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Touring in Your Own Backyard
By Theresa Russell
This distinguished Ohio author and past tour operator has written on cycling in the United States, New Zealand, France, and the Yucitan Peninsula.
It certainly doesn't sound as glamorous as cycling in New Zealand or France, but your local area offers a wealth of opportunity that you may have overlooked. One major advantage of embarking on a tour from you own home is precisely that you leave from home. No expensive airfares, no worries about getting to the station or airport, no surprise delays, no boxing your bicycle and no exorbitant charges to transport your bike. What could be better?
What could possibly be interesting near your home? Well that depends on your interests. Most counties have Convention and Visitors Bureaus that will gladly send information about the attractions in their area, as well as a list of accommodations, campgrounds and restaurants. What appeals to you is a personal decision, but there are many excuses for visiting a specific destination. Let you imagination run wild. Perhaps a relative is buried in a certain cemetery and a visit there would aid your genealogical research. One poster on a mailing list is organizing his route around attending minor league baseball games in his area. Perhaps a town has a restaurant renowned for its ribs. Museums, festivals, architecture, historical sites, a Bed and Breakfast, county fair well, whatever your interest, you are certain to find something.
Your trip may be short, perhaps just an overnight. But an overnight away can be refreshing and rejuvenating. For an overnight at a bed and breakfast, you could likely carry everything you need in a rack trunk. For a longer trip or a camping trip, you would obviously have to carry more supplies, and you would need additional equipment.
The Warm Showers List, a site maintained by Roger Gravel, is a group of cyclists who offer a place to sleep to other touring cyclists. This is a reciprocal list meaning that all members agree to provide a minimum of a sleeping space, whether it be a tent site, floor space or a bed to other cyclists. This, in itself, could be a reason to choose a certain destination for your backyard tour. For more information visit this site and consider adding your name to the list.
Now, that you have a few options, you just need some free time and you can pedal right from your driveway to an exciting, if not personally interesting, destination.
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