• Day23

    On top of the world

    September 20, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    I spent a couple days in Germany after I finished biking, with good company and good scenery.

    After skirting the Alps for a week, I finally found myself in them. They were spectacular. We were literally in the clouds. I did not want to leave.

    Bike trips have had a profound effect on my life. They have provided me with access to beauty and adventure that I don't think I would have otherwise ever had. They have allowed me to develop resourcefulness, independence, and a good sense of what my limits are. I never want them to be over, but I also feel a deep appreciation for home and my life when I come back.

    Last year was the ten year anniversary of my first one. In 2008, I rode my bike across the United States. It was my first trip, it was a charity ride where you raised money for Habitat for Humanity and spent some time building houses along the way.

    I did not know that I would end up falling in love with biking, or that I'd end up being an electrician. I feel profoundly lucky that as an 18-year-old, I heard about a crazy opportunity about two things that sounded kinda cool and decided to take it.

    So anyway, I did some math out of curiosity. In the past 11 years, I've bike toured about 8,500 miles, in 9 different countries and 25 states. 2,200 of those miles were with Andrew (who I miss dearly and cannot wait to tour with again). Roughly 2,500 miles were completed alone.

    Not bad for someone who was too afraid to learn how to ride a bike at all until almost high school.

    And, for the record, I may say "alone," but I am forever grateful to people, ranging from strangers to dear friends, who have hosted me, given me rides to and from the airport, fed me, and encouraged me.

    I never feel as free or happy as I do when I am on a bike trip, and if anyone ever wants to find out how to get into it, I am always SUPER excited to talk about it. As far as travel goes, it's manageable with a very reasonable amount of money compared to almost anything else, and is completely accessible to a wider variety of fitness levels than most people assume.

    One of the most cherished memories I will have of Germany is how many people of ALL ages I saw traveling by bike. I turned 31 last month. Of course in the grand scheme of things that's pretty young, but I am excited to know that it is in fact quite realistic to believe that I still have decades of bike touring ahead of me...

    Until next time!
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