August 31, 2011
I live and work in San Francisco, but at heart I’m a nomad, most at home when I’m far from it. True to the tribe, I prefer simplicity over extravagance – usually traveling alone, camping wherever nighttime finds me, and almost always riding a bicycle. For planes, trains, and automobiles, swift as they are, often obliterate the very essence and purpose of traveling, whereas riding a bike tends to enhance it. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and learning: All are done better when pedaling, and as a solo cyclist I am exposed to the elements, to people, to their languages, and to chance itself, and the outcome of most interactions is fully positive. Even ascending 3000 feet on a steep mountain road can be sheer bliss for those pedaling, for we arrive at the top exhilarated, energized, and thrilled, high from simply breathing and the strangeness of the horizon. From the desk where I write, I fondly remember surprise rainstorms, nocturnal skirmishes with wild pigs and the sky-high mountains of my bike travels in Europe – and the craving for more inevitably draws me back on another meandering tour.
Alastair Bland is a journalist in San Francisco who writes about the environment, agriculture, science and food. You can follow him on Facebook.
No Comments »
No comments yet.