‘A wild-swims-cycle-route photoshoot’ sounds more glamorous than it is. No film crew, make-up tents, Michelin-star cuisine, or five-star hotels for me and photographer Joe. Just him on his Condor gravel bike toting a camera bag, and me on my tourer carting trunks and wetsuit. We stayed in pub rooms, ate fish and chips, and I tried to remember to comb my hair now and then.
But it was two days of tremendous fun, illustrating an article I’m writing for Cycling Plus. The idea is a route that takes in a variety of wild and outdoor swims: waterfalls intimate and grand, rivers small and big, lake, lido and sea. A route that’s a cracking bike ride in itself, but one that also offers a range of dipping opportunities for anyone from toe-in-water novice to wetsuited veteran.
I’ll put up exact details of the route here when the article is published later this year. But in short, it goes from Kirkby Stephen to Morecambe, through the Yorkshire Dales and Lune Valley: good train connections at either end mean you can forget the car, and enjoy the swims right on the route itself, without having to lock up the bike.
Meanwhile, here are some pictures from the last couple of days…