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A beginner goes touring

Pro cyclist, Luke Mellor, has always been an interesting fellow, and a quick flick through his Instagram account shows he hasn't just been racing about on his carbon machine this summer.

Intrigued by the desolate roads and coastal views, we asked the rider what it was all about.

Touring Ride - John O Groats Touring - a gravel road
Touring - a food stop Touring - A coastal view

Why Luke went touring

"Reading Jack Kerouac’s On The Road earlier this year and the rise of adventure cyclists on Instagram is what inspired me to set off on my own journey."

"Being free to go anywhere, with different experiences each day was what appealed to me and what I enjoyed most."

"My Mum did a lot of touring when she was younger and was the person who pushed me to actually head out on this trip."

45 days, 4000 miles

"I started out on my touring trip around Britain by heading south from Shrewsbury to pick the coast up in Wales. From there, I followed the coastline clockwise."

Forty-five days later and four thousand miles covered, Mellor had completed an entire lap of the British Isles.

Getting into the swing of it

Luke is a self-confessed touring beginner. "I was a complete novice throwing myself right in the deep end", and he freely admits the first few days on the road were a steep learning curve.

"I soon got into the swing of it and found it to be not as difficult as I had imagined it to be. It quickly became natural to ride a fully laden bike, find a wild camping spot, be completely self sufficient without any luxuries and be alone with my thoughts."

Touring - a road to nowhere Touring - a road twisting away
Touring - a road in a forest Touring - a wet road
Best day

"Cycling through the Scottish highlands was my favourite part of the trip, miles upon miles of increasingly stunning scenery but so spectacular that it made the views that followed seem quite mediocre."

"Other highlights were when I stumbled upon a nice cafe or restaurant. I love to eat normally but the pleasure of a good meal was really heightened when I was on my last legs and mostly living off dried fruit and nuts!"

The touring set up

"My touring setup consisted of two panniers at the rear, my tent strapped to the top of the rack, a saddlebag with bike spares in, a handlebar bag with sleeping bag and matt rolled up inside and a top tube bag which I kept food in to snack on while riding."

Going gravel
"Already I am thinking about my next touring trip. I want to head overseas this time and currently Scandinavia is top of the list. I've got the use of a Condor gravel frameset so I don't just need to stay on good tarmac. There are lots of other countries that appeal to me but I want to take my time to experience where I go fully and not just ride massive distances each day and miss out on taking everything in."

View Luke's touring diary on Instagram

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