Cycle tour is a way of fun. As one of our friends said once, there are different types of fun. Cycle touring would fit under type 2 of fun.
Not fun while you are doing it, fun to remember.
Okay, it may not be, totally not fun while you are doing it, but it is certainly very challenging and often you want to stop, but for some unknown reason you keep going. Yeah … sounds like the past 8 months :-).
Apart from having this type 2 of fun while cycle touring, we use other types of entertainment either when cycling is not so much fun, or at the campsite.
When we were getting ready for #fromcanadatoargentina journey, we created a playlist on Spotify, with our favourite songs to get in the mood. This is our thing. Always when we went on a bigger trip, there was a song related to it that played in our heads. Motivation while there, memories after. You can find our playlist here and recently we created Czech and Slovak version as well.
We have a Spotify subscription that allows us to download songs and playlists to our phones and we can listen offline. There are still some songs we’re missing there but overall it’s a great investment. If you get bored with a playlist, just delete and download a new one. Millions of options.
We listen when we cycle uphill, if you get into the rhythm of a song, it’s so much easier. We listen while making breakfast or in the evening when it’s dark and cold and we want some nice tones to accompany our cooking.
Back home, we would have never said that one day we will listen to audiobooks. It’s so much nicer to sit on the sofa with a cuppa and read an actual book. But here, when most of the day we pedal and then we have to build our house (tent) and cook dinner, it’s easier to listen to a book at the same time. Also, like this we can both listen to the same book and then discuss what we think. We have used two services, Audible and Audiobooks and at the end we stick to the first one. Give it a try, you’ll get a 30-day trial for free (in both), just follow the links in this post. If you want any recommendation, Wild from Cheryl Strayed and End of the Affair from Graham Greene read by fabulous Colin Firth (yes, Mr Darcy!).
If you want to learn something new, laugh, listen to interesting stories, investigate in a crime series, there’s a podcast somewhere for you. It’s quite a novelty still, but we would recommend trying it out, even if you’re not currently touring. You can find podcasts in iTunes, Spotify, plus many apps for Android. Depending on your preference, give these ones a shot:
Zero To Travel – every week listen to stories of people who travel full time, make their living location independent, cycle the world, we learned about it when Longhaultrekkers – our great inspiration, were the stars of one of the shows.
Stuff You Should Know – two guy talking about different “stuff” that one wonders about, usually very funny and you learn things
Serial, Season 1 – great great podcast about a real murder of a girl in Baltimore, from which her ex-boyfriend was convicted, though the ground for this conviction is not very firm.
As you can see most of our entertainment is involving audio. For this reason we bought amazing Anker SoundCore 2 bluetooth speaker. It’s actually our second one, as the first one dropped off my bike when riding big downhill in Utah and the car coming after me rode it over ;-(.
4. Travel journal keeping
I have to admit, we aren’t very good at this. But in general, keeping a journal helps you relocating yourself back to that time, when you were sitting at the river bank with your feet in the water after riding 100k, meeting new friends on the road, having a campfire from the cacti in the desert. Once we’re back home we’ll be glad to read those memories, I’m sure. We’ve got specific one for cyclists from here.
5. Language learning
We think it’s important to try and learn language of the country/countries you’re touring in. At least some basics. For us it’s even more important as we will spend significant part of this tour in Spanish speaking countries. Therefore we are trying to learn Spanish, listening to audio course by Michel Thomas as well as podcast by Radio Lingua Coffee Break Spanish. Because we felt we didn’t have enough time to learn and progress significantly, we decided to put touring on hold for 2,5 weeks. Currently we’re in San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato taking one of the Warren Hardy’s courses and it’s amazing!
Do you have any other way how to keep entertained during those evenings when cycle touring? Let us know in the comments!
Also we have opened our #fromcanadatoargentina and #fromcanadatoargentina SK+CZ playlists on Spotify to public, so you can add songs that you think we should listen to (just don't delete anything please). Looking forward to your suggestions!