In our #WhyIBikeTour campaign, we’re profiling the many different types of travelers who choose to explore the world on two wheels. From young single travelers to adventure seekers to retirees, our travelers are as diverse as our tours. Why do you bike tour? Share your story. E-mail email@example.com or tag us at @biketoursdotcom or #whyibiketour on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Names: Fred and Ann Abeles Age: 80 and 73 (respectively) Reside in: Frederick, Maryland Professions: Now retired, Fred worked at Ft. Detrick and Ann taught science at Frederick Community College and worked in research at the National Cancer labs at Ft. Detrick.
Why do you love to tour a new destination by bicycle?
Because the bike tour is a “safe” adventure, especially for an older couple, and gives us a chance to learn lots of new things. As we have learned from others “Every bike trip is an adventure – and every adventure expands your time on earth.”
What is one of your favorite memories/stories from bicycle touring?
Our favorite memories are about the friendly people we have met – whether we could speak the same language or not, there have been so many nice people that have helped us, asked about our trip, told us of more things to see, and given us more background about what we are looking at.
Any advice for others thinking about going on their first bike tour?
For newbies, find a suitable trail near you with a town a comfortable distance away where you could book an overnight stay. Then pack your panniers and make a practice overnight trip. That will help you decide how to pack – and if you are a good judge of a “comfortable” distance to ride in one day.
Next, look on the web for a bike tour for “beginners” and sign up.
Be sure to choose less distance than you would ordinarily ride because now you are “touring”. You want to be able to stop, take photos, visit with people you meet, step into museums, shops, coffee houses. You need to allow time for these other activities because that is why you are touring – not racing.
Know how your bike works – be able to adjust the seat height/angle and handle bars. Be able to remove both tires and fix flat tires. Know how to adjust the brakes and derailleur. Know how to operate the tire pump and what pressure your tires need, etc. Perhaps enroll in a bike maintenance class at your local bike shop. Ask the tour guide to show you how to make adjustments on your rental bike if you are renting bikes for the tour.
Make a list of everything you are bringing on your check-out trip(s). After the trip, see what you did not need, what you should have brought, and what you might have used to substitute for something you forgot. Then reduce the amount of stuff you are bringing next time.
Bring along some butt lubrication, chamois cream etc. You will be riding every day on tour – and your nether regions will need attention.
Your favorite route you’ve cycled?
We have no favorite trip – they all are unique and great in their own way. You tour to see scenery, learn history, meet people, challenge yourself – and many more reasons.
It is like asking which woman is the prettiest in a beauty contest – they all are beautiful, or which photograph of nature is the “best”, they all show some special feature. For couples, bicycle touring is a way to strengthen their bond. They are sharing and solving problems together.
Last year we each cycled slightly over 9,000 miles in the year – lots of daily short rides to keep fit, longer rides of 30-60 miles with friends and several bicycle tours. We’re still at it – just finished two tours in Holland another two scheduled for September, 2016.
Why do you bike tour? Share your stories by e-mailing Lindsay Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org or by tagging @biketoursdotcom on Facebook or Instagram when you post pictures or stories.