So we are off to the very first Cycle Touring Festival to be held in Britain, if not the world. No doubt it will be full of all the geeky nerdiness that is inevitable when a couple of hundred like-minded enthusiasts get together. I don’t suppose it matters whether it’s model trains, VW campers or steam engines, all these gatherings are much the same. If you aren’t at least a bit fanatical about whatever the theme is, it is probably better to stay away.
There will be much earnest discussion about tents, stoves, bicycles and far flung destinations whilst tales of past adventures will no doubt get taller as the weekend goes on and the beer tent gets busier.
For Gill and I it will be a very special weekend. The first time back on our bikes with all our kit since we returned from ‘the big one’ last year. Just printing off the packing list sent a shiver down my spine and now that everything is loaded into the panniers I can’t wait to get on the road. In many ways this trip will be the antithesis of last year’s. Thirty miles each way and virtually no route planning or discovering new roads as the venue is practically in our back yard. None of this matters though because we will no doubt be riding back down memory lane for much of the four days. It’s going to be great to catch up with old friends, some of whom we met on lasts year’s trip, and to meet some of the fellow tourers and bloggers that I have been sharing vicarious journeys with over the last few years.
Settling back down into any kind of normal life has proved ridiculously hard but we might be getting there. I suppose the point is that we didn’t really want to settle down to ‘normal’ again at all so finding an alternative way of making a living has proved extremely hard. I’m thrilled to say that I have achieved that as a fund raiser for the charity, Canal and River Trust.
Gill is going to give care work a try once more and most importantly, we will both be working just two or three days a week. Lots of time for mini adventures and day dreaming of bigger trips in the future. Which right now is looking pretty rosy. We just need to hang on to a bit of reality over the next few days as we are going to be surrounded by people enthusing about their latest or imminent adventures whilst we have to be patient and refill the bank account. Dream on.