Learning how to ride a bike
Before Little Bike Ride, we were living in Melbourne, Australia for 3 years. Originally, I’m from Melbourne and Erika moved here from the USA with some stints abroad in South Africa and South Korea.
We met by complete chance. Have you heard of Couchsurfing?
We accidentally had the same Couchsurfing host in Amman, Jordan when we were both backpacking through the Middle East. Originally, our host, Jasmine, was meant to have me 2 days earlier but due to a transport mishap – or more specifically, not paying attention to the availability of public transport – I told Jasmine I would be 2 days late and asked if she would still host me. She said she was fine with it, but she had an American girl staying that night, so it would be best if I check with her to make sure it’s okay if we share the apartment.
I met Erika a couple days later and asked her if she would be interested in seeing some sights together. 4 years later, we’re now married and about to embark on the biggest adventure of our lives.
Anyway, back to bicycle touring. Erika had cycled a few countries in the Baltics before so I credit her with coming up with the idea to take it to the next level. I, on the other hand, only learned how to ride a bike when I was 25 years old!
At first, the idea seemed crazy to me. “People do that?” I thought. How would we live? How do we carry our things? What about if a car hits us? What about if someone steals our things? Can I even physically cycle that much?
I had so many thoughts, but Erika and I both knew we wanted to travel indefinitely, and the idea of living cheaply by cycling and camping seemed way too good to pass up.
My first bike was a cheap Merida hybrid bike that weighed about as much as both our current bikes combined. I started off wobbling up and down our street on my Merida and then graduated to riding to the store and back. Once I discovered that I wasn’t going to fall off the bike, we cycled our first 40 mile ride on an old rail trail. My most vivid memory of that trip was sitting in the local bakery at our final destination, exhausted, but surprised that I was able to complete such a long trip.
Soon enough, we were cycling on overnight trips all around the countryside in the state of Victoria with our essentials in our panniers and a tent on top; going from town to town, campsite to campsite, and, occasionally, pub to pub.
All in all, if you had of told me 4 years ago that I was cycling around the world, I would have laughed. It goes to show that, if you put yourself out there and break your comfort zone, you can really do anything.
In this series of posts, entitled “Preparing for Seattle to Singapore“, we’ll take you through how we went from a big idea and a person who didn’t know how to ride a bike – all the way to riding 11,000 miles from the US west coast to Asia.