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WillCycle - cycle touring, traffic-free cycle routes, cycle camping and great cycling T-shirts and caps
Instow beach, North Devon, UK

The Spirit Of Adventure

Hello again!

As I'm say here writing this, I'm watching darkness descending outside my window. Yes, the clocks have changed, and darkness falls earlier now. As humans, I think we can learn a lot from hedgehogs: imagine feasting all spring, summer and autumn, then hibernating all winter!

However, that's not how our bodies work. What this means is we have two choices: we either complain bitterly about the dark and cold, or we embrace it. Last time I checked, simply moaning about something changes nothing, so let's instead go for Option 2.

The moment you start thinking about cycling in the dark is the moment you need to start considering lights. After all, it's rather helpful being able to see where you're going!

Lights come in two flavours: to be seen, and to see with. I'm talking about lights to see with here. We can further split lights into two categories: dynamo lights, and battery lights. I'm a huge fan of dynamo lights, as they're pretty much fit and forget. As soon as the front wheel starts spinning, the lights come on, and you'll never run out of charge. Dynamo lights don't have to be expensive, either. This is the one I'm using.

Having said that, battery lights are perfectly useable, and if your rides in total darkness will only be an hour or two, battery lights will do just fine.

The next step is deciding where you're going to go cycling. Perhaps it's simply for your (now) dark commute, but perhaps you're planning some adventures? Remember, who chose not to moan about the cold and dark, but to embrace it.

Consider arranging a ride with friends to that rural pub you like, having a drink (perhaps even a meal) then cycle home again. Alternatively, go all the way and go camping overnight (but do test your camping gear first, by camping in your garden (if you have one). That way, if it's too bitterly cold, you can head indoors.

Regardless what you decide, do tell us about it? Simply reply to this newsletter, and I'll tell everyone else what you're planning.

May you always find a seat next to the warm fire, when you step into the warm pub, after a cold, dark ride!

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

Malaria is a silent killer, responsible for a great many thousands of deaths each year. Up to now, malaria drugs mostly focused on treating the disease, but there are currently phase 2 drugs trials taking place in Ghana, for a vaccine that's 75% effective in preventing people from getting the disease at all.
With climate change causing the mosquitoes that spread the disease to move to ever more areas, a vaccine cannot come quick enough.

Did You Know...?

Scientists found a way to "poison" online images, in an attempt at warding off AI effectively stealing artists' work, to create "new" AI images.
Undetectable by the human eye, this has been so successful it caused some AIs to draw pictures of cats, when asked for images of dogs.

What Did You Miss On WillCycle?

Coffee First, Then The World

Coffee First, Then The World, by Jenny Graham When you read stories by people who cycled around the world, you quickly learn that doing so is an enormous achievement. When it is done solo, it becomes an even bigger achievement. When done as a woman, riding on her own, unsupported, it becomes monumentous. Finally, when that rider also set a …
Coffee First, Then The World

Climbing the Grand Colombier - Part 3

Climbing the Grand Colombier - Part 3
This is the third and final part of Roy Everitt's adventure, that saw his travel to go cycle up the Grand Colombier - on a laden touring bike. Be sure to first read Part 1 and Part 2. Train to Lyon While I was catching the train to Lyon on Bastille day, three days earlier, the Tour de France riders …

Spanner in the spokes

I asked for your help in renaming the "Agony Uncle" section of the newsletter, and Jaime suggested Spanner In The Spokes. Thanks Jaime - your cycling cap is on its way.

The idea behind Spanner In The Spokes is simple: send me your questions about bicycles, cycle touring and camping, and I'll either answer them, or ask others to answer them. Keep sending those questions!

Here's today's question: What do you do for chain lube/cleaning on tour?

I'm not the most diligent with this, as you'll soon learn.

In the toolkit I carry on my bike I have a bottle of chain oil, and I use the same oil all year round. When on tour, I often will grab a few serviettes from a café or coffee shop, and use those to wipe my chain down after re-applying oil. Make no mistakes - doing that isn't giving the chain a proper clean, but it is far better than simply leaving gunk clogging up the chain.

As for how often I oil my chain - that depends on the weather, and the terrain. If it's dry and dusty, more gunk will start clogging up the chain, so the serviette wipe my be needed before and after oiling the chain. If it's raining a lot, the oil will wash off your chain, so I tend to oil more often.

Random Internet Link

If history appeals to you (and I don't mean the limited, boring history you were taught in school) then you'll love this site? From ancient Egypt, or prehistory, to medieval times, plus much more!

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
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