Lessons from the Saddle

Pedaling for hours and days and miles give you a chance to contemplate the details of life.  Sometimes they’re important.  Sometimes they’re not.

Enjoying the Tour:

You Are a Curiosity

Someone pedaling a bike loaded with panniers full of travel gear gets people’s attention and piques their interest.  Don’t be shy.  Take advantage.  They want to hear your stories, tell you theirs, and offer advice.  Pedal up and say hello.  It will make the ride a lot more interesting.

Water-Proof Matters

Wet gear is useless.  Get waterproof bags and test them before the tour, just to make sure…even if the forecast is for sunny skies.  Rain happens.

Continue reading “Words of Wisdom”


Hello in Many Languages

Touring in a different country can be both challenging and exhilarating.  A lot of things are different from what we’re used to, including the food, road signs, and cultural norms, but often the biggest difference is the language.  Most people view this as a major difficulty, but it can also be a great opportunity.

There is a stereotype of the American traveler who is boorish and rude. 

Definition of Ugly American

Locals might take offense at a wide array of behavior, but one common mistake is traveling with no knowledge of the local language, expecting everyone to understand English and provide written materials like menus in English.  Imagine someone from Austria or Switzerland coming to your workplace, speaking to you in German, and expecting (without even asking) that you will understand them and respond politely in their language.  Is there a chance that you might be offended?

Continue reading “Learning a New Language”