In 2018 I set off for a cycling journey from my home town in the Netherlands to the Scottish North Coast. A long lived dream coming true, fuelled by many inspirations such as previous visits to Scotland, an incredible bike journey from a fellow Dutchman beautifully captured in the book ‘One Year on a Bike’ and a friend running the absolutely brutal Spine Race, navigating the entire 268-mile Pennine Way in the UK.
The main driver for this adventure was to get away from my desk and from daily commutes. I love my job, but the idea of spending life outdoors for a couple of months, exploring the stunning countryside of the UK and doing nothing but physical exercise became more and more attractive the more I started plotting the journey.
Although the original plan was (and still is) to cycle to China one day, following parts of the original Silk Road, I considered GiantDetour to be more of a manageable exercise for a first long distance tour. I first wanted to see if I was up for spending long days in the saddle and being away from the family.
It turned out to be the experience of a lifetime and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I left home on July 1st, 2018 and returned on September 15, having cycled all the way up to Durness, Scotland and back, covering almost 4,000 km (about 2,500 miles) through the most beautiful parts of the United Kingdom.
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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.