You don't need a lot of special equimpent to have a blast
on a bicycling vacation.
I met a woman the other day and as we talked the conversation came around to my upcoming bicycle circumnavigation of the globe. Her eyes got big, “Wow, that’s impressive,” she said, “you must be in great shape.”
“Not particularly,” I said, “riding a bike is really easy.”
“Yeah, but what if you’re not a cyclist?”
“Do you know how to ride a bike?” I asked.
“Well, sure,” she said.
“Then you’re a cyclist.”
Most of us learned to ride a bike when we were 4 or 5 and once you know how you never forget; it’s kind of like riding a bicycle.
But, as with a lot of things we enjoy when we’re young we quit doing it. Not because it wasn’t fun anymore but because we were expected to move up to more adult endeavors like driving a car.
And back in the day when gasoline was cheap and we didn’t understand global climate change; that was cool. Hell, I had a ’55 Chevy hot rod! But the world is a different place now. We know better.
Still, when summer rolls around and the kids get out of school we jump in the car or on an airplane and go to places like Disneyland or the Grand Canyon. And that really dumps a lot of crap into the atmosphere, plus, it’s expensive as the dickens.
So what’s the alternative? The family deserves a little time away from home, right? How about if next summer you think about taking the family on a bicycle vacation? Chances are pretty good there are a number of bikes already hanging in your garage. You don’t need a lot of fancy touring gear. You don't have to camp out, you can stay in motels.
And a stuff sack bunjied to a rear rack will hold everything a person needs for a day on the road. You don’t have to go far; 15 or 20 miles a day is doable by even the youngest cyclist and provides everyone with plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors and each other's company.
Sure, you'll have a flat tire or two and someone will get cranky. You'll probably run out of water at some point and have to knock on a door. But those little challenges and the satisfaction you get from meeting them are what makes a bicycling vacation so much fun.
Plan your route to take advantage of back roads to avoid heavy traffic and make sure everyone knows how to ride safely. You’ll be amazed at how much fun it is. You’ll see things and have adventures you never thought possible. Along the way you’ll bond with your family and meet new friends. You won’t spend very much money and you won’t be spewing toxins into the air.
Plus, when you get back and tell your friends that you just spent two weeks bicycle touring, they’ll say, “Wow you must be in great shape!”