I've been on a bicycle most of my adult life -- I'll turn 70 later this week. No matter my age, cycling never gets old. I've been on a few cross-country cycle tours. Self-organized, but with other like-minded people; on long rides you usually hook up with new-made friends for a week or so, you can't get lonely. Cycle touring combines camping, exploring, hiking (spend a couple days at a national park along the way), wandering, map-reading, route research, minimalism (either that or pull an extra trailer)..... throw in ballooning and spelunking if you feel like it. The TransAmerica Cycle Route has about 2000 cyclists on it during any one summer (my estimate, from a 3-month trip). I'd say 70% are college 'kids' on a break or after graduation; 10% are foreigners, mainly Europeans trying to squeeze it in on a 90-day visa; and 10% are us retired folks. On a cross-country trip I met over 300 cyclists, easy. None of them were riding "time trials", it's not that kind of life. It's campinig on wheels. Put me on a touring bicycle and I'll have the best summer of my life. You might give that a try. If a summer-long ride is daunting, start out with a week's camping trip. You don't need to train, the ride will do it for you. Just learn to pack light. Depending on what part of the country you're in, you'll meet like-minded folks. That's what makes it memorable. Edit: I found inspiration and a wealth of research help for the touring life, at crazyguyonabike-dot-com . It's a non-commercial site with hundreds of journals, from one-day rides to years-long world cycle tours. If you need inspiration, check it out....
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A half gallon of Blue Bunny ice cream. But the guilt allows me that only once a week or so. Luckily a summer TransAmerica ride takes about 3 months. On the other days, a bag of frozen peas, left out for 20 minutes to partially thaw. No kidding -- it's as good as Blue Bunny on a hot day.
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