A lightweight fixed-gear bike tour of France and Spain


Over the last month or so, we have tried to spend a bit of every day training. We ride our bikes (10-30 miles each day) or run (3-6 miles) on the Southwest Coast Path. Although we do not have a strict schedule or even a daily mileage that we will be aiming for while on tour, we know that the fitter we are, the less we will moan about our burning thighs, and the more we can enjoy the view.

North Cornwall is a beautiful place to train, hilly but not mountainous, and we have had really great weather recently. We have been taking advantage of local footpaths for running, quiet roads for cycling, and big hills for both!

A few days ago, we biked about miles to the edge of Bodmin Moor, and then locked up our bikes (probably overkill on a dead-end back-road in North Cornwall, but it is hard to get New York out of one’s system) and set out on foot to climb Rough Tor (pronounced raw tor), the closest thing Cornwall has to a mountain.

The rock scramble up Rough Tor

The approach took us over rolling hills, the fields gradually becoming more barren until we reached the moor proper. There were sheep and ponies grazing, and as we got closer, the ground alternated between wet bogs, stubbly pasture and boulders. The Tor itself is a cascade of boulders ranging in size from TV’s to SUV’s. The summit is an amazing rock formation, carved out by wind and rain, with stunning views down over the moor, over reservoirs and fields, and on this particularly clear day, all the way down to the sea!


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