People are nice!
Before embarking on our trip many people asked us about safety. Would we carry weapons? Were we concerned about the security of our gear? Honestly we did not spend a lot of time worrying about protection while planning this trip, aside from basic securities like good bike locks. However, all these questions about safety must have planted a scary little seed in our minds because on our first day we found ourselves hesitant to approach people.
The good news is, just a couple hours into our trip, a Fedex truck pulled over, and out came a super friendly fellow cyclist named Ryan. Ryan told us he always pulls over when he sees cyclists to say hi and see if they need any help, since he is an avid cyclist himself. It was such a relief to be reminded that there are plenty of good people around, and plenty of fellow cyclists!
Thanks to our meeting with Ryan I didn’t hesitate to knock on the door of a farmhouse later in the day to ask for directions. When you’re in an area with no phone service, and you’re unsure if you made a wrong turn your options become very limited. The woman that answered the door was extremely nice, and was happy to give us detailed directions to our next stop.
Every day we have met some wonderful people, and we’ve constantly been reminded that people are nice!
If you need to push, push.
When you’re pulling a 75 pound trailer full of furry dog behind you there are hills that just are not possible, no matter how low your gearing. When I still can’t manage to pedal, even in my granny gear, it is time to get off the bike and push. And guess what?!........ In those cases pushing feels GOOD, better than pedaling! It’s a nice break for my butt, and uses different muscles than cycling, so it feels like taking a rest. So, one important lesson learned: if you need to push, push!
Take your time. Rushing leads to problems.
It’s easy to start rushing when you want to get going. Whether it’s rushing to pack up, rushing to get to the next city, or rushing through a break to get back on the road, rushing leads to stress and disorganization.
Every time we rush ourselves packing up we lose MORE time when we have to find things later in a crazy black hole of a pannier (panniers are the bags that attach to our bikes and hold our gear).
Every time we rush to get somewhere we stop enjoying the journey because we are far too focused on the time. We have to move much slower than most cycle tourists because we are pulling Indy, so we’ve quickly learned not to pressure each other, or ourselves, over speed.
Breaks are so important, and they are only relaxing if we take our time. On our breaks we take Indy for a walk, stretch, and sit down with snacks. It’s incredible how much stronger we feel after a 15 minute break.