Which Way Does Adventure Lie?

Thinking more about the cycling adventure for this year, I’m just having a little wonder to myself what the advantages are of having a predetermined route:

  • You get a chance to pre-plan logistics for departure and return
  • The overall objective helps push you on day-after-day
  • You get a chance to identify places of interest along the route so you don’t miss out on special things

The downsides of a pre-planned route might be:

  • You get less chance to go off on a whim and find an unexpected experience
  • You get less chance to just sit and enjoy the moment, without worrying about completing the overall objective

I think its worth investigating these ideas further.  I first started with the 1,000 mile idea from the concept of doing a Lands End to John O’Groats type ride, but via a meandering route to take in some of the more picturesque parts of the UK.  What slightly puts me off of a UK adventure is that the weather can always put a downer on the whole thing.  The familiarity of the UK culture has its advantages, but then its not so much of an adventure and challenge.  I definitely want to see many parts of the UK by bicycle, but maybe I can do that in smaller chunks.

So Europe is the next nearest place for a cycle adventure with a chance of better weather.  Less days with rainfall and more daily sunshine hours than the UK.  Sounds good to me!  Of course you can always pick a bum year, but that can be true whereever you go.  On an extended cycle tour, heat can be as much of a disadvantage as rain!

Alan is coming over tomorrow for a planning meeting, so we’ll see what we feel comfortable with.  I suspect he’s going to have less time available than me – I’ve already earmarked all of June if necessary, he may be more comfortable with two weeks.  For me, its not as such the overall distance, but I do want something to keep me motivated to move on and not linger too long, but equally its very much about the experience, and if I want to trade a couple of days in the same place with a great experience versus getting another 100 miles under the belt without experiences, I may well go for the former.  I’m also thinking about the reliability of my own body.  Three consequtive days is the most I’ve done on the bike, and whilst that helped to transform the comfort of cycling, I was also conscious that its not only the bike that can break.  Rest days may well be very important.  Of course that is going to come down to how hard you ride – that 3 day trip was 50+ miles per day over very challenging hills – for the coming adventure I’m not intended to count the daily miles so much as the experiences gained along the way – scenery, sights, people, culture etc.

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