoint me!

Here's today's question: How do you deal with sweaty clothing or clothing wet from rain at the end of the day on camping tour?

Rain is inevitable in the UK, and when cycle touring, sooner or later you'll get rained on. Sometimes, you'll get soaked. If you're camping, and the weather cleared up, you can string up a makeshift clothesline, but if it's still raining then you won't have that option.

The 1st step to mitigate against this starts long before you set off: when buying clothes, avoid cotton! Cotton absorbs a lot of water, takes forever to dry, and wet cotton will leave you cold very quickly. You'll be far better off with synthetic materials, which absorb far less water, and dries quicker.

Once your tent is up, get out of your wet gear, then wring out as much water as you possibly can from it. If your clothes are already soaking, if you can, wash them before wringing them out. After all, they can't get any more wet, now can they?

Next, look at the forecast for the next day. If it will be raining all the time, you're better off leaving your soaking wet gear outside the tent, and putting it on still sopping wet the next day. Yes, it will be unpleasant, but at least you'll still have dry clothes to change into at the end of the day!

If the forecast is for drier weather, tightly wrap up your wet gear in your towel. It will likely still all be damp the next morning, but damp is better than sopping wet. You can then tie your towel over your panniers, so it can dry while you're cycling.

If you're faced with successive days of all-day rain, have one set of (already wet) clothes that you wear every day, and try to keep everything else dry. Unless you're wrapping clothes in your towel, keep your wet gear outside your tent. Most of all, keep it away from your sleeping bag. A wet sleeping bag will rapidly ensure your enjoyable cycling tour becomes Type 2 fun!

Random Internet Link

Today's random Internet link is an optical illusion. The concept is simple: when the page loads, count the number of cyclists, then click the wheel, and count again. Now explain the difference! The page contains links to more illusions.

And Finally...

I spend considerable amounts of time producing The Spirit Of Adventure, and you receive it for free. Please do me a favour and forward it to someone else who you think will appreciate it?

And if you received this newsletter because someone forwarded it, you can subscribe quickly and easily at
twitter instagram custom 
Email Marketing Powered by MailPoet