They Are My Cycling Heros

25
May
2011

If I were to ask who your cycling heros were, how would you respond?  I’m sure some might bring up Lance Armstrong, or one of the other great cycling legends.  Others would likely mention their Dad or another family member.  No matter who your cycling heros are, what’s most important is that you look up to someone who has inspired you and helped you Enjoy Your Ride.

Today I wanted to talk about a family who I consider cycling heros for something more than what they’ve done on a bike.  Today’s post goes out to “Family on Bikes” and the other cycling families who have (or currently are) exploring the world by bike…..and doing things so unconventional, that it makes me smile.

As a guy who is definitely not living a “typical” life, I find myself second guessing myself at times and wondering if I’m doing the right thing for my family.  Most of the time I’m totally convinced that this path we are on is the right thing and is the best journey for us to be on.  But in those fleeting moments of darkness when I find myself unsure….it’s nice to look to people like Family on Bikes and know that everything is going to be alright.

My introduction to the world of family bike adventures first came when I found out about the Family on Bikes a couple years ago.  I was immediately impressed by what they were doing and over time got to know more and more about them and their amazing story.  Nancy, John, Daryl, and Davy spent almost 3 years cycling as a family from Alaska to Argentina….raising, teaching, and developing their two young boys as they pedalled along this epic journey.  A total unconventional method of raising pre-teen boys, and receiving a whole lot of backlash along the way.  They received a lot of comments telling them how crazy they were for what they were doing….no doubt because what they were doing was not considered “normal”.

But to those on a different path…those of us with a gypsy soul and sprit of adventure….they are heros.

I consider the members of Family on Bikes personal heros of mine because of their decision to break from the typical mould found here in North America, and to take part in a magnificent journey.  Now that they are back from their adventure, their direction and way of life continues to impress me.  My family and I have also chosen to live a non-traditional life.  We’ve heard the scepticism and “are you sure’s” coming from family and friends, and it sure is nice to find confirmation in people like Family on Bikes to know that we are doing the right thing.  Nancy already knows that I’m a huge fan…and I want the rest of her family to know that they’ve provided our family with inspiration and motivation. Thank You.

It’s not about the bike. It’s about getting out into the world, about meeting the people, seeing the cultures, tasting the food, being vulnerable, and feeling the wind on our cheeks. We travel on bikes not because of the bikes themselves, but because of the opportunities the bikes afford – the ability to get off the beaten path and see things you can’t see any other way.

On the bikes, we are one with Mother Nature – just another link in the food chain. Mother Nature has a way of humbling us and putting us in our place – which is a good thing.

- Nancy Sathre-Vogel (Family on Bikes)

Another cycling family has just set off on their journey.  The Pedal Powered Family took off from Hamilton, Ontario on Saturday and will be cycling with their two young kids on a year-long, 20,000km bicycle tour.  So what motivates a family to get out and do something that is so totally untraditional? Here is what Reuben from Pedal Powered Family has to say:

As most parents do, we want to spend time with our children. Days, months and even years can slip away without noticing it while living the so-called ‘normal’ life. Later you wonder where the time went and why you never took advantage of the moments you may have had.  We’re choosing to travel by bike because it is simple and affordable, it allows us to spend more time outdoors, to stay fit, and to move at a speed that allows us time to actually process where we are going and what we are experiencing. We also enjoy the challenge of bicycle travel and look forward to the learning opportunities that will present themselves while undertaking this adventure as a family. Our kids are young. The moment for us is now.

So what about you?  Who are your cycling heros? Why do you consider them a hero?  If you are a cycling family like Family on Bikes and Pedal Powered Family, let us know about it.  What you are doing is truly inspirational to me and has really helped get me through some dark thoughts.

Enjoy Your Ride

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  • Big Little Life

    What an inspirational post. I so relate to the quote by Nancy Sathre-Vogel. Thank you for this.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks for checking this post out. Yes, Nancy and her Family are amazing and happy to hear that you related to what she had to say.

  • http://www.massivemtber.co.uk Clive Chapman

    Anyone who “steps off the planet” and goes their own way often in the face of ridicule and negativity gets my vote. We’re being forced more and more very subtley into a life of toeing the line and conformity. All of which is not good for humanity, creativity and the soul.

    I had a discusssion very recently with someone who means a lot to me and who’s views I respect about Nancy’s trip. They just didn’t get it, and no amount of conversation or argument would alter them from their view that it was mad, and more importantly bad for the kid’s future and education. Oh and it was selfish too!

    In my experience the most valuable lessons are learnt outside of the classroom and in my humble opinion Nancy and people like her have equipped their families more fully for their journey through life than anyone else.

    Billy Connelly summed it up very well. “Whatever you do don’t be beige!”

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      I like the way you said that, Clive.  Yeah, it is definitely one of those topics where different people have different opinions.  I totally agree with what you’ve said and I also agree that the best lessons in life are learnt outside.  Keep on being a leader, Clive.

      Darryl

    • http://twitter.com/photogsonvespas dc buchanan

      Clive, I could not agree with you more. Ironically I recently had the same experience with someone close with the same result.
      Enjoy the ride! DC

  • http://twitter.com/FearfulGirl Torre DeRoche

    I have two adventure heros. My first hero is Tania Aebi. She sailed the world solo at 18 . Her book, Maiden Voyage, inspired me to sail the Pacific because I thought: If she can do that, I can do it too. My second heros are … Family on Bikes! Since discovering their blog, I’ve been planning out my next adventure: cycling South America! I didn’t know about bike touring before I saw their site. I’m not a cyclist: I have very little bike experience, no idea about mechanics, and weak calf muscles! But if they can do it, I can do it too. Plus, it has got to be easier than sailing :)

    • http://twitter.com/familyonbikes Nancy Sathre-Vogel

      Torre – you are so right. I am not a super-athlete by any stretch of the imagination. Trust me – if I can bike from Alaska to Argentina, you can do it too!  Thank you so much for the kind words!

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      I’m glad that they have also inspired you to get out there and do something cool….and to keep that Spirit of Adventure burning strong inside of you.  Keep me updated on your plans to cycle South America…..Awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/familyonbikes Nancy Sathre-Vogel

    Thank you so much! I never thought I would actually be anyone’s hero – and certainly not someone as awesome as you. I can’t tell you how honored I am. Truly.

    Nancy

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Well, if you know me you know that I wouldn’t go around praising someone unless I absolutely mean it.  You guys really are heros to me and have helped ease my mind when I make adventurous decisions for our Family.  It really has helped a lot and I want your entire Family to know that I appreciate what you’re doing.  Keep Making it Happen.

      • http://twitter.com/familyonbikes Nancy Sathre-Vogel

        You have no idea how much that means to me!

  • http://www.tourabsurd.com Katrina

    Right now my husband is my cycling hero.  He’s creating a bike sharing and community website to encourage all kinds of feel-goody progress!  :)

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Awesome….I love to hear stuff like this.  Go on and give him a hug from us as well.

  • http://twitter.com/PedalmanTO PedalmanTO

    I don’t know the names of my many cycling heros. They are the people that give an encouraging word to others, stop when they see someone who might need help or give a passing stranger a smile. They give you a wave as you pass going opposite directions and tell you to ride their slipstream in a nasty headwind.
    These are my heros.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      I hope they know how much it is appreciated….great answer.

  • http://twitter.com/bikerly Jim (@bikerly)

    Super D! When I read the word “hero” I always think of the guys on Saturday cartoons… but it’s not just Saturdays anymore is it… anyway, I think we should call you Super D because the love you spread for the bike and the way you live life is something I have huge respect for.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Jim.  That really means a lot…..especially coming from you.  Let’s keep on making it happen, dude.

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