You see someone with a loaded bicycle touring around, going from country to country, pedaling with a smile on their face and you think: “damn that looks awesome; I want to do it too!”
But before you can even get excited about it, questions and beliefs start hanging over your head like a dark cloud. You think about your fitness level, age or maybe the financial matter. You push the idea aside and give up.
There are a lot of myths, beliefs, misconceptions and lies about hopping on a bicycle and taking on the road – most of these ideas are not facts, no, these rubbish-ideas are made-up in our own minds by our own set of limitations.
So here are a few of the most common myths, beliefs and lies about travelling by bicycle.
You should be fit
It is probably a good idea. The hills would be so much easier, but in the end you get fit on the road and you take it one day at a time. If you can walk around the block without dying, you should be fine.
No, it’s not dangerous… okay maybe a little bit if you go cycling in Sudan or jump in front of a 20ton truck. I’ve never had a bad experience – the people on the road are actually nicer than you can imagine. Overcome the idea of danger in your own mind and live your life!
Sure, some people fork out a lot of money to buy equipment to look fancy on the road – “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like”.
It’s not necessary and there is always a cheaper option! A good bicycle doesn’t have to cost you an arm and leg!
You are too old or too young
Okay, sure if you say so.
If people in their late seventies can do lengthy cycle tours, you better have a good reason to say that you are “too old or too young”.
You can’t do it solo
Taking a solo bicycle trip is very rewarding – you get to know yourself on a completely different level. Sure, it would be nice to have some company on the road, but I enjoy the fact that I can be selfish when it comes to travel and the time I spend on it.
And it’s not that I haven’t asked friends to join me, none of them want to – they are more fit, have better bicycles and more money in the bank, but still they don’t want to – I’ve heard I’m one of the crazy ones.
(But I am excited about a Cairo to Cape Town trip with another crazy character in a few years).
Female? Alone? Are you crazy?
Crazy? Well, that is debatable.
I was amazed when I realised how many women around the world are travelling by bicycle on their own – it’s empowering to see it and read about their trips! I thought “if they can do it, why can’t I?” And if I can do it, why can’t you?
The world is not such a big scary place after all.
So stop making excuses, stop believing the myths, wheel your bicycle out of the garage, shake of the dust and get on it!
A short micro adventure is still an adventure – you don’t need to take weeks off from work or visit a foreign country – your adventure can start from your own back yard.
If you want to do it; no myth or believe in the world should stop you.
Stop selling yourself short, stop underestimating your abilities and stop saying ‘some day’.
If you want to do it, do it now!