Bicycle Touring for Beginners or A Ninja guide to seeing the world! compliments Pedaling for Peace=]
All subsequent articles will ONLY be under the “Bicycle touring” category, we are doing our best to help you on your way out the door and into the world. We hope you enjoy these and, as always, feel free to tell us what you think AND OF COURSE… ASK QUESTIONS!!!!
In the Beginning, there was an idea, it would later blossom, as all great ideas into a radical, world changing machine powered by the human body. It would branch off into many different areas of interest and whether it was two German Brothers or Leonardi DaVinci himself who created it, no longer matters, it has changed the world for good. You are about to embark on an epic journey that is of as much import as fire, the wheel, and the shovel. The bicycle was a boon to the womens suffrage movement and is currently used regularly by roughly 1 BILLION people worldwide!
You have made a wonderful decision to change your life in a most ecologically friendly way, lets get started!
- What kind of sport is this and are you prepared?
To start right off, this is an extreme sport.
When many people think of Extreme sports, usually the mind wanders towards the hallowed corridors of the X-games, backcountry snowboarding, wingsuiting across the face of canyon walls and free climbing 1000 foot faces to glory and the momentary immortality of record setting in an area where few dare to tread…
I have thought of this often as I debate whether or not to bail off my bicycle as the road will not accommodate myself, the big rig in the northbound lane and the rig coming southbound right behind me, even once the rig does pass, depending on atmospheric conditions, you are left quaking in the vacuum created by such a large vehicle and the subsequent mathematical equation about large objects and air displacement. This is usually the time where I thrust my fist in the air and scream as loud as I can, why not, I may die at any moment may as well depart as a rock star!
The temperature extremes from freezing cold to deplorably hot, dehydration, not having a “home” persey, relying on people you dont know, critters, insects, wild dogs chasing you down the road, rain storms, drunk drivers, teenage drivers with cell phones, overworked office personnel with cell phones making dates while driving, whew, and this is a partial list… at best, basically being forced to live in the moment due to the knowledge that no matter how much you prepare, you truly never know what is going to happen next, and whatever it may be could range from a visitation by the angel of death or a most unexpected and timely saint.
Bicycle touring will open up the world to you in a way that few other things can. You will learn to rely on yourself and others. To trust others, to see that kindness is more common than not, that ignorance is more common than intellect and that doesn’t usually have a bearing on kindness. That the world is big, having water and a toilet you are comfortable in are not things to take for granted. That cars are truly amazing machines, but you are much more so.
You will start to look at the world around you, you will think so much that you will come to a point where you simply have no more thoughts, and then you’ll hear a bird in the distance and life will be good. The sun will caress your face, the rain will wash away the miles, the wind will be at your back, or it will push you from the front whistling through your hair, whispering, become stronger, I know you can, keep pushing, you have it in you…
You will get to a place and stay with people you know, or perhaps you don’t, and when you take your bags off that second morning and go for a ride in the town, you will fall in love with your bike all over again as it loses all the weight of your touring gear and simply becomes the rad machine Leonardo DaVinci intended it to be.
You are about to go on a quest in which you will find your true mettle, your soul will be polished to a gleaming hue and the heavens will smile down upon you. Congratulations my friend, you are about to live life as it was meant to be lived, one day at a time, and always in the moment at hand. No matter how much you try to plan, you truly have no idea what is going to happen from one moment to the next, enjoy this! Before I started touring, everyday had an assigned name, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday… Now all my day are simply and most eloquently named, To-day. Aloha!