So I went to the local diner for lunch just now, since I would still rather starve than cook. NO it’s not a sexist thing!! I would hate cooking no less, if it could only be accomplished by my gender. Anyway you are getting me off track here. When I got to the diner I noticed a bicycle parked outside, loaded for long distance travel. I went inside and engaged the very nice young traveler, who had eaten lunch, and was hanging around waiting for the drizzle to let up, in conversation.
In the course of our conversation, he began telling me about some of the people he had met, on his current trip across Canada, as well as a previous trip he had taken south. Having made my own foray into that glorious world of cycling recently ( Madness on a Bicycle in this blog, in case you missed it), I have a lot of respect for, and interest in, the struggles and triumphs of these adventurers.
In any case this young man told me of a Korean couple he had met in the course of his travels. He told me they have been travelling on a tandem bike for upwards of nine years, travelling every continent, save Antarctica. This seems absolutely staggering to me. Not because nine years is an incredibly long time to be pedaling a bicycle. Not because the hardships in climates all over the globe would be well nigh impossible to endure. Not because of the dangers of bad guys and beasts. No. Just think about it. Nine years of being less than four feet away from your spouse! I had no idea that much love existed in the entire universe.
I for my part am certain of the fact that, were my wife and I to attempt such foolishness, while we might work together going up the first mountain, there is most certainly going to be an empty seat on that bicycle built for two when it gets to the bottom. I am not going to speculate as to who’s seat would be empty. ( Yeah I know I am gonna be in some trouble when she reads this article, but I’ve been married thirty years folks, I’ve been in worse trouble. Plus deep down she knows it’s true.)
Anyway, I tried to find this couple’s story online, with no success. I did find many other people making these global trips though. I was briefly troubled at the notion that, considering the perseverance required, to see such an undertaking through, I might have to face the fact of being a low-caliber sort. However, luckily, just as I was settling that thought out amongst myselves, I recalled that my own motivation for making the ill-conceived attempt at long distance bicycling had been generated purely on the basis of insanity. Turns out there are quite a few people a LOT more nuts than me. ( See Dear it could be worse.)
I do regret not getting the young fellow’s name but at least I wished him safe travels and bought him lunch. A shout out to all you who cycle. May you find smooth, safe highways and excellent therapists.