When people think about adventure cycling, it will generally take one of two forms. The, ‘around the world, taking about three years’ or the ‘how far can I get in one-day’ approach.
The problem with either of these is, of course, the effect they have on actually doing anything remotely adventurous. In the first instance, the very lucky few will ever make the opportunity to do such a ride occur. Those that do will have a fantastic time, change their lives forever and return to society wondering what the hell it’s all about! The second option limits you to the local routes or routes that you can justify driving to with all the attendant difficulties that it can present. Ultimately, though, you can see that just following the same pattern each time you ride can be tough on motivation, and quite often will lead to someone giving up on cycling. A somber day indeed.
However, consider a new option. The ‘microadventure‘.
The microadventure an increasingly popular type of adventure for the more time restricted of us out there. You pack up and head out one evening maybe, sleep in a bivy bag on top of a hill, and then head back to your normal life the next day. You can even do this on a work night, although it may reduce the time available of course.
The term was coined and popularized by our friend Alastair Humphreys on his blog site, and he’s even written a book about it, which is highly recommended! He is the loudest champion for the idea too, and we agree with him; just get out there and breathe some fresh air, wake up with the dawn and fill your lungs with it! There’s not much else in this world that can compete with the satisfaction and wellbeing that comes from this sort of experience.
And, this does, of course, work very well for us cyclists. Especially those of us who like to stray from the road a bit. No rule book says you have to travel 1000’s of miles to enjoy a bit of adventure on your bike. Instead, consider packing it up with the essentials (see Alastair’s site for a list), and heading somewhere you’ve never been before. When you’ve had enough riding for the day, make a small camp somewhere discreet and sleep with the stars overhead.
We’re adding these micro-adventures to our working week too. Each month, we’re aiming to get at least two into our schedule. We simply love this idea, and come rain or shine we’ll be out there loving it.