Having a good buddy to share a bicycle tour adds much to the overall experience. He points out things I miss, encourages me to go beyond my previous personal limitations, offers a congratulatory mountain top handshake, and validates my claim that “the climb in the photo is much steeper than it appears”. A good touring buddy magnifies all that is excellent about a bicycle outing. He also helps me overcome challenges encountered along the way. That means a touring buddy sees me when things aren’t going well.
A touring buddy has insight far beyond instagram images and blog posts. The information posted on this blog and on instagram is only the information I want you to see. It is carefully edited, and I have total control. But I can’t edit or filter life as it happens in front of my tour buddy. He sees the stumbles, silly mistakes, packing disorganization, and camp failures. He hears me whine when I don’t have my way. Vulnerability and humiliation. Is it worth it?
When a tour buddy agrees to join me again for another tour, it is worth it. He demonstrates (by subjecting himself to my company again) that my shortcomings are somehow acceptable. That makes for a great touring buddy.