2018 in a nutshell…

Total distance cycled in 2018: 11,141km/6,844 miles. Unidirectional equivalent: Bergen(Norway) to Vladivostok (eastern Siberia)

img-20181028-wa0002I have to admit, I am in a phase of regression…..

At a drinks party over the festive season, I was in conversation with a contemporary about my habits of travelling on two wheels. By way of response to some of the things I said, I heard the following:

“Really, you travel all by yourself? What happens if you get sick or have an accident?…… You don’t have a support vehicle to carry your kit? But you must have hotel rooms booked in advance at least? No? You mean, you have no idea where you are going to stay each night? Aren’t you worried about your own safety…….?”

And so it went on. And this is only one example of dozens of similar conversations I’ve had with people of my own generation over the years which, not surprisingly, pigeonholes me as some kind of weirdo, a man out of synch with his contemporaries. Years ago, adventure travel for me amounted to nothing wilder than staying in youth hostels, travelling economy class, and eating at the cheapest restaurants. But I now find I am wanting to push back the boundaries, back to my penniless days, to experience the simplicity of independent travel, finding the food and drink I need wherever it is available, laying my head down where nature allows me, and accepting kindness and hospitality whenever it is freely proffered.

I will never aspire to be a desert-crossing, Antarctica-sledging, Himalaya-scaling kind of adventure traveller, but my comfort zone is definitely in long-distance solo cycle-trekking, with minimal luggage and few concrete plans other than knowing my general direction of travel, the pace of which is governed only by the date printed on my return ticket to the UK. For some, enough to inspire fear and anxiety, for me, liberating and energising.

 

Advertisements

About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on January 11, 2019, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I agree totally that travel where the only certainty is arrival and departure dates is exhilarating.
    While I am nowhere as extreme as you and I prebook some aspects of my trip the simplicity of making it up as you go add a sense of adventure missing on a clearly defined all prebooked tour.

  2. Envious of your adventures Frank. I would not be allowed time off to go it alone, though sometimes I do get a hankering for a short ‘plastic’ tour on my own, without a destination in mind, free to go wherever the route takes me – rather like your epic ones.
    Hoping to do a big tour of France this summer, taking in the International Tandem Rally at Marciac. That’s if the ticker behaves. We shall not be travelling light however. We’ll take a tent, sleeping regalia and something to make a coffee or simple food. Karon doesn’t really like to rough it too much – likes the creature comforts and one pannier is given over to her medical bits and pieces too, so we’ve bought a second hand Bob Yak trailer. Planning to follow rivers and canals where we can but the odd contour is bound to be unavoidable. Finding places to stop overnight is a bit of a worry. There are plenty of campsites, but we are not big mile eaters, so may get caught ‘between’ at some stage. I am not averse to wild camping if we can find a discreet spot but Karon is adamant she wants the facilities that go with an official site. Of course, we also have the option of a hotel/BB (if we get a few days of rain, for example) but we’re hoping to keep the costs down by using the tent when we can.
    I’m thinking we may have a test run with the trailer and gear along the Kennet and Avon westwards, though the surfaces are not always that good for a long, loaded up tandem with trailer.
    Any suggestions or advice Frank?

    • We tandemed west to east along the Kennet and Avon last year, from Bristol to Newbury…..great when the towpath was wide enough/not too near the water/had bridges you could safely go under….but not sure about the addition of a trailer.

      When it comes to the rig you carry for cycle-trekking, and how simply you camp…..we all have to stay within our comfort zones. Many people ‘admire’ how little I carry, and would love to believe they could do similar, but the reality is always something else.
      I like to tell people I travel light because I’m too lazy to carry more….and there’s some truth in that.
      Bob, I hope 2019 is a pedalling adventure for you and Karon.

  3. I’ve always been impressed and inspired by your willingness to pick up and just go.

  4. Continue being you Frank as you are in inspiration to others. Happy New Year to you and Jenny.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

CyclingEurope.org

Cycling | Adventure | Travel | Podcast

The Adventures of Grandma & Grandpa

One big world, 2 bikes, 6 grandchildren many postcards…

Vintage Bicycle Odyssey

Ocean's world from the saddle of his 1984 Specialized Expedition

burnsyogaandfitness.wordpress.com/

It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver - Mahatma Gandhi.

Matildas Musings

A blog written by Matilda - the "old lady" classic tandem - and her Musings about her adventures, trials and tribulations with the "old git" and Chief Pilot, aka Colin and the "old gal" and Chief Stoker (as well as Chief Engineer) aka Diane.

Fit Recovery

Stay Clean Get Fit

Northern Walker

Lightweight backpacking, hillwalking and bicycle touring adventures in Northern England and Scotland

Looking For 42

Traveling the world looking for the meaning for life (and whatever else I might find along the way)

Off The Beaten Path

All contents ©2018 Compass Cycles.

Kite*Surf*Bike*Rambling

KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Cycling Dutch Girl

the only certainty is change

Lifecycle

Brians Blog - life, cycling, motorhoming and ...

4000milestothesea

On a bicycle from coast to coast across the USA

Self Propelled

Self propelled adventures through life; blogging on cycling, touring, micro-adventures, general shenanigans, and environmental news

chrisp666

Cycling across Europe, Cornwall to Munich

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for meaning...in between leg shavings

2 l o v e c y c l i n g

It's about cycling ... and other travels

There And Back Again

Life at 15 miles per hour

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Well it should be, shouldn't it?

Bike Around Britain

Blog on cycling around the coast of Britain

David Noble's Blog

Life, Loves and Living

weston.front

The Weston Front - the destination of a road less travelled...

The Innocent Bikestander

It can be better

Bike, Banjo & Baby

They go together so well

Something for Kiki and the Pok

the adventures of Christopher Yardin - by plane, bike, through a lens, or the eyes of a child

Bricycling...

Cycling Blog

Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

Travel adventures on wheels and legs

THE SPORTSWOOL DIARIES

................."Cherry picking the nicest places in the world to cycle"

Gippsland Granny

Musings from Metung

Serendipities of life

Taking the road less travelled

I Do Not Despair

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Tom’s Bike Trip

Adventures and experiments in two-wheeled travel

All Seasons Cyclist

Real World Product Reviews For Avid Cyclists

machacas on wheels

Taking the road less travelled

%d bloggers like this: