Overnighters are a great way to get away on tour if you’re short on time. Pack light, strike off in a direction, ride for a couple of days and catch the train home. If you book your return ticket in advance through thetrainline.com you can pick up some good deals too. With a light touring bike test for Cycling Plus to write up, and a whole load of summer kit to try out, we didn’t need much excuse to set our sights on the Cornish Coast…Day 1: Bristol to Exford, via Cheddar and the Quantocks. About 80 miles or so.Day 2: Exford to Bodmin. About 100 miles or so.We were planning on riding the whole way to Liv’s new cottage in Helston, but to be honest, the A39 wasn’t doing much for us. With fast traffic and a heavy mist to contend with, we peeled off towards Bodmin and picked up the train. Much better. After all, touring is about enjoying yourself, right?A light touring bikes test – the perfect excuse for an overnighter to the Cornwall.We stopped off at Howard’s to enjoy his fine hospitality in Exmoor. This is his wonky barn. It reminds me of the house in Big Fish that the friendly giant props up.After some wine, a hearty plate of delicious salmon pastry things and a restful night’s sleep at Liv’s cottage (friends, heh), we had time to walk the dogs before our afternoon train. Continue reading ‘Overnighter to Cornwall’
Archive for March, 2007
Tags: Big Fish, bodmin, bristol, cheddar, cornwall, cycling, exford, quantocks
Tags: bicycle, Chott al Jarid, Ksar Gilane, LHT, Long Haul Trucker, Surly, touring, Tunisia
Just back from a 10-day tour with my brother in the south of Tunisia. All in all, a surprisingly good cycling destination – super friendly locals, tasty food at every pit stop, freshly squeezed OJ in the morning, spick ‘n span places to lay your head at night, carpet smooth roads (or tapis, as the local roadies call them) and funky music piping out of all the cafes.
Of course, we had our taste of bumpy, corrogated tracks, gale force headwinds, tour bus convoys and heavy rain… But still, a great tour and one I’d very much recommend for anyone in search of accessible desert adventure. Full blog report to follow, when I work my way through the pics… A few posted below in the meantime.
Other news. Cara’s back from her road riding in the Vercors tomorrow. We’re now fully booked for Spiti, with a place left on Sach Pass, and a few on Manali-Leh. All the details are here. If anyone is planning to meet up at the Howies Difi Enduro ride in Wales, ring them and talk your way onto the last few spots!
Camping out by the pistes between Tatouine (of Star Wars fame) and the oasis of Ksar Gilane.
The next morning, we came across this little establishment at a crossroads marked only by an old tyre and a pile of rocks. A cafe! Serving mint tea from grubby glasses. Didn’t take long for the flies to find us.
Occasionally polished hills rose from the vast flatness of the desert. We debated whether they were caused by seismic shifts, or perhaps this area was once a river valley.
In Kibili, we met a local roadie, M’hamed (aka Zig Zag) who invited us to stay in his home and eat couscous with his family. His wooly cycling jersey was what we’d now call ‘old school’. To him I guess it was just old…
Parked up, ready for our coffee break. Every cafe has an ancient expresso machine that’s always on the go.
March is a good time to visit. We had a few days of rain to start off, then skies like this.
But battling into the wind and the sand is part of the Saharan right of passage. At this point, Nick was questioning the definition of ‘holiday’.
Cara and I are backwards and forward over the next couple of weeks – I’m off desert-touring with my brother and Cara’s heading down to the Vercors for some quality tarmac action and French nosh at Gastrobiking. So if you want to get in touch, please cc your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
We’ll both be checking our mail whenever we get the chance.