James Bowthorpe is an adventuring bad-ass. He grew a better beard than Mark Beaumont, and also cycled around the world a good deal faster, besting Mark Beaumont’s record by a solid 20 days. While I’d rather cruise around the world at a good leisurely pace to see the sights and smell the flowers, there is something inspiring about folks challenge themselves to prove just how small our world is.
Despite knowing a couple of good folks living around Amsterdam, I failed to have a meal with a local while I was there. I did, however, find something just as relaxing that made me feel like a local myself: a bicycle.
My hotel was about 8km walk from the stadium where I needed to be for work, and logistics didn’t look good. Public transportation would take over an hour as I would have to head into the city then transfer, and it was too far to walk with the equipment I needed to take back and forth from the hotel for work. It looked like I would be taking some expensive cabs That is, until I saw a rack of rent-a-bikes outside the hotel. In a sew minutes I was cruising along some of the best bike paths that I have ever seen. I wound through the woods and over the Amstel, a very pleasant ride without a car in sight.
Seeing how well the infrastructure catered to my bicycle commute, I couldn’t help but think that the hold adage of “when in Rome…” The local infrastructure catered perfectly to my needs, I just had to act like a local.
A couple weekends back I rode my bike about 4 hours to spend time with my parents while they were travelling in Kent. Yesterday a couple of my friends and I rode about an hour to Richmond Park, where we got to see climb trees, see deer, and have a lovely picnic.
This type of bike outing is quickly becoming one of my favourite ways to spend a weekend, and so I’ve started mussing about all the different sights and adventures that are just a couple of hours outside of town. Drawing an ambitious circle of around 60 miles from my home, it looks like there is actually a plethora of destinations to choose from, including Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, and Royal Tunbridge Wells.
Thinking that this might just be unique to London, I drew put the same circle over Washington, DC. Turns out there scores cool places to go for a weekend out on bikes from beaches to historic battle fields.
So what’s within weekend riding distance from your home? Why not hop on a bike and find out.