Archive: August, 2013
When my family goes on vacation together, we ride bicycles. And I don't mean cruisers at the shore – we pick a destination, pack padded spandex shorts, and get up every day to ride anywhere from 20-50 miles, staying in hotels and B&Bs, taking in the scenery from our saddles. Over the past decade or so, I have been lucky enough to pedal my way through parts of the Netherlands, the south of France, the Veneto region of Italy, western Ireland, Cape Breton Island, and -- just a few weeks ago -- the Czech Republic. We have always gone through some kind of tour company, so someone moves our luggage from place to place for us. (Self-supported bike touring is admirable, but it’s not our thing.) We’ve journeyed with and without guides, and in groups ranging from just the four people in my immediate family up to a record seventeen extended family members.
It is safe to say that at this point we are completely sold on bike touring. A lot of people have told me that they think we’re crazy, that there’s nothing relaxing or vacation-like about our trips, and I’ll admit: there’s a lot of sweating involved, and rain pants are unquestionably the least-attractive garment ever invented. So why do we do it?
Biking gets you off the beaten path