Tell us about your earliest experiences as a cyclist…
For as long as I can remember I have always cycled. Pictures of me riding date back to me are still in nappies! But I’d say my first vivid memories are of when I was a teenager. I grew up on a cattle farm in rural NSW/Australia that while not exactly remote far enough away from anything to need either a car OR a bicycle! I’ve always been naturally active and inquisitive about exploring and the world in general. In being active I gravitated towards the bicycle. I think, reflecting back, it would have given me as a child a sense of freedom to go further than what I could have on foot. I enjoyed the independence of being able to visit friends on neighboring properties at an age when I couldn’t drive. I even started cycling to high school, 27 km, a few times.
Tell us what you most enjoy about cycle touring and why you like to see the world by bicycle?
Oh my goodness seriously! Is there any better way to see the world other than on a bike? I didn’t think so either. When exploring another country on a bicycle I feel like I’m featuring in a live stream documentary that is unraveling before my very eyes. While walking offers a similar sensation the bicycle takes one further and allows a deeper up close and personal experience with a new culture. I honestly feel like I have been naturally injected with adrenaline while exploring the new lay of the land by bike saying hello in a new language (albeit a butchered attempt) to all my thousands of new local friends in between marveling at new vistas that sweat up an appetite to eat the local cuisine and enjoy double the quantity than those on a bus would need or deserve. Cycling connects the individual with nature combined with a human element. It also better connects the traveler with another culture and bonds the companionship of the pack also riding in the peloton. Often the greater the challenge the richer the reward in many senses. Overall the best of us cyclists become bored with our daily routes at home and crave, well I do, new roads to explore.
How many cycle tours have you been on with SpiceRoads and which has been your favorite?
Two. I enjoyed Sri Lanka the most. It was the perfect mix of cycling, cultural experiences along the way, incredible lush beauty, boutique hotels, beyond surplus sumptuous local cuisine and on site massages!
Where would you like to cycle next?
I’d be quite keen for Italy. Think pizza and pasta carbloading washed down with quality wine and coffee. The ideal cycling diet. That and the scenery. “WOW FACTOR” scenery is a must as well and Italy, especially the alps, would deliver with the pizza!
In your opinion, what is the benefit of travelling by bicycle?
*Platform for thinking/creativity – my best lesson plans (I’m currently teaching) are planned when I’m out cycling.
*Health and healthy appetite.
*Associating with authentic people. I rarely find that cyclists are pre madonna type individuals!