How To Plan A Bike Trip or How Wade is a Superhero!

Suggested Listening: The Beatles – With a Little Help From My Friends

After the blog post from a few days ago where I nearly induced a panic attack in myself by listing everything left to do before I leave for the trip (which is now just 23 days away… breathe) I felt it necessary to ease my anxiety about the list of things left to do by sharing all the things we’ve accomplished and how far we’ve already come.

For starters, the trip is ACTUALLY happening. It was almost exactly 5 months ago today (February 6th) that Wade sent me the email asking me to go on this trip. When I first got the email I thought to myself “this would be AMAZING, but there’s no way I’ll ever be able to get the time off work”. While I replied to Wade with enthusiasm quite quickly deep down inside I felt heartbroken that my dream of doing something like this might never come to fruition. Still, despite my better judgment something inside insisted that I’d need this bike trip and that I owed it to myself to at least try and ask for the time off work. Much to my surprise of myself and co-workers, my boss has almost no issue with it. Within a week of the invite, things progressed from crazed idea to a reality incredibly quickly after my work approved the time off. When I reflect on it now I could have easily convinced myself that asking for the time off was a fruitless task and gone about the next few months hearing from time to time about everything Wade was doing to get ready for it and no one would have judged for it. When I think back on the day I asked my boss for the time off I suspect it will forever serve as an important reminder to me of the simple lesson that the first and often most important step in being successful is TRYING.

From that point, things have moved pretty quickly. Just a couple days after getting approval from work Wade and I met for the first of our many planning sessions. When Wade and I met for our first planning session it would by most people standards be fair to say I barely knew him. By the time our first meeting ended though I felt more ALIVE than I had in a REALLY long time. Not only did this trip now feel SO REAL, it also felt like I had by some INCREDIBLE LUCK stumbled my way into an amazing new friendship. Knowing that Wade shared the value I placed on open and honest communication left me feeling so confident we were going to have a life-changing trip together. While this first meeting was only a little over an hour once it was over it felt like I knew Wade so much better.

In the months, weeks and days that followed our first meeting we saw each other at a few more board game nights, exchanged emails with ideas and met a handful of other times. Tasks were divided up and we each did our best to slowly tick them off. Below is a long list of all of the things we’ve been preoccupied with over the last few months.

  • I took on with me reaching out to folks on Couchsurfing and Warmshowers and Wade looked into motel/hotel options. While there is still work to do here we’ve definitely made some progress.

  • Prior to even agreeing to the ride, Wade had done a tremendous amount of planning for our route for which I’m outrageously grateful.

  • We‘ve also both booked our own flights – I, fortunately, managed to pay for mine entirely with credit card points! Woooo!

  • Wade has trained an enormous amount… and well I’ve barely trained but have at least been getting better with it lately.

  • We also went on our first ride together and got to experience just how awful it’s going to be riding against the wind all day when we inevitably get stuck doing so at some point.

  • We’ve both been pushing the fundraiser efforts hard and as of writing, this are well on our way of reaching our goal!

  • We’ve both done some necessary shopping for the trip and spent more money that we would have like to do so.

  • With no prior knowledge, we’ve launched the blog and fundraising page.

  • I’ve rather pathetically failed at doing much reaching out to media or even getting back to my cousin who has offered to help out with this process.

  • Wade has generously looked into the nutrition side of things and got a handle on how we’re going to survive out there on the road and I’ve been eating more vegan pizza this year than I have in any other year of my life.

  • Plus a bunch of other things Wade has probably done behind the scenes that I don’t know about.

In a nutshell, Wade has been a damn superhero and I’ve been his extremely lucky sidekick. Even still with our totally uneven division of labour I recall thinking on a few occasions that maybe we were over-complicating things. I kept thinking back to a blog post from of my favourite “adventure travelers” Tom Allen titled “How To Cycle Around the World In 3 Easy Steps” and thinking why can’t it be that simple? I guess the truth of it is that it can be as hard or easy as you make it. It’s not that I think we’ve made it particularly hard for ourselves, but just that I think deep down inside I long for an adventure that has no rules or timeline. Realistically given the nature of both Wade’s and my current place in life I know this trip needs structure, but I suppose that still doesn’t preclude me from wishing otherwise. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a single vacation day this year yet or maybe it’s just because I’ve felt increasingly lost in life for a while now, but whatever the reason I can’t seem to shake the feeling of wanting to drop it all and find another way to make things work. And of course I know the grass is always greener on the other side, but I’ll be damned if I still don’t want to kick off my shoes and feel it between my toes. For now, though I remain extremely grateful for the opportunity to take this trip and intend to embrace all of the amazing experiences sure to come from it.

It’s worth mentioning that while the link I shared from Tom’s Bike Trips might not be all that useful to those that actually want tips on setting up a bike trip that Tom does have some GREAT E-books loaded with information on how to plan your first tour. Also, the fine folks at Bikemunk have produced a handy little article called “Everything You Need To Know About Bike Tours” which has some good tips as well. 

Completing each of these tasks has each come with their own unique and rewarding sense of satisfaction. For me though far more rewarding than completing each of these tasks has been getting to know Wade and seeing first hand the kind of person he is. One of the first things anyone that spends even a bit of time with Wade will realize is that he’s got a great sense of humour! I get excited just thinking about how much I know we’re going to laugh on this trip together. I’ve also learned that he’s got a relentless ability to over manage the details in a way that leaves me feeling confident that he’s thought through every scenario possible and prepared adequately for them. Beyond planning for the trip though when the last few months threw some of the most challenging experiences of my life my way I learned quickly that having Wade in your corner is a gift. I’m being completely authentic when I say I couldn’t have asked for a greater blessing than to have him come into my life when he did. Without fail he’s been there to support me through all the chaos of the past few months and hasn’t asked for a single thing in return. I could list everything he’s done for me, but even then it wouldn’t even begin to capture the kind and compassionate nature of him.

Simply put, I’ve learned that Wade is a truly wonderful human being or in other words: a superhero.

2 thoughts on “How To Plan A Bike Trip or How Wade is a Superhero!

  1. I love how genuine you’re being. I love how honest you are with your love and admiration for your buddy. It’s nice to see. I wish more men were this open with their feelings. Well, everybody. But men especially.

    1. Aww, thanks for the kind words! I try my best to live an honest life and that means being honest about my emotions, love and admiration for everyone in my life! I completely agree with you though that not enough people (and especially men) do so. Unfortunately, it seems at least in western society expressing your genuine emotions is often looked upon strangely. Here’s to working together to change it!

      Much love,
      Nate 🙂

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