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

The Spirit Of Adventure

Brrrr!! Hello!

Here we are in 2024, with a whole, fresh new year ahead, and only two immediate problems: Getting through the 217 days of January, and dealing with the cold that's suddenly hit us.

In case you didn't know, the exceptionally mild December we had in the UK (and across most of Europe) is because of alarming changes in the jet stream. You can think of the jet stream as a wall of wind that contains the arctic, colder air. It circles Earth at around 250 mph and used to be more or less circular(ish). Lately though, it's become increasingly unstable, and although periodic wobbles happened, those are becoming larger, and far more common.

Yes, those changes are absolutely due to climate change. Already, the Atlantic ocean is showing record high temperatures, and of course we have what appears to be a very strong El Nino developing in the Pacific. Combined, all that suggests we're in for some shocking changes soon.

I'd like to think that, if you signed up for my newsletter, that you are not one of those sad, unfortunate souls who deny the reality of climate change.
But talk of climate change needn't be all doom and gloom. We still have hope for the future, though it's now pretty much inevitable that society will have to undergo rather rapid adaptations, and soon.

That begins with each and every one of us. Yes, as individuals we are but a drop in the ocean, but oceans are made up of millions of drops, and together we can make a difference.

Getting back to the realities of winter, after weeks of wet and windy weather, here in the UK we suddenly have calmer weather. But it's also far colder.
What are your plans for winter cycling? Will you be riding indoors only, on Zwift (or similar) or will you still go outside?

I'm hoping for snow over Dartmoor, over a weekend. This is because I want to cycle out there and go camping. Will you be doing something similar?

May your camping stove always work to help you have that hot brew on a cold morning!

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 Rekjavik, Iceland, there's a man called the Bike Whisperer, who helps people recover their stolen bikes.
He doesn't report the thieves to police, but tries to get them to change their ways.

Did You Know...?

AI is here to stay, but at quite a cost. Chat GPT - arguably the best-known AI - is integrated with Bing Search consumed over 43 million litres of water last year, just to cool the datacentres hosting the servers.

What Did You Miss On WillCycle?

Forest of Dean Colliers Trail

Forest of Dean Colliers Trail cycle route overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Forest of Dean lies on the edge of the border between England and Wales, and is stunningly beautiful. There are many cycle routes in the forest, but this one is particularly family-friendly, and is entirely traffic-free along its 6.6 mile length. As a there-and-back, it is a 13 mile …
Forest of Dean Colliers Trail

Book review - How To Cycle Canada The Wrong Way

How To Cycle Canada The Wrong Way - by Lorraine Lambert
How To Cycle Canada The Wrong Way is a book about cycle touring across Canada, written by Lorraine Lambert, who also has a blog here, and I suggest you go read that. The Wrong Way? Like just about anywhere on earth, Canada has prevailing winds, and those mostly blow from west to east. Lambert cycled across Canada, from the Atlantic …

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: I have an annoying clicking sound on my bike and I cannot find the cause. What can I do?
Ooh, that's a tricky one! For starters, check if the click occurs only when you're pedalling, or if it occurs when you're free-wheeling, too. If when you're freewheeling, it's likely (but not guaranteed) to be related to either wheel. If the intervals between click increases as your speed increases, and vice versa, then check for something catching your wheel.

If the clicking stops when you're freewheeling, then it's likely (but not guaranteed) that it's related to your bike's drivetrain. Check the chain thoroughly and ensure there are no stiff links. Also check derailleurs, and the cranks and pedals for play.

Identifying a clicking pedal can be hard. Other potential causes can be a cracked frame, something wrong with the bottom bracket, and even the seat rails. You will need to use a process of elimination, Best of luck!

Random Internet Link

Scientists have been tracking many sharks and loggerhead turtles, using GPS, and you can follow those creatures online. This site shows a map of all the tagged creatures.

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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