07-18-09, 10:51 AM
The other night, a buddy and I went to a local pizzeria to celebrate me selling my motorcycle and having some walking around money. 2 fellas at the next table were drinking beers through their beards, and the attire lead me to presume they had ridden in on the 2 loaded touring bikes leaning on a nearby tree, one of which was a 1998 Novara Randonee. As a bike wrench for the REI here, I struck up conversation, and quickly found out they were en route from Albany, NY to Austin, TX. I've long considered getting into bike touring, and having wrenched for some supported tours, was always blown away with the commraderie of the community and the spirit of the people. Over a long dinner and several drinks, they began talking about how Austin was their desitnation, but this was their trip. For the first time ever, I started to grasp the idea of the journey, not the destination. It is always thrown around sarcastically when trips become adventurous, but I honeslty get it now. The one guy, Felix, said (and he said he didn't make it up, but I'd like to know who did) "traveling at the speed of human comprehension". It really resounded strongly within me, and I'm looking into starting to tour this fall. If anyone has a 60-62cm steel frame they are trying to sell, please let me know. I've also recently shunned ebay, and craigslist here just has fixed gears and walmart mtbs. I will spend extensive time in this forum, learning from you all. But without having done it yet, I truly get what all the hype is about.