“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race”. H.G. Wells
It’s almost that time of year again. Time to pack panniers and tent, load our bicycles and pedal away for a few weeks in France. Everyone needs time to recharge their batteries, and we are hoping that the hills, coast and valleys of Brittany will provide peace and quiet, beautiful landscape and chance meetings with interesting people. This has been our experience of riding across various parts of Europe over the past thirty years.
Cycle touring for us began when our two sons were quite young and wanted to experience travel overseas. Our budget was limited, and to that point holidays had been spent walking the hills of Wales and Scotland. Travel by bicycle enabled us to venture further afield, taking the ferry initially to Denmark and in subsequent years to France, Holland and Ireland and once even on a budget flight to Portugal. Sara and I have since visited several other European countries under our own pedal power and have explored many interesting places and met numerous interesting people.
For our sons, the initial trips were both an adventure and a great learning opportunity. Not only were they able to visit a number of interesting historical sites or areas of outstanding natural beauty, they also learned to experiment with languages. I recall Toby for instance, gaining the confidence to enter a bakery and order Danish pastries in the local language. As is almost invariably the case, the local shopkeeper appreciated his efforts and was patient with what I am sure was less than perfect pronunciation.
It has been our experience that the best travel is always taken slowly, by foot, by boat, or best of all by cycle. So, as we prepare for our departure for the quiet lanes of Brittany, I will close this blog until we return. We look forward to negotiating a few of the lanes recently traversed by the hardened athletes of the Tour de France, and whilst celebrating a great British win by Chris Froome, we feel sure that we will appreciate the view at our rather sedate pace much more than he had time to do.
Back before to long!