Recent college graduates Morgan Hartley and Chris Walker aren’t your average cycle tourists. They’re citizen journalists on a quest to explore our planet and share the stories of the people they encounter along the way. Spend just a few minutes on this bicycle touring blog and you’ll be hooked.
Here’s an excerpt from the blog post that drew me in:
The first two hours after breakfast are the best. Regardless of the scenery (and all the better if there are beautiful views or interesting cultural things to look at), the initial hours are enjoyable purely from an exercise standpoint. It’s at this point in the day that I think about how great it is to be on the road, feeling my legs driving me forward and the wind coursing by and the sun warming me. My muscles aren’t tired yet, so I’m able to focus on the topics I’ve assigned myself to contemplate that day.
Both Morgan and I challenge ourselves to think about specific topics in the first hours of the ride. These include things like lists of future blog post ideas, or the 5 funniest moments from high school, or what I want to write in an email to a friend, or even about high level stuff like ways I’ve changed on this trip. The challenges are a great way to keep productive, organize our thoughts and make sense of everything going on around our trip.
Then the third hour hits, and suddenly my mind’s toast. The ability to think cogently wanes. Enjoyment of exercise becomes a focus of endurance, and the songs, discomforts, and trip computer start to creep into my head. From here on out I have two options: give in to the manic streams of consciousness, or try to empty my head entirely. The latter is far more enjoyable, but it takes some discipline to get there.
I give it a go; I start breathing deeply; I focus on the cadence of my legs; I listen to my heartbeat; I relax my shoulders; I make myself as efficient as possible. And then….if I’ve done it right, my mind just goes…blank. Bicycle touring Zen has been attained. Now enlightened, hours on the saddle can pass by with little notice. It is a sublime feeling.
For me, it only happens some days. Morgan claims to have slightly higher success rates. Regardless of what we think about during the ride, however – whether it’s butt cramps, imaginary gun battles, or nothing at all — our feeling at the end of the ride is mutual and always the same: Satisfaction. Another day navigating unknown lands down. Another day closer to Shanghai. Another adventure had.
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For beautiful photos and insightful prose, follow along as the Postulate One team pedals towards Shanghai.
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