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Last Chance to Get Tickets for The UK’s First & Best Cycle Touring Festival

The UK’s 4th annual Cycle Touring Festival is rapidly approaching – there are now less than two months to go until that weekend of cycling, camping, workshops and talks in the lovely surrounds of the Forest of Bowland AONB in Lancashire.

Founded and run by my good friends and fellow world cyclists Tim & Laura Moss of TheNextChallenge.org fame, I was proud to have played a small part in organising and promoting the inaugural event back in 2015, after a fairly nonchalant chat about the idea during a picnic in Esfahan a year previously.

It’s ironic that I’ve been too busy exploring foreign lands (!) to have attended the event since then, and it sadly looks as though the same will be true this year. But I’m happy to see the festival going from strength to strength, and for a lot of UK-based riders, the May dates represent the sweet spot between the planning and the execution, with several people kicking off their tours from the festival itself each year, while many others head back to the final stages of their preparations before riding off towards whatever adventures await them on the road.

More still come to the festival to get a crash-course in what’s actually involved in the adventurous end of cycle touring, and with dozens of riders far more experienced than me (or Tim & Laura for that matter) volunteering their time to speak, run workshops, and be bribed with ale for additional coaching time and advice throughout the weekend, there’s probably no better place for it.

The last few tickets are still available, though don’t expect them to last long. Check out all the details of the weekend and reserve your tickets at cycletouringfestival.co.uk.

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Upcoming Events

The UK Cycle Touring Festival Returns For 2016! Get Your Early Bird Ticket Now

Quick version: Earlybird tickets for the 2nd UK Cycle Touring Festival are on sale! Click here to get yours.

Last year’s inaugural Cycle Touring Festival turned out to be a really powerful celebration of bicycle travel, and a massively enjoyable way to spend a weekend. If you came along last time, I hope you’ll be joining us again! And if you didn’t, will you consider coming along this year?

Set to return for late May bank holiday – that’s May 27th-30th – the aims of the festival are again twofold:

Firstly – as mentioned – it’s a celebration of this thing we love called cycle touring… or adventure cycling, or travelling by bicycle, or whatever other name you prefer. That means tons of like-minded people coming together (carefully) to share stories, make new friends, drink beer, and be merry, before collapsing into their tents. This spirit of camaraderie was, for me, the best thing about last year’s festival.

Secondly, it’s a been designed as a big hearty welcome for newcomers to cycle touring, with a programme of talks, workshops and panel sessions on the basics of planning and executing bicycle trips.

In other words, if you love the idea of cycle touring but don’t know where to start, start at the Cycle Touring Festival!

I’ll be popping back over from Armenia for the event, and if you check out the speakers lineup, you’ll see a list of familiar faces will be coming back for seconds as well. Laura and Tim will once again be running the show, and it’ll be in the same impressive rural venue as last time – Waddow Hall near Clitheroe in Lancashire.

As well as that, we’re hoping to invite the recipient of the newly-launched Janapar Grant come along for a crash-course in cycle touring – as well as bags of encouragement from the community – before they depart on their journey. (They’ll be getting a free ticket, naturally!)

Check out the UK Cycle Touring Festival website for more information. Earlybird tickets have been on sale for a few days already – the deadline for the discount is Friday 19th February, so take advantage now if you’re planning to come. (£10 is at least another three pints on the Saturday night!)

Not in the UK? Please don’t feel left out – if you’re based in Europe, you can probably fly to Manchester for less time and money than the train from London! From the airport, it’s a cheap and easy train ride to Clitheroe, then a 20-minute walk to the venue.

See you on May 27th-30th! Who’s coming?

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Upcoming Events

Get A Year’s Supply Of Vicarious Adventure This Month At The Adventure Travel Film Festival

Two of my favourite human beings of all time are Austin Vince and Lois Price, who have not only released some of the the best DIY travel films and books ever, but also live on a Dutch barge, which to my mind immediately puts them right up there with the very best that leftfield British society has to offer.

Oh yes, the point: they also run the Adventure Travel Film Festival, which for its 5th year will be relocating to Mill Hill school in north west London, making it a heck of a lot easier for more of us to get to.

It’s happening on the 14th-16th August. That’s the weekend after next!

I’ve attended the last two events, both as a filmmaker and as a punter, and can honestly say that it’s the best film festival I’ve ever been to – and I’ve been to quite a few now. I’m totally gutted I can’t go this year.

The event’s success is due in a large part to the unquenchable energy, enthusiasm and comedy brought to proceedings by the organisers themselves. Allow me to demonstrate by encouraging you to click the big ‘play’ button on the trailer below:

Austin’s been in touch to let me know that a tiny handful of tickets are still available. Click here to get yours before they sell out. If you’re free next weekend, do consider going along – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

You can find out what films are playing, plus many more details about the event, on the festival’s website.

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Upcoming Events

UK Cycle Touring Festival 2015: Earlybird Tickets On Sale Now!

Heads up, folks – today we’re launching the first round of ticket sales for the UK’s first Cycle Touring Festival!

Earlybird tickets are discounted, but there’s a limited quantity available, so I suggest you get in there early before word gets out.

[UPDATE: Earlybird tickets are now sold out – but lots of regular priced tickets are still available!]

Click here to buy your tickets →

Here’s everything you’ll need to know about the event:

  • The festival is on 1–3 May 2015 at Waddow Hall, Clitheroe, Lancashire (this is the first May bank holiday weekend).
  • Our aim is to bring together and grow the cycle touring community, with talks and workshops and like-minded people to inspire you to plan your own adventure.
  • Earlybird tickets are priced at £65. Once they’re gone, higher-priced regular tickets will become available. The event is non-profit and all the organisers are volunteers.
  • Tickets include camping space and facilities on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd May, lunch on Saturday / Sunday and dinner on Saturday night, plus access to all the talks and workshops.
  • You can upgrade to B&B accommodation and/or stay on the Sunday night, too, to take advantage of the Bank Holiday Monday.
  • Details of the programme and confirmed speakers can be found here. (More to come!)
  • If you’re not yet decided about coming, you can sign up for email updates here or follow the official festival Twitter account.
  • Did I mention? Earlybird tickets go on sale today.

Click here to buy your tickets →

As an added incentive to come to the festival and to set a date for leaving on your own adventure, there’s a further 20% discount if you begin your tour from the Cycle Touring Festival itself. We’ll organise a big group send-off on the Sunday. Get in touch if you want to be part of this.

Finally… we need your help!

Even if you aren’t interested, or you’re too far away from Lancashire or the UK, you can still help us spread the word about the Cycle Touring Festival.

Please take a couple of minutes to help us spread the word by clicking the Tweet/Like links, either below this post or on the event website, sharing the event with your own circles. (This really will make a massive difference!)

I hope I’ll see many of you at this, the UK’s very first Cycle Touring Festival, and that we’ll make it a truly special event. Don’t forget your bike!

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Upcoming Events

Save The Date: 1st–3rd May 2015 for the UK’s very first Cycle Touring Festival!

If your calendar is anything like mine, you’ll already be fighting off an encroachment of frankly irritating weddings, bachelor weekends, milestone birthdays, must-visit festivals and other far-future shenanigans. How are we supposed to fit any adventures in? Can everybody stop getting married already?

If you’re in or near the UK, though, the 1st–3rd May 2015 is one weekend you’ll want to put a big fat circle around right away. (Here’s a handy link to auto-add it to iCal, GCal, etc.)

Because, thanks to the diligent efforts and sheer enthusiasm of these two world cyclists (welcome home, guys!), those dates will see the UK’s first ever Cycle Touring Festival taking place. Whoop!

Expect a fun weekend of inspiring talks, tour-planning workshops, food and revelry among like-minded people. Even I might stand up and say something coherent for a change. Heaven knows, we might even get some cycling in too.

Absolutely everyone is welcome, from total newcomers to grizzled veterans of life on the road. It’s all happening in the grounds of Waddow Hall, Lancashire, amid some of the best rural cycling routes England has to offer, and with camping space for ruddy tons of us.

I’m helping the guys get things up and running, part of which is helping spread the word about the happening. So this is a heads-up to let you know that a limited number of discounted earlybird tickets will be released at the end of this month.

More full-price tickets will be available closer to the time. It’s a not-for-profit event, so pricing is accessible as we can make it. We want maximum attendance and revelry, y’hear?

Click here to sign up at the Cycle Touring Festival website to be among the first to hear when the first batch of tickets go on sale. Don’t forget to put it in your calendar! (I’ll also drop a line to my own mailing list subscribers at the same time.)

P.S. If you’re still being non-committal about the date you’ll set out on your own big cycling adventure, why not start from the festival? There’s nothing like a looming deadline…