The bicycle is a ideal adventure vehicle for me. It requires physical activity, it is silent, and it has perfect pace. It seems motor vehicle travel is so fast, I miss too much. Hiking is so slow, it doesn’t keep up with my curiosity. But the bicycle brings me new sensations just when I am ready for them.
I’ve learned that bicycle tours have a certain rhythm which is different than normal life. It is slower, and has more of an “in the moment” flow. It seems to take me a couple of days to make the adjustment. Once body and mind are in sync with the rhythm of the tour, I experience something blissful that I’ve been unable to communicate to non-bicycle tourists.
I’ve done several tours, and have found this rhythm. But my short tours usually end just at the time I make the adjustment. I feel like a surfer dropping in on a perfect wave, only to have it vanish as I carve the bottom turn.
Once again you have said a lot in a few words. I think I understand what you are saying. We slow down only to have to speed up again when we are back amongst the fast.
Personally I like hiking as I like being able to go even slower! What you say about making the adjustment; perhaps it is similar to when I walk – it takes me 2 miles to get all the rubbish out of my head, two miles to go quiet, and then after that my mind gets creative.
Even though the bicycle is my personal favorite, all paces of touring have an appeal. I can certainly understand why hiking would be the perfect pace for some. Thanks for the kind words!
I feel the same. We both need longer tours.
I have missed your posts. Good to see you back. Colin Fletcher has a book , “the Complete Walker” in which he talks about taking some time at the beginning of a long hiking trip to forget about pace, overcome whatever aches and pains accompany walking all day with a heavy pack, and to immerse oneself in the journey. Biking the same, no?
I think so. I used to have that book (not sure where it went), it was fascinating!
Chris, good to see you finally move up to a modern steering stem and disc brakes.
Haha…believe it or not, I was riding a ti bike with threadless steerer 13 years ago. I’ll admit, however, it took awhile for me to make the disc brake leap. I still don’t have these brakes dialed in yet, but this bike is FANTASTIC.
Nicely put, Chris. The long distance bicycle tourist always appears to be at ease & casual, and in no hurry. Seems a nice state to achieve.
Beautiful writing, your first paragraph especially really evoked deep emotions for me. I can’t wait to tour again!
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