Bigfoot, Spacemen & Overprotective Mothers – Bicycle Touring Professional

by jpc_touring-bicycle

On the primary of the month I shared an e-mail with you from a reader named “Phil G.” When you learn that e-mail in full, you’d have discovered that Phil was planning to make a visit by bike this coming yr, however that he had some fears about making it occur. Not solely did he have a mother that was overly protecting and didn’t let him wander removed from his home, however this journey by bike could be the primary time in Phil’s total life that he had ventured out on his personal – even if he was 47 years previous and nonetheless residing at residence along with his “mama.” As the e-mail went on, you discovered that Phil was nervous about leaving residence, however that he was much more afraid of one thing else – one thing few folks would ever admit to being afraid of. You see, Phil was afraid of aliens! Yup, Phil was afraid of males from outer house… and he claimed to have quite a few encounters with these creatures in his message to me. In fact, for those who learn all the best way to the underside of Phil’s e-mail, you’d have discovered that your entire factor was 100% fiction – a narrative I made up for April Idiot’s Day. Phil and his letter to me have been fully faux!

The story was not actual and supposed to be only a humorous learn for the primary day of April. However the fact is, most of the occasions, tales and themes talked about all through Phil’s fictitious e-mail have been true… they usually have been primarily based on tales and occasions which have occurred in my very own life.

You see, once I first began touring with my bike on the age of 17, I too was residing at residence with my dad and mom and my journey alongside the California Shoreline could be the primary time in my life I had ever gone out alone for an prolonged time frame. I used to be scared about venturing out on my own, however excited on the identical time. I knew I wanted at get out alone in some unspecified time in the future and I noticed my bike journey as an opportunity to make it occur.

Like Phil, my mom was scared about my security. My father was as properly, however I don’t suppose he expressed it almost as a lot as my mom did. My mother was apprehensive that I used to be going to get hit by a automotive, be robbed at gun level, kidnapped, eaten by a bear, or one thing a lot worse. My largest concern was that I merely wouldn’t have the ability to make it your entire approach – that my legs would give out and I’d need to come residence.

So, whereas my mom was defending me in some ways, she did ultimately let me go and I do know it pained her to take action. I do know she had bother sleeping at night time whereas I used to be gone and a number of other instances all through that first journey she left anxious messages on my cellular phone once I didn’t test in after a day or two.

Overprotective dad and mom are one thing lots of people wrestle with with regards to world journey and bicycle touring. Nobody desires their youngster to be injured or maintain any sort of psychological of bodily ache. However in some unspecified time in the future, you must flee from the nest and exit by yourself. I’ve by no means been a father or mother, so I don’t know what it’s wish to let your child go off by themselves for the very first time, however I’m guessing it’s gotta be tough. I wrote an article well-over a yr in the past with some ideas for convincing your dad and mom {that a} journey by bike is a good suggestion. I believe the guidelines I share in that article are nonetheless legitimate right now and I believe they are going to show you how to and your dad and mom see eye-to-eye, whether or not you’re venturing out on a visit by bike or an expedition of any variety.

When Phil begins to speak about his encounters with aliens, he brings up an evening he spent tenting out in his personal yard. That is one thing I like to recommend first time campers do earlier than they hit the highway for an prolonged time frame. Tenting at residence in your yard warms you as much as what it will be like when you really get on the market and should camp within the wild for actual.

This, after all, is the place Phil’s e-mail begins to get a bit unusual. Whereas tenting within the tent, he sees a brilliant mild (as brilliant on the solar) cross over his tent. It flies over as soon as after which comes again for a second fly over. Whereas the lights cross over, there isn’t any sound and Phil appears to be almost blinded from the silent yellow mild glowing from above.

Consider it or not, that is one thing that occurred to me whereas stealth tenting within the mountains of Southern California. I used to be tenting with my good good friend Jason June, when swiftly a brilliant mild handed over us, from left to proper, with out making a sound. It was almost 1 AM and my eyes have been closed, and but the brilliant mild shone utterly via my eyelids – simply as if I had caught my face in entrance of a large highlight. Jason noticed the sunshine too and for a number of minutes we chatted backwards and forwards, attempting to determine what the sunshine may have been. It was then, utterly out of the blue, that the sunshine handed over a second time – at almost the identical velocity and from almost the identical path. It wasn’t a helicopter (as there was no sound) and it wasn’t a flashlight from a passing hiker. The sunshine got here from instantly above, it was useless silent, almost as brilliant because the solar and to at the present time I don’t know what it may have been. So, that a part of Phil’s story is 100% true. I’m guessing the sunshine Jason and I noticed that day got here from a close-by remark tower, however I actually don’t know.

The rationale I threw the aliens into Phil’s story is as a result of my father is a large science fiction fan. He collects these superb sci-fi pulp magazines from the early 1900’s and for my total life my bed room and quite a few components of my home have been stuffed with pictures of spacemen and alien creatures. Not solely have been alien pictures dotted all through my childhood residence, however a current examine discovered that one-fifth of the human inhabitants now believes there are alien creatures amongst us. I believe this statistic is alarmingly excessive, however fascinating however.

Alongside the identical strains, once I was in sixth grade (about 9 years previous) I turned extraordinarily within the creature we all know as “Bigfoot.” I wrote a paper that very same yr in regards to the monster and have been petrified ever since that I would run into a large human-ape whereas wandering round within the woods. In seventh grade my uncle, aunt and father took me for a 10-day backpacking journey within the Sierra Nevada Mountain Vary, and with Bigfoot nonetheless on my thoughts, I bear in mind being ever-so-slightly afraid to go off alone – fearful that I would run into the creature. It sounds foolish, however once I surveyed readers right here at Bicycle Touring Professional, over 6% of the individuals who accomplished the survey stated that when venturing in to the wild they have been afraid of monsters (corresponding to Bigfoot and aliens) in addition to wild animals.

Lastly, Phil’s e-mail made point out of tiny implant like units displaying up underneath his pores and skin after his alleged alien encounters. Alien implants are nothing new, however when a small metal-like bump confirmed up underneath the pores and skin of my left shin after my 2006 bicycle tour, I joked with my father that perhaps it was an implant from little inexperienced spacemen. All joking apart, I did have a small, BB-sized lump underneath my pores and skin and I had no thought the place it had come from. On a visit again to California, I went to an area physician and he examined the bump. I had the factor X-rayed and discovered that it wasn’t manufactured from metallic. I feared some sort of bone most cancers, however the physician assured me that that was not the case. Ultimately, the small exhausting bump turned out to be a set of dried blood that had fashioned underneath my pores and skin. The physician thought that maybe, whereas on my bike journey, I hit myself within the shin with my bike pedal and that this motion created some sort of small, inside bleeding. The blood collected underneath the pores and skin, dried out, and remained there for a number of months. I’m glad to report the bump is lastly gone, however it was one thing that basically scared me on the time and I’m glad it wasn’t most cancers or an alien monitoring gadget.

Phil’s e-mail was a joke and it fooled lots of people. However I believe the explanation so many individuals believed the letter to be actual is as a result of the occasions I described all through have been issues that might doubtlessly occur.

The rationale I’m writing this text now, nevertheless, is as a result of I don’t need you to be afraid. I’ve heard for years from folks I’ve met on the highway that they might like to journey the world, experience a motorbike, or do any variety of issues of their lives. However after they inform me all this, they then go on to explain why they’re afraid to do these issues and go after what it’s they actually need in life.

My level right here, I assume, is that for those who actually put your thoughts to it, there are a variety of issues on this world which you could be afraid of. However being afraid isn’t one thing that ought to cease you from touring, dreaming huge, or doing one thing unbelievable together with your life.

Most individuals are afraid of rational issues, like theft or theft or just not with the ability to bodily deal with the lifetime of a long-term traveler. However when you concentrate on it, these are small fears compared to what Phil and folks like him cope with each day. So, I encourage you! Don’t let concern (rational or not) cease you from undertaking the stuff you need in life. Ultimately, most of these fears are fictitious in any case. However the one approach so that you can discover out for positive is to go on the market and do it! Go after the stuff you need in life. Journey the world. Study all you may! Dream huge! And don’t let concern maintain you again!

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Bigfoot, Spacemen & Overprotective Mothers – Bicycle Touring Professional  
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