All roads lead to a good story…

Completing a TDA trans-continental expedition can be one of the most memorable experiences in a person’s life.  Often at the conclusion of a 2 or 4 month bicycle journey people are left dazed, and some wander around aimlessly for weeks or months afterwards.  So many experiences, so many new friends, so many insights into yourself and the world around you…

And where does that leave you?  You return home, in the months you’ve been away those you know have continued on in their jobs, their routines, their day-to-day shuffle.  It can be hard for them to differentiate one week from another… perhaps they bought the latest Ipad; maybe they’re hoping to win the lottery. 

You begin to tell them about your time away, about the dust and heat in Kenya or the yurt you slept in in Kyrgyzstan, or how on one day, just one day in 4 months of cycling you could not even feel your legs and you rode your bike faster than Lance Armstrong, and felt that you could have ridden to the moon.  The memories start poring out, the experiences all start to run through your brain, hurtling towards your tongue, but… no one is listening, your loved ones have put their headphones back in to listen to a Lady Gaga song, your work mates simply look right through you and when you’re done speaking ask you if you’ve been away on sick leave, the bus driver you try to tell the story about the night in Tanzania when you heard the most beautiful drumming from a nearby village and went to explore… he’s fingering the panic button next to his steering wheel.  No one cares, not even 1 person.

What does this mean?  It means that you belong to a group of mad people who have cycled across continents and they belong to you.  These fellow swashbucklers, explorers, adventurers, daredevils are the only ones who can really grasp your story and want to hear you tell it many times over… of course as they listen they are reforming their own bizarre and amazing stories from the continent which they crossed, country by country, pedal stroke by pedal stoke.

How you yearn to be reacquainted with your lost fellows, how you wish to be reunited! 

In 10 years, we at TDA have received the occasional complaint, and we take them seriously, but one received was hard to solve… “You should prepare us better for our lives when the Tour is over”.  Well, we’re still struggling with exactly what should be done in that regard, but what we have done I believe is a step towards fixing that complaint… the Alumni event in Rome this coming October.

Not only is the All Roads lead to Rome event an amazing chance to see the highlights of Rome by bike, experience all the splendid tastes of Roman cuisine, and delve into the daily grind of the Romans… you could even say it’s a kind of support group for the wayward and wandering, the post-tour syndrome, the unheard.  Surround yourself with those who truly know you, those who can almost recite your stories before they’re told.  You are not alone…

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