Crowd-sourcing traffic-free route guides

YOUR  help  is  needed As you may know, I started creating route guides for traffic-free cycling routes in the UK. Though cycling infrastructure in the UK is overall generally quite poor, there are nevertheless some great traffic-free routes. But  Sustrans  already  covers  this,  don’t  they? Many of these traffic-free routes are part of the National … Read more

Spreading the Christmas cheer

Aren’t  you  tired  of  getting  yet  another  pair  of  “cycling”  socks? Christmas is about giving, but let’s be honest, receiving worthwhile presents is also nice. Maybe you’re looking for a present for a cyclist in your life. Perhaps you’re looking for a present for yourself? After all, Christmas is a great excuse to get yourself something you … Read more

WillCycle on the Fediverse

The fedi-what?? As I’m writing this, Twitter seems to be on fire and in freefall. Though I’ve little time for Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, I’m also not happy at him apparently destroying Twitter as we’re watching. Still, I have a strategy in life that’s served me very well so far: control what you can, … Read more

Destroying that which we love

So,  you  love  the  wild  places? I can see why? Who doesn’t like travelling to exotic places, to experience it for themselves. Who doesn’t want to go explore Machu Picchu, go cycle the Ho Chi Minh Trail, or scale Everest? Not to mention visiting Patagonia, or Lake Baikal in Siberia? After all, it’s a beautiful, … Read more

Autumn blues

The  melancholy  of  autumn While autumn is unquestionably a beautiful season, each autumn I get a sense of melancholy, a sense of almost sadness. I’m not referring to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – though winter certainly isn’t my favourite part of the year, I’m fortunate enough not to suffer from SAD. Perhaps it’s the passing … Read more

Policing climate change

Climate  change  is terrifying During the summer of 2022, the UK (and much of Europe) saw high temperature records smashed in a great many places. In the UK, we saw temperatures of an unheard of 42 degrees Celsius. The latest IPCC report on climate change makes for terrifying reading. Remember, if you thought the summer … Read more

Old is the new new

Old  is  good Some five weeks ago I had a serious crash, breaking my collarbone in two places. I also broke four ribs. I don’t know exactly what happened, as I was knocked unconscious and I have a gap in my memory. From the damage to my bike’s front wheel, it seems something got caught … Read more

Footprints

Footprints in sand.

We  all  leave  footprints The only difference is what kind of footprints. By now you will know that I’m a huge fan of wild camping and cycle touring. Like everything else, both those activities can and do leave footprints. Some  footprints  shouldn’t  last When wild camping, the number one rule is simply this: Leave No … Read more

Bampton Cycle Shelter

The Bampton Cycle Shelter

A  cycle  tourer’s  dream What’s a Bampton Cycle Shelter? Is it a new kind of cycling infrastructure? Well, yes, and no. Many cycle tourers, like me, prefer to wild camp when touring. Wild camping brings with it some challenges: for starters, in England and Wales, more often than not, wild camping is trespass. Though I … Read more

Wild camping and the new PCSC Bill – a guide for cyclists and hikers

Is wild camping in the UK a crime?

Did  the  PCSC Bill  turn  wild  camping  into  a  crime? Such a deceptively simple question, but it turned out to be rather difficult to get an answer to it. Well, at least a straight, reliable answer. I’m a huge fan of wild camping, and personally find the UK’s new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill … Read more

Welcome To My Garden

An  alternative  to  camp  sites I only recently became aware of Welcome To My Garden, and I already think it’s a superb site. So what is it? That’s easy to explain: much like Warmshowers offer overnight accommodation to cycle tourers, Welcome To My Garden offers a camping spot for the night in people’s gardens. In … Read more

Lungs recover, bones heal, but mental health is important

Mental  health? Are  you  having  a  breakdown? There’s so much more to mental health, and it’s not a binary thing. Just like physical health, you see. After all, there’s middle ground between perfect physical health and lying in an induced coma in an intensive care unit. Some physical ailments, such as having a cold, is simply … Read more

In a Now world, learn the value of slow

I want  it, Daddy, and  I want  it NOW! If you ever watched the original Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (the Johnny Depp remake isn’t worth watching!) then you will be familiar with that phrase, uttered by Veruca Salt. It’s so easy to dismiss her character as an obvious exaggeration, from a humorous children’s … Read more

Fear regrets, not failures

We all live in fear The difference is what you fear. Some people fear the dark, some unfortunate souls fear open spaces. Many of us fight Imposter Syndrome on a daily basis, and fear being found out. Some fear being inadequate. Most fear death. A surprising amount even fear success. Almost everyone fears failure. And that … Read more

Snowdrops

Near where I live the daffodils – harbingers of spring to many people – often start blooming in mid-December, so they are clearly not a (locally) reliable indicator of when spring has started. And talking of spring, there are several different ways to interpret the seasons, including spring, of course, but I tend to go … Read more

What do you want?

Think  carefully  about  what  you  really  want I get it – you’re busy. You go to work, perhaps have family commitments and more. There’s always something demanding your time and attention, right? I do have some questions for you though, beginning with just this: what exactly is it that you want from life? Do you want a … Read more

Just One Day Less

Literally,  just  a  single  day  less I’m not asking you to radically change your life, nor am I asking you to make supreme sacrifices. I’m not asking you to live in a cave (though actually, that could be quite cool!) What I am asking is for you to make a relatively small change. I’m asking for … Read more

The WillCycle Manifesto

All good organisations need a manifesto! Here’s mine! Life is short. Dreams fade. Reality intrudes. Everyday drudgery saps the very essence from your soul. Your 9 to 5 life is not living, as such – it’s merely existing. You wake up, get ready for work, go to work, work, go home, do some chores, watch … Read more

New year, new you? Bollocks to that!

Don’t you find it ridiculous how you’re expected to make New Year’s resolutions, as if the difference between 31st of December and 1st of January is enormous? Regular gym users groan, as during January the gyms will be filled with people who all signed up for lengthy gym contracts, yet stop going to gym after a … Read more

Christmas

Peace  on  earth  and  goodwill  to  all  mankind I make no secret of the fact that I’m not a big fan of Christmas. Sure, it’s great for younger kids, although you do need to question the sincerity of a religious festival that involves – by default – lying to children: “Why, of course Father Christmas … Read more