Tips For Bike Tourists Suffering Withdrawal Pains

On the wine trailWe have to put our hands up and declare ourselves guilty.

Yes, guilty of dreaming of bike touring again, a mere 4 months into our re-integration. In the last week alone we’ve considered the Great Divide, India and South America as possibilities for the future.

And then we remember that we only just got back, and maybe we should work on building up the bank balance a bit longer? But it’s tough when you have road lust and we’ve got it bad. We clearly need some kind of 10-step program.

Or maybe we’ll just follow these tips from Eric, the owner of the Vakantiefietser bike touring shop in Amsterdam.

For bike tourists suffering withdrawal pains, he recommends these steps:

  • Walk around in your SPD shoes at home.
  • Have a cold shower outside, from a bucket.
  • Stuff your moneybelt under your pillow.
  • Wear your old sun-faded t-shirts.
  • Sit 1 hour per day in an internet cafe.
  • Ask a taxi driver or shop keeper if he wants to bargain.
  • Check your shoes when you put them on. Maybe there’s a snake in them!

Maybe we can add a few:

  • Don’t shower for 3 days. Smear dirt on your body for extra effect.
  • After 3 days, don’t have a proper shower. Use baby wipes instead.
  • Eat pasta and carrots from a pot for supper.
  • Put your tent up in your living room and sleep inside it.
  • Stuff some dirty clothes underneath your head for a pillow.
  • Put the contents of your closet into your panniers.
  • Pretend no one speaks your language. Try to get by just with sign language.

We’ll let you know if any of these steps help our rehabilitation…


  1. RichNYC
    2nd February 2010 at 3:11 am #

    Funny stuff, brings back memories.

    Yesterday, I jumped on my bike set up on a trainer and watched youtube bike touring vids while spinning… Worked wonders for relaxing my mind;)

  2. isabelle
    2nd February 2010 at 8:10 am #

    ok, when you put it like that….we are crazy :)

    • friedel
      2nd February 2010 at 1:58 pm #

      Ah, but it’s fun being crazy. Life is too short to be boring πŸ˜‰

  3. Doug Nienhuis
    2nd February 2010 at 8:01 am #

    Your list made me smile. However, setting up my tent and sleeping in it would make me WANT to start traveling again. If I had a bigger apartment, I’d go home and set my tent up tonight to try it out…

    • friedel
      2nd February 2010 at 2:02 pm #

      I have to say a real bed is one of those things I still cherish about home life versus bike touring. If it were possible to carry a bed and real blankets and a huge pillow around instead of a mat and sleeping bag, I would!

  4. Sebastian Wevers
    2nd February 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    I sometimes pitch my tent somewhere in the nearest forest. First I pack for a world tour. It is the same as for a three day holiday, what you need in three days is what you need in 300 days. Well, for Holland, that is. And then I go and sneak ‘into the wild’. Somewhere like the Noordhollandse Duinen for example. Beautiful! Wish I was there now with all that snow.

  5. Ingrid
    2nd February 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    I would add another point: Stop using chairs at all πŸ˜‰

  6. Tyler & Tara
    3rd February 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Limit yourselves to one small towel (shared, not apiece) for all of the following tasks for a month:

    1. drying off from whatever excuse you just performed as a shower
    2. blowing your nose
    3. cleaning your face
    4. washing your dishes
    5. drying your dishes
    6. cleaning your bike chain

    If the towel isn’t handy, don’t hesitate to use your pants.

  7. Tyler & Tara
    3rd February 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    …oh, and you can only clean the towel once a week!

    • friedel
      3rd February 2010 at 2:29 pm #

      lol, I’m starting to feel cured πŸ˜†

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