1. Find the next available day in your calendar. Multiply the number of full hours it contains by 3. Guard this window with your life.
2. Choose a city or scenic neighborhood in your area – somewhere new – and take your car/bus/train to a local access point. (If taking a transit, check that it is bike-friendly). Look for a group in your area if your shy. Good way to introduce the "whiles" and the "ways" of cycling and it's good company too.
3. Take your answer from 1, find another area roughly the same distance away, and plan a return transit/bus/train home if you do not wish to round trip it by bicycle. (Use Google Maps to estimate cycling distances.)
4. Arrive at your location - Set up your bike. Meander towards your destination at a leisurely pace. Eat when you’re hungry. Sleep if you’re tired. Do entirely as you feel.
5. Repeat step 4, having successfully completed your first mini cycle tour.￼ Today I have a few additional thoughts to share with you about cycle touring, one of the simplest and most rewarding forms of travel there is.
Despite what I tend to talk about in this blog, going on a bicycle adventure does not have to involve quitting your job, leaving town, spending years planning, and then embarking upon a long-winded odyssey of self discovery (which can be fun too).
You might also consider joining a local cycling group. One that is tried and proven in order to allay fears of the unknown and planning stages required in setting up routes. A local group in Vancouver BC that I have found to be excellent for the beginner to intermediate cycler is "The Hang On I'm Coming" Meetup group. This group is reliable, well researched, with great comraderie and a philosophy that leaves no one behind. Well worth checkin out.
Sometimes it can simply mean going somewhere new, nosing around for long enough to unwind fully from daily life, and coming home refreshed.
- It does not have to be heroic nor does it have to involve ‘epic’ days in the saddle with energy gels or lycra.
- It does not have to involve hardship, heavy traffic, mountain ranges or continental crossings on $5 a day and with nothing but pasta and stock-cubes for sustenance.
Believe it or not, you’re allowed to have fun while cycling. Not the type of fun you later must convince yourself you had. Actual, real fun. Look at these happy faces!
Sit by the rode, ocean or riverside and read your favorite book. Wallow in a state of post-lunch, post-beer relaxation for hours in the afternoon. Prepare and eat elaborate roadside lunches or meals. Eat ice cream. Brew coffee.
If by your self - occasionally do some cycling. there is no requirement to bust yourself, only to enjoy. It is your rules. It does not have to involve telling anyone about it, being poetic or writing a blog.
A parkside snooze is wonderful, in wild places that only you will ever know. Ignore everyone and everything except what’s happening right here, right now. Leave your phone, laptop and earbuds at home. If you meet new people along the way (don't be afraid to say hello).
I dare you. I double dare you. Throw out your daytimer. Spontaneously change your plans, your routes, your life. Soitsfun!
* * *
Come to think of it, I should probably get around to doing this myself tomorrow.
Yes. I really should. I work too hard. I need a break – a break from writing all this stuff about adventure cycling.
I’m going to go and ride my bike.
I leave in an hour.