Monday, May 23, 2016

Four Reasons Why You Should Consider a Bike Tour Too

Today I rode a bicycle. 
Let me start over.  Today I "re-learned" how to ride a bicycle and narrowly avoided running into a fence.  (I actually bumped it a little.)
Why? 

Because I am training for a bike tour.

Background: (I'm 23. Long story short, I learned to ride poorly when I was a wee thing.  Then, I quit. I had always feared things with wheels. In fact, I had a love affair with the ground when it did not move beneath me. 
Remember those 12-volt seater cars that go about 3 miles per hour? I got one for Christmas when I was 7. Do you think I played with it?
NOPE.
Five seconds on it (going at half speed) made me want to curl into a small ball on the ground. "My dear precious love, how I hunger for your touch..."
This stock kid is more of a badass than me. 
Unfortunately, my fears of getting hurt got worse when I fell into the end of 4th grade. By falling, I mean I fell and broke my arm on the first day of summer vacation.  Like most kids, I healed. No problem. Yet, more caution followed me. It would linger over a decade. Years later,  circumstances dictated that I would wait to drive.  Part of the delay was financial. Yet, my lack of motivation concerning it was partially due to my dreams of the car rolling out of control. I doubted my physical ability to keep myself safe.
Fast forward 5 years. Having to get rides at home... ...using buses ... 
...and other circumstances have made me feel like I am less in control of my life than I want. 
A bike tour might be the answer to claiming more independence,  self-assurance, and a better lease on life . Here are the reasons why:

Reason 1: I will learn to suffer and not complain about it- AKA Stoicism 

When a person feels they have to have things "just so" for comfort, they limit where they can go. They have to limit what they can experience. Comfort isn't so great. Constant comfort is a path to stagnation.
Nothing says uncomfortable like expending your own energy up and down hills for 4 to 6 hours a day.
 I would also be better off if I wasn't bothered by small inconveniences. Half the time, it seems stressing over problems is often worse than the issue itself. On a bike tour, I will have to learn to deal and let things go.

Reason 2: Because I want to know what it is like to stealth camp

It will make me rethink what I am willing to pay rent for and what luxuries I am willing to give up. Think of it as my own mini Walden experiment. I have seen what a financial struggle for housing looks like. Based on that, I am more pro-peace of mind than luxury.  The less need I have for luxury, the easier it will be to attain this peace of mind.
Also, I will start working after graduating and I want my job to be about acquiring skills and challenging myself--not the money.  Money would, however, be an issue if I had strict housing standards. 
Not to worry. If I can sleep in a tent in the backwoods after bicycling in the rain, I can handle just about any housing situation. 

Reason 3: Because I want control over where I go

When this is complete, I will know I can travel cheaply on my own volition and power. I could save my money and bike around other countries if I wanted to.

Reason 4: To get over my irrational fears, so I won't limit myself 

Yup.

Reason 5: Because I want to know what it feels like to eat a shi*t ton of food every day

Triple Yup. To be honest, this is an extremely compelling reason for me.
So that's  just some of the reasons. It might sound crazy. 

Have you ever considered such a thing? Let me know in the comments.

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