The world is altering… and so is the way in which folks journey by bike.
For the previous few months I’ve been sharing my concepts on what I consider may very well be a brand new type of bicycle touring. In my efforts to introduce this new type of journey, I talked about the way in which bicycle vacationers are perceived by the general public; I shared my concepts on how bicycle vacationers might look good, be revered by the non-cycling world and nonetheless be hard-core world vacationers all on the identical time; and I revealed some details about the snowboarding trade that would assist bicycle touring evolve and develop over the subsequent few years.
However even in spite of everything of that, some folks nonetheless do not know what I’m speaking about once I confer with “the brand new technology of bicycle vacationers.” And albeit, its utterly my fault that there’s been a lot confusion.
Its my fault as a result of I haven’t outlined this new breed of bicycle touring… and I haven’t been a lot of an instance myself. I’ve been residing this new kind of bicycle touring for over three years, and I’ve barely even talked about it up till now. However that’s all about to alter!
So, as a substitute of main you on any longer and writing extra articles that simply plain confuse you, I’ve determined to outline this new type of bicycle journey for you now. So, right here it’s…
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Whereas many bicycle vacationers of the previous noticed their journeys by bike as a break from work and household, this new technology of bicycle vacationers see their adventures extra as a lifestyle. This isn’t “bicycle touring.” It is a way of life that revolves round touring together with your bike.
What Traits Set Bicycle Vacationers Aside From The Vacationers Of The Previous?
This new technology of bicycle traveler values time and experiences greater than they worth cash and social standing. Whereas many who tour by bike save up and wait till retirement to reside out their bicycle touring desires, this new technology needs to have their adventures now. They’re much less involved with shopping for an enormous home, driving a elaborate automobile or residing in model as soon as they flip 70. They’re pushing aside their future retirement to take mini-retirements now.
This new form of bicycle traveler put on garments, rides bikes, and makes use of gear that blends in additional with the folks and locations they’re visiting. There’s no extra want for fancy breatheable jerseys. No extra tight, revealing lycra shorts. And no extra neon coloured garments. This new technology of bicycle traveler isn’t out to win any competitions, slot in with the remainder of the biking world, or seem like a bum. They’re doing their very own factor, each on the bike and with the garments they select to put on. They might be bicyclists… and so they could also be vacationers… however they appear good and do their greatest to mix in with the folks and locations they’re visiting.
Many of those new cyclists don’t work conventional 9 to five jobs. As an alternative, they like to have versatile hours, utilizing their off time to journey and see the world. Many of those folks do business from home through a laptop computer or private laptop. Others work seasonal/half time jobs that permit them to journey once they aren’t at work.
This new breed of bicycle traveler is extra considering creating their very own experiences than following the routes others have traveled prior to now. Whereas many discover following established routes to be secure, simple, and pleasing, this new form of touring bike owner might care much less about pre-established bicycle routes and indicators. Don’t get me fallacious, having a pleasant bike lane is a welcome luxurious, however the lack of signed routes isn’t gonna cease these folks from seeing the world. Apart from, they’re far more within the highway much less traveled anyway. Heck, they don’t even care if there’s a highway! They’ll determine tips on how to get to there a method or one other.
These persons are technologically proficient and make no apologese for being so well-versed within the digitial world. They journey with GPS units, computer systems, digital cameras, mobile telephones, video cameras, and photo voltaic panels. They doc their travels and share their experiences with folks from around the globe through social networking websites, blogs, electronic mail newsletters and different technological networking instruments. Many of those folks use the Web as a method of retaining in contact with family and friends again dwelling, in addition to a method of really earning money from their travels. International Web entry is enabling this new breed of bike owner to journey the world, work from anyplace, and really produce a optimistic money circulate whereas on their journeys.
And eventually, this new technology of bicycle traveler sees bicycle touring extra as a lifestyle, not as one thing you just do as soon as in your life. These persons are in it for the lengthy haul. A lot of them began bicycling at a younger age, discovered bicycle touring, and have gone on to this new kind of bicycle journey because the years progressed. Even once they aren’t touring by bike, the teachings these folks have discovered whereas on their travels play an necessary half in the way in which they reside their lives at present. To this new technology, bicycle journey isn’t only a retreat from the workplace, its a brand new way of life!
The Development Of Bicycle Journey
Up to now, there have been 5 most important kind of motorbike excursions and so they progressed within the following manner:
THE LONG DAY TRIP: This kind of tour is often carried out by a company which brings bicycle riders collectively in a single location and these folks experience their bikes for a comparatively lengthy distance in a single day. Typical rides of this sort can vary from 60-100+ miles in a single day. Whereas “bicycle touring” is usually an in a single day exercise, these giant occasions will typically occasions name themselves “bicycle excursions.”
THE SUPPORTED TOUR: The supported bicycle tour is a tour the place your gear (meals, garments, tenting gear, and many others.) is carried in a automobile that meets you at varied checkpoints alongside your route. A few of these excursions require you to pay to be part of them and on this case, the tour leaders sometimes drive a van or truck of some type, whilst you get to experience your bike. Different occasions, teams of people will merely get collectively and take turns driving the chase automobile whereas the others within the group get to experience their bikes.
THE CREDIT CARD TOUR: Bank card touring is if you journey by bike and pack nearly nothing however the garments in your again and a bank card to purchase issues alongside the way in which. As an alternative of carrying a tent, you pay to sleep in a lodge. As an alternative of cooking your personal meals, you purchase meals alongside the way in which. Bank card excursions are sometimes lower than every week in size and are often not supported by a touring firm.
THE GUIDED SELF-SUPPORTED TOUR: Then there are excursions the place you carry all the pieces you have to survive in your bicycle (meals, garments, tent, range, and many others.), however a information from a touring firm leads you alongside a selected route. With most of these excursions, you experience with a small group of individuals and are then escorted each day by an skilled bicycle touring information.
THE FULLY SELF-SUPPORTED TOUR: Lastly, there’s the self-supported bicycle tour. A self-supported bicycle tour is if you journey alone, carrying all the garments, instruments, and kit wanted to outlive by yourself for days, weeks, or months on finish. That is the kind of bicycle touring I did for the primary 5 years of my bicycle travels… and it’s one of the common methods to journey by bike.
However that is the place the development of issues used to finish. Self-supported touring was seen as the last word journey for bicycle vacationers. However now that I’ve been touring with my bike for nearly 10 years straight, I’m beginning to see increasingly folks breaking away in what I consider to be a brand new form of “bicycle tour.”
THE BICYCLE TRAVELER: That is the brand new breed of bicycle touring. It goes past self-supported touring as a result of it’s a lot longer, extra technologically superior, and a complete lot slower than the standard bicycle excursions of the previous. This new type of bicycle touring shouldn’t be a brief time period stint. It’s a brand new type of journey… and a brand new way of life.
The distinction between the bikes excursions of the previous and this new type of bicycle journey is that “vacationers” journey with an finish date. Whether or not their journey by bike is every week, a month, or a 12 months in size, the journey finally involves an finish and so they finally return to their regular lives. The bicycle traveler, on the otherhand, has no finish date. He simply retains going. One journey leads into the subsequent and the journey continues indefinately.
So Who Precisely Are These New Bicycle Vacationers?
I’ve been making an attempt to focus on a number of of those folks on BicycleTouringPro.com over the previous couple years, however let me share a number of of them with you now:
The Pattersons are a fantastic instance to start out with. This couple from Oxnard, California spent 4 years using their bicycles around the globe, updating their web site as they went, and provoking 1000’s of individuals to reside extra lively existence. Now they’re doing it once more with a brand new Asian bicycle touring journey and a brand new web site aimed on the boomer inhabitants. Plus, they’ve received a ebook deal within the works and a complete lot extra in retailer, I’m positive!
22-year-old, Derek Gytenbeek is doing it too. He began using his bike from Canada with the intention of stopping as soon as he reached the Mexican border. However as soon as he received there, he simply stored on going! And that’s the place he crossed from being a self-supported bicycle vacationer right into a bicycle traveler. Plus, he’s nonetheless on the market, biking in an enormous loop round North America. Whereas on his travels he’s been to plenty of unbelievable locations, met some fasinating folks, and is on the identical time producing one of many funniest, most well-written electronic mail newsletters about bicycle journey I’ve ever learn.
Alastair Humphreys is a superb instance as properly. Alastair has cycled around the globe, written three books about his travels, and is shortly constructing a status as one of the unique, inspiring younger motivational audio system on this planet. He’s taken his journeys by bike and reworked the teachings he discovered on the highway right into a enterprise that helps his future travels and permits him to reside a way of life few folks will ever have the chance to steer themselves.
Even Erika DeLeo is on her option to residing the bicycle traveler way of life. She’s a younger faculty scholar who had her first style of bicycle touring in 2008 and was immediately hooked. Now she has plans of finally using her bike across the perimter of Australia. However earlier than she does that, she’s deliberate a collection of lengthy distance bike excursions in america that can construct her as much as her final Outback journey. This summer time she’s taking off on her second bicycle touring journey, using over a thousand miles by means of the Northeast portion of america, running a blog about her journey alongside the way in which, and elevating cash for Alzheimers illness as well!
Tom Kevill-Davies (aka “The Hungry Bike owner“) is a superb instance too. After spending two-and-a-half years biking across the Americas in quest of the right meal, this journalist/creator has turned his ardour for meals, journey, and writing right into a profession. With a brand new ebook simply launched and plans for one more bicycle journey underway, Tom is a first-rate instance of the life-style being created by those that select to journey by bike.
Lastly, this listing of bicycle vacationers wouldn’t be full with out mentioning Tim and Cindie Travis. This seemingly strange American couple saved up their cash, bought their possessions, give up their jobs and set off in 2002 to journey around the globe on their bicycles. They’ve been touring ever since… and in that point they’ve managed to jot down two books, construct a preferred web site, and create plenty of further income streams which are truly paying for his or her bicycle way of life. Having been on the highway for greater than seven years now, the Travis’ are loving life as bicycle vacationers and so they haven’t any intention of stopping any time quickly.
So that you see, this new breed of rider is on the market. It’s possible you’ll suppose they appear very very similar to the standard bicycle vacationers of the previous, however what they’re doing is one thing fully totally different. It’s longer, slower, extra technologically superior, and constructed round a way of life reasonably than a brief time period stint.
Whereas know-how, garments, and mindset are an enormous consider what units these riders other than the bicycle vacationers of the previous, the primary distinction is that whereas conventional bicycle vacationers see their journeys by bike merely as one thing they’re doing, the twenty first century bicycle traveler sees what they’re doing as part of who they’re.