Why Cycle 1,000 miles in a Single Tour?

For those wondering about this particular challenge, heres a little bit of my thinking.

Cycling is a great because:

  • It get’s you outdoors
  • It’s good exercise
  • It connects you to the landscape and environment at a human scale
  • You get to explore places that you might otherwise miss
  • It’s great thinking time

But why travel 1,000 miles in 30 days?  Well, I think it would be a comfortable distance.  I’m not interested in racing, competing or otherwise trying to get one up on others that I ride with.  When riding in a group there is always a certain amount of natural competition, but actually it’s not really interesting.  I’d rather enjoy the view, discover things that I’d otherwise miss, have a great conversion or meet new people.

The 1,000 miles bit is really an arbitrary number.  Ok, it’s more than most people would consider reasonable, and so from that point of view its a challenge, but I’m not trying to prove anything.  If you look at it as the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats in the UK, then you get to see a huge amount of variation on the way.  But I’d want to do that particular journey as more of an amble through the most picturesque parts of the countryside, not as some charity challenge or proof of my masculinity.  If people want to give me money for charitable purposes along the way, then I’m not against it.  Looking at it another way, it would be comparable to cycling from the UK to Gibraltar, or most of the way across Western Europe.  Either way, whatever the start and the destination, the variety along the way will be part of the enjoyment.

Since I started cycling I’ve surprised myself with the distances I can achieve, but 67 miles is still the most in one day, and some regular cyclists would not consider that a great distance.  What I do know is that 67 miles means you have to get your head down, and I want to get my head up and enjoy the ride.  Distance is inevitably related to terrain when cycling, and I live in a hill part of the countryside, so naturally expect that greater distances might well come when the terrain is less of a challenge.  That also depends on the roads you want to cycle.  Main A-Roads in the UK are bound to be better graded than minor roads which bear less traffic, but its the minor roads that connect you with the  environment and reveal the true nature of the landscape.

This challenge is as much about a sabbatical as it is a journey.  To be somewhat (or even completely) disconnected from technology for a period of time is bound to be an interesting experience for me, as my day-to-day work means that I am permanently connected.

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