Guest post by Tom Allen.
Alongside cycling in general, bicycle travel is undergoing a real growth spurt. More and more people are discovering the joys of using their bikes to see the world beyond their local rides. This is gratifying, because I know from experience that bicycle travel has the power to change lives.
We’ve reached a tipping point, now, at which an entire festival dedicated to all things cycle touring is becoming viable. So a group of volunteers have got together to make it happen. The dates are now set for the UK’s very first Cycle Touring Festival, from the 1st to the 3rd of May 2015, in the grounds of Waddow Hall in Lancashire.
Big, record-breaking journeys get most of the media attention, but there are countless more riders exploring obscure corners of the world at a much slower pace. The 2015 Cycle Touring Festival aims to position cycle touring as a pursuit accessible to all; as a realistic ambition for anyone who’s ever dreamed of embarking on a self-propelled adventure towards pastures new.
The beauty of cycle touring is in its simplicity. The novelty of passing through new landscapes, the satisfaction of a good meal and a sound sleep at the end of a day outdoors – the basic motions of bicycle travel are its greatest allure. With a bike and a tent you could take off for a single weekend and experience more priceless moments than almost any other pastime. You don’t need loads of time, or money, or gear, or fitness – just an adventurous spirit and a bike.
The Festival aims to bring inspiration, knowledge, and a big group of like-minded people together in one of the most stunning corners of England. To inspire you to start planning your own trip, we’ve arranged for dozens of veteran tourers to share their tales from the road as part of the weekend’s entertainment programme – which also includes plenty of food, drink and revelry, and even a few group rides in the nearby Forest of Bowland AONB.
For those of you already planning cycling adventures, our speakers will also be sharing their knowledge in how-to sessions covering all aspects of bicycle travel, from regional route planning to bike maintenance to gear selection and budgeting.
Tickets are available now via the Cycle Touring Festival’s official website http://www.
You’ll also have the option of adding a third night’s camping to take advantage of the long Bank Holiday weekend. And if camping isn’t your thing, preferential rates are available at the on-site B&B.
The Cycle Touring Festival is a not-for-profit endeavour, and all the event organisers are volunteers. We all love cycle touring, and we want to share our enthusiasm with as broad a crowd as possible.
I hope you’ll join us at Waddow Hall on the 1st–3rd May 2015. Bring your bike!
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.