It was on an Adventure Cycling bicycle tour along the Blue Ridge Parkway when I first heard a vireo. At least, the first time I knew that what I was hearing was a vireo. I had stopped alongside the Parkway. It was in the middle of a long climb; shaded, fortunately, and I was tired. Tim, one of the Adventure Cycling leaders on the tour, caught up to me as I stood by the roadside. I was resting a bit and listening. The trees were tall, creaking quietly with the wind, and the canopy was dense and dark and it felt at the time as if I had entered a concert hall. To the left the mountain rose up out of sight; to the right, it dropped away towards the east; any view obscured by forest.
People who choose to go on a bicycle vacation aren’t always uber cyclists. There are a lot of benefits to a cycling vacation beyond the exercise you get. If you have any sense of wanting to learn about the area you’ve chosen to vacation in, a bicycle vacation will satisfy that curiosity in a way that no other mode of transportation can match. You tend to notice sites that would have otherwise been overlooked, and if you see places where you want to stop and take a closer look, it’s easy to do that on a bicycle, whereas in a car you may have driven on by the time you realize what you’re passing, if you see it at all.
Top 3 reasons people choose to go on a bicycle vacation
1. Cycling tends to bring you closer to the local culture
When you’re on a bicycle, people will naturally see you as more approachable and open up to you in a more relaxed way. When we stop somewhere on bicycle vacation, people are always curious as to who we are, where we’re from, where we’re headed, etc. Often times people will share Continue reading
I met Paul about 5 years ago. He was on his first bicycle tour – a regular rider, part of a club back home. He was enjoying riding on the weekends and some evenings. I was helping lead the tour and noticed him at registration and later that evening as we introduced ourselves to the group. It was diverse group, many had years of touring under their belts, but there are always a few new to bike touring, and sometimes the anxiety is palpable. Paul fit the bill. I could see him pacing around, checking and rechecking his bike and gear. I worked my way over and introduced myself – “I’m Dave, I’ll be riding some days and driving SAG others. Done this much?”
This sort of thing is pretty common when we finally take the plunge and decide to go on a bicycling vacation. I certainly experienced it. If you are thinking of taking the plunge yourself, here are a few tips. Continue reading