Why we ride?

‘I go cycle touring because…’

As an avid cycle tourist, I have often tried to answer this question. Not only for myself but also because most people don’t seem to understand what the appeal of it is.

After all, why would anyone travel by bicycle when we have planes, trains, and cars? They allow us to go further, faster, and explore more with a limited amount of effort in a limited amount of time. So why choose to go slower, to sweat, and to travel less distance?

There are many answers to those questions, answers that for me are intimately linked to memories and feelings, making it difficult to explain why I go cycle touring. So when I went to the Cycle Touring Festival in 2018, I decided to ask other attendees why they go cycle touring. I also asked them to share one of their memory as I believe it would help illustrate their why.
I spoke to 16 people then, so this was by no means a scientific definitive answer. But it was the start of an answer that include escapism, a way of exploring and to meet new people, a sense of adventure, an excuse to stay fit, and a challenge to overcome.

I believe there are more reasons to go cycle touring and more stories to be shared. So whenever the opportunity will arise, I will repeat the exercise, slowly increasing the explanations as to why we ride.