All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely cyclists.
Here are some of their stories.
Bob of this space
A somewhat guilty Johnny-come-lately, or so I felt at the time, as if I were gatecrasher.
Santa Maria Di Castellabate, 1994, saw me sally forth with the Amoeba, immediately and unconditionally seduced by the romance of its mission.
The intervening years have done nothing to diminish the initial sense of adventure and camaraderie.
Indeed, every tour simply adds lustre to the ever-deepening patina; more beautiful and empty landscapes, more intriguing towns and villages, more tales of the unexpected, more characters, meals, bars, caffs, cheap lodgings... who remembers the toil and sweat?
Yet, the sense of anticipation is more keenly felt with each year, each new tour in prospect.
The seduction intact.
Love and thanks to one and all, who have, and continue to make it so.
PrH (left) alongside his doppleganger
"My bike's been nicked!" - and so in the seminal moments of our cycle touring adventures we experienced the challenge of changing plans to better fit the reality in front of us.
No one is really sure when or why our cycling holidays began, but one possible source is the summer of 1988 when MrM and PrH set off from Leeds (their University city) for a few days touring around Yorkshire - both on hired bikes as Bob's unattended steed had been liberated from outside the shop he'd popped into for a lock.
Some great days were had with the characteristics of cycling holidays to come - sampling local ales, talking rubbish, over eating, an over ambitious cycling itinerary and much mis-reading of maps.
We coasted blindly past buildings of architectural interest and cultural delights - our vision enveloped instead by the local landscape, human scenery and sweat in our eyes.
The pain in our thighs made the Yorkshire hills feel all the steeper. We loved it all.
So much so that we tried it again - cycling between Bedford & the Malvern hills - and then roped in MrF to cycle from Carlisle to Isle of Arran - and so 20+ years of cycle tours began.
What made MrM and PrH go on that Yorkshire jaunt?
Neither can remember - maybe they were re-living memories of childhood cycling - perhaps it was a whim born from nothing - but most likely just because it seemed like a good idea at the time . . .
MrM - the other founding father