Travels with a Tandem

The Happy Wanderer What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?

It all depends on when and where and how you are travelling. When we went on tandem holidays  we never booked accommodation ahead because we didn’t know how far we would get in a day. It would have been frustrating to have to stop early in the afternoon simply because we had a b&B booked.

So much depends on the weather, the traffic, the state of the roads, how tired you are, even how good your navigation is.

On one occasion we got a lot further than we’d planned simply because the roads were dead quiet and there was no traffic. It happened to be the day of Princess Diana’s funeral and the streets of Lancashire were deserted. Everyone was indoors watching the event on TV. We broke our previous record for distance travelled with a loaded tandem and ended up at Shrewsbury, much further on than we expected to get.

Of course there are times when not booking ahead can mean you are still searching for somewhere to stay quite late in the evening, All I can say is that we’ve never had to sleep under a hedge …yet. There’s a first time for everything. But on a cycling tour, not knowing where you will be sleeping the following night is all part of the fun!

We found a B&B in Ardrossan when we had more of less resigned ourselves to riding as far as the ferry terminal and dossing down in the waiting room. We found a room in a Travel Lodge on the motorway – we went in via the service entrance, bicycles aren’t allowed on motorways. We found the staff very helpful.they even let us store our tandem in the linen room!

Not having a fixed route and a rigid itinerary is definitely preferable if you are on a bike.




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I am a poet, therefore I am crazy - see Shakespeare "the lunatic, the lover and the poet..." I also write plays and stories. I ride a recumbent trike, made by ICE (Inspired Cycle Engineering) with a STEPS electric motor and automatic gears!

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