Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Rotkreuz, Switzerland
Bikes: Trek 520, Gary Fisher Big Sur
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open agenda vs. fixed goal
A few years ago I did my first tour. My goal was to reach Stockholm within a certain timeframe (within the constraints of my vacation). Each day I found myself calculating the remaining distance and dividing it by the remaining days to get an estimate of how far I needed to cycle each day. This drove me nuts after a while, and my mind started to focus too much on the end goal rather than on the moment. My enjoyment began to suffer: I would skip something scenic or interesting along the way in fear of taking too much time and cutting into my daily kilometers. I'd call it a "bad day" if I didn't cycle enough that day. I'd push myself when I clearly needed a break.
On reflection of this tour I felt that I had missed something. I recall meeting another cyclist at a campsite near Strasbourg who was touring with no fixed agenda. He was simply heading south and seeing where the wind takes him: "Perhaps I'll meet someone and go in this direction for a few days. Maybe I'll go over here." I admired his loose approach, which I'm now trying to adopt for my upcoming tour in June. It's not easy getting out of the goal-oriented mindset that occupies my professional life, but I feel it's necessary if I want to relax and make this a real vacation.
I'm curious how you plan and execute your tours. Do you fix yourself on an end goal, or do you tour with an open agenda with a vague idea of where you'll be in the following days?
Last edited by chrisch; 04-27-08 at 02:27 AM.