I’m a low key cyclist. I don’t ride in bike pants. I’ve never worn Lycra (do compression tights in the winter count?) I’ve only owned a few bikes as an adult. One has been stolen. Mine is a mundanely common story.
I’ve lived in Melbourne since 2009 and have commuted from home to work/study/shops on and off since then. Melbourne is a great city for cycling and while the location of said home/work/study/shops has shifted over the last eight years, a number of times, bike paths, dedicated cycle lanes and roads with manageable traffic have been accessible. For most of my journey. Most of the time. No doubt this plays a part in the liveability of Melbourne as a city.
My current rig is a moderately priced Giant Seek flat bar road bike/hybrid and in 2014 I thought it would be a good idea to fly to Bangkok and hang out with some extended family. I could catch up with my Korean buddy Haan who moved there from Melbourne a couple of years ago, and then jump on my bike and cycle to Ho Chi Minh City to see me ol’ mate from uni days, Jimmy Hai Do.
And that’s what I did. It was all pretty straightforward. I was inspired by the route taken by David in his 2012/2013 cycle. It didn’t all go to plan but it was manageable. On the road you meet other touring cyclists who are up to some really adventurous shenanigans. They are people doing awe-inspiring things. Marie and Damien, a French couple who I met on the border of Thailand and Cambodia, half way through their 19,000 kilometre around the world trip. Or Kiwi Grum who I met in Stung Treng, Cambodia who had cycled from Christchurch and was on his way up through Asia, then Europe, then after a flight to Canada, down through the US to Central and South America. And a guy I met just this year – smooth dude Dennis, who I approached at a roadside rest stop in June driving from Rachel in Lismore to Norm in the Gold Coast who had cycled to Australia from Germany.
I encourage all sorts of cyclists to think about cycle touring. If you own a bike then you are already halfway there. The next most important thing you need is time. It’s an amazing experience and while it won’t be for everyone, it’s more achievable than you think. You don’t have to be planning to cycle around the world. Pick two cities. Do a little background research. Google is always your friend. So is this mammoth collection of bike touring blogs.
I’ve picked two new cities, Dili and Denpasar. I’ve picked a time, Dec 2016/Jan 2017. I haven’t booked yet but I’m getting close!
Nice day for a ride? You betcha.