Allysse Riordan

Field Recordist. Sound Artist. Writer. Microadventurer.

Why we ride

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£3 is good. It’s a cup of tea or an ale after a long day on the bike.

Why would anyone travel by bicycle when we have planes, trains, and cars? They allow us to go further, faster, and explore more with a limited amount of effort in a limited amount of time. So why choose to go slower, to sweat, and to travel less distance?

It’s a question to which I’ve never had a fully articulated answer. It just makes sense. But this is not satisfactory to baffled friends, family, and co-workers. I’ve tried many times to explain in more details.

‘I go cycle touring because…’

My voice normally trails off after those five words. Memories flood me, highlighting moments in time, bringing back heightened feelings, and it’s all too much. How can I bottle up all of this in one coherent sentence? I can’t. Instead, I chose to ask other cycle tourists why they do it. The Cycle Touring Festival was the evident place for it.

Armed with my cameras and my audio recorder, I went around asking people their reasons to go touring. I also asked them to share one of their memory as I believe those are linked to why they travel this way.

I only spoke to 16 people, so this is by no means a scientific definitive answer. But nevertheless, it gives a glimpse into the various reasons why. I can relate to all of them, whether it’s an escapism, a way of exploring and to meet new people, a sense of adventure, an excuse to stay fit, or a challenge to overcome.

Maybe you’ll recognise yourself in one of the answers. Maybe you’ll want to pick up your bike and ride and bring back your own reasons as to why you ride?

Download the zine here, pay what you want here.

Design by Lise Vercollier.
Proofreading by Jonathan.

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