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WillCycle - cycle touring, traffic-free cycle routes, cycle camping and great cycling T-shirts and caps
A view from the edge of Dartmoor.

The Spirit Of Adventure

There you are!

I hope that by now you've started adjusting to the shorter days. If you regularly cycle commute, it means either your morning, or evening commute is likely to be in the dark. Some people hate that, but I love cycling in my personal bubble of light.
Yes, I'm extremely aware of my male privilege there, and I understand that cycling alone can be scary and dangerous to women, and that's without darkness thrown into the mix. I'm genuinely sorry about that.

With rides in the dark, while being a vocal fan of dynamo lights, battery lights can work just as well, and in the case of cycling off-road, can be better than dynamo lights. Still, regardless of how your lights are powered, cycling in your own bubble of light, along otherwise pitch-dark lanes, is a wonderful experience.

One winter commute, years ago, I was cycling along a rural lane, that's a green tunnel. Suddenly, a small owl (not sure what type) cut in front of me, flying head-height to me, and keeping perhaps 4 to 5 metres ahead of me. For roughly half a mile, I was being paced by that owl, till it suddenly veered off again.

Such experiences are absolutely magical, and will remain with you for many years to come, so embrace the darkness, and go for bike rides in the dark.

May all the winds only ever be tailwinds!

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 daily horror stories about the devastating impacts of climate change, it can be so easy to surrender to despondency, but there is good news too. For example, there are several species of animals and insects making a come-back in the UK.

Did You Know...?

A tablespoon of oil can calm about a quarter of a hectare of water. It spreads out to form a layer 1-molecule thick on top of the water. That's why oil spills are so harmful and destructive. The largest oil spill (BP) was about 61,488,636,185 tablespoons, or about 68,000 miles of damage.

What Did You Miss On WillCycle?

The Middle-aged Cyclist

Time pauses for nobody, and before you know it - if you're not already there, or beyond it - you too will be middle-aged. That does have implications for your cycling, but it certainly doesn't mean it's the end of your cycling! Over the years, I discovered a few tricks that work for me. Your mileage may vary. A sight …
The Middle-aged Cyclist

November Digital Detox Campout

tent near tree
Right, here's your mission (and don't give me any of that "I don't accept it" nonsense): go camping in November! I don't care where you go camping, how you get there, or who you're going with. However, there are rules attached! A digital detox Yup, that very much means no phone usage. Sure, you can take a camera, and record …

Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton

Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton cycle route overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐ The Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton cycle route runs for 5.6 miles, from Exmouth train station to Budleigh Salterton, mostly along a disused railway line. There is a short on-road section early on in Exmouth, along a 20mph residential road, and from the outskirts of the village of Budleigh Salterton, the route …
Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton

WillCycle Supporter

WillCycle is mostly funded by me, with ad income almost covering the web hosting costs. I get that most of us don't like ads, and browse the Internet with an ad-blocker. However, because WillCycle is so reliant on ad-revenue, I was forced to block people visiting the site with ad-blockers running.
If you really wanted an ad-free experience on WillCycle, you can sign up as a WillCycle Supporter.
WillCycle Supporters can browse the site while running ad-blockers (while logged in).

Spanner In The Spokes

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: How do you stop your bottom from hurting, especially on longer rides?
That's a damn good question, but unfortunately, the answer is more complex than what you may think. Bike saddles work differently to what many people think. When sat on a bike saddle, your weight is meant to be carried by your sitting bones - those two protrusions from your pelvic bone.

We are all different, and that means our sitting bones are different, too. What really matters is the distance between them needs to be matched by your saddle width. One person's "most comfortable saddle ever" is another persons torture instrument.

The first step towards not having a hurting bottom is finding the right saddle - some bike shops have demonstration saddles you can use to test different saddles. Remember, any saddle can feel comfortable if you sit on it for all of 60 seconds in a shop - you need to test it out on the road.

Leather saddles, such as a Brooks B17, are legendary for being comfortable, but they do require some breaking in. Some saddles have a cut-out in the middle, and many riders, but especially women may benefit from those.

Getting a proper bike-fit done can also make a huge difference, but be aware that not everyone who offers bike-fitting services are much good at it, so do ask around.

Finally, as a rule of thumb, it takes around 2 weeks for your bottom to make peace with cycling daily, almost regardless of saddle choice, but of course there are many cases where people had no such time period.

Random Internet Link

There are now streaming media channels than you can shake a stick at, so how do you find the show or movie you wanted to watch, if you didn't know which service offered it? Simple - you go look on Just Watch!

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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