The easiest thing about a bicycle tour is meeting people. Folks are instantly curious about where you are going, where you are coming from, and how long you plan to be on the road. You could take the most boring, introverted person, put them on a bicycle with some luggage, and in a week they would get more social hits than Paris Hilton‘s facebook page. There’s something innocent about a bicycle traveler that induces trust - after all, are you really going to run away with the farmer’s daughter? (It would be a tight fit with her riding on the handlebars). The real joy is that this kind of openness leads to a crazy amount of terrific conversation with fantastic people, many of which have traveled a great deal themselves. Before you know it, you’ve shared a thousand personal experiences and made a lifelong friend.
The hardest thing about a bicycle tour is meeting people. After you have bonded with these exceptional individuals, you eventually have to move down the road. For instance: we just met a family in Whitefish, Montana that hosted us for two glorious days. When it came time to leave, we felt like we had known them for two full years. Then you are expected to just walk away from these folks, which turns out to be difficult and ridiculously painful. Of course you can stay in contact via email and phone, but it is poor substitute for their incredible company. So here’s to our new family in Man-tana - Perrin, Chris, Tommy, Emily, and Elizabeth - love you and miss you guys. Traveling shouldn’t be this hard.