A third of July has come and gone; have you had your summer epic adventure yet? Don’t think you can afford one? Have you considered doing an epic bike adventure?
A bicycle is usually forgotten when thinking about epic adventures, but many adventures are lived on the humble bike.
Peter Egan, lauded scribe and editor of Road & Track and CycleWorld magazine, bought a bicycle and rode with his friend from Paris, France to Barcelona, Spain to watch a Grand Prix race after his tour of duty in Vietnam. They road roughly eighty miles a day through the Andes and had a memorable time doing it.
When my friend Ian graduated from High School, he celebrated by flying over to England and riding through the country on a bike.
With no need for insurance, licensing, or fuel, a bicycle makes the adventure affordable. If you’re in your mid-teens, a good bike makes the adventure attainable!
Even if you don’t have any gear, it won’t break the bank to build a decent outfit; and that includes the bike. A quick walk through Craig’s List listed decent bikes starting at $10 and allowing yourself $50 will open up the choices to an unbelievable amount. (Some will even have baskets and rear racks already installed, giving you more bang for your buck.) A decent helmet is in the $20 to $30 range and the same goes for a tire repair kit and mini air pump as well. I found tents as low as $20 and sleeping bags for $10. School sized backpacks are everywhere and can be tied to the rack with bungees or clothesline if needed. Cheap ponchos can be had at the dollar store and camping food can be bought along the way if you want to save weight.
You could turn gear buying into a mini adventure itself. Riding around town, checking out the garage sales for discount gear builds up your stamina while adding to the excitement. If you’re planning a group ride adventure, you could have a contest to see who gets their gear first and who gets it at the best deal.
The adventure itself doesn’t have to be overseas to be epic. A trip to the next county or twenty miles down the road can be enough to be memorable. You could ride to a campground and spend the week fishing, hiking, and biking in natures surrounding. If camping is not your game, you could ride to various cafés or pubs to check out the local bands. Food, history, architecture, art, sports, scenery; you can make anything the reason for your ride. It’s all up to you. An epic adventure doesn’t require a motor, just some imagination and a willingness to go for it. A bicycle is a great and inexpensive way to get on the road or down the trail.
It’s only July, how about an adventure?