Breaking Custom. A Completely different Kind Of “Bicycle Touring” – Bicycle Touring Professional

by jpc_touring-bicycle

As I write this, I’m sitting in entrance of my laptop computer laptop in Luzern (Lucerne), Switzerland. I’ve rented an condo right here for the following two months and this flat, situated above a bakery in Luzern’s predominant purchasing district, will function my residence base for the primary a part of my ninth and longest “bicycle tour”.

From the place I sit, I’ve a view all the way down to the road the place folks stroll previous all day lengthy – getting groceries on the grocery store throughout the best way, working to work within the neighboring workplace buildings, getting into one of many many close by church buildings, or choosing up a newspaper on the nook “kiosk”. Everyone seems to be properly dressed and put collectively. Whereas black appears to be the predominant coloration, nobody seems the identical.

My condo is healthier than anticipated. The placement couldn’t be extra excellent. Luzern’s well-known Chapel Bridge and Lion Monument are only a few steps out my door and Lake Luzern is even nearer! I’ve TV, Web entry, a kitchen, bed room, bathtub, entry to a washer and an enormous outside balcony.

Exterior, there are bicycles in every single place. It’s freezing (actually freezing (17° F)) and there’s snow on the bottom. However regardless of the climate, persons are out and about. This, because it appears, is life in Luzern!

However wait! I guess you’re pondering to your self, “This doesn’t sound like a ‘bicycle tour’.”

If that’s what you’re pondering, you’re proper! This isn’t a “conventional” bicycle tour.

Conventional bicycle touring as most individuals know it’s the act of using your bike throughout the day and spending virtually each evening in a very distinction location. On a standard bicycle tour, you would possibly spend 30 days in your bike and canopy 1,000 or extra miles throughout that point. On a standard bicycle tour, you would possibly spend most nights in a tent with out most of the luxuries you get at residence. And on a standard bicycle tour, you seemingly wouldn’t be in anyone place for 2 months at a time.

So what on the earth am I doing? And does this truly qualify as a “bicycle tour”?

Effectively, right here’s what’s taking place:

Again in the summertime of 2008 I obtained it in my head that I wished to go on one other bicycle tour. I had simply come again from bicycling in Aruba and felt that whereas I had loved my time within the Caribbean, the journey had been completely too brief. Not more than per week after getting back from that journey, I made a decision that I’d begin planning my subsequent nice journey… and knew that wherever I ended up going, it was going to be a multi-month lengthy journey.

It was then that I started planning my journey. I wrote the article sequence “Planning A Bicycle Tour 6 Months In Advance” and shortly thereafter rented out my condominium in Park Metropolis, Utah for six months straight (Park Metropolis is a ski city, so renting the condominium throughout the prime vacationer months took lower than per week).

Now and not using a place to stay for six months, I needed to discover a place to go.

For the previous two years I’ve been making an attempt to be taught German by myself, so a visit to Europe was the very first thing that got here to thoughts. “However Europe is pricey!” I assumed. And it might be winter in Europe, so I wasn’t positive how I’d have the ability to take care of that.

As well as, I needed to hold working whereas I used to be away. My predominant supply of earnings comes from an organization known as Silver Mountain Advertising, which I began after graduating from school in 2004. I knew that if I had been away from residence for six months straight, there was no method my enterprise would survive until I continued to place within the work. Nor would I’ve the cash to really full the journey if the work got here to a halt. So I needed to hold working!

After taking this stuff into consideration, I made a decision that:

1) I might afford touring in Europe if I stored working whereas I used to be there and my earnings didn’t go down.

2) I might go to Europe if I might handle using my bike in freezing chilly and snow.

3) If I discovered locations to remain that value me the identical or lower than what I at present pay for the mortgage on my Park Metropolis condominium, touring by means of Europe would value little greater than what I pay to stay again residence in the US.

So Europe it was!

I’ll go into how I discovered this condo and the opposite residences I can be staying at whereas on this journey in a future article (and I’ll inform you how a lot I paid for them), however now I wish to get again to the problem at hand – “conventional bicycle touring”.

As a result of I’m staying in an condo for an prolonged time frame, this isn’t a standard bicycle tour. That is what I name “Bicycle Journey”.

“Bicycle journey” is you… or me… or anybody for that matter, touring with a bicycle.

In my case, I’ll use this condo (and the opposite residences I’ll lease on this journey) to function a house base for my travels. One third of my day can be spent touring (some days with the bike and a few days with out). One third of my day can be spent working. And the remaining third of my days in Europe can be spent sleeping.

In some ways, it’s extra than simply “bicycle journey”. It’s a “BICYCLE LIFESTYLE”.

Again in November (‘08) I hosted a “bicycle way of life net occasion” right here on the place I attempted to get this message throughout (View the recaps right here and right here). Throughout this occasion, I attempted to point out that bicycling doesn’t should be one thing you simply do on the weekends. It doesn’t should be one thing you save up for after which just do as soon as in your life. And it doesn’t should be an exercise that requires particular garments or any particular expertise (aside from truly understanding easy methods to experience a motorcycle).

What I’m doing right here in Europe is extra than simply “bicycle touring”. What I’m doing right here is incorporating the bicycle into the best way I stay my life. Or possibly, it’s the opposite method round? Possibly what I’m doing right here is merging the best way I stay my life with my conventional bicycle excursions of the previous?

Regardless of the case could also be, this isn’t conventional bicycle touring. And that’s okay!

There’s a notion amongst many bicycle vacationers that the act of “bicycle touring” must be completed a sure method. These folks really feel that you need to put within the miles, use the newest gear, and know all of the technical phrases. These are the individuals who log their day by day miles in a journal and experience throughout the nation just for the bragging rights of getting completed an extended distance bicycle tour.

Whereas this kind of touring is okay, I don’t imagine it’s for everybody. And greater than the rest, I don’t suppose those that select to journey in different methods ought to be criticized or regarded down upon as a result of they’re making various decisions (I’ve seen this occur time and time once more by the standard bicycle touring world).

After 9 years of touring by bike, I’ve come to the conclusion that the miles you cowl by bicycle usually are not vital. Whereas protecting lengthy distances is spectacular, what’s extra vital are the experiences you have got alongside the best way.

After I look again on my earlier eight bicycle excursions, virtually all the actually magical, once-in-a-lifetime moments occurred once I was off my bike.

Let me say that once more!

After I look again on my earlier eight bicycle excursions, virtually all the actually magical, once-in-a-lifetime moments occurred once I was off my bike.

I’ve found, after 9 years of biking, that it’s not likely in regards to the bike. It’s not in regards to the miles. It’s not about gear. It’s not about panniers vs. trailers. It’s not in regards to the garments… or the cash… or the time.

What I’ve found is that the bicycle you experience is just the car that will get you from one expertise to the following. The whole lot else is completely as much as you!

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Breaking Custom. A Completely different Kind Of “Bicycle Touring” – Bicycle Touring Professional  
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