"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

August 20, 2008

Wait? There was something to be afraid of?

The Fearless Blog asked me how I could be so unafraid when I went on my bicycle tour. I'd get similar questions during the tour. People would see my bike, ask me about it, and I'd reply that I was going from Minneapolis to Mackinaw City, Michigan and back. Three out of four times, they'd look around and say "Alone?!?"

Actually, there's not much to it. I didn't think there was anything to be afraid of. The only vaguely dangerous thing I did while touring was when I hitchhiked from Manitowoc, WI to a small town outside of Eau Claire. I suppose it's possible I could get hit by a car but that's just as possible at home. Heck, it's probably more likely in this somewhat crowded city. And, since it's something I can't control, I never worry about crime whether at home or away. Besides, getting mugged is also just as possible at home. I did worry a bit that there would be a mechanical problem with the bike. But, if something happened, I knew I could always hitch a ride to the next town with a bike shop. Same thing if I got physically hurt.

It also helps that I've read tons of journals by bicycle tourists. Tons of other people have done it solo. Some of them are more capable than me. Others less so. But, rarely, have I ever read of something awful happening during a tour. My last post definitely shows that I'm not without my fears, though!

She also asked me why I went on the bicycle tour. That's easy. I love travel, especially road trips. Road trips are long periods of "God, this is boring." punctuated by the occasional "OMG! That's beautiful!" moment. The only problem with road trips in a car is...it's too quick. You whizz by at 60 mph and miss the sights you came to see. I definitely wouldn't have seen the wildlife that I did in a car. It's also a lot more social when you're on a bike. Because a loaded touring bike is an unusual sight, people ask about it. I probably spoke to more people in those three weeks than I have in the past year.


Charles Sapp said...

It is sometimes interesting to look back and see what we normally take for granted. I am glad that your bike tour was successful!

ZD said...

Like your blog.
My vote always goes to you in battle of blogs.
keep it up

Berryvox said...

Charles - Glad none of those things did happen. :)

Cherukps - Thanks! My vote often goes to your blog too. :)

Roxy's Best Of... said...

Here with my BOTB vote for the bad 1930's housewive candidate on Wednesday night at the beach in Bay Head, NJ. Thanks for stoppin' by, hope you'll check out my new Roxy's Best Of... WordPress MU community and consider signing up for a Minnesota-based Roxy's Best Of... blog.


P.S. -- If you were a Very Superior 1930s Housewife, you'd never have left your husband's feet long enough to go out on your own for a bike tour. So much to be 'fraid of!!

The Fearless Blog said...

Hey Great Post!

When you explain like that, it all makes perfect sense. I must admit I would love to get out of those long car trips and just walk, but my husband is always in a hurry to get to our destination. I am not in a hurry however and would much rather take my time enjoying the view.

Yes, and meeting people and spending time talking to them must truly be a treat. You are fortunate to have such a carefree spirit and trusting heart. Sounds like you are well grounded and very comfortable in your own skin. That is a good thing, a very good thing. I am even a little envious of your strong disposition and determination.

Bicycle Touring Pro - Darren Alff said...

The second biggest question I get from my readers at BicycleTouringPro.com has to due with safety. People are afriad of a lot of strange things... and in most cases, there is nothing to be afriad of.

I'm more afraid of growing old and having not done everything I wanted to than I am of being attacked by a gear, robbed in the city, or hit by a car.

Get out there and ride your bike. There's not much to be afraid of.

Be smart, do your homework, and act accordingly, but otherwise... get on your bike and ride!

Berryvox said...

Roxy - Y'know, I've actually thought of starting a separate blog just for stuff about Minnesota. I'll check it out!

Darren - Yup, I've seen all the safety questions on various forums. Oh and I came across your site a few days ago (probably through Stumbleupon). Fantastic website!

Ferd said...

Great thoughts about fear.
And I liked Darren's as well.
And you remind me of Ferris, too: "Life moves fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it!"
Glad you are not missing it!! ; )