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What you should expect from a long bicycle journey

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Bicycle touring for a sustained period of time is a funny old thing. It is freedom. It is frustration. It is joy. It is really a range of everything you can get thrown at you, erm, being thrown at you. Here’s a little photo journal of what you might expect if you saddle up and live off a bike for a while.

Mechanical Issues

During these moments, riders will often be heard feeling sorry for themselves by muttering / screaming such phrases as, “F*?k this!” or “Not again!” or “Just give me a break for one day!” or “Not dealing with it. I’m done. Totally done. Where’s the nearest burrito shop?”

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Ambiguous Sleeping Arrangements

It’s 9PM, 10PM, 1AM. You haven’t got a clue where you are. Your eyelids are heavy. You need to stop. You’ll want to sleep A LOT. Fear not though – spend long enough living on a bicycle and you will become a sleep ninja. You will become a hawk, being able to spot possible places to sleep from a mile away. Your sixth sense will develop, and you’ll become comfortable not being comfortable. You might even wake up in a nice spot occasionally. Popular phrases during these times include: “This bench will do”, and, “No way will there be a park ranger who kicks the tent at 4.30AM. Absolutely not.”

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Lots of Empty and Enjoyable Roads

You know, those roads that keep going right the way to the horizon. These are either total bliss (if you’re in a good mood) or hell on earth (if you’re in a bad mood). Either way they become some of the magical moments that, after all is said and done, will always provide memories that will make you daydream and sometimes miss road life. Phrases during these times include: “No one will hear me singing Bat Out Of Hell here, surely not”, and, “It’s flat and straight. There’s absolutely no way anything can go wrong on this stretch.”

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Teaming up with new pals

Who is that in the distance? They look like pannier bags. Maybe they are. Finally, after weeks and weeks, you’re not a loner anymore! It’s another person on a bike! These times are wonderful. They take you out of your own head and often form the experiences which you’ll cherish forever. Someone once said, “Happiness only real when shared”, and they were right. Phrases during these times include: “Want to stop for a beer?” and “Want to stop for lunch?”

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All In All, A Jolly Good Time

It will sometimes suck. You will sometimes wake up in an ants nest. You will miss home. It will make you question yourself. But, it will be one of the best times of your life. That’s why you should consider doing it.

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Vague Direction: A 12,000 mile bicycle ride, and the meaning of life.
Available now: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com



Follow Dave on Instagram for adventure photography and behind-the-scenes updates about his new courage project.
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