Jane's warming up for her big adventure next year by cycling the 134-mile John Muir Way.
Who are you?
I'm 18 years old and just finishing up my last year at school. I live in northwest London but used to live near Inverness so have great memories of that area from when I was young. We also went to Scotland on holiday a lot so I feel very connected to it.
What are you doing?
I’m planning a big trip for next year, I haven’t figured out the details yet but it’ll be some crazy adventure in Scotland! This June though I’m cycling the John Muir Way as a warmup, camping out with a bivvy bag and tarp. I’ve never done a multi-day biking trip before so it’s a big thing. I’m doing the Duke of Edinburgh Gold this summer and will learn more about mountain skills like how to navigate and bike maintenance skills.
Why are you doing it?
My main motivation is to raise money for the John Muir Trust and to show how much we need nature. Covid and the climate crisis are mainly affecting my generation so I wanted to make a stand and use this journey as a vehicle for my voice. I also want to take time to live away from the business of normal life, to get back to basics, appreciate the slower pace and re-connect.
Covid was a chance to reset which is what the world needs. There’s such an ethos in our culture of jumping through hoops, going to school and then straight to university and then work. What’s everyone rushing for? They’re missing what’s going on around them. I didn’t want to fall into that trap. I spent a lot of lockdown thinking and reflecting and realised, life is for living, you have to make the most of it. It also made me realise what’s worth fighting for and motivated me to do more to protect the planet. I’m fortunate to have the luxury of being able to step off that treadmill for a while.
What do wild places mean to you?
I never feel better than when I’m outside – it resets you, like a compass. It really puts things into perspective and helps you see what matters. It’s also humbling when you’re standing in front of a mountain that’s been here for millions of years. There’s a real feeling of being unimportant and a spiritual connection to the very basis of life.