We’ve always believed that big adventures can be found close to home.
You don’t have to cycle around the world to have a good time, and one of the best “big adventures” we’ve discovered in the last couple of years is the S240 or Sub 24 hour Overnight bike camping trip. It’s pure joy, easily condensed into an evening.
It’s simple. Dead simple. There are no packing lists, or worrying about how much food to take. We typically take our tent, a sleeping bag and mat, a pillow, some picnic foods (cheese, salami, bread, olives, etc…) and a thermos full of tea, plus a bottle of wine if we’re feeling extravagant. We throw a toothbrush and a camera in the handlebar bag and we’re off (here’s another S240 packing list)
You don’t have to meticulously plan a route. After all, less planning = more chance for adventure! Anyway, whatever you forget or can’t figure out doesn’t matter much. You’ll be home the next morning.
It doesn’t have to be far either. Go down the road, slip your tent in the woods or visit a campsite you haven’t yet been to. Ask a farmer in the next village if you can pitch a tent in his field.
These mini-adventures are great for working out the kinks of bike touring. Do a few of them, and you’ll soon discover if your sleeping mat is comfortable enough, or if your stove is really easy to use. And they’re a fantastic break away from the routines of a hectic lifestyle. A bike ride plus a night of camping is the best stress relief we’ve found yet.
On our last S240, we headed out along the canals and green fields near our home in Holland.
We stopped to admire the windmills.
And we laughed at the spring lambs, playing in the fields.
We found a place to pitch our tent (a paal camping site – legal and free camping in Holland).
And we cooked supper, while watching the sun sink over the canal.
The next morning we stopped for apple cake and coffee.
We hung out at the market, and drooled over the cheese. We also had our panniers filled by a kind Iranian man, who heard we’d cycled through his country and starting pulling food off the shelves of his shop. We didn’t get his picture but he sure put a smile on our faces for the rest of the day.
Almost back home, we watched as 3 girls made their way along a bike lane (we love living in a country where it’s safe enough for everyone – even kids – to cycle everywhere).
Not a small amount of adventure for just 15 hours away from home. We were never further than 30km from our house. How about you? Where’s your next mini-adventure going to be?