Thursday, 17 February 2011

Summer Cycle Tour

Well, I have decided on my Summer Cycle Tour destination. Not for me any transcontinental crossing, multi border hopping, bicycle assembling, phrasebook requiring trip. No. I'm going to keep it simple, low carbon and cheap. I'm going to Wales (maybe I will need a phrasebook then?).

The plan is to get a train from Manchester to somewhere in south Wales, probably Cardiff, and then cycle very generally north, camping each night at wherever is convenient and attractive. No final destination and no set route, so unlike on the Pennine Cycleway, this will be a journey where each day will see me making a choice of which way and how far to go, influenced by; weather, craic, legs, bike, camping, culture, kit, alcohol, hills, people, clothing and many other factors i'm sure. However, as I do like having something tangible to aim for rather than just 'North', I am also going to visit a few of the 48 Welsh BCQ checkpoints along the way. Some days I might manage four or even five and on others I might struggle to get one. I won't give myself a target to achieve as I intend them to add colour, history and variation to my journey rather than force me on each day. As the trip nears the end I will head for a town with a reasonable rail connection and make a return home to normal family life.

As I said. Simple, low carbon and cheap. And I still get to see a foreign land very much unknown to me. Brilliant eh?

View BCQ Wales in a larger map


  1. That sounds like it'll be a great trip. Have you considered the possibility of setting Chester or somewhere around there as your final destination so that the possibility of riding all the way home is more of an option? I don't know about you, but I'd feel a certain extra sense of achievement knowing I had cycled all the way home from Cardiff. I believe there is a canal route from Runcorn into Manchester...

  2. MrC

    I think the 'extra sense of achievement' cycling home from Cardiff would be outweighed for me by having to cycle through Manchester and its environs to get home!

    Seriously though, I find having a destination to reach and a distance to achieve in a certain time frame to be quite a motivator but I did that last year with the Pennine Cycleway trip. That was great but I want a trip with a different angle this year, something organic and with time to stop and look and listen and feel and taste. Cycle touring rather than cycling as a means to get somewhere.

    Does that make sense to anyone but me? I suppose it matters not if I am talking absolute tosh but it would be interesting to know if others hanker after something similar.

  3. Talking of the Pennine Cycleway Trip, I enjoyed reading the two days you documented (I went on the Tissington trail last year and really enjoyed it) - but where's the rest? I would love to read more about your adventures on the Pennine trip and see some more photo's. Love your blog by the way.

  4. @netaddict

    I mislaid my trip notes and kept meaning to hunt for them but it was never a great priority. I came across them last week and have added a little more. I hope to complete it before I go to Wales!

    Glad you like the blog.

  5. We are thinking of exploring our 'surroundings' by bike too this summer, the idea is a simple two days - one night, I must admit I am not a camping enthusiast, but a two days with a B&B night sounds still good, plus there's plenty of nearby places we haven't visited yet... :) yay for low carbon staycations!

    I like your trip idea of taking each day as it comes without a too strict cycling regime, look forward to reading your posts about the trip!