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In Pursuit of Spring

We asked one of our first customers, Pete, to write a short piece for us to share his experiences on his Beacon ....

“There is no certainty; there is only adventure.” ― Roberto Assagioli

"I love cycling, I just love being on a bike. Is there a more perfect way of travelling? But which bike? I’ve got a garage full of two wheeled beauties. Mountain bikes are great for gnarly trails and bombing downhill, but they are no fun on the road or even a cycle track. I love my road bikes, but you are stuck to the asphalt, peering wistfully into the dark woods and across the fields. That’s why I purchased my Beacon - to truly experience the freedom of cycling.

The first adventure on my brand new Windover was late Spring 2022, complete with all my wild camping kit strapped on. It felt smooth as butter on the roads out of London and was positively thrilling bouncing around forest trails with the benefit of big chunky tyres and disc brakes!

I had decided to follow, as near as dammit, Edward Thomas’ early 20th century cycle ride from Clapham to the Quantocks (which I had never visited). Edward Thomas’ trip was on small country roads with only the rare passing of cars. He wrote of his adventure in his travelogue ‘In Pursuit of Spring’ published in 1914. Unfortunately, Edward Thomas’ last adventure was the first world war at which he tragically died just before its end.

The route in 2022 took me over the Hog’s Back, now a ludicrously busy dual carriageway, but also through overgrown trails in beautiful spring-green woods, hopping over roots and ducking under branches.

I had one night under the stars, falling asleep to the hooting of owls and waking to the trilling calls of dabchicks by a mist blanketed pond. The following two nights were in barns, sheltering from heavy rain. Is there anything quite as satisfying as escaping the wet like this? Lying cosy and dry in your sleeping bag while listening to the hammering of rain on a tin roof.

And the Quantocks- what an amazing place! A 15 mile long and 3 mile wide slab of sandstone running from the Bristol Channel almost to Taunton. Steep slopes up to the top and the magical Drove, an ancient route along the top through a sylvan dream of ancient beech trees and holm oaks!

There were so many highlights from this inaugural trip - arriving in Wells for breakfast as the cathedral bells were ringing; stopping for a pint, which soon became three, while watching kids play cricket on the village green; and experiencing how lovely the people you meet are when arriving somewhere by bike!

This is the essence of cycling for me: you don’t really know where your adventure will take you, so you and your bike need to be prepared for absolutely anything!


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