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

The Spirit Of Adventure

Hi there!

Last edition, I raved about spring having arrived early, but it sure has been a wet spring so far! To make matters worse, I managed to catch a cold (but thankfully just a cold!) and as I'm sat here writing, I'm powered by paracetamol! I'm not grumbling though, as what I caught isn't Covid, and for that I'm eternally grateful.

In case you're wondering, the photo above was taken on the old Princetown railway - that's now a gravel route on Dartmoor, linking Princetown with Burrator. Some time in late spring, or perhaps early summer, I'm planning on cycling out there again, and wild camping somewhere along the route. It really is a gorgeous route, but can get reasonably busy, with especially walkers.

This is part of my plane to fit in far more small adventures - most of them will simply be a single night's camping. Many people think you may wild camp anywhere on Dartmoor, but sadly that's not the reality. This map shows how limited the areas where you may legally wild camp actually is.

I'll probably camp somewhere on or near Ingra tor. Of course, going for just a single night changes what food you can take, and (provided you freeze it before setting off) you can often take food that otherwise spoils too easily to usually take cycle camping.

I rather strongly urge you to also try and do at least one overnight cycle camping trip per month, and I'd be delighted if you replied to this newsletter, and told me about your plans. The first person to do so will win a Beer Ride cycling cap!

I thought that perhaps I should also take the time to explain some bits about the format of this newsletter. I would like it to be of value to you, to offer you something you may not otherwise have had, or have known. This is why I add a random Internet site in each edition - some of those sites I shared over the past year+ have been supremely useful.

We also get bombarded with bad news all the time, so I make a point of including some good news - something to be glad about. Next, I always include some random bit of information - that may or may not be directly useful, but may one day help you in a pub quiz.

I also LOVE to hear back from yourself. This is why this email comes directly from my own, personal email, and not the usual No Reply type of address. I love hearing what adventures you're getting up to, and also what problems you're trying to solve.

I often won't know the answer, but I have an entire community I can ask, and someone is bound to know the answer! Finally, the Blast From The Past is just a little "Surprise me" game I play, though I do wonder how many (if any!) of you ever actually click it!

May you always find a level camping spot, away from prying eyes!

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

Climate change is a global issue, and the USA is one of the biggest polluters. However, scientists were amazed to discover a large part of the eastern USA was bucking the warming trend, and has even shown cooling.
We now know why that is: extensive reforestation is having a remarkable impact.
Best get out there and plant some trees, people!

Did You Know...?

A cloud weighs around a million tonnes! A cloud typically has a volume of around 1 cubic kilometre and a density of around 1.003kg per m3 – that's a density that’s around 0.4 per cent lower than the air surrounding it (this is how they are able to float).

What Did You Miss On WillCycle?

Keeping your cool

With climate change comes the reality of hotter days. When cycle touring, that has real-world implications for you, in multiple ways. You No matter how advanced we may think of ourselves as a species, the fact remains that we're still only mammals. That means our bodies like to remain with a core temperature of around 37 degrees Celsius. In the …
How to keep cool when cycle touring on hot days

Kit review - Time ATAC XC4 pedals

Time ATAC XC4 pedal review
Time ATAC XC4 pedals overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A kit review for pedals? Yes! Because ATAC XC4 aren't your normal bicycle pedals. In a world dominated by Shimano pedals, ATAC XC4 pedals offers numerous advantages. Knee problems can be solved by pedals? During an Audax ride I did in 2023, I was chatting with a rider wearing a Paris-Brest-Paris jersey. During …

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: How do you go to the loo when wild camping?

Our bodies work in a certain way, and they won't change just because we decided to go camping. That means sooner or later, you'll need the loo. If it's just a wee, that's quite simple and straightforward, especially for men. For women, there are some extra considerations. You'll probably want to take some tissue with, and also some dog-poo bags, to place the tissue in afterwards. Do not assume tissue will biodegrade quickly!

However, if you need a poo, things change quite a bit. For starters, remember the Leave No Trace principle? That applies here, too! That means you will have to dig a hole to poo in, and that hole should be at least 15cm deep.

When using toilet tissue, do not throw that in the hole you dug. Instead, fold it up and put it in a dog-poo plastic bag, to be disposed off at any bin where dog-walkers throw dog poo in. Some people will tell you to burn the used tissue instead. Please don't do that? The wind can easily blow burning pieces of tissue away, potentially starting a bush fire, and why would you risk that?

Remember to cover the hole over again when you're done!

Random Internet Link

Remember back when you bought that particular appliance, glanced at the manual once, then binned it? And now you're stuck, as you need to make some settings changes, for which you need the manual, right? The good news is ManualsLib probably have your manual!

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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