“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
-Henry David Thoreau
The hardest part of doing a bike tour is getting out the front door.
We’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve told us about their dreams to ride across their state, their country or the world. And then that word appears.
But I’m not fit. But I don’t have enough money. But I’m scared to quit my job.
We’re here to tell you that there’s always a but. And it’s never the ‘right time’ to just get up and go. At some point, you just have to commit and make that leap into the unknown.
Yes, it’s daunting. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, you might feel sick to your stomach the first time you make that commitment but if you don’t, chances are that in 10 years, you’ll still be there saying “I want to take a bike tour, but…”
The good news? There are things you can do to help push your limits and make your dreams a reality.
1. Tell people what you’re going to do
This is perhaps the single biggest step you can make towards actually taking that tour. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Believe in your cause and make them believe in you.
2. Set a firm date
Don’t just tell people what you’re going to do. Tell them when you’re going to do it. Try to make the date in the relatively near future. Make it “this summer”, not “sometime this decade”. Far away dates are easy to ignore.
3. Start saving
Open a bank account dedicated to your dreams. Put some money in it every week. Slowly but surely, you can build a pool of money that will let you hit the road.
4. Pretend you’re already bike touring
What is there in your life that you don’t really need or won’t have access to on a tour? Cancel that cable TV subscription. Clear out and sell your household clutter. Put the savings in that bank account you just opened.
5. Don’t listen to the naysayers
Many people will be only too happy to tell you how crazy, dangerous or poorly thought out your idea is. Ignore them. Read The Great Fear instead and remind yourself that it is by pushing ourselves to tackle daunting situations that we discover some of the world’s greatest pleasures.
6. List the dealbreakers
Write down the 3 biggest things stopping you from going on tour. Find ways to solve these problems and start working on the solutions.
7. Find inspiration
Take a S24O to get a taste of bike touring and make you want to do even more of it. Find further motivation in people who are already doing what you want to do. Follow their blogs. Read their books. Remind yourself that this is not an unattainable dream.