Bike touring is many things, but if I had to narrow it down to just three things, it is:
- A time to connect with people and place. Your pace of life slows down. It simplifies which enables to you have more and closer connections to the people you meet and the environments you travel through.
- A time to get your physical fitness needs fully met. You tend to end each day with your body very happily tired and endorphin-filled.
- A time to eat. Wherever you go, whenever you stop, you are always ready to eat!
For the third post in this series, I wanted to concentrate on FOOD. As I mentioned in the last post
about gear, I am carrying camping gear but not cooking gear. I planned this very intentionally. I wanted the opportunities to stop for meals and snacks in the diners, cafes, bakeries and general stores that breathe life into the small towns that I would pass along my journey. To give you a sense of my food journey, here is an excerpt from my journal.
7/16/19 Journal Entry:
In general, today I had a day of Perfect Food. At the Beachcomber Cafe, I took a pause for awhile. I read my book, did a bit of computer work, waited for some rain to pass, and ate… in stages. During stage one, I had a really delicious dark roast cup of coffee, sweetened and then creamed with local, grass-fed, organic, non-GMO, Humboldt-special cow dairy. (OK—I made up that last superlative). In stage two, I had the “Basic Brekkie.” It consisted of two pieces of ridiculously good homemade rosemary focaccia toast (heavily and perfectly buttered), two poached eggs (yup—local chickens), and avocado. For my breakfast dessert course, I had a “slice” of unusually moist vegan chocolate cake (I put the word slice is quotes because the portion that ended up on my plate was much too large to be called anyone’s “slice”).
Then, at some point late morning, I pushed off from the Beachcomber and pedaled south to Arcata. I had never been to Arcata. I was excited to just walk around the small city that is known as the heart of Humboldt and the home of Humboldt State University. In Arcata, I found the best slice of pizza ever.
My biking goal for today was to make it to the town of Fortuna. As I entered Fortuna (nicknamed the “Friendly City”), I immediately ran into the Tuesday evening farmers market. Of course, I stopped for some great conversation and a few sampling tastes of local honey wine, almond bars, and raspberries.
I ended my Bike-to-Eat day just outside of Fortuna, CA. I just finished dinner here at the Eel River Brewery as I write this. For dinner, I had a smoked tri-tip steak sandwich. Of course, the meat was local, grass-fed and organic. In fact, the brewery owns a farm, and the cows and chickens on that farm are fed the barley and hops waste from the beer making process.
And the thing is—I never felt too full at any point of my day. Gotta love bike touring!
Paul Dreyer is the CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) at Avid4 Adventure, an outdoors focused summer camp and expedition program with locations in Colorado, Oregon, and California.