“Local Adventuring”. This is a term I like to use for exploring my city, my backyard mountains and lakes, that road I never bothered to turn down before. No adventure is too small or too unambitious, so long as it leads to a sense of wonder in where you live and most importantly how you are living.
I’m a dreamer, and I like to think big. On my proverbial bucket list? Biking across Canada. Maybe not so huge in the grand scheme of the world, but in my books, a fairly ambitious venture. Steep mountains, prairie winds, heat, rain, humidity, mosquitos…all added to a set of burning legs from riding hundreds of kilometers each week. Worth it for the endless beauty that will no doubt be unveiled throughout the ride.
I haven’t got to this ride – yet – which brings me back to local adventuring. Every summer for the past 5 years or so, I have wanted to buy panniers, strap them to my bike, and go. I have wanted to go everywhere and anywhere, but ended up going absolutely nowhere. This year, however, was different. A couple of weeks ago the touring urge hit me, and I went with it. I got up, walked to my local bike shop, bought $200 dollars worth of gear (divided by 5 years worth of dreaming, that’s a mere $40 per year), got a map, and plotted a local adventure to the Sunshine Coast.
I was lucky enough to have a friend, Christine, join me for the ride as we explored a beautiful piece of British Columbia coastline. We battled bad drivers, steep hills, and the heat emanating off of the pavement in return for epic coastal views and the refreshing breeze that would occasionally swoop in off of the ocean. We met some fine local folk (the young boy who enthusiastically squealed “I rode my bike here too!” upon seeing us roll into the ice cream parlor parking lot) and permanently set our cycling tan lines for the rest of the summer.
After just three days, I feel a little more connected to my backyard, a little more in tune with my quads (which are still a touch sore), and ready to take on the next local, or not so local, adventure.