Life On A B-I7

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Journal Entry - Saturday, February 24, 2024

What is a Bicycle Tour

A bicycle tour is a bit more than getting on a bicycle and going for a ride. You’re stepping out of your normal existence, and you’re entering into an entirely new world. It’s a lifestyle apart from what constitutes “normal life.” Every day requires focus but on a limited number of tasks. This narrowing of awareness results in increased observation of your surroundings, your own feelings, and everything you are experiencing. It makes other peoples’ opinions and attitudes less relevant, not less important or less valuable, just less impactful on you. That allows you to appreciate other people without obsessing about the “rightness” or “wrongness” of what they may be saying at the moment.

Your day begins with a simple meal and a cup of coffee you make with your own hands. It’s enjoyable because you created it. Packing your gear for the day’s ride is done deliberately and with intention. So it is with a myriad of details throughout the day. The simple process of stopping and securing your bicycle becomes a satisfying and affirming ritual. Setting up camp, preparing to sleep, sleeping, and waking, are things that take on a significance that has no counterpart in “normal” life. They are immensely satisfying.

You see things in a whole new way. You are forced to slow down your perception of time and your observational perception. At the same time you are slowing down, your mind is embracing thoughts and ideas that wouldn’t normally be noticed. “Mind expanding” may be a bit of an overstatement, but it’s a good description of the mental experience that comes with the physical exertion of riding for eight or ten hours a day, day after day.

While all of this is part of the journey, the real thrill is completing your adventure and looking back on the experience. You can’t help but grow from the accomplishment. A tour is an accomplishment to be proud of. If you are like me, after you complete your tour, you’ll be asking yourself, “What discoveries will I make on my next tour…”

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