Two of the most enjoyable aspects of any bicycle touring adventure for me are meeting new people and exploring new places. Currently 83 people have filled out the "Your next bicycle touring adventure" poll. The most common motivation listed for a bicycle touring adventure was "Seeing new places" with 72% selecting it. 42% of respondents also selected "Meeting new people" so it doesn't appear that I am alone in my desire to explore new places and meet new people.
Yesterday evening I returned from a long, four week business trip to the United States. For two weeks I worked in Atlanta, Georgia before moving further south to Fort Walton Beach, Florida. As is true with most business trips time was tight and as a result my updates to the Bicycle Touring 101 website were not as regular as normal. I didn't manage to get in any cycling in Atlanta on this trip but in Florida I had the unique opportunity to meet up with another bicycle touring enthusiast named Walt Ebbert.
When touring it's almost an unwritten rule that you assist other touring cyclists who are in need. I've done this myself with the freely given gift of tire tubes and fiber spokes when I encountered other cyclists who had tour ending type problems or the potential for them. So far I've been lucky enough not to need the help myself.
Walt is an example of someone who exemplifies the spirit of the touring cyclist in his everyday life. When he learned that I was headed south he immediately offered me the use of a bicycle and his services as a tour guide around the local area. He ultimately took me on two rides on two separate days through two vastly different areas to give me at least a brief taste of what cycling in his part of the world is like. The Bicycle Touring in Florida page I wrote up was my attempt to try to capture a bit of the flavour of those rides.
My ride through Florida by most definitions would be two separate and independent day rides but I am going to call them a mini-touring adventure instead. I enjoyed a fantastic time with someone new and I explored new places that I hadn't seen before. For me that's a large part of what a bicycle touring adventure is all about!
Touring isn't just about how far you travel in a physical sense. It also encompasses the experiences you have along the way. Often these experiences include how far you travel mentally and spiritually as well.
Thank-you Walt for showing me the sights and doing so much to make my business trip a lot more like a bicycle touring adventure. Someday when you are in my neck of the woods I hope to return the favour!
Bicycle Touring 101 continues to grow on a regular basis. Last month saw more new articles added to the website including several interesting interviews with touring cyclists and some more first bicycle tour stories. Now that I've returned home you can look forward to a new poll, updated poll results from existing polls, more interviews and of course many more articles to help you prepare for your next bicycle touring adventure. At this point I have many more articles to add so please keep your eyes open! :)
Another sign of the growth is the many new people who have answered the polls, signed the guestbook and linked to the Bicycle Touring 101 web site. Reviewing the statistics for last month again showed another increase in the number of people dropping by for a visit (actually two or three visits each on average). If you haven't signed the guestbook or responded to the polls please consider doing so.
Something exciting for me personally was to see that Bicycle Touring 101 is now ranked 25th out of 1,540,646 web sites for the keywords "Bicycle Touring" by the MSN search engine. This may not last because search engines results often change but it was cool to see for a site that's only been live since October 26, 2004.
Frankly search engine ranking is no where near as important to me as the feedback from the readers of this site. I've enjoyed reading your comments in the polls, the guestbook and private emails so please keep that feedback flowing.
Recently I added two new links in the Polls section. Both links point to other sites that have interesting polls that you might also consider helping with. One will assist the author of an upcoming bicycle touring book while the other is a time sensitive poll that is only available for a short time every couple of years. The second poll provides a fascinating look at how other people tour and what type of equipment they use to do so. Even if you don't answer the poll you might consider looking at the results to see what equipment other cyclists have used successfully.
This web site is here for you so if there is something that you are looking for that you haven't found or something that you would like to suggest that I add to the site then please Contact Me and pass on your thoughts.
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