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Saturday, 21 October 2006

Solo Biking: Britain to Seville

Written by Bruce Berry
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In early 2005 I decided that I wanted to return to Spain to live permanently. I had been stationed there during a stint in the military some years before. At the time I was working as an English teacher in Mexico. I love to cycle so I decided to do a little cycle touring before I settled down in Spain. Once I made the decision, I started to plan. I polished up my old mountain bike, tuned it, spent a lot of time buying panniers and equipment, and began to train.
In early 2005 I decided that I wanted to return to Spain to live permanently. I had been stationed there during a stint in the military some years before. At the time I was working as an English teacher in Mexico.
I love to cycle so I decided to do a little cycle touring before I settled down in Spain. Once I made the decision, I started to plan. I polished up my old mountain bike, tuned it, spent a lot of time buying panniers and equipment, and began to train. I spent two months in Arkansas preparing and slowly building up my stamina.
In September 2005 I flew to London. My plan was to ride from Bedford, just north of London, down to the coast, through Holland, then take a train to Berlin. I would get from Berlin to Madrid by plane, then bike to Seville.
bikeIt was an amazing trip. Of course I had the normal bouts of rain, wind, storms, and ugly freeway crossings. But overall it was beautiful and I recommend this type of journey to anyone looking for some time to discover themselves and get back to nature. I'll give you briefly my impression of each country, of course, from atop a bicycle seat.
I began my journey in England. It is so natural and green that it doesn't seem like there are really sixty-something-million people packed onto that little island when you’re cycling through the countryside.
tripI left Bedford early on the morning of September 13th, my bike loaded down with about forty-five pounds worth of gear on front and rear panniers. It was a beautiful cool morning with no clouds, and left me with a feeling that is hard to describe - somewhere between exhilaration, uninhibited freedom, and apprehension about what this journey would really be like.
It occurred to me as I was cycling out of Bedford into the fairytale English countryside that not one soul in the world knew where I was at that moment, and that everything that I needed to live was either on my person, or stuffed somewhere in one of the four bags that were so nicely balanced and hanging from my bike racks.
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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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