I remember riding into a small Austrian village years ago; it was nearly dark and it had been raining off and on all day as I rode. My riding gear was sodden and I was bushed, so I pitched a tent on a grassy commons in the center of the village and crawled in my sleeping bag for a much needed night’s rest. Very early the following morning, through the window of my tent, I caught a glimpse of an old woman – she must have been well into her 80s – as she silently placed a kaisersemmel roll and a carafe of coffee outside my vestibule. This act of kindness is not uncommon to the traveling cyclist.
Making a cup of tea under a schoolyard pavilion during a thunderstorm becomes a moment of pure joy. Finding a warm shower and a soft bed after days of spit baths and hard ground brings much gratitude for a thing that might normally go unnoticed or unappreciated. Bicycle touring puts you in the moment, particularly when you are not tied to a schedule or predetermined destination.
Last weekend I did a camping ride with four friends. The weather was cool and on Sunday it rained. Now you might think the cool, wet weather would put a damper on the fun and frivolity of the trip. But in the end, it made for a more vivid and memorable ride. A few pictures are shared below.