Five tips for cycle touring

This article was published in 2005, in Newsletter 60.

Wales, the Wye Valley
Image as described adjacent

Last summer I cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats – a wonderful trip. I offer the following to anyone else thinking of having a go.

  1. If you’re carrying 30kg of baggage and camping gear, you must realise that, unlike Cambridgeshire, the rest of Britain has hills. You are likely to average a couple of miles per hour less than you can around here. A target of 50 miles a day would have made a better trip than the 72 I averaged.
  2. Accept the fact that you will waste time by getting lost in town centres. Signposts are not designed for cyclists passing through (unless you want to follow the route intended for lorries).
  3. A summer-weight sleeping bag is not warm enough for July camping in Britain.
  4. The reason the End to End is usually done south to north is to take advantage of the prevailing wind. But even in mid-summer, it will rain, and the wind will often be against you. (The number of people who said to me that surely, it would have been more downhill north to south is quite frightening.)
  5. If you are going to have to pack the bike into a bag or box for a flight home, grease the threads of your pedals before starting. Otherwise they won’t undo with a small spanner.
Camping on the north coast of Scotland
Image as described adjacent

For these and other thoughts, see the full story at

Richard Moss