Believe it or not, this is a picture of me having fun.
When I tell new people that I enjoy bike touring, I tend to get looks that range from impressed to horrified. People seem to either think that it’s an adventure that they could never possibly enjoy themselves, or a supreme torture that would only be fun for a complete glutton for punishment. It’s definitely in the middle of those two extremes, and like any activity, it takes some planning and preparation for things to go well. I went on my first tour when I was 12 years old on a trip run by my local Girl Scout council. After spending a week in our local camp learning basic bike maintenance and riding around our trails, we went on a three-day trip to ride the Cedar Valley Nature Trail. The trail itself is a converted railroad track, which would make for easy riding, but our three days gave us the worst that an Iowa July could offer. The key moment of the trip was when we were all cowered in a ditch waiting for a severe storm to pass, but, luckily, a farmer invited us to take shelter in his barn before we got too wet. It’s good that my touring adventures as an adult have gone better than that first trip, or I definitely wouldn’t have kept up with the hobby. I’ve only gone on a few trips as an adult, with the largest being a tour across the north side of the Olympic Peninsula. Still, I have learned some key lessons that apply to my nonprofit career: Read the rest of this entry »