Sometimes Bike Touring Sucks.

Sometimes it’s hour 6.5 of your riding day, you’re climbing up a mountain going 3mph, it’s too hot to wear a jacket but too cold not to wear one, you smell like five-day old socks and at least one — if not both — of your knees hurt. Sometimes it rains for days and you live inside rain clothes that feel like glorified sauna suits. Sometimes your whole body is sore and you think about how far you’ve come and strongly consider all the reasons why it would be ok to just rent a car and drive home to your cat. Sometimes you just want to sleep in a freaking bed and not have to do planks and yoga poses to get dressed in your three-foot tall nylons shelter sheet of a house. Sometimes, believe it or not, you are tired of seeing wheat fields that expand as far as the eye can see east, west, behind and ahead. Sometimes you just want to go somewhere where everyone knows your name Cheers-style and you can’t because you live in the middle of nowhere 89% of the time and the other 11% no one knows who you are (not to mention 5 of those 11% they are not glad you came).

Sometimes you want to punch bike touring in the face (at least as many times as your bike seat is punching you in the crotch) then……

Just when you need it, at the top of that steep miserable hill, you see the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen and you remember why you’re doing this tour; why you love moving slowly; how “it’s about the journey not the destination” finally really, truly means something to you; why you’re grateful not miserable.

Sometimes it’s the sun peeking through the clouds

Or a field of cows even more beautiful than the last 289 fields of cows before

Or a mountain top so close and so beautiful it makes you feel like your heart might explode
Or a waterfall rainbow
Or the the most beautiful blue bird you’ve ever seen

And suddenly you wouldn’t trade all the bus rides, hot showers and memory foam beds in the world for the peddle-power moment you’re having right that second.

The Moral Of The Story….

Bike touring is incredible and expansive and it builds you up and stretches your mind and your body and breaks you down and rebuilds you into a new, stronger mettle-filled, mountain-climbing, problem-solving, silver-lining-seeking, vulture appreciating love beast that reads Thoreau and finally really gets it.

But it requires a lot; it requires you to leave behind your creature comforts, redefine your boundaries and adjust the way you live. It truly brings out the best and the worst in you and forces you to come face to face with both head on.

So, when that time on your tour comes when you hate your tent and the ACA and elevation and you just want to go home, I encourage you to push just a little farther, get your eyes off the pavement and remember that you get back what you put in ten-fold so something spectacular is just around the bend.






About Chelsea A.

A slow rolling cyclist looking to be an active participant in my own life. Interested in straw bale building, Wayne's World, books on tape, and taking it all one day at a time.

Posted on September 2, 2014, in Cross Country Bike Trip Journal - 2014, Random Introspections and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. What a great posting. Chelsea, you are a fine writer. Don’t waste that talent!


  2. Three sisters in Canada are glad to have had the opportunity of meeting you as you passed through the Port Rowan area.. You pulled in to the Fin and Feather trailer park for the night. Since then I’ve been watch your blog, Well done, Safe journey home.



  3. Met you both with your friend from VT last Monday (one wk ago) Tina maybe? So glad I was able to snag your card & check out your blog. Hope you both are doing well. So inspiring, keep up the hard rewarding work. I just picked up the book Wild today. (About hiking the PCT) Reminded me of your inspiring words & adventurism. You should definitely continue writing. Keep on keepin on. Molly O’


    • Molly! So great to hear from you! 🙂 Glad you’re checking out the blog. Ya know, you’re the third person to mention that book (“Wild”) to me. Guess I’m going to have to pick up a copy.

      Dustin and I are in Maine now! About 140 miles from Acadia. Saw a great view of a Maine bay today and it made my heart sing. Please do keep in touch!

      — Chelsea

      And our friend’s name is Crystal. 🙂 She’s awesome if you ever run into her again; trying to talk us into braving the snow and moving to Vermont!! (We are strongly considering it.)


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