I love my bicycle. It’s my favourite way to get around London: far quicker, easier and a little bit cheaper too. I’ve also been fascinated with cycle travel. I know some people that have cycled around Ireland and cycled along the Rhine for their holidays, it sounds amazing.
At work, we had the opportunity to cycle to Paris in return for fundraising towards our amazing project in Africa – a business skills training centre for teenagers who have been affected by war (sometimes displaced and orphaned, almost certainly with little formal education). I loved the idea!
I quickly realised my little 8km commute would not cut it as training for 4 days and a total distance of 442km. Every weekend I have been going out cycling and it’s been leaving me pretty tired. But I got fit, and was confident I could handle the distance.
The ride itself was amazing! I made it to Paris, wasn’t too tired, wasn’t sore, and did something I dared to dream of. It’s a really long way from London to Paris! Being on the bike meant we saw a few things you wouldn’t spot from a car and we stopped for water and lunch in some pretty amazing places. I did well on the fundraising too, smashing the minimum target of £700 and managed to contribute a decent amount towards our project.
But: I did discover something about myself. I love cycling, but I don’t love cycling that much. It’s an amazing way to get around, the perfect commute. But at the end of the day I’m just not a sporty person. I really enjoyed the ride for the scenery and the experience, but you won’t find me doing loops around Richmond Park again any time soon!
So is cycling an alternative way to have a trip away from home? Yes, but I wouldn’t say it’s a holiday!