Cycling: the best holiday no matter where you go

Over the past thirty years I have been fortunate to cycle tour in many different places, from overseas, to the remote Australian outback to my own local area.

Last year, with husband Dave and following in the wheel tracks of our son Sam we cycled a very short section of the Canning Stock Route in remote Western Australia. ( the 'easy' bit, according to Sam, with no sandhills). We carried all our food for 12 days, and enough water for up to 3 days as we pedalled north from the small town of Wiluna up the stock route for 300 km, before turning east on a station road to exit out to the 'main' road, and complete the loop back to Wiluna. Although one of the flattest routes I have ridden, it was probably the hardest due to the constantly changing surface of the tracks: sand, gravel, stones, rock, repeat.

In 2015 we spent 5 weeks in Europe, cycling from Stockholm to Zurich, much of it on the cycle path next to the Rhine River. And a month ago, we took off from suburban Melbourne with our son Justin, to ride back home across Gippsland, zig zagging across the landscape while exploring different routes to the ones I take on my rail trail tours.

In common with all these trips through incredibly diverse landscapes was the warm and direct interactions we had with the people we met, and the close up experience of the landscapes we rode through. In the middle of the desert, fellow travellers with 4WD and fridges fed us roast pork and pudding: in Europe people stop to show you the way: sheltering in our tent from a massive dessert storm that came roaring through the mulga scrub: chilled mornings in spruce and birch forest in Sweden. Watching the spectacular Swiss Alps rise up in front of us, climbing the one small hill to see the endless sweep of the desert, getting swept up in a European bike rush hour surrounded by commuters in high heels and suits.

These experiences are hard to match with out getting on a bike.

I encourage you to find out for yourself.