Bike touring is a selfish sport

I’m back home and tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Surprisingly, I made my goal to be home for Mother’s Day. The plan worked. I’ve been gone 30 days in a very personal effort. For what reason? I’m really not sure except to see where my limits are at age 70.

You may be thinking that this is a form of machismo or a need for attention. I hope not. But, it may be the form of desire that we all experience once in a while when we just want, or need, to do something crazy. As you age, you realize that there’s not many more opportunities to do that. Carpe Diem.

The open road and the freedom to do what I want was both a scary and exhilarating thing. What that does is to heighten your senses and to drop your guard. At least for a while, you enjoy life without any pretenses.

But for those around you that really care about you, it’s not a lot of fun. There’s ongoing uncertainty and the anxiety of something happening. This is especially true for a task that is inherently dangerous, like riding highways in areas where cyclists are not appreciated. I know I caused more headaches and inconvenience to Mary Ann and my family than they deserved. For that, I am truly sorry.

Who is the person who cares the most and sweats the details for YOU? That’s probably your spouse, kids, friends, father – or most likely your mother. On this Mother’s Day, I’m going to give all the mothers I know an extra big hug. Not to worry. The ones you love will be home soon.

6 Comments

  1. Beautiful observations, Paul. Glad you made it home safely, and in time to celebrate Mother’s Day! You are an inspiration for all of us aging Baby Boomers. Maybe 70 is the new 40?!?

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  2. Paul, if bike touring is a “selfish sport,” you’ve made it just the opposite by taking the time to write this blog so all your friends and followers could ride along with you vicariously. I think I speak for your entire audience by thanking you for sharing your experiences with us. Also, I seriously doubt anyone sees you portraying yourself as “macho.” I’ve known plenty of “macho” types and I can tell you “hands down” they’re all frauds! You’ve humbly demonstrated perseverance and courage whilst acknowledging your occasional fears (i.e., crossing bridges) and vulnerabilities. “Macho men” don’t do these things. You’ve inspired me to make the same journey (probably in the opposite direction) as soon as my health allows. Again, my congratulations and thanks for sharing this incredible experience with all of your friends… and I don’t think you’ve found your limits just yet!

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  3. Bob, thanks for your insight and compliments. Readers who know you know what such comments mean to me. I wish the best for your complete recovery and I know you have the spirit and willpower to do whatever you dream of. And, I’m sure you have not found your limits yet either.

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  4. You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. -Robert M. Pirsig
    The quote holds even truer for cycling and walking which immerses you entirely into the environment and not just watching from a shielded compartment.
    Congrats on completing your trip.

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