Ten bike travelers share their favorite sights seen from a bike
Authentic and open-ended adventures are experienced when traveling by bike. You may map out your route before hitting the road but that can quickly change and transform your intended experience. When you view the world from a saddle you take in the big and little things at a pace that allows you to interact with whatever crosses your path.
Adventure Cycling Association asked several known Adventure Cyclists to share an experience that was made possible when traveling by bike. Here are 10 authentic moments from 10 folks who love traveling by bike.
While pedaling along the banks of the Mekong in Laos and Cambodia, we met kids who had never seen an automobile.
I experienced more than 100 miles of gorgeous Black Hills back country while traveling by bike on South Dakota's Mickelson Trail. Virtually all of it I would have missed had I been in a car, because the trail is off-limits to motor vehicles.
While riding through Baja California, Mexico we were invited to a state mountain bike championship in Vicente Guerrero. There, hundreds of riders competed in categories ranging from Expert Men down to a co-ed class of children riding 12” ,16” and 20” wheel bikes. There were even toddlers on Striders with number plates on their handlebars!
On bike tours, I've made lifelong friendships built on a bond of adventure, hardihood, capability, humor and trust. On many, many road trips, I've never reached that level of camaraderie and joie de vivre.
While riding a 370-mile loop of Puerto Rico, I was inspired by countless painted murals that our group discovered in the most unexpected nooks and crannies of each town and city we pedaled through.
Touring has brought me back from a crippling depression and helped me survive my grief. Had I never discovered bicycle touring, a.k.a. adventure cycling, my life would be written elsewhere.
Black. Black cables, black asphalt, black front rack, black tire, black handlebar tape, black speedometer. For 74 straight days, I saw black. But only when I was looking down. When I lifted my head, I saw lush rolling hills speckled with cattle, gushing streams that wound their way through valleys, and snow-capped mountains that reached into the clouds.
I had Glacier park to myself. It was very much like having a gift from the federal government all wrapped up just for me. For that moment in time, I had Glacier National Park and Going-to-the-Sun Road, just for me. I was gifted the road for a morning without cars or people. Just me, one bear, and one backhoe guy. Absolutely the best ride of my life!
I rode my bicycle across the country. Sure, I could have driven across in a fraction of the time, but on a bicycle at 15 mph you're able to feel every contour of the land, immerse yourself in every valley and prairie, and interact with every smiling face you come across. On a bicycle, every route is the scenic route.
Traveling back to the 1800's from New Orleans, LA to Niagara Falls, NY along the Underground Railroad by bicycle to become an eyewitness to history and follow the footsteps of the Freedom fighters. Much education is experienced in a classroom or through a textbook; those avenues gets the job done, but they aren’t nearly as fulfilling or effective as traveling through history by bicycle.