Why Cycle Touring?Posted: July 3, 2013
Hi Chris and Heather here on tour from Kamloops to Salt Lake City. We’re in lovely Colville, WA and people are getting ready for the Independence Day celebrations tomorrow. Our Warmshowers.org host has suggested that we could see the fireworks together! We were also fortunate to roll into Grand Forks in BC on July 1st just in time for the Canada Day Parade. How lucky we are to have two holidays in one week!
We’ve been on the road for just over a week and things are going well. We were tested early in the ride by… oh, somewhat inclement weather to put it mildly. We had rain like we hadn’t seen in years. No worries, it IS part of cycle touring and in the grand scheme of things it’s pretty normal. After all, you’re outside all the time and one should try to go gracefully with what Mother Nature doles out rather than fight the occasional storm or heat wave. This is one of the reasons to tour on a bicycle. You are literally closer to the living and breathing earth. The sights, smells, sounds and chance encounters with the natural world are everywhere around you. Everyday life can take us away from these things creating a disconnect from our natural roots. Being close to nature is good for the soul.
After our first week we can also feel our bodies responding as they adapt to the stress of cycling. In our society our bodies are under stress every day from a variety of sources. Cycling however can be ‘good stress’. When we cycle, the long and slow nature of cycling just feels good. By providing lots of deep breathing along with a comfortable heart rate our cardio pulmonary system says yes to cycling! And then there’s the beneficial hormonal response to exercise. Muscles too, are happier as they respond to the demand. Cycling is good for the body.
We call cycling touring our rolling meditation. There is a circular motion to the act of pedaling which is very rhythmical in nature. The rhythm of cycling connects to your breath whether you wish to roll easy or push hard. This is a quiet connection that can be seen on the outside. Just imagine what is happening on the inside! All those happy cells are responding to your increased metabolism. The end result of the combination of the breathing and rhythmical physical movement is relaxation! Cycling is good for the mind.
Mind, body and soul – cycling works for all of these things. Providing… you eat well too. But we’ll save that subject for an upcoming blog post. Meanwhile, we’re going to spend two nights in Colville and then we’re off to follow the Pend Oreille River to Sandpoint, Idaho.