Over the past few years my partner and I have become middle aged cyclists! Initially, our intention was simply to ride for health reasons, however, we have expanded beyond this and now get a lot of enjoyment from this activity.
Our early steps involved riding to work to create a regular exercise pattern, but now we pack our bikes and tour foreign countries as well as many local destinations. In making this transition, we have acquired a lot of knowledge and experience that I would like to share with other people who have interest in riding bicycles both locally or on tour, but are not quite sure how to get started.
I have read lots cycling books, cycling web pages, cycling forums and talked with helpful people at the local bikes shops, but have found that there are relatively few tips and tricks that are available for the middle aged cyclist who is just starting out.
Bicycle shops can be great for inspiration, but can also be rather intimidating places for newbies as they tend to focus on purist road racers or mountain bikers. This may be even more true for older women, who may not be quite as knowledgeable (or even care!) about the gadgetry on cycles. And as bicycles have become more specialised, a whole language has also evolved which can be a problem on its own.
If you are considering riding a bicycle for any number of reasons, the advice, stories and general information on this blog may assist. I am not the world’s greatest bike rider, and there are some days that it is really difficult to pull on the bike shorts! But it is a great way to keep the kilos under control and to stay fit at the same time. It is also good for letting go of stress and being able to relax and enjoy one’s surroundings.
I am fortunate to have a partner (KJ) who loves riding. This has meant that I have not had to look far for a touring partner and someone to ride with on a daily basis. But even if you don’t have someone like this, lots of people ride on their own and have a really great time.
Often, people dream of going on tour with their bikes, but are nervous about what to expect or what they will find. I have done two major tours so far and have enjoyed both immensely. Which is not to say that every day was wonderful, a few were absolutely awful, but that was more because of the foul weather than anything 😦 . The good times quickly eclipse those days and are forgotten.
I will be putting a lot of information about these tours into this blog. The Tour itineraries pages hyperlinked in the blog sidebar summarise each trip and give links to relevant posts. I hope they entertain and entice you to get out and cyclo-tour yourself if this is something you would like to do. If you have any questions about what I have posted please feel free to ask.