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Sheila takes advantage of the weather and heads out on a micro adventure…

The season change from Autumn to Winter has to be one of my favourite times of the year. The sky becomes clearer, crisper and the light simply dazzles. So no surprise that last weekend I should choose to embark on a ‘micro’ adventure into the wilds to enjoy this winter sun.

Now, I know Faversham is not particularly wild or far away from home, but the marshes around Oare are pretty stunning in this light – a big consideration as I hoped to indulge in a spot of landscape painting. This brings a whole new context to the phrase, “getting creative on a bike”, but the main reason behind the trip was the new additions to my self-sufficient kit list that had remained buried under the weight of lockdown. I needed to just go test them and chose to do it on a planned 120km endurance training ride!

My trip to Oare turned out to be a banging success – With my route planned, I found a remote farm in the middle of nowhere with a sketch-able view of a farmyard. The adjacent church provided tranquility as well as yielding a red brick wall to warm and support my back as I sketched. My paint kit was also on test with its micro proportion set of paints in a few well-chosen colours. As my watercolour took shape, my new Jetboil swiftly provided hot water for a perfect cup of coffee. This was a revelation after I first saw one of my #aeightbikeco teammates using one – a new height in luxury self-sufficiency. Not for the weight weenies mind you, but then again, I have always looked for motivating factors on long endurance rides and good coffee is pretty high on that list.

When I returned home some hours later, it felt as though I’d been away for days. Renewed in energy, happy in spirit and satisfied with all my new kit. Simple, self-sufficient and solo. What’s not to like about micro-adventures? #aeightbikeco #aeightescape Photos bySheila Woollam SHEILAWOOLLAM Sheila picked up a bicycle nine years ago and rode the Camino from Canterbury to Santiago de Compostella. That’s quite a first ride but since then she’s ridden unsupported around Iceland, from Tunbridge Wells to Budapest, completed the London-Edinburgh-London event and competed in the 2018 Transcontinental, riding 4,202km / 39,352m in 21 days. 2019 saw Sheila winning the long route in the Race around the Netherlands, and after a few weeks of rest, Sheila competed in the Pan Celtic Race around Scotland, Ireland and Wales placing 2nd Solo Female on the long route. What’s next? Watch this space for updates! #TCRNo6cap127 #RATNCapNo88

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