Not a sportsman

I love to ride my bike whole days and I love hiking as well. I used to cycle every day, just because I love to be outside, get some fresh air and clear my mind, because I was sitting behind a computer the biggest part of the day (I write ‘used’ because I’m doing some farming at the moment). Although I like to be a little fit, for one reason or the other I never see it as sport. Is that because I’ve never been that much of a sporter? Is it because I don’t have a timer with me in order to improve myself? Is it because I absolutely can’t identify myself with those sunburned, muscled and shaved racing dudes wrapped in lycra? Is it because when I see someone jogging on a early sunday morning, I shake my head in disbelieve of so much stupidity? But then I have to force myself to think that that jogger thinks I am a complete lunatic, because I ride a fully packed bike and ride more than hundred kilometres a day. That night I will be sleeping in a tent and will be on the way for years just to see something of the world and live an adventure.

Indeed, I see it as an adventure and of course as a huge challenge, but not so much as a sports challenge. Of course, it takes endurance, fitness, character and all that, but in my opinion aren’t that qualities which only belong to sport. Furthermore I am so glad when I read about people who have been cycling around the world are not sportsman or -woman of the year and take a certain kind of pride in that. They are normal people in a normal shape who got on their bikes and rode of for an once in a lifetime adventure. In other words, it is possible for me as well. And if it is possible for me, why not for you as well? Like Alastair Humphreys wrote: ‘Look at your own street – that’s the road to Africa! Or to China! Or to wherever in the world you want to go. It’s right there waiting for you. You just have to go…’

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3 thoughts on “Not a sportsman

  1. Fully agree! I love to use my bike for long-distance cycling, as it opens another world to me than the one, you see from a motorised means of transportation.
    Of course, the more I cycle, the better shape I get in – but to me that’s just a side-effect.

    This being said, I am currently on a three-months-trip through Germany, France, Spain (maybe adding Portugal to the list, but time begins to run short a bit) – and I already lost two sizes (myself weighing 97 kg on day 1 – haven’t seen a scale again, yet) and had to partly buy new clothes. Not unwanted, but for sure not the main purpose.
    I do enjoy the freedom to stop wherever I want, to stay or to go on… and certainly all those great conversations with people from all over the world who I was happy to meet during this trip.

    The only thing, I always have to laugh at is, when they ask how long I had trained beforehand. My reply: “Trained?” 😉 For sure, I did have a little experience for this trip (last summer: about 1000 km in 3 weeks together with a friend), so that I had a rough measurement on the feasibility of this. But, to be honest, during winter, I was lazy as hell. No sports, no training. So, I only had the level of fitness that had stuck with me over winter for whatever reason – and the rest would have to come during this tour. And, actually, that did work out pretty fine! I just did, what I could – and, surprisingly, I could do much more than I thought (each of the first three days, I even hit my record without feeling bad at all… I only found out in retrospective).

    So, why torture your body in stinking gyms, if all you need is to listen to your body while on the trip?? 😉

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  2. hi… .i’m a bike lover from Iran. i like your words. i never had a trip more than 2 days but every weekend i’m riding out of city 🙂 .I hope one day i could ride to west till the land comes to end. i have some questions about money and visa and road rules in Europe. 😀 i’ll be looking for your answer

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  3. Hey Keramat,

    I don’t know exactly about visas when you’re from Iran. I know I need them if I wish to visit your country. There are probably some people from you country who have visited Europe (by bike), so I guess you can probably ask them better than me. Sorry about that.
    What is it you exactly want to know about money? Most countries have the euro, you can easily find a list on Google. Or do you refer to something else about money?
    Road rules differ by country as well. Some countries have special lanes for cyclists. They say Holland and Denmark are the best cycle-countries in the world, so you should definitely visit those two. 🙂 Again, what do you exactly want to know? Or just everything? 🙂
    Maybe this website helps:
    http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/specialist/knowledge/pedestrians/special_regulations_for_pedestrians_and_cyclists/traffic_rules_and_regulations_for_cyclists_and_their_vehicles_en.htm

    Greetings!
    Geart

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