So – you say you want to go bike touring? I say go for it. And figured I’d give you a bit of unsolicited advice while I’m at it.
Expect the following:
- You’ll be terrified of the unknown
- At some point – and maybe all points – on your tour, you’ll be miserable
- It won’t be all roses, rainbows, and unicorns
- You’ll wonder WTF ever made you want to do this. After all, you could be sitting on a beach somewhere
- People will surprise you with their kindness and generosity
- A car will pass too closely
- Some a*hole will yell at you
- Another a*hole may even whistle at you
- You’ll be stressed out
- You’ll wonder where you’ll sleep at night
- It’ll be 90% mental and 10% effort
- You’ll experience the same sorts of things on tour as you do when you cycle at home – because you’ll be going from your home to someone else’s home
- You’ll trade one common set of risks for another – it will all balance out in the end
- The big picture will be too big
- You’ll focus on today. Sometimes you’ll focus on the next ten minutes
- Sh*t happens, and it will happen at the absolute worst time
- Chances are you won’t find urban gangs or angry farmers with shotguns
- You probably won’t get food poisoning either. And most likely no flash floods or wildfires
- You very well may end up with a skunk or porcupine rummaging through your food outside your tent
- Raccoons might dig through your panniers and make off with your jar of peanut butter.
- Road conditions in some places will make your tour like riding amidst a cloud of angry hornets. Just soldier on
And lastly –
- You’ll have so much fun you’ll wonder why in the heck you didn’t do it before.
- You’ll dream of heading back out as soon as you can.