Ordinary Average Adventure

wp-1462336496485.jpg“Looks like you get around!”

I’ve gotten this response several times over the past few years, usually in response to some photo I took around the area. Get around? I look at the statement with a lot of bewilderment and confusion, dashed with a little anger.

Get around?

I follow many blogs or flickr/tumblr/instagram streams of many intrepid bicycle adventurers. These are people who regularly ride 1000 km brevets like they’re a trip to the corner store. Or they are bikepackers that search out the most rugged and remote places to journey to. Or they are bike tourists on the road the majority of the year, only crashing at a “home base” of some sort when they need to replenish their savings. Photos of epic places and epic adventures. Photos that make me jealous and feel inferior, like I have no business blogging.

Get around?

Most of my adventuring occurs in my home territory in and around Portland, Oregon, USA. I rarely do rides over 30 miles, unless I’m on a bike tour or there’s a big reason behind it. Most of my adventures happen in just heading around town, on the way to or from work. I’m blessed that I live in an area with a wealth of natural beauty and diversity, even within the city limits. But most of it happens within the 145 square miles (376 km²) of the city of Portland.

Get around!

Yes, I do get around the city. My round-trip bike commute to work is 12 miles. But I don’t always head straight home. And there’s just those little things I can do after work, like go make dinner in a park, or eat a burrito or watch the sunset, or take the long way home via the Leif Erickson Trail in Forest park to St. Johns. I try to pack in as much as possible, as often as possible. Do I do this every day? Of course not. Some days I’m just plain tired or I got something else going on. But if the weather’s nice and the time’s there, why hurry home?

And I try to do something “fun” on one of my days off, if they weather’s good. This is where I try to explore my are more intensely and more intently. This is where I seek out the areas of the region I don’t know that well, try to find something new out there.

In short, this is what the Urban Adventure League is about, since it’s inception way back in 2004.

Yeah, I get around. And you can, too!


6 thoughts on “Ordinary Average Adventure

  1. Yep. I’m just like that…only different. Our circumstances are different in that my outings have a huge emphasis on days off, with a few during the work week excursions. My adventures are ordinary and average, and far from many things I read about. But it feels so odd when folks react like they do…as if what I do is an accomplishment, impractical, or unacheivable for them. I’ve been camping in the same state park for years, but they still aren’t quite sure how to document my visit when I can’t give them my vehicle license plate number {rolling my eyes}. I guess I get around too.

  2. This is my favorite post in a long time. Sneak-it-in adventures are the best kind, since they make your LIFE an adventure rather than lead to adventure that happens only when normal life stops.

  3. You are one of the few people I’ve met, online or in-person, with a somewhat similar riding philosophy as mine — although a “long” ride for me these days is only 20 to 30 km (12 to 19 miles), thanks to limited time and a very short commute between longer rides that keeps me somewhat out-of-shape. I hope to increase time and length of rides in the future, but I’d still be happy if I didn’t. 🙂

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