6 Life Lessons from Bicycle Adventuring

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A new book-page-002If it were a race, it would probably have been a better idea to fly, or to go by car, or at least one of those little electric bicycles. It turns out that trying to do as much as you can as fast as you can isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when it comes to travelling. And when you slow down a bit you get to see all sorts of amazing things, like people making stuff by the roadside, or little worms going exploring in the grass. If you suspect you’ve been going too fast, maybe stop for an ice cream.

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Seriously, they are. Even when they’re scary. They can build houses a zillion times bigger than they are, and communicate telepathically, and some of them can make their bums glow in the dark. The wild horses in Namibia have survived for many decades by eating nothing but their own poop in the dry season. Humans couldn’t even do that for one week.A new book-page-004

No matter how grand or terrible or epic a thing is, at the end of the metaphorical day every person has to sleep and wake up and get food and get clean(ish). In fact, when you look at it, all of the big scary serious things in life, like cycling through Africa, are just made up of lots of little not-serious things, like filling up your water bottle in the morning, which isn’t so scary at all. In fact, almost all of the little moments can be quite hilarious if you let them be.

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If you’re always scared of people judging you, bicycle adventuring is not going to be easy. Especially if you start letting their opinions get in the way of doing what is necessary or practical (or fun, like making a rap song while you ride). Luckily, it turns out that people spend much less time thinking about you than you imagine, because, like you, they are often too busy thinking about what other people are thinking of them. If you stop being scared, other people might even see you and also be a bit less scared.

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This is a very practical lesson. There are two people, specifically, that bicycle adventurers should never ever trust. Ever.

  • Motorists do not see hills. They do not feel corrugation. They can never remember the width of the yellow line area. Do not ask them for advice and if you do, do not listen to it.
  • The weatherman. Another classic unreliable trickster. Don’t even have to explain this one.

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If you are a bicycle adventurer, it is in your interest to not get too caught up with stereotypes because the stereotype of a bicycle adventurer involves being smelly and a bit mad. Before forming any ideas about anything, it’s good to do a little bit of research and use a little bit of common sense, but no matter how much you try to predict and control everything,  in the end there’s no way to know what your experience is going to be. That’s what makes it an adventure!