A lockdown guide to cycle-touring banner image

A lockdown guide to cycle-touring

Debs Butler By Debs Butler

The sun’s out and it’s time to start adventuring! Here’s how to recreate the excitement of a bike tour whilst sticking to the government social distancing guidelines.

For Spring bank holidays, we would usually be off on a walking or bicycle trip and crossing our fingers for sunshine. This year though, life is a bit different. For those wondering how to have a holiday adventure, here’s a quick guide to how you can complete your very own cycle tour from home.

​1. Bike ride

One afternoon go out on a local bike ride for your daily exercise session. To plan your route, think about the enjoyment of the least confident rider – will this be a good route for them? Is there something to look out for on the way?

Top tip: Check the wind direction and ride into the wind on the outward leg if you can. Then you’ll get a push home.

Authenticity bonus: Try a new route, or that hill that’s usually a bit too hard.

You can find National Cycle Network routes near you in OS Maps

Search for cycling routes

2. Dine outside

Cook your dinner that evening outside on a camp stove if you have one, or have a one-pan special on the hob indoors.

Top tip: Sit on the floor to have your meal – it’ll feel more like camping.

Authenticity bonus: Four ingredient limit! You could even carry them with you on your afternoon ride in a pannier or small backpack.

Cooking dinner outside

3. Add the outdoor fun factor

For your evening entertainment read stories, play a card game, or other no-tech games. Write a short diary entry about your ride (and your dinner).

Top tip: Small games that you could fit on a bike definitely work well – we usually carry scrabble letters and play speed scrabble.

Authenticity bonus: Torchlight only!

4. Sleep under the stars

Have a sleep out – tent or homemade den in the garden, sofa cushions on the living floor or whatever suits.

Top Tip: Go to bed when it gets dark – you might wake earlier than usual with the sun.

Authenticity bonus: Use a sleeping bag, and roll up some clothes for your pillow.

5. Breakfast with the birds

Breakfast should be another one pot wonder – porridge maybe, or a no-cook banana sandwich. Pack up your bed and get ready for your morning ride.

Top tip: Plan for a bigger breakfast than usual if you’ve been sleeping outside.

Authenticity bonus: Eating outside always seems to taste better, so have your breakfast outside – even if it is just sitting on your doorstep.

Porridge outside for breakfast

6. Get back on your bike

Head out for your day two ride, staying close to home again. Plan a different route to yesterday, see if you can try riding somewhere new in your local area.

Top tip: Imagine you are riding to a UK or world landmark that is available for ‘virtual’ visits – check it out online when you get back. If it is overseas, you could theme your meals too.

Authenticity bonus: If you can do so safely, pack everything you have used in the past 12 hours into a pannier or rucksack and carry it with you! (Please don’t take your duvet on a bike ride…!)

Have a great ride!

Click for more ideas to get active at home

Published 12/05/2020

Debs Butler By Debs Butler


Debs is a cyclist, teacher, walker; lover of maps, coffee and cake.

Find out more about Debs Butler.