40 miler

So I’ve come to the realisation that I really need to stop planning my tour based on 40 mile days. Even starting late in the day, with hills and bad weather I’ll cover at least 50 miles. On relatively flat terrain with extended spring daylight hours that is only going to increase. Time to revise the estimates and plans accordingly.

On a slightly related note my route in the UK has now changed. I’m no longer going to head south west from Bristol instead cycling straight to Exeter. The reason being that I am now volunteering on an organic farm for two weeks. ‘Wwoof-ing‘ is something I am considering doing next summer in Scandinavia. So through a friend who works there I’ve arranged two weeks thrown in at the deep end on a commercial organic vegetable farm.

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As someone with a definite ‘back to the land’ philisophical/political rhetoric I guess it’s time to put my labour where my mouth is. As with everything at the moment I’m swinging between excitement and dread. The future is such an unknown quantity it is hard to really fathom it and I am trying to live without expectations. Doing that though is hard, I’m used to routine. For most of my life I’ve known pretty much what the day ahead will hold. Even when cycle touring there is a routine of sorts based around food, distance and shelter. It’s exciting to throw different things into the mix but it definitely challenges me and makes me anxious.

Then of course come the questions from friends and family. “So what are you going to do when you finish touring?” If I knew the answer to that I arguably wouldn’t be touring. The sub-text of that question is always shrouded in terms of work and jobs. Now I know I can be naive and idealistic but I still possess enough realism to know I can’t tour and/or volunteer forever. However the world of paid work makes me more anxious than the ‘unknown alternative’ that currently doesn’t exist. Watch this space. I reckon I have approximately a year to either dream one up or stumble across it. Ever feel the pressure that the clock is ticking?

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