A question I ALWAYS get asked! For the vast majority of people cycle touring makes no sense. Why not drive? Why work so hard to get where you want to go? What about getting hit by some driver not paying attention? What, alone, what if something happens? All good questions.
There is a risk to everything we do….everything. Of course, bad things happen but I believe the joy/payback of the activity FAR outweighs the risk. One tries to mitigate the risk the best one can. For cycle touring, common sense on the road and ALWAYS being respectful to vehicles- they are bigger than you and are quite capable of killing you no matter who was right. I do use GPS tracking so family and friends can follow my adventures and know when I have had a misadventure (it hasn’t happened yet, knock on wood). I also have an emergency satellite beacon if my existence is not completely ended by someone. If it is, I have a Road ID bracelet so EMS knows who I am and who to contact. See, so stop worrying!
Regarding the work and unpleasantness of cycling in the elements all I can communicate to you are the following all experienced on my first two days of touring:
– sky so blue it overwhelms the senses
– the piercing yellow of aspen leaves as they tremble with a rattling hymn conducted by a warm wind snaking its way through the Bow Valley
-the inquisitive and friendly questions of all when I stop, recognizing my vulnerability and perhaps wishing they could do the same
-the feel and smell of the weather which seems to take on a life and begs discourse
-the menagerie of yellow/red/green/orange roadside foliage resplendent before it’s expected demise
-the joyful and playful flight of Ravens and Raptors enthusiastically encouraging me on as they dance amongst the sapphire blue
-the warmth of the mid-day autumn sun warming my body after the chilly night
-the lullaby of a babbling river as one falls asleep under moonlight
-the solitude…..the blissful solitude, so one can either think through life choices past and present or empty the brain of all thoughts and allow the elements and visuals to simply fill one’s mind up with no resistance.
I hope this helps explain the allure of cycle touring for me.
Until next time and many kilometres down the road……adieu.