Cycle Touring

The joy of cycle touring

I discovered cycling, and cycle touring, late in life — and it’s turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done

14 Jul 2017

Kiloran Bay

Solo camping at Kiloran Bay, on the Isle of Colonsay, in the Inner Hebrides / View images

14 Jul 2017

Since then, almost every holiday I’ve taken has been a cycling trip, on my own, or with my amazing wife (who began cycling too, after my first couple of years). I’ve island-hopped the Scottish Hebrides, crossed the C2C in England a couple of times, and together we’ve cycled right round the coast of Brittany in France, and explored Mallorca, Provence, the Veneto in Italy, and the Mozart Trail in Austria and Germany.

Durness signpost

The signpost at Durness, at the top-left corner of the Scottish mainland / Enlarge

Yet, I’ve only travelled relatively short distances. I started on 30 to 40 miles a day, but lately we’ve been happy with around 25 miles a day. My longest solo trip has been just three weeks.

Nevertheless, every journey has felt like an expedition, bringing happy anticipation during planning, and a real sense of achievement at the end.

I’m going to write more soon about cycle touring — how easy it is, how you see much more, how it always feels like an adventure, and the fun of camping with a bike.

Until then, here are a few random pictures from some of my favourite cycling trips:

North West Scotland and the Hebrides

Loch Torridon

Loch Torridon / Enlarge

​Tarbert, Loch Fyne

Tarbert, Loch Fyne / Enlarge

Camping on Berneray

Camping on Berneray, Outer Hebrides / Enlarge

Uist, Outer Hebrides

The western edge of Uist, Outer Hebrides / Enlarge

Road to Ullapool

Slogging up the road to Ullapool / Enlarge

Mallorca

North coast of Mallorca

Pushing uphill along the north coast of Mallorca / Enlarge

Roadsigns in Mallorca

Roadsigns in Mallorca / Enlarge

Brompton beside an olive grove

An olive grove near Inca in Mallorca / Enlarge

Port de Só​ller

The beautiful Cala at Port de Sóller / Enlarge

Port de Pollença from Formentor

Port de Pollença from Formentor / Enlarge

Brittany and Provence

Near Venasque⁩ in Provence

Spectacular scenery near Venasque⁩ in Provence / Enlarge

Pixabay France 1996408 1920

We’ve cycled 1200 miles (in yearly stages) round Brittany’s glorious coastline / Enlarge

Fully-loaded Bromptons

Our Bromptons, fully-loaded for camping in Brittany / Enlarge

Brompton goes camping

Not nearly as heavy as it looks! / Enlarge

Canal d'Ille-et-Rance

The tranquil Canal d’Ille-et-Rance near Rennes / Enlarge

Austria and Germany

Mozart Trail cycle path 1

A perfect cycle path, on the Mozart Trail / Enlarge

Mozart Trail cycle path 2

Another perfect Austrian cycle path / Enlarge

Coming soon…

Our regular trips to Mallorca have been our most leisurely, and relaxing, cycling holidays. We’ve gone there in spring or autumn for the last 5 years, and it’s always been perfect.

We’ve just booked to go again in October 2017. When we get back, I’ll write a more detailed post about why we love cycling there.