One of my many goals over the last decade has been trying to get more people to ride bikes. Convincing people that a bicycle is a legitimate form of transportation is probably a better explanation.
Instagram is full of romantic images of travelers, vagabonds and hobos on expensive bikes, with expensive bags carrying their belongings over road and trail in far-flung locales. While alluring, I’m enough of a realist to understand that most people aren’t going to chuck it all and start traveling the world by bike. Many aren’t likely to spend several thousand dollars to outfit an adventure ready rig.
I was watching a video the other day from our friends at Surly. The commentator for this bit of video magic was our pal Fleck. He said something that made me stop in my tracks. Just because you’re not taking long, laborious trips for weeks and months at a time doesn’t mean you’re not touring. Traveling your local streets and paths-riding to work or to the store is still touring-“local touring“. Outstanding. It took two words to sum up my idea of making the bicycle a daily part of your life.
Just as the S24O, and coffee outside gives you a way to use your camping gear more often, local touring is the perfect way to take touring gear and make it work in your everyday world. In addition, I hope I can present it in such a way to inspire people to think about their bikes differently.
The best part is that the bike you already own may be a great candidate for local touring. Got an old hybrid or mountain bike? Perfect. Add some racks and bags (hopefully a basket) and you’re all set. While these things can be costly, they don’t have to be. I may do another post on my recommendations for these things. When in doubt, feel free to ask me or someone at your local bike shop.
For some of you this may seem like a obvious thing. That’s good, and I hope there are a lot of you. That just means you’re out there using bikes. For everyone else hopefully this will spark an interest in either getting a bike, or using your bicycle more often.
Instagram is a great source for bicycle inspiration. I follow so many people, I won’t single anyone out. Instead I suggest you follow some hashtags.
#localbiketouring (starting this one with my next post)
Follow a great hashtag that you’d like to share? Send them on!