One day I will set off on some grand human-powered adventure across this beautiful country; high on my list would be walking the Peninne Way, the Scottish Munros, the south-west coast path, or the coast to coast. Ideally, I’d have no restrictions on my time so I could meander at a leisurely pace, soaking up the scenery, getting to know places I passed through, and sitting out the inevitable filthy-weather days in some cosy B&B or cafe.

Until recently I’ve never really thought much about making a long journey by bike though, my daydreams and map-gazing sessions always seem focussed on footpaths rather than roads.

But this week, I spent a few days in Herefordshire with my mum and dad; they’d brought their teeny-tiny camper van up from the south coast, and I lugged my (significantly roomier) tent down from the north west. We had 4 days of relaxed pottering around the campsite, a bit of sunshine and some ambles in beautiful countryside. On the third evening, a chap on a mountain bike slowly pedalled past our van, and from his surprisingly small panniers emerged a tent, sleeping bag and stove. He seemed a picture of contentment as he pitched the tent across the field from us and promptly stuck the kettle on for what must’ve been a very welcome brew. He disappeared for the evening (presumably to the pub), but I spotted him again later that night outside his tent – like me he seemed to be savouring the quiet, star-speckled night far away from the noise of the city. By the time I crawled out of my tent the next morning at a rather holiday-ish late hour, he had packed up and gone.

I wish I’d had the nerve to go and chat with him, I’d love to know where he’d come from and where he was going – was he just out for a quick blast of weekend fresh-air or perhaps this was  one of many stops on a many-weeks-long odyssey?

It’s got me thinking, and I’m getting increasingly keen on the idea of a bike-packing trip later this summer, maybe just a night out in the Peak District? A full time job means that the epic round-Britain-trek may have to wait a bit, but there’s no reason not to make the most of a weekend is there?

Then maybe I’ll have a go at this – I may be an adopted Northerner now, but there will always be a huge soft spot in my heart for the south west 🙂


(That’s my mum and dad, on the Malvern Hills btw….)

3 thoughts on “Wanderlust

  1. Al and I have had great fun cycling long distances. We did it properly though, got our wives to find the campsites and pubs and to pitch the tents and take some of the water weight off our wheels 🙂

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