Friday, 2 October 2009

On the size of the World

This recent post by Margo and Chris on getting to Europe made me reflect on my sense of scale and matters relating to it. There is nothing like a long bike trip to make the World seem relatively small. As early as my first long distance trip (North Hatley to Montreal), I was struck by how easy it feels to traverse a significant fraction of the planet by one's own power. Maybe it is the way that one forgets how long it is when you cycling, but somehow the distances don't feel as long cycling as driving.

One of my reactions to getting to Calgary from Victoria by bike was "Well, that wasn't so difficult." The trip didn't feel like it was taking a long time. (One of the few exceptions was the Penticton to Kelowna day.) I don't know if Margo and Chris have or will have the same reaction, but then they have been going at it far longer. After each of my major bike trips, I have been left with a distinct feeling of how fundamentally small this planet really is.

Now, I must caveat this sentiment by saying that it reflects cycling in very civilized countries with good roads. It might be quite different in less congenial countries.

1 comment:

Margo and Chris said...

Yes we get the same feeling... each evening brings you memories of the day and draws you on to thinking about the next day's ride... bring me that horizon.

Cycling 14,000km is not difficult if you just consider a day at a time...