Thursday, January 27, 2011

Certainly there are many reasons to tour. there is a lot of accomplishment-type touring "ride across the country" "ride the pacific coast" that requires a goal and an end point.

There are also the wandering or the nomadic riders. My wandering life was done in my teens and early twenties.

But many of us are now adults, work full time, and have a few weeks with which to tour, and the ability to squeak out 3 and 4 day weekends by combining sick days, vacation time, and national holidays. Many cyclotourists build up for an epic destination tour riding across country or europe or south america.

I say, why not see what's outside your doorstep, up that road and in the next county.

For much of my adult life I have been a regionalist. I believe that a diversity of riches exists within human-travelled distance of most people. I realize this is perhaps an entitled, western perspective but there is a world of riches right off most people's doorsteps. If they know how to look for it.

I enjoy tours within my own state and region, without a set destination or end point except back home the day before i have to be back at work.

To get to know the place you live, to get connected with the earth, the topography, the villages and the humanity, 'the lay of the land' so to speak, is invaluable and enriching.

Classic travelogues like Basho's 17th century "Narrow Road to the Interior" and new classics like William Least Heat Moon's "Blue Highways" or "PrairyEarth" hint at the riches hidden just down the road.

Live your own Prairyearth.

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