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Old 09-05-07, 07:19 PM   #1
Niles H.
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'I had made it - exhausted, filthy and ill - to the end of our road and to....'

Amelia Oliver looks like such a pristine cycling goddess in these pictures:

http://www.bikechina.com/ct-ao-1.php

and yet she also wrote those words.

***
It's made me wonder how many have experienced something similar.

'Exhausted, filthy and ill'

Those words just keep ringing through my mind.

***
Maybe part of it is wondering this: How to keep on the level of *enjoyment of life* on the tour, to sustain that note of invigoration that sometimes happens, and even exhilaration -- which is (or can be) a major part of touring -- without letting it cross the line, into another zone -- one of exhaustion or depletion or some lower level of living....
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Old 09-05-07, 10:07 PM   #2
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My fondest touring memories are not the warm, sunny days with blue skies, the wind at my back and perfect road conditions, even though I enjoy cycling under such conditions. Instead, I'll look back and smile when I remember the more difficult days — cold, windy weather, long tiring climbs up mountain passes, head winds, flat tires, rough roads and the risk of a storm when I'm far from shelter. Those elements add an extra challenge to the tour. It's no longer a predictable process of getting from one location to another; it now has the added dimension of facing the unexpected or difficult elements.

Keeping the enjoyment of life on the tour begins with a proper attitude. I can view the difficult experiences as nuisances or annoyances, or I can view them as special, unique experiences or gifts from God. I can complain about the challenges or I can embrace them and enjoy each moment of the trip. This doesn't come naturally and it's probably part of the reason more people don't take up cycle touring.
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Old 09-06-07, 12:07 AM   #3
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"How to keep on the level of *enjoyment of life* on the tour, to sustain that note of invigoration that sometimes happens, and even exhilaration -- which is (or can be) a major part of touring -- without letting it cross the line, into another zone -- one of exhaustion or depletion or some lower level of living.... "

Well you can't. It's like the old Buddhist story where the guy goes to the holly person and spills out all his complaints and finally quietens down enough to ask for the secret to solving all his problems. The holly person says that he can't do anything to help, and that there are 86 problems in life and as soon as you stop worrying about one of them the next one rears up. The supplicant is angry and wonders aloud what good is a Buddha if he can't help him with his problems. The Buddha answers by saying that while he can't help with the 86 problems he can help with the 87th. The supplicant asks "what is the 87th problem?", The Buddha answers "worrying about all your problems".

I wonder if a person with Buddha consciousness has any reason to go touring.

I found this thing on U-tube about a lady who rowed across the Atlantic. As she goes she losses one system after another, and around 100 days looses all external communication. She points out how unfair this is as she had really been planing on calling home for a good "winge" I like that. I know I need a winge back home every now and again... Maybe the advantage to bigger than normal experiences is that at least the pain seems worth it, or possibly for some it may be finally some pain/experience worthy of them. If you have to be in pain why not because you are 'Exhausted, filthy and ill' traveling in Tibet, rather than just rolling through a traffic jam on the way to work.

I think there is some bad Karma listing one's Tibet trips on the China Bike site...
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Old 09-06-07, 12:36 AM   #4
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First off, great little journal. Thanks for the link!

We have not yet been though anything quite so gruelling. We have certainly had our moments over the past year but we're aware that much higher highs and much lower lows will come over the next year as we go further east.

I think it is a learning process. When we first started we had to teach ourselves not to expect to go 100km a day every day. Gradually we retained ourselves out of the thinking we'd learned from years of working to schedules and into a new way of existance, of just going as far as we were comfortable with and being happy with that achievement, be it 10km or 100km. For us that is one of the big secrets of bike touring, readjusting yourself constantly to the environment around you to keep your levels of enjoyment up and sanity too!

Having said that, on some occasions you need to push yourself further than you would like and when we've been in that situation we keep ourselves going by realising that this is temporary. Tomorrow is a whole new day. In Austria, when we gave ourselves a mild case of sunstroke (which was bad enough, can't imagine what full blown sunstroke feels like), we wanted to quit right then and there and jump on a train. It was only by convincing ourselves to get a good night's rest and see how we felt in the morning that we managed to carry on. If we had made a decision that evening, we would have given up our world tour and flown home, we felt so horrible.
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Old 09-06-07, 03:45 AM   #5
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I feel we have to have bad days to appreciate more the good.

many days on tours have I felt the same,

Exhausted, So many towns built on hills and to get to the shops is almost more than I can take at the end of a gruelling day. Or being stuck on a muddy hill, slipping and sliding all over trying to push the bike up after the first rain for years, and lorries and buses have churned the road up like a ploughed field. The wind in Patagonia in your face all day

Filthy, after a few days camping rough and cycling on sandy, or gravel roads, most of them are in every orifice and hair and beard are matted with dirt and sweat, It can take 3 or 4 tries to wash out all the dust.

Ill, ( I won't go there, except to mention the eye of a needle and 30 paces)

Brilliant fun!!

george
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Old 09-06-07, 06:09 AM   #6
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Maybe part of it is wondering this: How to keep on the level of *enjoyment of life* on the tour, to sustain that note of invigoration that sometimes happens, and even exhilaration -- which is (or can be) a major part of touring -- without letting it cross the line, into another zone -- one of exhaustion or depletion or some lower level of living....
In touring and in life.
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Old 09-08-07, 09:29 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
I wonder if a person with Buddha consciousness has any reason to go touring.
A person with Buddha consciousness does not need a reason.

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