Saturday, May 6, 2017

Impulsive Urban

I'm an urban biker.  Probably because I'm an urban guy. Not often out in the country. In fact, I've only biked in the country once, in an organized event. So I get to see a lot of things like this:
I have no idea what this is.
And you gets boring. I can get out into nature nearby; but it involves making climbs that I'm not really prepared for. I'm getting there, but...maybe next year. I have two standard twenty-five to thirty mile routes that I typically ride. One is totally urban, though it does take me through one nice park. The other involves biking along the freeway and then through a series of very nice parks.

However, last week's event took me through vineyards and otherwise wooded land. And I learned something about what a colleague of mine calls "the transformative power of bicycling."  And that would be? Well...bicycling can improve both your health and your attitude. Bicycling can allow you to go places you might not normally go, because it's problematic to get there by public transit or even by private car. And bicycling can bring back those happy childhood memories. Those to do with bicycling, at least.

But bicycling can also awaken a wanderlust you didn't know you possessed.

I've known for a while that there are times on my bicycle trips where I reach the point where I need to turn around and go back home. Though more and more often lately I've felt the impulse to simply keep going, and to lie down wherever I find myself when it's time to stop for the day.

I'm not quite ready to do that, though. As I said, I'm pretty urban, almost totally so. I haven't been camping since I was a Boy Scout fifty years ago. I almost always sleep in a bed; when I don't, I'm sleeping on the floor. So...preparation. My wife and I are going to our local REI for a class on camping. I'm researching the local microadventures that I can do, and building up the courage I need to do them. And I'm going to keep riding in events that take me out in the country simply so I can get used to being out in the country.

So what do I need for my first microadventure? A tent. A sleeping bag.  A way to make coffee in the morning. Some breakfast food I can prepare ahead of time. And more courage.

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