One of the things that’s easiest to appreciate about a cycling habit is that it can get you out into the world. Most of the time that means biking the roads and trails in close proximity to your home, but avid cyclists sometimes take it several steps further, and ultimately use the hobby to see some of the most beautiful and adventurous places on Earth. There aren’t very many places you can’t see without cycling. But from the winding roads of Britain’s Cotswolds region, to the coast of Zanzibar, to the China-Pakistan Karakoram Highway, there are places all over the world that are best seen on the back of a bike. That sort of thinking can get you daydreaming quite quickly, even if you don’t habitually ride a bike. Indeed, it’s a nice thought, to pedal along beautiful roads in far-flung places without a care in the world. Realistically though, is this something you’re likely to do in the near future if you’re not already in the habit? Is the Karakoram Highway, for example.really accessible to you? Those questions aren’t meant to dissuade you from planning trips like these. If you’re interested and have the ability to do it, even one cycling excursion like these can be almost life-changing in how thoroughly it awes you. The idea I’m getting at here though is whether or not you get the chance to actually take adventurous cycling trips in the future, you might just appreciate a more convenient way of making it happen, or at least of simulating the experience. Virtual reality is beginning to turn this exact idea into a reality. It’s not an application that’s particularly visible in the VR market just yet, but we can take a hint, so to speak, from VR’s growing capacity to step aside from fantasy and instead help us to visualise real places and situations. In a gaming-adjacent capacity, it’s helping to do this in casino entertainment, where it’s been written fairly recently that VR is adding a new dimension to the whole concept. In part this is through virtual reality bringing artificial gaming environments, such as digital slot animations, to life, which is more in the fantasy vein. However, VR is also showing the potential to put online casino players in ‘real’ casinos via simulated reality.
Imagine an amazing cycling trip, a life-changing experience, all whilst helping an incredible charity. Here’s how you can cycle through Zanzibar and support HIPZ in their life-saving work:
What comes to mind when you think of Zanzibar? White sandy beaches, clear blue seas, Freddie Mercury…? Zanzibar is a holiday-maker’s dream but it is also home to 1.3 million people who are living with an under-resourced health care system. This idyllic island has just one doctor to every 20,000 people. To put this into context, the UK has one doctor to every 400 people.
In 2007, the charity Health Improvement Project Zanzibar (HIPZ) started working in Makunduchi Hospital. At the time there were no doctors, non-existent management and extremely run down, dilapidated facilities. There were high levels of infant and maternal mortality, malnutrition, and disease. HIPZ’s involvement has led to a reduction in child and maternal mortality, a significant improvement in facilities, and an increase in trained staff. This success led to HIPZ supporting a second hospital, Kivunge, in 2012. HIPZ is unique in the way that it works, ensuring that it never replaces the statutory responsibilities of the government. You can read more here. (more…)
When I first started writing Ordinary Cycling Girl I had no idea whether anyone would bother to read it. Never did I think that any of the content would make my blog considered worthy of being nominated for any kind of award. So thank you to everyone who considered Ordinary Cycling Girl worthy of being nominated in the Trespass Blog Awards in the category of best cycling blog. And for the second year running too! (more…)
My recent trip to explore Tenerife with Thomas Cook Airlines changed my perception of what this Mediterranean island has to offer. It’s not just sunloungers, cocktails and all inclusive stays. It’s actually a great destination for action and adventure on holiday.
Thomas Cook Airlines kindly invited me and a team of adventure travel bloggers to join them for a four day trip to Playa de Las Americas to see just exactly what Tenerife has to offer in terms of outdoor adventure. Now my knowledge and perception of Playa de Las Americas prior to this trip was limited! I’ll be honest, I had succumbed to the reports that it’s the party capital of Tenerife so I was keen to experience and learn more about the other side of the region. (more…)
Erm…where did summer go? I don’t know about you but as the children have returned to school, it feels like summer 2016 was the quickest summer ever. As sometimes happens, I’ve not blogged anywhere nearly as often as I had hoped. Life kind of took over a little, but I think I’m back on track now! Whilst Mother Nature has blessed us with a late surge of warm, hazy summer sun this September, the leaves on the trees are rapidly changing colour, the nights are inevitably drawing in and Autumn is definitely quickly approaching. (more…)
Take beautiful landscapes surrounding a magnificent Lake, romantic architecture, vineyards, waterfalls, cuckoos and rainbows and you have the fairytale that is cycling Lake Constance.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. For me, there is no better way to explore a new country than on two wheels. A cycling holiday provides a wonderful adventure, an opportunity to visit new countries and to see aspects of them you wouldn’t ordinarily get to witness by car. There’s a true sense of freedom, of independence, a feeling of travelling like a local and really getting to know somewhere. Lake Constance offers mainly flat cycling with the occasional incline; it’s the perfect option for couples with a non cycling partner, and families with older children. (more…)
I know I’ve done a lot of talking about cycling abroad recently and when you read about the fantastic time I had in Catalunya, you can see why. And whilst I definitely want to do more cycling and exploring in Europe, sometimes it’s easy to forget the beautiful cycling we have right here in England. Cycle Southern England launched this week with a brand new website offering a one-stop shop for those keen to cycle on some of the UK’s quietest, and easily accessible, roads and tracks. (more…)
I’m in love. My heart has well and truly been struck by Cupid!
If you’ve been following me on Twitter and Instagram (if not, why not!?), it will come as no surprise that the new love in my life is Girona. It stole my heart from the moment my recent Catalunya Experience with the Catalan Tourist Board began and we stepped foot inside the city walls.
Until this trip, the only place I’d visited in Catalunya was Salou in 1990 something-or-other on a girls’ holiday, the adventures of which, are best left undisclosed (it was a rather messy affair unsurprisingly). I’d heard about Girona – it’s fairly synonymous with cycling – but I’d never visited until now and, well, it has captured my heart. (more…)
In two sleeps I’ll be heading off on my first ever cycling holiday to Catalunya. Excited? Yes, you could say that! The smalls have taken the news that mum will be away for a few days very well and I have to say I’m really looking forward to sunshine, beautiful scenery and of course, some two-wheeled fun!
Having never cycled abroad before, I’ve been thinking about the types of things I’m hoping Catalunya will offer and the things other people might look for when cycling abroad and choosing their ideal cycling holiday. (more…)