If you can cycle a mile, you can cycle around the world

redwoodsI was doing an interview the other day and the interviewer said, “Tell me about your family.”  I’m sure the assumption was that we were all super athletes or some such thing.  But instead I responded, “We are just your normal, ordinary everyday family.  There is nothing special about us at all.  We’ve just decided to live our dreams.”  I truly believe that.

Anybody can do what we are doing – it’s only a matter of making the decision to do it.

My friend, Kate Nunes, wrote after cycling across the USA with her husband and six-year-old daughter on a triple bike, “We’ve always said it’s one pedal stroke, one day at a time, and if you string a bunch of them together anyone can do it. It’s true. Riding across the country is just a series of medium-long day rides. That’s all it is. The hard part is being determined enough to keep doing them day after day.”

She is right.  If you can cycle a mile, you can cycle around the world.  It’s all in your head.

I just finished reading Rowboat in a Hurricane by Julie Angus.  In it she talks about her encounter with John Ridgeway who, in 1966, rowed from Cape Cod to Ireland in 92 days in little more than an open dory.

“We’re all pretty much the same,” John said.  He tapped his index finger to his temple.  “It’s what’s in here that counts.”  He paused a moment.  “And whatever happens, never give up.”

I think Ridgeway’s words to Julie apply to pretty much every facet of life.   No matter what we want to do – ride a bike from one end of the world to the other, go back to university, or make the world’s best pancake – it’s all in the mind.  We just have to decide what we’re going to do, take it one step at a time, and never give up.

bike touring argentina walk hills

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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4 Responses to If you can cycle a mile, you can cycle around the world

  1. Debra Speakes November 23, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    I’m reminded of a cross country motorcycle trip I took with a friend about 15 years ago. 6900 miles in three weeks, with his step daughter. When I first met him, he thought a ride of 100 miles was a long ride. When facing the prospect of a 7000 mile trip, he asked me, “How are we going to be able to do this?” and I answered “One tankful at a time.” And so we did. A tankful was about 200 miles. So it was about 35 tankfuls to go from Los Angeles to the east coast and back again. Piece of cake, when you look at it like that.

    Each tank represented about 3-4 hours on the road. Anyone can do that. We just never focused beyond the next gas stop.

    People become too intimidated by the totality of a monumental trip and don’t realize that a monumental trip is nothing but a whole bunch of minuscule trips, all strung together.

  2. David Hawke November 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    You are so right, just break the big picture down to manageable segments, set your mind to do it & viola, mission accomplished!

    Returned from my RTW, didn’t like the care my mother was getting in the nursing home she had to go to while I was away.

    Took a trip to El Salvador, bought a house & moved her down here. A daunting task with obstacles at every turn but 2 months later, she is here in Paradise!

  3. Blaine November 24, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    Love your mindset! Many people find excuses in why they can’t do something rather than doing what’s necessary to make it happen – kids or no kids. I’ve learned this lesson only recently and it was just a matter of changing the attitude and perspective. Kudos to you guys.

  4. Annie November 25, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

    What a great blog.. some advice that applies to many many things in life… thanks for the inspiration.. thanks for following your dreams and reminding me to follow mine …

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