Robin on the Road in Trerice Cornwall, UK

Robin on the Road in Trerice Cornwall, UK
Robin on the Road in Trerice Cornwall, UK

Friday, May 27, 2011

As much as I like to wing it on many of my adventures, it's a good idea to at least have a rough plan. This is especially true when pedaling unfamiliar roads. The whole point of cycle-touring really is to pedal unknown roads and get to know the land and people. At least as much as possible when one is passing through an area. This is why I like cycling so much. Cycling allows one to move somewhat quickly, yet not so fast that the scenery becomes a blur and the people anonymous.

I know I am starting out at Land's End, Cornwall in England. That's the furthest south west that you can go by land. It sticks out like a toe into the Atlantic Ocean. We are starting off by train from London to Penzance. I'll be ending up back in Cambridgeshire. I know I'd like to pass through Bodmin Moor and the Cotswolds. That's what I know for sure at the moment. This is helpful in chossing routes.

Trains are a great way to begin any cycle tour. Especially in Europe or the UK because the trains are prolific, bicycle friendly AND one can get to just about anywhere. This is something, we in the states could learn from.

Trains are also great if time is limited. Believe it or not there are folks out there with "real jobs" or students who can only get away for a week or a few days at a time. With trains one has the option to save pedaling a few hundred miles to get to the country one really wants to pedal through.

In fact, as I will be pedaling back from Cornwall to Cambridge (as yet an indeterminate distance), I may skip pedaling some heavily urbanized areas by taking short hops by train. Only a silly purist would find this idea ludicrous.

But maps and day to day planning is not really my forte. I have a rough idea of following what I would consider the English version of the American Cycling Association's routes.

In England there is a public agency that has been working tirelessly over the past few years to promote not just cycling but also walking. You can check them out

They are lining out routes and maps that criss cross the country. The routes are scenic, practical and where possible are traffic free. Check out the previous post for a short route through Cambridgeshire.

OK, I'll keep you posted on the route planning...

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