Adventure is on your doorstep, and it’s easy to find.
I was recently asked by a customer, “of all the rides you have done, which is your favourite?”
Almost without thinking, I said, “it has to be my ride to work”.
Looking back and thinking about this, I wanted to explain why this simple, short ride is so enjoyable. After all, my commute is only 3 miles and it involves riding up one side of a hill and down the other on the main road with all the school and work traffic. But, it doesn’t have to be like this.
Most days, I don’t cycle straight to work.
I turn right out of my driveway, instead of left. And I go and explore. I might ride some off-road trails, go and look at the view or just pick out a really quiet road to roll along. But, I never go far. Though it’s enough to feel like I have cheated the system… And after all, people who ride electric bikes are cheats, right?
How can I adventure more?
And this got me thinking. I spend a huge amount of my time dreaming and planning for the big weekends, the nights in Bothy’s, the classic loops and rides every great cyclist should have under their belt.
But, the trouble is, I don’t get to do them every day. Maybe once a month at the most. So, how can I adventure more?
Al Humphries has worked it out with his book, Micro Adventures.
He uses the 5pm to 9am when not in work to jump on a train, or walk somewhere remote and sleep wild under the stars… I love this and it sounds so exciting.
But having tried it earlier this year, I actually found it quite stressful, lonely and cold! Read my post ‘Wild Camping in the Cotswolds’ to see what I mean.
So what if, I could jump on my bike, ride away from my home and find some epic places. All within a day and within range of one fully charged battery?
Can you adventure in a city centre?
Now, I’m practised at doing this on my own doorstep, so to tell you about a trip from my on home wouldn’t make sense.
Instead, I imagined I lived in the centre of Bristol. Surrounded by concrete, tarmac and traffic. Surely, I couldn’t just jump on my bike and have an epic adventure from here?
Well, I did.
In fact, I had two.
Watch the full video of our ride here.
Planning my doorstep adventure
A few weeks prior, I had agreed to meet with Rufus (my filmmaking friend), at our workshop in the centre of Bristol, just down the road from Temple Meads station.
It was up to me to plan two epic adventures – one on road and one on gravel. We would be making a review video for a couple of Homages to go on the website.
The night before our big Bristol adventure I sat down and started thinking/panicking about the fact I hadn’t organised anything. So, I grabbed a handful of guidebooks and logged in to Komoot. Within a couple of hours, I had two routes, a buzz of excitement and a question – could we have a proper adventure on a Riese & Müller Homage in Bristol?
The first day would be riding all on road. Covering about 40 miles in total, out through villages, passing a couple of lakes and climbing up onto the Mendips.
Komoot Route: Lost Lanes West: Lakes, Lead and Legs
The second day, slightly fewer miles but on gravel tracks, along the Avon Valley and out into the surrounding countryside before returning on a dedicated cycle route.
Whilst neither was something truly epic, both were full days of riding, exploring new routes, with some stunning scenery. And best of all, I didn’t spend hours planning. I didn’t have to drive for miles. And, at the end of the day, I was back at my imaginary home in the centre of Bristol.
And if you can incorporate it into your ride to work, then that’s even better. Don’t get in the car to get to the start. Use your own mapping skills (or lean on Komoot for some support) to get to the start and back.
If you are thinking of heading out on an epic adventure, but lack of time and planning means you never get beyond your front door; grab a guide book, or sign in to Komoot. Don’t worry about it being the best ride you have ever done. Just grab the first one you come to.
I reckon there is an adventure to be had on everyone’s doorstep.
To find out more about the bikes we used have a look at the Homage. It’s a great all-round bike popular with those who want the capability of a Superdelite but with the accessibility of a step-thru frame.