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Even more reasons to go on a long bike journey

Woman on Bike

Melissa and Brooke, who rode across the US and Canada wrote an evocative list of the stuff that had happened to them on their adventure. It follows nicely from a recent post I did listing Good and Bad things about riding through Africa.

I have often tried to articulate answers to the biggest question of all: “why?” Here are a few of my answers:

Anyway, on to the list of reasons to go on a long bike journey, which I originally read on the excellent Bicycle Travel Network.

  • I’ve seen roadkill happen
  • I met my nephew
  • I’ve cried
  • I’ve sobbed
  • I’ve feared for my life
  • I’ve seen the most amazing sunsets and the most beautiful sunrises
  • I’ve washed my hair in a public sink
  • I’ve gone without showering for days
  • I’ve laughed so hard my whole body hurt
  • I’ve slept at the base of the Tetons
  • I’ve been surrounded by hundreds of butterflies
  • I’ve slept on an alter
  • I’ve out run a dog
  • I’ve lied about who I am
  • I’ve found comfort in a church
  • I’ve ridden over mountain passes
  • I’ve ridden through triple digit heat
  • I’ve milked a goat
  • I’ve dodged willy-worms crossing the road
  • I’ve been mistaken for a boy
  • I’ve made some amazing friends
  • I’ve slept on a complete stranger’s floor
  • I’ve drank a beer with a stranger in a garage while watching old Elvis movies
  • I’ve pushed my bike up hills
  • I’ve regretted the bike tour
  • I’ve sat in a city park, with six other bike tourist and have never been happier
  • I’ve attended Vacation Bible School
  • I’ve been homesick
  • I’ve raced two guys to the next town (and won)
  • I’ve been flipped off
  • I’ve been cheered on
  • I survived Jeffery City, Wyoming
  • I’ve crossed the 45th parallel, twice
  • I’ve consumed an estimated 100 jars of peanut butter
  • I’ve slept in a cabin built in 1880
  • I’ve bathed in hot springs
  • I’ve eaten way too much ice cream
  • I’ve watched orca whales dance
  • I’ve ridden through pitch black darkness
  • I’ve been robbed by a raccoon
  • I’ve slept in a dentist office
  • I’ve slept on the beach
  • I’ve had the time of my life

What about you and your experiences? Anything you might add to this list?

Read Comments

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  1. “I’ve feared for my life…
    I’ve slept on an alter…
    I’ve regretted the bike tour…”

    God I love travel.

  2. I love these “why” posts, though have noticed that the “what for” posts illicite the most comments on this blog. Funny that, as the “why” seems easier objectiviely argue, whereas the “what for” comment threads inevitably desend into the tit for tat most online discussions regress towards.

    If the “why” is the spirit of adventure and expeditions, then I suppose the “what for” is the meaning of them. The former the individual impetus, the latter the social justification. Maybe the spirited folks that read this blog, or rather, are compelled to comment, are more interested in the meaning of adventures than the spirit of them. Maybe they’ve intuitively figured out the why already and are diligently chpping away at the “what for”.

    Or maybe we spend so long trying to justify the “what for” to managers and marketing types, who sponsor, and grant expeditions, yet will likely never get the “why”, that we forget ourselves.

    All considered, if the why is of interest, this book is well worth a look;

  3. I take my hat off to anyone who gets through “Jeffrey City”, Wyoming on a bike…alive!

    My “A Tale of Two Cities!” Blog post recalls surviving Jeffrey City and sleeping in a cabin built in 1880.

    Definitely a Good Thing and a Bad Thing about riding across the USA!

  4. Great post. For me, riding is about getting off road on remote trails, getting off of the tarmac – and these days finding trails that haven’t been covered in the black stuff is getting harder and harder. Trails connect you with nature and really show case the people, environment and beauty this world has to offer in a way that roads can’t.

    Take care Alastair, have a great Chrimbo & NY. I’ll be in the UK for 3 months next year – may be hook up for a beer!

    Mushypea (just finished riding in Bhutan and now in west Bengal)

    • Wow – how was Bhutan? Any cracking photos for a Photo Friday entry?

      • Hi Alastair – internet has been way sketchy this last few months – just got back from a nightmare snow storm on the Tibet border. Heading off again tomorrow for Ladakh. I’ll be back in Australia 17 July when this trip is all wrapped up. Would love to do a photo friday for you when I get back – not forgotten just been out of reliable comms since Feb.

        take it easy, dave

  5. Margaret Posted

    1. I go on vacation and loose weight instead of gaining it.
    2. I’ve dismantled and “remantled” my bike in various international airports.
    3. I’ve mimed in the Czech Republic, Spain and France, to find my way around.
    4. I’ve worn lycra for two weeks and not felt stupid.
    5. I’ve smelled carrots in Quebec, wine making in France and sheep poo in Ireland.
    6. I’ve been overtaken by a truck full of olives in Spain.
    7. I’ve been lost in forests in Austria.
    8. I’ve cycled parts of the old Iron Curtain
    9. I’ve crossed International borders that are no more than streams or small roads.
    10. I’ve seen the world at 20 mph.

  6. -Had bikes towed from the mountains of Spain on a flat bed after blowing a derailer
    -slept in a Icelandic geyser field
    -got a ride in a Finnish police car after my bike was stolen 🙁
    -sang Christmas Carols in the rain while riding thru New Zeland
    -took too many wrong turns and lost my partner for hours
    – old a man offer me a push up a hill
    -old men tell me to go faster in Spainish, French, German, etc
    -after all these years I am finally learning it’s all about the journey and not racing to the destination. I love bike trips

  7. Joey Arsen Posted

    I’ve played days of bocce on a vacant beach in the windy arctic, with uniform stones we found there.

    I’ve thrown firecrackers off the peak of a towering Shanghai appartment complex and watched them erupt against a haze of black and mixed neon.

    I’ve drank directly from a raging river of glacial water.

    I survived a 5 day canoe and portage route through Algonquin Park in Ontario, during bug season.

  8. That’s a great list. Can someone please take a look at my questions for biking gear? Just click on my name to visit my blog post about the proper biking gear. I am completely new to this biking adventure!



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