Last week I was given the opportunity to make a short, twenty-five minute presentation about bicycle touring to a local camera club. For this presentation I really stuck to the basics and simply answered some of the most common questions that we receive when we are actually out on the open road touring.
Initially I had to introduce bicycle touring. What exactly is it anyway?
I showed a picture of a busy highway and explained that most modern travel is oriented on a destination. The next picture showed a gentle, peaceful country road on a fall day with only a solitary bicycle tourist in sight. I used the picture to convey that bicycle touring is about a series of destinations or historically what was called a journey or adventure.
For me the presentation really came alive at this point. I've made presentations in the past about many things but sharing information about something that you truly love to do made this particular one even more special.
As the presentation progressed I continued with some the most common questions that I receive while touring like:
Since the presentation was for a camera club most of the presentation consisted of showing a picture and then talking a bit about either where the picture was taken or telling a story related to the picture itself. From the comments made afterwards the presentation introduced bicycle touring to a group of people who hadn't really experienced it before.
Equally importantly the presentation served as yet another motivator for me to get back to thinking about bicycle touring again. Since giving the talk last Thursday I have always had at least a few moments each day to think about my next major tour. For me it will be the circuit of the second largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior. My best estimate puts the distance at approximately 2,300 km and based on lots of independant information snippets this lake also features some of the best scenery available in North America. Today I put in a vacation request that if approved will make this tour as easy possibility. This will be my fourth great lake in my quest to circle all five so imagine how exciting this moment is for me!
The tour is still likely three months away but in the meantime I can begin thinking about taking the mini-tours that I enjoy so much. These tours are usually shared with friends and/or people who have asked me to introduce them to touring. Last year my first small tour happened in April. It is very likely that this year I will also be touring in the month of April.
I suspect that many of the people who read this are already experienced tourers. If you haven't already shared your touring experience with someone please consider doing so. At the very least you will have the chance to tell a few stores and show a few pictures of something that is likely a very powerful memory for you!
Before closing out this rambling editorial I would like to point out that the BT101 Birthday contest continues with entries permitted right up until May 1, 2006. There are prizes to give away so if you haven't considered submitting something then please consider doing so! Follow up information about the contest including contact details can be found here!
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