[Bicycle Diaries] "Why on a bicycle?"

This is probably the question I hear the most.

"But why on a bicycle?", people ask me, very often.

Let me try then to answer that here...

First of all, there is the physical/mental challenge, which is a big part of why I am doing this.

There is also the adventure, the feeling of freedom...and traveling by bicycle makes me appreciate things even more, and reminds, on a daily basis, that we actually do not need much to live, in terms of material things...

But I don't know, there is more about it, and it is something magical I can't even really understand. But that is ok, we don't need answers for everything. Life would actually be boring if we were able to rationally explain everything.

The bike also serves me as a bridge, connecting me to people I wouldn't probably talk to otherwise. I have lost the count of how many times friendly, curious locals came to me to ask questions about the bicycle, about my trip, and reasons behind it...

Traveling by bicycle also gives me plenty of time to think and question things, learn about myself...it is constantly pushing me out of my comfort zone, and I do believe that it is only when we challenge ourselves that we move forward. In my case, both figuratively and literally.

Excuses are easy to make, but they take us nowhere, and they certainly bring us some painful future regrets.

Traveling by bicycle has been making realize how important a committed, determined, positive and relentless mindset is important to achieving our goals. The road might be hard, I might have to face lots of climbs, the rain, the wind, but I am gonna keep going. I will not give up. And sooner or later I am going to get there.

With the bicycle, I can go anywhere I want, anytime I want, and I am sure I get to see places and meet people I would see/meet otherwise...

As it is with life in general, bike touring is made of ups and downs, and it couldn't be otherwise. Opposites are what give meaning to each other. I wouldn't enjoy just going down if, before, I didn't have to go up. We only appreciate the Summer because we have the Winter also.

Traveling by bicycle also allows me to see more, to be more part of the environment, and it is also great to know I am being able to get from point A to B with my own strenght, without polluting the environment.

But again, there is something more about it, something that perhaps should remain unknown to me...because maybe if I were able to put it into words, I would simply just stop bike touring...

So I just keep going, feeling as happy as I have never been before, so full of life and love that sometimes I even cry of happiness while on the road...

This adventure has been taking to amazing places, connecting me to beautiful, generous people, teaching me a lot about myself, and showing me - everyday - how amazing life can be. The choice between fully living, or just existing, is all ours. 

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!’
— Hunter S. Thompson

I will be back here soon,

My best,

Bernardo Salce

Otavalo, Ecuador, May 14th, 2016