My bicycle carried me around the world.

Janice Koch - Sykesville, MD

My bicycle carried me around the world.
It took 930 days to cover 23 countries. Obviously we are not cycling for speed! We were only casual cyclists, but were motivated by the low cost and flexibility that bicycles as a travel vehicle offered. We had tried cycle touring, first riding the C&O Canal Towpath. Next was a more adventuress trip, a very enjoyable 3 week cycling vacation to Estonia, chosen simply because it looked to be very flat terrain and less expensive than Denmark or Holland. It was a great ride and we longed to return to cycle touring on a larger scale. The decision became easier as we developed a back-out strategy. We would start as cyclists, and if that travel lifestyle turned out to be less than the rewarding experience that we were looking for, we would dump the bikes and join the hordes of budget backpackers traveling the planet. But we never did grow tired of this travel. We covered the world and our bicycles allowed us to meet and learn about the lives of many different people. In Western China where the presence of an American was unheard of, the people were amazed with my blonde hair and Doug’s height of 6’5”. In Cambodia my heart was broken as I lived with the memories of their recent history, but the Cambodians, as poor as they are, still smile every day. In the Sinai Peninsular what appeared to be a beautiful shimmer on the desert horizon was actually discarded water bottles. Chinese desert heat, Himalayan climbs, South American isolation and so much is there for any cyclist to grab.
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