There Is No Better Time To Be Planning Your Next Dream Cycling Adventure

Now is probably not the best time to be setting off on a globetrotting bike trip.

But as we’ve all discovered over the last few months, upheavals can create the ideal conditions for change – including changing the way you think.

Amid much uncertainty and, yes, real hardship and trauma, this year has brought with it a priceless opportunity to reimagine the paths we’ve been travelling through life, and to redirect those elements of our futures we can control towards newly-reconsidered destinations.

That’s why – even if your departure date remains to-be-confirmed, and even if the places you’re thinking of going are closer to home – I would argue that there is no better time to be planning your big dream bicycle-mounted adventure.

And if you’ve been sitting on such a dream for some time, it’s likely it has recently resurfaced with a new sense of urgency.

So why not start laying the groundwork right now? Why not get some of those big decisions made, those big questions answered, those big obstacles overcome?

Why not commit to beginning your journey to the starting line?

I am willing to bet that you have, over the last few months, overcome a challenge you never imagined you’d have to face, or solved a problem you previously considered unsolvable. Whether financial, existential, philosophical, or spiritual; the details don’t matter. What matters is that you have experienced the necessity of thinking in a way you’ve never had to think before.

Your mind is primed for doing it again – but this time for something you’ve chosen to do.

What is happening right now should be a source of empowerment; a reminder – if you needed it – that we are all more resourceful and adaptable than the routines of our former lives might have suggested.

It should be a lesson that whatever rationalisations or excuses or pain points have been standing in the way of that dream can be overcome, so long as you make doing so a condition of necessity.

The easiest way to achieve that necessity is to commit. Make a promise to yourself. Ignore those tropes about publicising your goals and having an audience hold you to account. Social media parted ways with reality a long time ago. This should be a deal you make quietly with your soul.

There has never been a better time to do so.

Because you’ve finally remembered that the best time is always now.

Comments (skip to respond)

15 responses to “There Is No Better Time To Be Planning Your Next Dream Cycling Adventure”

  1. The shot of optimism is what I needed. This is amazing.

  2. Hi, Tom. I’ve just finished my 2nr reading of your e‑book “The beginner’s guide…”, and I’ve to say you did a really pleasant and highly informative work. Even if I’m not the guy who’s going to travel the World on a bike, there are lots of useful advices to find in your book for my shorter (in time and distance) touring ideas. This didn’t prevent me enjoying your tips, and particularly the funny 29th chapter where you’re explaining “how to adapt…” It’s perfectly logical, even for someone just planning a couple of days or weeks of bicycling and camping in the summer. Thanks a lot !

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Ludovic! This is really what the book is for – if you can understand clearly how to plan a long-distance bike trip, planning a shorter one feels much more achievable. I’m really glad you found it helpful!

  3. Benjamin avatar

    At what point would we say, enough is enough? We cannot be in restrictive mode for years, as individuals should make their own health choices and decide whether or not to buy the products and services the healthcare systems offer. Those with the fortune to have access to the USA, Mexico, and the European Union can already start a serious bike trip right now!

  4. Nick Webber avatar
    Nick Webber

    Hi Tom, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading Janapar. I have a whole bookcase of travelling and cycling books and yours is one of those that has resonated so closely with me. Very well written.
    A really powerful tale of life’s opportunities as well as, “love on a bike”.
    I have now just ordered your DVD.

  5. Stefan Best avatar
    Stefan Best

    Hi Tom I am so thrilled to of found your blog. I am looking at starting bike packing and have spent hours reading your advise. One thing I love about your trips is your photography. What is your camera set-up?

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Stefan! I currently combine smartphone photography (iPhone XS) with a compact mirrorless Olympus OM‑D E‑M10 Mk2 and a 35mm f/1.8 Zeiss prime lens. In the past I’ve used various other digital cameras, but before all that I spent several years learning the basics of photography on a 35mm film SLR…

  6. Charlie in Maine. avatar
    Charlie in Maine.

    Just found your site. The majority of the bikes mentioned unfamiliar to me. I ‘ve just started to investigate touring bikes and I noticed the absence of KOGA in your blog and reviews from your followers. Are they considered over rated and/or over priced. I’ve looked at and read reviews for the TREK and they seem to come up pretty short, longterm wise. Your thoughts.…Thanks

    1. Hey Charlie! Koga is a very reputable bicycle manufacturer. Their best-known touring bike is the World Traveller, a very expensive high-end model that has been round the world many times. I tend to focus on less expensive and thus more accessible equipment for people getting started with bicycle adventures, but the Koga is included in my big list of world expedition touring bikes. Hope this helps!

  7. Thanks Tom, really encouraging words from you. I was planning my first cycling tour in Eastern Europe this April and obviosly it got cancelled due to the ongoing situation. But this article is spot on for me, I have my whole life ahead to do this and there is no better time to plan for it. Thanks 🙂

  8. Lassi avatar

    Really waiting for the paperback. I know my perspective on cycle touring is very narrow. Hoping it to be an eye-opener.

  9. Valentin avatar

    Hello Tom,
    Thanks for the post.
    “A much-requested paperback edition will follow shortly.”
    Could you specify “shortly” please ? Is it much dependent on the COVID crisis ? Is it a matter of weeks, or months ?

    1. I’ve had so many requests about this, I’m going to say ‘weeks’ 🙂

      It will be print-on-demand, so the current crisis should have a minimal effect.

  10. C. Golembiewski avatar
    C. Golembiewski

    Thank you for this shot of optimism. I must say, I have been feeling disappointed by and alienated from the cycle-touring community this last weeks. On so many discussion threads, someone suggesting they were planning a tour as soon as things reopen, was downvoted and attracted replies along the lines of “It is irresponsible to even think about touring again until we have a vaccine!!!”, “If the authorities in your region open things up again, they are incompetent and putting people’s lives at risk. We need to stay home for two years! You are responsible for any deaths!!!” etc. Blogs like yours and a handful of others remind me that not everyone has given into panic and hyperbole.

    1. Patrick Keogh avatar
      Patrick Keogh

      You do not control what others say and write, you only control if and how you react to it.

Something to add?