In Search of a Bed for the Night

B&B at John O'Groats
Planning overnight stops for long distance tours can often present a challenge.  The best cycling routes are often by their nature remote and tend to skirt around towns and cities’, having to divert and add extra miles on the day’s tally just to locate a bed for the night is not always a great proposition after a long day in the saddle.   Conversely, I find that pre-booking accommodation before you start the tour can also have its disadvantages as it tends to limit your choices in terms of the distance you may want to complete in a day, for better or for worse.  I once planned a 3 day tour of 200 miles and had arranged digs for the first night 80 miles from my starting point, the day had gone well and I could have comfortably completed another 20 miles or so.  Come half way through day 2, I was in a predicament in that it seemed so tempting to push on and complete the tour a day early, but bagging 120 miles over Devon hills would be a big challenge.  I did it, but it was pretty hairy towards the end, the weather turning for the worse as I battled across a mist covered Dartmoor in torrential rain.  Learning from this I now try and keep things as flexible as possible.  I only book ahead when I know I’ll be ending the day in a truly remote spot.  Otherwise I resort to technology and use the database of accommodation that’s loaded onto my GPS when I know that I’m around 30 miles from that day’s amount of comfortable cycling.  This means I can adjust my route “on the fly” without having to waste too many miles diverting.   On longer tours I also take some very basic camping equipment which consists of a lightweight tent, sleeping bag and self inflating mat.  Being able to camp keeps things even more flexible and covers all possible eventualities.  It also helps to keep costs down, so you can afford to spend more money on beer after that long day in the saddle!   Finding affordable digs is never easy; finding some with a pub within easy distance can be a real challenge.  Let me know if you ‘d like a free copy of my POI database of accommodation, camp sites and pubs!
Camping at Glencoe (Nearest Pub 3 Miles)

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