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Bike Ride on 24 July (organised by Bike Events. see below). 'l'here's an entry fee of£-l.2i) and all proceeds go to the World Wildlife l’und. 'l‘he London to Brighton Bike Ritlt'( 1‘) June) is an alternative at £4.20. proceeds to the British Heart Foundanon.
For enthusiasts. the Joint o' (il'()t1(.\ to Land's End tour ( 13—23 Aug ). It costs £310. which includes maps. meals. campsite charges. baggage handling (trucks transport tents etc from site to site. so you can travel light). mechanics and entertainment. It‘s lililll miles long. riding on average (35—70 miles a day!
Bike Events organise this one. and a number oflonger breaks during the year: London to the Isle of Skye (summer). Loire Valley (summer). Dordogne 'I‘our (autumn) and Bordeaux to Barcelona (autumn).
The (.‘yc‘lists' Touring ( ‘lttb offers a wide range ofinformation sheets to its members. covering routes and useful tips in a variety of countries. You‘ll also get their bi-monthly magazine. insurance. biennial Handbook. free legal advice. as well
as regular updates on road-safety campaigns and the protection of cyclists‘ rights. Membership costs £15 for over-2 ls. plus extra for insurance premiums. There are cheaper rates for ‘household‘ members. under-21s etc.
— FREE WHEELS
I once met a man of85 who swore by it. Since his honeymoon sixty years before. his annual cycling jaunt with his wife had been a regular. It's a strange sideline in the lives ofmany. But. for every horrendous up (and the Highlands are full ofthem). there's the elation of a down. For some. cycling is a religion. ()thers just indulge to get to the shops and back. The oecasionals generally only look at their polished. near-virginal vehicles in the garage. But cycling holidays have potential for all.
Although the fainthearted may wish to pedal only in Norfolk or the Netherlands. even rugged areas cater for those who get off and push up the hills. and those who stop to admire the view every five yards.
Scotland is a favourite amongst the committed. Light petrol-powered road traffic and innumerable tracks. lanes and by-ways pull the peddlers. Only last weekend. as I strolled miles from anywhere and anyone on a Highland hill. five mountain bikers crashed through the undergrowth onto the path in front ofme. The Scottish Tourist Board 's booklet ‘Adventure and Special Interest Holidays in Scotland‘ gives details of three cylce holiday centres. and of several activity centres which offer cycling as an option.
A free-wheeling holiday plan might be to buy a Seotrail Rover Ticket. either for the whole of Scotland (£44 is the adult fare for seven days. 33% off for under 155 and railcard holders). or for an area of Scotland (from £28. adult price. same reductions apply). Cycles go free on trains. provided the guards van can fit them in. You could B&B it (a guide is available from the STB for £3. 1() inc p&p). tent it (STB guide to sites is £2.90 inc p&p) or youth hostel it.
Cycling day-trippers may want to take a short break and go in for the sponsored London to Cambridge
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Cycling into summer. Kristina Woolnough spins through two-wheeled holidays (this page) while Julie Morrice considers all that’s best in local biking (overleaf).
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