10 really good reasons to go bike touring.

9 December 2009, Tampico, Mexico

Total distance cycled: 67,517 kms/ 42,198 miles

“Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.” Paul Theroux

wouldn't we all be better off in the office?

Chained to the desk does have its charms.It's time I was honest with you.  Month after month I, and thousands of other bike touring bloggers, write to you about the wonders of hopping on a bike and exploring the world.  We share stories about all the kind people we meet along the way. We regale you with tales from the exotic lands we've pedaled through.  We seek to impress you with our courage and athletic prowess.

But sometimes--actually a lot of the time,  maybe even most of the time--life's pretty dull on the road.  At least that's how I feel lately.  In a selfish attempt to boost my own morale, I've come up with 10 benefits of bike touring.   I've even done a little brainstorming on how riding a bike around the world relates to job skills.  Which I may be needing if I don't snap out of this slump.

the fringe benefits of bike touring
  1. Hop on a bike and obtain instant stardom.Achieve instant celebrity status.  Who would have thought the simple act of riding an over-laden bike through a developing country could bring out the crowds?  Buy a bicycle, book a flight for Mongolia and leave your life as a wannabe superstar behind.
  2. Get that 80's fake tan look for free.  Never mind the irreversible skin damage, the fact that you look 10 years older than your eldest sister and try not to worry about the high cost of chemo-therapy and health care rationing.  
  3. Build up low self-esteem by re-reading emails from cubicle bound workers in Kansas who claim you are an 'inspiration'.  Much cheaper than psychotherapy and just as effective as self help groups.
  4. Make headlines on the front page of local newspapers with a story about your fascinating cycling exploits featured next to gripping articles such as Super Wal-Mart to Open in Smallsville and  All Church Summer Picnic a Success.
  5. Perfect the art of free-loading.  Be invited home by complete strangers the world over who aren't fluent in your language, but will gladly give you food and a warm bed.  Your hosts will then invite over all their friends, neighbors and family to marvel at the great distance you have traveled.   You will be subjected to an evening of polite smiles and banal conversations based on the 10 words you know in each other's language.   Great for refining your rapport building skills.
  6. Hone valuable negotiating skills through multiple contacts with corrupt officials in rogue states. If you can convince a Congolese immigration officer to let you enter the country without paying the 'special processing fee', you're sure toshine on the bargaining team of the local union.
  7. Learn about the world's religions when you seek shelter for the night at churches and mosques.  A free roof over your head always comes with a heavy dose of proselytizing.  
  8. Indulge the sadistic side of yourself by letting vicious dogs who have taken up chase get closer and closer until at last you whip out your secret weapon: the Dog Dazer**.  Zap the raging dogs and then laugh cruelly as they bound back in shock. 
  9. If you're a man, impress locals by your ability to shovel in vast quantities of food and still remain skinny as a rail.  If you're a woman, amaze family and friends by your ability to cycle thousands of kilometers around the world and NOT lose weight.
  10. Alright, I drew a blank.  Couldn't you help by finding a 10th reason to cycle around the world?  
**Note to animal lovers (and I'm one of them): the Dog Dazer is a harmless device that keeps dogs at bay by emitting an irritating high frequency noise not heard by humans.

As always, constructive comments, flattering e-mails and lavish praise are appreciated!  But seriously, we do appreciate all comments and need a hand coming up with a 10th reason.  Please help us out. 

Many thanks to those who purchased our calendar for 2010 featuring some of our favorite portraits from our World Biking Tour.  It's not too late to purchase your copy via Red Bubble.  Proceeds will go towards more powerful sun protection and a fund to fight irreversible skin damage.  Check out the calendar here.

Get World Biking Newsletter 

Support our fundraising efforts for World Bicycle Relief

Follow World Biking on Twitter

Like this site?  Want to support us as we bike around the world?  
Just do all your AMAZON shopping on the link below.
 You pay regular Amazon prices and we receive a small commission when you shop through our AMAZON AFFILIATE LINK.

check out more photos from our trip

contact us at: worldbiking@gmail.com