I started thinking back to when I was a kid… back then everything was an adventure… going to the end of the road, the other side or town, or even out on a bike ride (which is what kids did in the 80’s and early 90’s)

Adventure was just something we did.. we went on an big adventure… I’m surprised that our parents were cool with it.. either they actually were, or they didn’t listen when we told them of our plans, which were in our eyes, ambitious..

The plan was to ride our bikes, laden with Camping gear some of the way to, and back from Devizes to Newbury. Looking on Google now, it was only about 40 miles and one night away, but back then it seemed and felt like we were packing for an arctic expedition..

We met early on Saturday morning at my mates house, the three of us were loaded.. heavily loaded.. Anthony (my best mate) had his Muddy Fox (remember that brand) loaded with panniers, sleeping bag, tent and stacks of biscuits, his bike alone weighted about the same as a person!

We wobbled down to the train station and loaded the bikes for the short trip to Pewsey, we would ride from there to a campsite to the south of Devizes, make camp and head into the town for a burger. Sunday was reserved for making our way home along the Kennet and avon canal.

We made good time to the campsite, all of the bikes were creaking and labored.. we clearly had way too much gear, we also discovered the difference more air in the tires made! Its safe to say it was a bit of a slog, but we kept at it and pretty much kept to the rough timetable of where we expected to be.. We awoke to a lovely Sunday morning, broke camp, loaded ourselves up and headed towards home…

Riding into the wind most of the way we were much slower than we wanted to be.. we make it back as far as Hungerford, all of us sore from lots of miles on the bumpy towpath. There wasn’t much daylight time left, so we begrudgingly piled onto a train for the two stops home..

This trip at the age of 14 or 15 really did set me up for adventure, between then and the age of 20 I had many! I’ll write about some of them some time.. I do look back to this bike trip with a great deal of fondness… three mates, three bikes and a great time!

Have a think back to when you were young, what crazy things did you do that you have managed to forget about? I’m sure you will have something to bring a smile to your face!


Written by Tim

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