10 things you learn when you cycle 4,110 miles around Britain

Map of Great Britain

Cycling right around the coast of Britain is unquestionably the single most rewarding thing I have done in my life. The wonder of it is that I didn’t do something like it sooner.

1. You can do anything, if you just take it one wheel at a time. 4,110 miles is nothing but 1 mile done 4,110 times. Nothing is impossible when you break it down.

2. You’re not special. Anyone can do this. Anyone can buy a bike and cycle from their front door, to god knows where. Don’t imagine that you’re not fit enough to try: fitness comes with every mile you pedal.

3. Rain isn’t an excuse. Rain is a circumstance out of your control, like the condition of the roads, or the terrible music on CapitalFM. You’ll just ride through it.

4. Cycling is addictive. One mile breeds another, seeing the numbers click forward on your odometer turns every stretch of road into a game to be beaten. Make sure you spend enough time sleeping, eating and sight-seeing, though!

5. Ever fancied sending the waiter back for a second main course – and then having dessert? Ever wished you could eat a Full English every morning? Ever fancied seeing how long it takes you to burn off the calories contained in a full bag of Jelly Babies? Welcome to the cycling diet.

6. Britain is stunningly beautiful. You need never go to another country as long as you live. There is an infinite supply of fascination and adventure right here for us.

7. Cycling isn’t complicated. Modern bikes don’t break much. Modern tyres don’t get punctures. Absence of a degree in bike mechanics is no excuse.

8. The hardest part of doing anything is starting. Once the wheels have started turning forwards, they don’t turn back.

9. Achievement is the surest way to courage and confidence. All you have to remember is: 4,110 miles.

10. Nothing will be the same again. You will always have cycled around Britain. Your conception of the possible is transformed.

11. One day you will cycle around Britain – the other way!

Blue NCN 1 sign
You will play “Spot the blue sign” a lot.

Start an ambitious physical challenge, or die not knowing!

6 thoughts on “10 things you learn when you cycle 4,110 miles around Britain”

  1. David, I just came across your blog and what I can I say… I like it! 🙂 Not only this post, but there are quite a lot of lovely linguistic treasures I would love to scribble down in my wee journal. So keep pedaling, and writing!! 🙂 Cheers, Oliver

    1. Thanks Oliver! I’m honoured 😀 Love the look of your journal too – particularly loving the Ivor Cutler quotation! David

      1. Now it’s my turn to be honoured I think… Thanks for taking a look at my site and your feedback, much appreciated! Glad you stumbled across something interesting as well and I was flabbergasted when I first encountered the quote! Not meant to promote anything, but you can actually listen to the track on iTunes. It’s called “What?” from the album “A Flat Man”. Just in case you fancy some Kalimba tunes… 😉

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