BREAKING NEWS: There’s No Breaking News…

UPDATE: What wonderful news that Mr Biden and Ms Harris have been elected to replace Trump and Pence. I spent much of yesterday waiting for the (almost) inevitable announcement to be made. As I waited, I penned a few thoughts about future cycling trips…

It’s foggy and cold outside, CNN is on the TV (as with much of the world, I’m sitting here waiting and hoping for that 253 to change soon) and it’s the first Saturday of Lockdown 2.0. Not a great deal to do other than ponder over the future… That could be a real Pandora’s box but let’s keep things focussed on cycling.

I told myself that I would never visit America while Trump was in charge. Ha! That’s about to change, hopefully, and the flabby orange racist will soon be booted out of the White House. I do hope it comes down to him being dragged out of the Oval Office like a screaming kid. It would make good TV. So in a Biden-Harris world, America is now an option again. Recent chats – with Ryan Van Duzer for the podcast and with Jeff Trueman who came to deliver a beer when I stayed at the campsite near Penrith earlier in the year during the Great British Cycle Tour – have certainly whetted my appetite to heading stateside. A couple of weeks ago I received a brochure from Hurtigruten, the company that runs the passenger ships that service the ports of the Norwegian coast. If you remember, I took one of their boats from Honningsvag to Bergen at the end of my cycle from Tarifa to Nordkapp in 2015…

…fond memories. I leafed through the ‘Great Explorers’-themed brochure and my eye fell upon the pages devoted to a journey through the Northwest Passage. In August 2021 the MS Roald Amundsen (a brand new ‘environmentally sustainable hybrid technology‘ ship) leaves Alaska en route for Halifax Nova Scotia:

And it got me thinking, for a few moments at least (see below…). How about a cycle from Halifax (the Nova Scotia one) to the west coast of the Americas on a route that takes in both the USA and Canada finishing in time to take the plane to Alaska to hook up with the ship. That would be fun. Mmm… I then looked at the price of the cruise. About ยฃ15,000. Oh dear… It was a nice idea while it lasted. North America might have to wait.

Back to more humble thoughts. Or at least more realistic ones:

Well I decided upon Japan back in 2019, did the research, planned a route, bought the plane ticket and even a new bicycle… Japan 2020 never happened, for obvious reasons, but there’s no reason why Japan 2021 might not take place. Well, unless the same ‘obvious reasons’ are still an issue. I’d like to think we might have a solution, or at least a vaccine, by then.

If not Japan, perhaps I should revisit this:

I did the first bit – or at least the UK stage without Dublin – earlier this year under the name of (as already mentioned) the Great British Cycle Tour, so perhaps 2021 should see me head back to London and start travelling in the direction of Prague (via most of eastern Europe). It’s on the list of ‘possibles’.

All that said, 2020, the year that many would like to forget (although Trump’s demise is perhaps the corner we have all been waiting for) is not yet over and, reflecting on my recent trip to the Yorkshire Dales… (What do you mean you never watched the film? Sit back for 27 minutes of cycling cinematography in glorious 4K:)

…I am very tempted to plan a winter cycle – perhaps between Christmas and New Year – and asked for suggestions via Twitter earlier this week:

And had some interesting responses:

A few ideas there.

I feel as though I’ve done much of the east coast in recent years; earlier this year from Berwick-upon-Tweed heading north and back in the early summer of 2019 when I cycled along the Yorkshire section of the EuroVelo 12. The Dartmoor Way is an interesting loop that skirts around the edge of the moor (with an option the cross the moor itself although not sure if that’s a great idea in late December…). The TransPennine Trail? I’ve never been that attracted to this route. Perhaps because it’s too close to home? I did actually cycle a short section of the route in the summer of 2019, the bit from near Holmfirth to Wentworth Woodhouse. It was a nice ride…

…but… Well, I don’t know. My question above regarding routes in the Peak District remains hanging. The River Thames? Well, I must have done most of that when I lived in Reading. I also revisited some sections of the Thames Path when I cycled from Cardiff to London earlier this year. The path itself (as mentioned here) is not a cycle path as such although it is possible to cycle sections of it. Cycling from Reading to Henley-upon-Thames for example is tricky as there are so many styles in your way. The Morecambe Bay cycle route? I’d never heard of that one before but at only 130 km it would make for a nice short ride with plenty of time available if the weather were to turn for the worse. Revisiting Ulverston would be nice:

The Lakes & Dales Loop? Probably not a contender as I seem to have spent much of the cycling in 2020 in that area.

I’ll keep thinking.

In Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada the counting continues… Still on 253.

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What do you think?