It was a few minutes past 11 p.m. on the 4th of June 2016. I was sat by a window in the bar of an overnight ferry to France, beer in hand, celebrating the start of my second bicycle adventure.
In the morning I would arrive in the town of Roscoff, depart the boat and begin a journey that would cover over 2235 miles (approx 3600km) through three different countries. My destination was Idanha-A-Nova in Portugal. I was cycling to a festival held there, that I had been to two years prior, and became inspired by their ”Bike to Boom initiative. As the name of the initiative suggests, I was cycling to Boom Festival.
My Dad dropped me off at the ferry terminal at around 5 p.m. after buying me dinner and a beer or three. Then after a short five hour wait I was the one of the first to board the boat. Other cycle tourists joined me in the queue and as expected the conversation was bicycle stories. Being proud of my first tour the previous year I was happy to get involved.
At the bar I jotted some notes down in my journal, finished the beer and headed back to get some rest for the big day ahead.
I awoke to the perfect start for my first days ride. In an hour, at 9 a.m, the boat would arrive in France. But until then I would stay on the top deck, soaking in the sun and sea air.
On my new metal touring stallion, I left Roscoff and began meandering southwards, towards a beautiful town called Morlaix. On this stretch I would overtake and be overtaken by some of the cycle tourists from the ferry; no one would pass without short conversation and some well-wishing, It was all very pleasant!
I would love to show you a picture of Morlaix, it is picture-worthy. But upon discovering my route that day would involve many hills, my legs panicked and I forgot.
Instead, here is a rubbish picture of my new bike looking all clean.
Seven hours of cycling later, I had covered 45 miles (72.5km). I averaged 6 mph with those hills and boy were my legs on fire! My entire training program for this trip was a three hour test ride, about two weeks ago.
There was a lot of green and blue during those 45 miles and, though I documented exactly none of it, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. As first days go, this was a great one. I arrived at the campsite at dusk, pitched my tent and assembled my new favourite thing: a small camping chair. That camping chair is the single best item I have bought for my travels. I highly recommend these if you’re cycling and camping, your body will thank you.
Picture for reference:
(See my other recommendations here)
After a long warm (and free!) shower I fell into my awesome chair, made myself a cup of tea and sat, almost motionless, until It was time to sleep. My second bicycle tour had begun.