Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Plans for 2013

It looks very much like we're going to be doing bike to bestival again this year. The twist this year is that we are now going to also be doing a ride to camp bestival. Busy, busy, busy! It's really good fun, but needs a lot more work than you'd imagine. Partly because, by their very nature, festivals have to be in the middle of nowhere. This isolation makes it difficult to get people to and from their final destination. In fact it makes it much easier to get there by car. This is partly because from the 1960's onwards, successive British Governments have favoured the car. Even to the extent of taking out railways and building major road networks as the popularity of the car spread out through the social classes.

This wouldn't matter if we were organising a "Drive to Bestival" but we're not.

The destinations we are aiming for cannot be reached without using A-roads. It is impossible to cover vast swathes of the U.K. Without sharing a dual carriageway with lorries blasting their way across Europe delivering (as it turns out) vast quantities of horse meat by road. In Scotland there are motorways built right next to dual carriageways as roads were upgraded. You get to cycle along a badly repaired dual carriageway, whilst traffic hurtles by merely feet away on a shiny new motorway.

The most terrified I have ever been (scared for my life) was during the descent into Glen Coe. Rain so dense that visibility was down to a few feet. Inches of water on the road. No brakes. Mountain roads. Heavy traffic. Really heavy traffic. All whilst trying to find a right hand turn across the oncoming traffic, and onto a flooded road for several miles to dry off in a youth hostel.

I also wished the rain back almost immediately upon it stopping as clouds of midges swarmed towards us as soon as the rain started to let up.

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