Freedom Camping and Route Planning

nz-campervan-no-camping“Freedom camping has been outlawed in New Zealand.” These were the upsetting words I heard so long ago that I have forgotten their source. The words which have seen me frustrated, looking at holiday parks which cost around £20 for a single night and wondering how on Earth I was actually going to be able to fund this trip. And also thinking I would miss out on views like this:

Click for the link to Adventure Journal

Click for the link to Adventure Journal

Oh internet, for I assume it was you, how you failed me with your false words. Now I know it to be true that ‘freedom camping’ or wild camping is perfectly legal! Granted, it is preferred that you are in a self-contained vehicle but it is not a necessity. There are just new laws intended to fine those who ignored the existing guidelines. Read on to discover my findings.

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Cycle Camping Glory

I don’t really know where to start with this weekend, but I do know that a couple of things held true: Use your clips! That’s what they’re there for. Every time I remembered this stalwart piece of advice, I performed better. It really does help. Secondly, nothing feels as good as sealed tarmac after a few miles of off-road activity. I would also like to take this moment to post a full retraction to my earlier pants verdict. They’re out. It’s a commando life for me. Hey! I might even buy some chamois cream soon!

This weekend saw me take to the roads (and bridleways) of Dorset for a spot of cycle camping. The rides were short in comparison to my recent training rides but I didn’t want to overdo it with all of my luggage. It has been one of the most incredible weekends and has helped me remember to enjoy every second of my training.

Cruising the coastal road

Cruising the coastal road

The route home

The route home

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Groundwork

Oh no! I haven’t been cycling… But I will! I promise! The last few days have been very much about preparation. In addition to trying to increase my funds by living the simple life in Dorset with a beautiful family, I have spent a good deal of time conducting research and spending all of the money I am supposed to be saving.

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To Dorset in pain

It has been an intense weekend with very little cycling and lots of emotional and physical challenges to overcome.

Having begun the day with only two hours sleep and moving all of my possessions into storage at my friend’s house, I wasn’t exactly on form for the ride from Dorchester out to a village on the coast. At only 16 miles, this is one of the shortest routes I have ridden since February but it was one of the most challenging too.

Dorchester to Burton Bradstock

Dorchester to Burton Bradstock

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#6 The Wandle Trail

I booked my first hotel! This is all getting incredibly real. I have decided to spend Boxing Day night at the hotel next to the airport. I think it is going to be important for me to have a good rest after two days of travelling so this will be my first and last bit of luxury for a while. I’m getting very excited.

What an awesome weekend! A beautiful cycle in what felt like the countryside without even leaving the city and a party with so many cyclists – it was actually the lovely Mark and Brian’s party (CB #5 and #4). It’s a shame they’re now all ruled out for the 20:20:20 challenge though because they were great fun… maybe I need to bend the rules?

Who wouldn't want to visit this place?

Who wouldn’t want to visit this place?

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20:20:20 #3 – Unexpected off-roading!

First of all – WE HAVE A NAME! Creating mythical creature costumes all week at school reminded me of this guy:

Baby Pegasus from Disney's Fantasia

Baby Pegasus from Disney’s Fantasia

And TBWHNN became Pegasus, lovingly abbreviated to Peg/Peggy. Hooray.

Group cycles have a completely different vibe from solo or even duo rides and I have to say – give me more! The more time I spend in the saddle, the more enchanted I become with the sport. Saturday’s ride and number three of the 20:20:20 challenge saw me unexpectedly taking to the trails around Reading with three others and their (even less appropriate for the terrain) road bikes!

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No Going Back!

Thanks to my incredible Uncle J, everything has now become extremely official. What a wonderful, productive day. On top of the costumes I crafted, rehearsals I had with the children and the second night of Jesus Christ Superstar (the show in which I am performing), I received confirmation of my flight and secured employment for the remainder of the calendar year!

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The Box

Without a doubt, I will be eating Soreen at some point tomorrow AND I conquered Box Hill today #JustSayin.

Today's Route

Today’s Route

A few weeks ago, Ash contacted me having been cajoled into accompanying me on a cycle by the infamous LePlum, social butterfly. Having not had the time to really sleep or eat properly over the past few days, I rocked up to Guildford with more than a little trepidation but I needn’t have worried.

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