Cyclo tourism is an avocation that merges journeying and cyclism and is experienced by the cyclo-tourist. The activity consists of discovering new sites, countrysides and locations or to visit lands and countries using the bike as a means of transportation. Cyclo tourism is not to be disconcerted with long way sporting racing events such as the Tour de France, it is first and above all a leisure activity, the extra exercise is an added bonus but not the main and only objective of cyclo-tourism. It is however a form of eco tourism.
Forms of cyclo tourism
Cyclo tourism can be characterized by the distance traveled, the duration of the trip and the nature of the equipment used.
The short tour consists of a single or a half day ride. It doesn’t demand any specialized equipment apart from the regular tire repair kit, water bottle and maybe a light snack.
The long excursion can be as long as a few hundred kilometers ride with camping equipment, a more spacious bicycle mending kit and particular clothing and garments to face the contingency of changing meteorological conditions. This way a cyclo tourist can circumvent entire countries, pass over borders or travel between distant towns. Some cycle tourists even go as far as traveling the world and passage multifold continents by planning ahead with great accuracy for any feasible contingencies and scenarios.
In France and continental Europe a network of roads dedicated to cyclist tourist called “veloroute” is under construction to facilitate the movement of cyclists across Europe. These paths are especially designed to be far away from super highways and high traffic road ways while using common touristic itineraries giving cyclo tourists access to conventional touristic attractiveness such as camping grounds, museums, restaurants and accommodations. The parsimonious advantages to regional economies help to finance and develop the “veloroute”.
Cyclo tourism was pioneered by Paul Vivie in France in the late 1890′s, the first excursions were Lyon-Nice and were executed in less than 24 hours. He is the originator of the 7 commandments of Velocio (cyclo tourism):
- Take rare and short breaks
- Have numerous light and frequent meals, eat before being hungry and drink before being thirsty
- Never push until unusual exhaustion leads to lack of sleep and appetite
- Cover yourself before being too cold and uncover yourself before being too hot
- During excursion, limit or eliminate tobacco and alcohol consumption
The bicycle is the most consequential element of the cyclist tourist. It must be cozy and vigorous to adjust the extra weight required on long excursions. The seat is peculiarly significant because if not suited to long tours it will cause blisters, bruising and pain on long journeys. The frame is usually made of high class steel from reputable establishments such as Reynolds, Vitus or Colombus. Mud flaps must wide and vigorous, ball bearings must be of high grade, saddle bags must be spacious and are often made of high grade leather. Most long excursion bicycles are actually usually custom made to withstand the special and palliative conditions and circumstances that cyclo tourism can bring. Lighting should be complete with head lamp and break lights, tires must be of high quality and made for both street and moderate off road conditions.
People practice yoga for various reasons. They may desire to raise their levels of health, fitness, and flexibility. Or develop their muscle tone. Reducing levels of strain and anxiety are also high on the list, as is particular development, and the desire to follow a more spiritual path. Some may have a particular medical condition or health problem they want to address.
One’s reason for starting yoga may have a demeanor on both the variety of yoga that makes a ‘perfect fit’, as well as the especial master chosen within a yoga discipline. Whilst the different varieties of yoga obviously suit some aims better than others, the coach you practice with will also make a difference to achieving what you desire with yoga. Or not.
Foe example, if you have an individual medical condition, it would be greater to informally interview prospective yoga teachers beforehand. First, to find out which classes might be proper, and to see whether that coach has a real grasp of what the condition or problem implies for a yoga practice. Some people, whether they are yoga coaches or not, have a more rigid outlook, and may not be able to appreciate that a flexible approach in such circumstances is important. Or, they may not have sufficient training or experience. Perchance they are even too busy to be available in a more personal way.
When choosing a yoga coach, it’s important to use your perception. And to understand that we, as individuals, may not find our requirements met by a class even if others do. Some masters are more nurturing than others, some are more focused on the spiritual aspects of yoga (which may or may not align with our own spiritual outlook). Some perform adjustments – which is where a master will use their body-weight to support you go further into a position – without really finding out whether a person has any injuries. And some simply do it too over-zealously. A student in that situation may feel that the ‘teacher knows best’. But it’s important to listen to your own body, and understand that not all yoga training is equal. And, not all teachers are equal, in all areas, either.
Some other things to consider when choosing a yoga master are:
- Are they dogmatic? Do they push an assured philosophical or spiritual viewpoint? Is there a subtle (or not so subtle) manipulation that implies that without their ‘guru’, your spiritual progress is on unstable ground. In actually, do they advise that you ‘need’ a guru (their guru) as a ‘guide’ in matters of spirituality because your own connection to Source-God isn’t good enough. In other words, are they suggesting you place your power outside of yourself, or do they rehash that you in fact are your own guide, and can get their quite well under your own steam.
* Are they (or the prominent representatives of their yoga discipline) overly concerned with money, fame, power, the size of their organization, or their degree of influence? If they (the organization) certify yoga masters, how long do the trainers have to train for? What are they trained in and what aren’t they taught about?
* How well does the master embody the basic spiritual qualities of compassion, kindness, peace, joy, and equanimity? Whilst we are all beings at different stages of the journey, it helps to look at a coach’s character, and ethics. No-one requires to be perfect, but what qualities, of themselves, are they bringing to class.