Inaugural Blog Post
One evening a few years ago, I came across a video on the internet that piqued my interest. No, it wasn’t one of those kinds of videos. It was two rather scruffy looking guys showing how to make a stove out of an aluminum can. They appear to be in some exotic locale, but I’ve no idea where it was. The little stove is simple and ingenious. I quickly grabbed a coke zero can out of the trash, repeated their efforts, grabbed some isopropanol from under the sink, and gazed at the perfectly symmetrical flame as it flickered from the rim. The video went fairly viral for a while, so you may have seen it. If not, take a look. It is interesting, even if you have no plan to trek out on a lightweight camping trip.
The other thing that stuck with me was that the two guys looked like they knew a bit about adventure. They looked like they had a story. I followed the electronic bread crumb trail until I came upon Tom’s site proper. Then I started reading. Then the sun came up. Then I followed a few links to other blogs by people who are “bicycle tourers,” and I read more. I think I sought out a breakfast burrito and a coffee at that point, but I kept reading after. I was completely enthralled. There was no question in my mind that this was for me. This mode of travel, this approach to seeing a place appealed to me more than any I’d previously been aware of. I decided at sometime during that night that I would do this. Barring anything catastrophic that took away the use of my legs, I would do this.
The basic instructions for traveling the world on a bicycle, according to Tom, are simple:
- Get a bike.
- Quit your job.
- Leave (Start pedaling).
This severe approach, while attractive, wasn’t quite for me. I needed to plan a bit, and wait for the right time with work. This was the right path for me, and I believe the timing has mostly worked out for me to go now.
I’m going to fly to Europe this month, get on my bike, and ride about the place. Prospective countries are Spain, UK, Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, Germany. That’s about as much of an itinerary as I have. I don’t know how far or how long I’ll make it. I may not even like it, but I doubt that.
If you want to delve into this mindset, I’d recommend reading over at http://www.worldbiking.info This has been my favorite cycle tour blog. It follows the story of Amaya and Eric, a couple that have ridden over 140,000 miles through 96 countries during the last few years. All on their bikes. There are trials, and there are tribulations, but they’re still on the road because the positive aspects outweigh any other. Amaya’s writing is nice to read, and it’s full of great pictures from the road. If you go all of the way back to the beginning of the blog posts and read to current, it’s quite an exciting story that spans several years and many, many miles.