By Frosty Wooldridge
Each bicycle tour creates different journeys in your life. You feel the physical journey as to sore muscles, sunburned arms, nose and legs. Your arms ache from the constant tension on the bars. Your feet may develop blisters. Your butt hurts from saddle sores to uncomfortable pelvic bones. Ah, and who hasn’t suffered from crotch rot? How many have used Duct Tape to save their inner thighs from being rubbed raw? Me! How about your ravenous hunger? Did you suck that apple core dry? What about that mouthful of trail mix? And sweat, how about it soaking your clothing, running down your back and dripping off your nose? Somehow, you incorporated the physical on your journey.
Next comes the mental journey. What did you think about all day while pedaling? Did you rerun your childhood? Did you think of an old boyfriend or girlfriend? What regrets did you remember? Marriage and divorce? What could you have done better? Jobs? Did like your work or loathe it? Your mental journey on a bicycle tour may take you to your highest energies or it can bring you to your lowest depression. That mental journey creates your attitude, creative expression and long-term health. Think well on tour; the world opens up to you.
Your social journey works its way into your life on tour. Did you ride with friends? Laugh a lot? Did you get along or break up during the tour. Did you support them and they support you? Did you ride solo? How about that amazing person you met while standing near Yellowstone Falls or at the rim of the Grand Canyon or on the beach at Key West? Did you open to the positive vibration frequencies of the universe? Did you fill your diary with joy, anger, sorrow, regrets, and gratitude?
Not much thought about, but I give it great value—that spiritual journey where you connect with the heartbeat of the universe! It’s that journey in particular that may give you balance to all aspects to your life. Where does it come from? How about looking into that campfire that gives all the answers to life in the flickering flames dancing before your spirit?
Of course, several other aspects jump at you while on tour. For that reality, a book could be written. At the end of your tour, how did you feel as to body, mind and spirit?
A certain quieting of the mind occurs at the completion of a long bicycle journey. Whether you pedaled 1,000, 2,000 or 10,000 miles, the road comes to an end. You poured your heart, mind and guts into every mile. You pedaled up endless mountain passes. You labored across vast tracks of wilderness. You faced heat, cold, rain and snow. You dripped sweat. You baked in the sun. You pushed headwinds. You devoured a grocery store full of food. You felt skin rash on your inner thighs. Crotch rot challenged you. Campfires transfixed you. At night, across the ink-black of space, shooting stars mesmerized you. The journey changed you. No greater joy can come from “the” moment of adventure when you conquer the final mile. It lives in your heart for the rest of your life.
Frosty Wooldridge, on tour, coast to coast, Virginia on Route 50, eastbound