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The Ideal Vacation
To Bob Moen the ideal vacation is riding his bicycle through the countryside. This year Bob intends to have his best vacation yet, when over the course of the next three weeks he rides from the southern tip of England to the northern tip of Scotland, via Wales and Ireland - twelve hundred miles, or so.

Britannia will follow his progress... and so can you. Every two or three days he'll stop at a cyber cafe along the way to record his experiences, impressions, and perhaps moan a bit about his sore muscles, then email this all to us for posting on our site.

There is no better way to see a country and meet its people than from a bicycle. Think about it. Bike touring combines a stop-and-smell-the-roses mentality with the satisfaction of hard won accomplishment.

But most of all it's the adventure. You never know what's around the next curve and over the next rise, but do know that whatever it is, its going to be interesting. I've stumbled onto a wonderful blues festival in Ireland, raced through downtown Belfast with a fellow bicyclist on the way to his home for lunch (a banker who somehow got it in his head that his real calling was to be a NYC bike messenger) and met many fascinating people. Including two retired coal miners soaking up the sun in a Newcastle park and four country-bumpkin nine year olds on their way home from school who thought that maybe they should rob me, until I pointed out to the leader that since he'd written his name on his arm with ball point pen, perhaps it would be too easy for the police to find Sean Collins. Sure, I've had a few close calls and gotten mighty wet at times, but I never feel more alive. And the fact is, when I've needed help, I've never been let down.

A lot of people thinks it's crazy. But averaging 60 miles a day is relatively easy, and in the UK, sixty miles gets you a long way. Plus, I travel light; no tents or frying pans strapped to my bike. I ride a lightweight racing bike and carry only a change of biking clothes, rain gear and a single going-out-to-dinner outfit in smallish saddlebags. I'm able to get in about 3-hours of off-the-bike, sightseeing each day. At night I stay in B&B's or upstairs over a pub.

This will make Bob's twelfth long distance tour. The first nine were USA's South and Midwest. Then he discovered the joys and beauty of the British Isles when he biked from Salisbury to Edinburgh, one year, and from Cork to Belfast, then on to Scotland and England's Lakes District the next.

Bob who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and works as a chief financial officer is 51 years old, single, stands 6'1' and weighs 190 pounds.

1998 Tour-de-UK Dispatches
1999 Tour-de-UK Dispatches

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