Lee Craigie’s inner journey along the Caledonia Way
A short video that perfectly captures why riding a bike is a means to restorative escape. In this inspiring film Lee Craigie, co-founder of the Adventure Syndicate, explores her mind while bikepacking the beautiful Caledonia Way in Scotland… Plus more about that route.
Words by Lee Craigie
“I was inspired to make this film with Sustrans because I’m reminded daily of the positive, emotion-regulating effects that cycling and outdoor exercise can have on the mind. It’s so easy to forget that the simple action of riding a bike in the fresh air can make you feel better about almost anything – at least temporarily – and that’s something I want for everyone. I’ve faced many challenges over the years, both emotional and physical, and cycling has provided me with a continuity – an escape from the everyday pressures of life.
“My hope is that people watching this film will think ‘that’s the freedom I want’ or ‘I remember those feelings that bikes can bring’ and be inspired to get outside and start their own adventure. I particularly hope that people in need of creative solutions to make themselves feel healthier and happier emotionally as well as physically, see this film. So whether you are a young person struggling to find your way, an adult who has lost theirs in terms of participating in physical activity, or even a regular bike rider who recognises the joy I feel when I ride my bike, I hope this film offers some inspiration for the planning of your next adventure, whatever that may be.
A ride these days has to have an element of a adventure and exploration to it… Long distance back to back days from A to B now capture my imagination. And I find that I’m still discovering places I didn’t know existed, both geographically and within myself.
The Caledonia Way
Route 78 of the National Cycle Network
This video was filmed along NCN78, the Caledonia Way. The Caledonia Way is a long distance cycle route, linking Campbeltown in the west, with the Highland capital of Inverness in the east. This 237-mile route follows the Kintyre Peninsula and the fault line of the Great Glen as it traverses coast to coast across Scotland. With unrivalled vistas of famous castles, west-coast islands and rugged mountain landscapes, the Caledonia Way is considered one of Scotland’s classic scenic routes, appearing on many a cyclists’ ‘bucket list’.
The Caledonia Way NCN78 has been made possible by financial support from the Scottish Government. The project partners are Transport Scotland, Scottish Canals, Forestry Commission Scotland, Argyll & Bute Council, The Highland Council and Hitrans.
About Lee Craigie
Lee Craigie became the British Mountain Bike Champion in 2013 and represented Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but the secret to her sporting success lies in her love of exploring big mountains by bike. With a background in outdoor education and psychotherapy, Lee is fascinated by the places we can take ourselves emotionally by pushing our perceived limits and is passionate about helping people who struggle to manage their own emotional states to get active and absorbed in outdoor, adventurous activity. Find more about Lee at leecraigie.com and The Adventure Syndicate.