Home > Going off topic > In Praise of the Short Tour

In Praise of the Short Tour

In the October/November issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine, Jim Sayer confesses to never doing a tour of over a week before this past summer.  Now this is the Executive Director of Adventure Cycling Association, the organization responsible for creating bike routes that span the nation from coast to coast.  This says two things to me.  One, that Jim Sayer is a very busy man with career, community and family obligations (I can relate to that).  Another, that for most of us, short touring is what we do.

I think there is a misconception, even among bike tourists, that most tourists out on the road are traveling vast distances for months on end.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet many traveling cyclist over the past few years, and almost all were squeezing a tour in while on a break from school or work.  Many had a set date to return back to the daily grind and, even though they had not finished the tour they were currently doing, many were already planning their next short tour.  It’s addictive.

Of the relatively few I have met who had made bike touring their vocation and were on long extended trips, about half had no plans to ever tour again after returning home.  This was their once in a life time trip.  So perhaps longevity in the sport is one benefit of short touring; avoiding bike travel burnout.  Another benefit may be the ability to continue to meet those career, community and family obligations while still enjoying adventuring out on your bike.  After all, going off to do a week or two long bike tour is no different than going off do any other vacation activity.  If anything we return healthier and refreshed to better meet those obligations.

So I’ll continue to embrace my short tours while still dreaming of the day when I can free myself for that one big trip across the Trans Am, and I’ll take comfort knowing most of you are doing the same.

Thanks for reading, Jack

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  1. arlen
    January 9, 2011 at 10:06 am

    well said!!!

  2. The Velo Hobo
    January 10, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Thanks Arlen.

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