So, finally we arrive at another biggy- going away by yourself. Not having someone to share that wonderful market, or spectacular view. But don’t worry – there will be moments when you meet up with others to share the adventure, and you won’t fall into the trap of using your companion as a protection. But you will have to interact with strangers if need be, out of delightful interest.
Looking over these musings, they do seem rather directive. Please remember, these are only ideas and my experiences. The important thing is to have your own unique moments. As I get older, I often travel with a folding bike, as it’s easier to get on the train and bus. Whatever you buy, get the best that you can afford. And finally, one of my more eccentric habits is to stop and pick up stuff on the trail. I still have an umbrella from several years ago and a lamb’s wool sweater that after a wash was as good as new. This takes off the pain of losing one’s own stuff.
Before you venture abroad try some Sustrans routes. You’ll find information on the Sustans website: www.sustrans.org.uk. You might also enjoy Land’s End to John O’Groats: The Great British Bike Adventure by Phil Horsley – a must for any warm-blooded peddler. For visiting Intentional Communities and Ecovillages in Europe see EUROTOPIA.DE (ISBN 3-00-007080-x). I recommend the L’Arche communities inspired by Gandhi. For those not adverse to North America and are particularly fearless try Cycling the Great Divide by Michael McCoy (ISBN 0-89886 698-7), Mountaineers Books.org. I haven’t done this route yet – but I still dream that one. Do take an AMTRAK Visit USA Month Pass, it’s easier with a folder in a bag and have the ride of your life. Meet Americans as nice as apple pie and stations like palaces. LA’s Union Station is an Art Deco gem. Do take a couple of days out in Tucson Arizona and cycle up Mount Lemon – 25 miles of steady climb from 2,000 feet to 9,000 feet and back to the Señora Desert with it’s amazing cactus, and don’t miss Savannah, Georgia (fortunately General Sherman did, thank god, it’s a Colonial gem). Enjoy and have a nice day.