I wake up to the hum of the morning commute. I eat dinner to the drone of the evening commute. Interspersed is the loud braying of the sports car being revved near its max out on the parkway. I see people sitting idly in tin cans. Mildly annoyed at the indignity of having to wait. Their personal chariots not giving them all access freedom to come and go at their whim. Ever increasing hours spent paying for this life. Guts growing. Blood vessels hardening from the tension. Lives shortened on their own, yet extended by “just asking your doctor” for the latest drug. Gym memberships adding to the chipped away pile of earned yet lost wages. And then there is me. Peddling along at a 10 mile per hour bliss. Sure, I may arrive somewhere a little after you. But it didn't cost me more than a little pasta. And it saved me in a myriad of other ways. Neighborhoods seen, seasonal changes noticed, trimmer waist line, fatter wallet, and on and on. So thank you bicycle, for allowing me to do things a little differently. I can't thank you enough
Sold my LHT today. Bought it under the promise of many adventures together. In reality, the adventures happened, but the LHT stayed behind. Not because it wasn't capable. Quite the contrary. It was a little too capable for my needs. Designed to carry as much as you want to give it, I went the other way that I always seem to, which is to just carry less. My bike touring started on this bike. And after just one day of it being fully loaded, 60 miles, and a whole other set of misadventures I realized that I had overshot my wad on this one. So, I re-subscribed to my philosophy on life; never buy more storage, just get rid of things and carry less. Life is always easier when you scamper lightly. Bikepacking is my future, on or off road.
What it really tells me is this: Most of our purchases in life are made trying to project who we want to be or are told to be. Often, this is at the expense of who we really are. If you read the bike touring blogs, or look at Adventure Cycling, most of what you see are loaded down, thick, heavy steel bikes covered in panniers and big dry bags. If you are new to that whole scene, it is easy to presume that that is exactly what you need. Why anyone would want to lug this around day after day is beyond me. Truly elegant touring, and any kind of travel really, is of the utmost simplicity.
A different thought. Instead, bring what you need, and only what you need. And generally, that ain't much. So, the big touring bike is gone from my life, and in are light, comfortable road bikes and rackless bags. Hopefully this bike serves its new owner in a manner I could never use.