The preoccupation in Britain with cycling as a sport makes it easy to overlook other aspects of life on two wheels. For example, cycle touring is a pursuit as old as the bicycle itself.
Now reinvented as ‘bikepacking’ the business of setting off to ride and camp, taking with you only as much as you can carry, is as pure a cycling experience as you can have.
The excellent bikepacking.com describes ‘a synthesis of mountain biking and minimalist camping; it evokes the freedom of multi-day back-country hiking, with the range and thrill of riding a mountain bike. It’s about forging places less travelled, both near and afar, via single-track trails, gravel, and abandoned dirt roads, carrying only essential gear’.
Some of the bikepacking chronicles describe epic rides through the red deserts of the American west and beyond, but don’t let the lure of far flung destinations stop you starting with a short overnight route near home.
To help get you started, we have a Quechua three-person tent to give away.
The design of this tent uses two-tone dye on the entire outer lining to reduce its CO2 emissions by 20% and the company can repair it if it gets damaged to give it a second life. To be in with a chance of winning the tent, simply leave us a comment at the bottom of the page and let us know where you’d pitch it.
Ethical cycle insurance
On the face of it, one cycle insurance policy is much like another, but the devil is the detail. Check your small print for so-called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use the term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.
With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner and safer transport future. Little wonder The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be Britain’s most ethical provider.