Thursday, 27 November 2008

On folly and wussishness

A number of posts ago, I described a fellow cycle tourist as striking me as a bit foolish. He had this to say about my comment:

You say foolish, I say inexperienced.

In my own defense, the only touring that I had ever done before biking across Canada is nada. I only did training rides around Vancouver on a carbon fiber race bike (and commuting, I guess).

Of course, my way of looking at it is if you only do what you know, if you never take the jump into trying what you think is impossible, you never actually grow. Things like making the commitment to biking the continent fall into that category.

Feel free to call me foolish if you want, I'll feel free to call you a wuss. ;-)

I have been trying to decide what my reaction to this is. Looking back at my biking career, I realize that I discovered the dangers of overloading bicycle wheels going to work with a decent load on the back of my bike over the lousy surface that passes for pavement in Montreal. I blew a fair number of tires and went through a couple of rims before I was introduced to the benefits of touring grade wheels and Kevlar tires by my local bike shop. Since then, I have been a firm believer in them. In addition, I made the transition into true cycle-touring with the advice of my aunt. She, in turn, learned a good deal about modern cycle-touring from her contacts at a bike shop in Vancouver. Thus, I had a certain amount of experience under my belt. The trouble with experience is you don't always know you have it.

It would seem that MarkE didn't have the benefit of experience and was possibly spoilt by the good road of B.C.. In addition, he seems a braver spirit than I. More power to him.

However, my approach to life is a bit more belt and suspenders. I would rather test things out, ask advice and plan ahead. I must admit that on the Newfoundland trip, I think I sold myself a bit short in the planning and wasn't bold enough to dare to go longer distances each day. However, in doing so, I was erring on the cautious side of ideal and that is where I would rather be. I'd rather be on the wussy side than have all the mechanical issues that MarkE. So, if I saw foolish, perhaps that was the experience I didn't quite realise I had colouring my judgment. Sorry MarkE.

I don't know what I should write next, except that next trip I plan on covering longer distances per day, circumstance permitting. Less wussness from me.

Then again, a lot of people think I am some sort of Lance Armstrong type just for biking to work (all 7.5 km) seven to eight months of the year (remember this is Montreal). Now they combine both folly and wussishness! ;-)

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