On the late May bank holiday for the past three years, a group of around 200 to 300 people get together to talk about bicycles, listen to engaging stories of amazing cycle touring journeys, learn, eat, sleep, drink a few beers, go cycling and have a bloody good time in the company of like minded people. It is called the Cycle Touring Festival and I had the pleasure of going this year. This is what I found.
It was the day before the festival
It was the day before the festival and time had been moving way too fast and I was faced with getting my bicycle and kit ready whilst trying to work from home! I had told myself there would be plenty of time, but as ever that was wishful thinking as I frantically packed my car. I was leaving later that evening and was picking up another attendee on route, who had put a request on Facebook for a lift to the festival the night before and I was happy to help out. A quick detour and we headed north on our 250 mile journey. It was good to have company along the way - with lots of bicycle talk, it wasn't long before we arrived.
Trying to be very quiet!
We set about unloading and scouting around for a gap in the busy camping fields. With a gap successfully found, we set to work whilst trying to be very quiet! With the head torches shining here there and everywhere and a little banging around probably didn't make us any friends, so apologies to the other festival goers!
Morning soon arrived and I was awoken with beautiful sunlight filling up my tent. I love camping at this time of year - the sun rises are often spectacular, giving you a real spring in your step for the day. The bright yellow sky against all the tents made for a postcard perfect shot. Remembering that I packed fresh coffee and my jetboil was an added bonus. Life was good 🙂
I had planned to go cycling, but instead went for a walk to get my bearings. Off I went exploring.
The festival is held at a Girl Guide Camp Site, just outside a town in Lancashire called, Clitheroe. The site is surrounded by stunning countryside, a central house with outbuildings, beautiful grounds with plenty of space to chill. It is shame we couldn't access the high and low ropes area, as they did look fun 🙂 And there is the river Ribble if you fancy a dip! A great setting to get away from everyday life and host a cycling festival.