Monthly Archives: August 2015

A Change of Directions

With all these great destinations, sometimes is hard to choose which way to go.
With all these great destinations, sometimes is hard to choose which way to go.

Knowing when to take a different route is always hard. Often we get a tidbit from another cyclist that makes us reroute. We usually take a detour especially when recommended by a local. But “life decisions” are much harder. Following a plan is easier. Knowing when to detour is not always to clear.

A random stop to buy cheese in Strasbourg was a lifesaver for lunch the next day.
A random stop to buy cheese in Strasbourg was a lifesaver for lunch the next day.

As much as we’ve loved cycle touring for the past 10 months ( and we have loved it), a job opportunity for Eric caused us to re-think our “cycling for retirement”. In other words, the idea of a “refreshed” Eric going back to work after a rewarding and challenging sabbatical was appealing. And the location and type of assignment meant that, with some modification of our plans, cycling touring will still be viable, but in a different capacity.

Here are the modifications we made over the past several weeks.

1. We made Frankfurt our temporary “home base” so we could take care of pre-employment medicals, mandatory drug testing, vaccinations, work visas, etc. What I mean by a “home base” is we found a hotel where we stayed while in Frankfurt for appointments, for package deliveries, and to leave some extra luggage. Then we sandwiched cycle tours between appointments. We made good use of the excellent German train system to return to our “home base” every 4 to 5 days.
2. We researched storage options for Eric’s bike and found My Place Self Storage within reasonable distance of the main train station. Although the storage seems expensive, it’s actually less expensive than a couple of plane flights with the bike and much easier. Selling the bike did not seem to be an option. (See earlier post “How Surly Saved our Cycle Tour”)
3. We became familiar with Frankfurt so that we can use is as a second home/meeting place almost equidistant between our home in the States and Eric’s assignment. It’s also very central to much of the rest of Europe.

In the meantime, I’ll be cycling solo for several weeks. Cycling solo will be a new experience for me, and not necessarily at the top of my bucket list, but again, Germany is the perfect place to try it because I’ll never be “alone.” The paths are filled with cyclists especially in the summer.

If cycling for retirement over the past ten months has taught us anything, it’s that changing directions is not scary. As a matter of fact, new roads lead to personal growth and pleasant surprises.