Cycling in a skirt

One life, some bicycles. A million possibilities, zero clue!



Having known each other a little while now I feel it’s ok to share a little personal information. In the last few weeks, I seem to have developed piles.

Fortunately, they’re only a metaphorical pain in the rear and not the actual kind, although they are still both worrisome and irritating.

The piling is of course travel-related. I don’t know how other people prepare for a trip but my general approach is to begin days, or even weeks before by creating a pile of things that I will most probably be taking. Diligently, every time I go past the pile, I add an item (or 10) to it until it resembles a cross between a rubbish heap or a small Egyptian pyramid.

The length of time before departure is directly proportionate to the size of the mound and frankly, at the moment, mine is massive.

Before my Canadian escapades I only had a scant few weeks to prepare before departure and, being a rookie, had very little concept of what I need in terms of gear. This, I have decided, was actually a blessing.

The problem I have now is that of too much time and knowledge.

Pre-Canada, I was happy to cobble together a mishmash of things from second-hand stores and internet auction sites. Pre-Canada I was happily oblivious to all the potential mechanical failures and the tools needed to fix them.

Pre-Canada, I had one electronic device which was used for internet searches and writing, not even a working mobile phone.

Now, however, with the luxury of time and experience I have managed to tie myself in absolute knots.

I’ve lost count of the phenomenal number of hours I’ve recently spent on the internet trying to find the perfect waterproof coat, bike helmet, sleeping mat…. And don’t even get me started on shoes, the sheer, dizzying choice of what is essentially the same footwear in varying colours and eye-watering prices. To date I have purchased and returned 6 pairs of shoes whose sizing was nowhere near as advertised. How can an unchanging size 6 vary by up to 2 whole inches? I swear it’s a conspiracy by the shoe companies to keep us all guessing and buying.

And, after all that time, effort and return postage, it looks like I will be using the same shoes I’ve had for years. To be frank, I could do that with nearly all my gear too. I think that the researching, buying, returning, and worrying about having the right things is displacement. Displacement of the pure, honest fear I’m feeling about what is to come.

Because it has all become very real. I am now no longer employed, tenants have just signed up to move in to our home in less than 2 weeks, and, come the 10th of June we will be on our way, ready or not!

Prior to this, the sensible thing would have been to fine tune the tottering piles of stuff now accumulating all over the house. Instead, we opted to disappear for 2 weeks of mountain biking in the Scottish wilds. Maybe not the most sensible idea but it’s amazing how easy it is to avoid a problem. However, we’re home now and there’s nothing like a looming deadline to focus the mind.

The countdown has begun. See you beyond the piles!

Excerpt quote by Thomas A Edison (and cheekily amended by me)!



If you enjoy reading about adventure, travel, cycling or all 3 why not check out my book: How To Cycle Canada the Wrong Way.


It’s the story of a forty-something woman with no clue in life and no cycle touring experience. What she does have is a sense of adventure, a second hand bicycle and a skirt and the idea of riding across Canada….the wrong way.

Available on Amazon in e-reader and paperback formats.


Author: cycling in a skirt

A forty-something, journeying through life on two wheels. Possessor of limited common sense and practical ability, but full of a passion for adventure, life and bicycles. Writing about the highs and lows of cycling, cycle touring, skirts, silliness and the daily struggle not to grow up and be responsible.

7 thoughts on “Piles

  1. Exactly! It’s so much easier to shop Amazon than just about anything else. Good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bon Courage!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are going to love this adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good luck, hope you have packed some snot wipe 😁

    Liked by 1 person

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