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WillCycle - cycle touring, traffic-free cycle routes, cycle camping and great cycling T-shirts and caps

The Spirit Of Adventure

Hi there!

I just LOVE spring, and spring's arrived early this year. I'm not going to say anything about Climate Change causing that, and instead will simply enjoy seeing the back of winter.

Near where I live there's an area where the daffodils are usually in full bloom in December, so clearly they can't be relied upon to announce the start of spring. For years now, to me, spring starts the moment I see the first snowdrops bloom. Along my commute route, there's a narrow rural lane in the middle of nowhere and that's where I usually see the very first snowdrops.

Snowdrops have been out for a few weeks already, and so have the primroses. Signs of new life are all around, and that makes me happy. Spring speaks of new adventures, and to quote from an old Beatles song, Little darlin', the smile's returning to their faces, Little darlin', it seems like years since it's been here.

How about you? Are you a winter person, or do you live for the summer? What coping strategies do you rely on to get you through your least favourite season? Don't keep it to yourself! Just reply to this newsletter, and tell us all about it.

May the slice of cake at your bike ride coffee stop be extra large.

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

In London, a bicycle company with a difference is making waves.
XO Bikes recycle old bikes, and recruit ex-offenders. Two years in, and re-offending rates for people they work with are extremely low.
The the words of co-founder Stef Jones, “We take a bike with a past and a bloke with a past, and together with the customer we give them both a future”

Did You Know...?

Researchers from Queen’s and the University of Warwick have compiled the first ever collection of hit songs from seventeenth-century England, including over 100 ballads in total.
It includes a song entitled "The Wonderful Example Of God", which describes a Scottish gentleman who was struck down for expressing his atheism, while making a pass at his own sister!

What Did You Miss On WillCycle?

Kit Review - West Biking Panniers

West Biking 25 litres panniers overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Panniers are essential cycle touring pieces of kit, as well as extremely useful for commuting. Generally speaking, price tends to be an indicator of quality, and you get what you pay for. However, there are exceptions! Around seven months ago, I decided it was time to replace my old panniers. At £10 …
Kit review of West Biking 25 litre panniers

This Road I Ride - Juliana Buhring

This Road I Ride, by Juliana Buhring
In this world, very few people truly get to be trailblazers. Juliana Buhring is one of those few people. This Road I Ride tells the story of Buhring's record-breaking round-the-world bike ride. If you're a man, you may not like me saying this, but Buhring is an exceptionally tough person - likely far tougher than what you or me could …

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 this edition's question: When camping, how do you keep food cold?
If you're looking for a magic way to somehow have a refrigerator, without the bulk, weight, or need for power, while camping out in the wild, you're completely out of luck, I'm afraid. Such technology simply doesn't exist.

However, you can usually still reduce the temperature of food at least a bit. If you freeze the food beforehand, and pack it deep in your panniers, wrapped in a towel (or similar) it might last longer than you realise.

Also, if there's a stream nearby, you can place your food in a water-tight plastic bag, and place the bag partially in the water. Even without a stream, putting the bag in the shade, then covering it with an (ideally cotton) cloth that you keep damping down, evaporation will reduce the temperature somewhat.

Mostly though, your best bet will simply be to adapt, and rely on food that doesn't require refrigeration. Also, avoid risking any food that can make you sick if it wasn't kept refrigerated!

Random Internet Link

Back in the 80s, Yazoo had a massive hit with Only You. Soon after, The Flying Pickets had a hit with their acapella version of the same song. Sometimes, acapella versions of songs can be amazing, and did you know there's a tool that allows you to turn almost any song into an acapella version?

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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