Friday, 8 June 2007

Virtually inspired

Having rejected the glossy promises of family adventure tour operators in favour of touring at home, I got jittery about us getting bored just cycling in the UK. Somehow the journey alone wasn't enough; it needed something more, in case riding end to end with three kids didn't hold our interest. So I turned to the net for inspiration.

Friday afternoon and amongst the spam in my mailbox was the CTC's weekly newsnet, proudly announcing the launch of the CTC CycleHero climate change campaign. Take a look at it here.

It's a simple message; use your bike more and you can help save the planet. It's simple, practical, do-able, planet saving and something we can all relate to. And, according to the website, it's sexy too. In which case who wouldn't want to be a cycle hero? Or meet one?

So that's the six week holidays planned; we're going to cycle Lands End to John O Groats in search of everyday cycle heros. Ordinary people doing their bit to save the planet by bike. That should spice things up a bit.

Now then I wonder which way we should go?

Friday, 1 June 2007

We're all going on a summer holiday...

As the summer holidays loom, tea time time talk has inevitably turned to 'Where shall we go?' and 'What shall we do?' Just the prospect of spending six weeks at home while the kids run riot is already driving me crazy so that's out of the question. We've got to go somewhere and got to do something, but what?

How about that wilderness trip of a lifetime canoeing down the Yukon? Or a fortnight on safari in Africa? What about biking in Cambodia and Vietnam? Or trekking in China or Nepal? The travel supplements, family adventure brochures and guide books are full of ideas and inspiration. But just thinking of flying five of us to an exotic destination for a hedonistic family adventure doesn't seem very responsible any more. So it's just as well we can't afford it financially as well as environmentally; makes my unfulfilled dreams a little easier to live with.

And so thoughts turned to holidaying at home, which has not been so immediately full of inspiration. After arguing a lot about the best place to go we agreed to compromise and make our destination a journey. So having established that we couldn't go somewhere and that going nowhere was not an option, it was obvious we had to go everywhere. And so emerged a somewhat absurd plan to take on a classic road trip, from one end of the country to the other; from Lands End to John O Groats.

Only thing was we couldn't possibly do it by car; never mind environmentally, just mentally, cooped up in a tin-box day after day, guzzling fuel, enduring the great British summer and accompaniment of traffic jams. No, there's only two green ways to do Lands End to John O Groats - by foot or by bike. And with just six weeks of holiday and three kids, one is clearly impossible and the other..... Well, let's just say we're planning to find out.