You need a motor on that thing!
We hear that frequently, as a stranger strikes up a conversation, curious about our loaded bicycle. The forced laugh in response is as tired as the joke. Whereas, a child can imagine a trip to Mars in a homemade cardboard box rocket ship, most adults can not imagine traveling thousands of miles by bicycle. To them it seems like a Herculean task. But it is really not. It is just a collection of short trips.
Imagine getting on your bicycle and going for coffee on a Sunday morning. The café might only be a block away or a few miles. No problem, the caffeine kicks and and you fly home. Take that a step further, and bicycle to visit a friend in the next town over for coffee or lunch. It’s not that much farther. On your next pedal adventure, make it an overnight trip to a hotel. Just like in this video:
Ask any adult about their early childhood memories. Almost invariably it involves a bike. I remember the freedom of exploring the neighborhood, going farther than ever before. It was the smell of squished dog poop on my wheels and the sound of crunching grass under the tires. The adrenaline rush of bombing down a hill, feeling the speed, hearing the howling wind in your ears, going faster than ever before under my own power. Crashing at full speed but somehow, mid-flight, doing something right, landing surprised, unhurt and a hero.
I was emancipated from my little legs and mind. I could go anywhere, anywhere I dared go. That’s how a long journey begins.