perfection, more or less

The killer for many people contemplating a cycle tour seems to be this: a need for perfection.

Everything has to be exactly right.

Once out on the road it’s the same—can’t eat that, can’t sleep there, that road might be too rough—things just aren’t up to my standards.

When there’s choice, the only option is the expensive one—each night in a campground, the restaurant meal, etc.

Fortunately I come from a make-do culture, eg, when I broke my glasses in Australia people would have scratched their head, why don’t you just buy some new ones, in NZ it was, yeah, I can replace that screw, that will be $5.

You don’t actually need the perfect bike, I rode off on a four year tour, on some of Australia’s roughest, most remote roads, on the old mountain bike I already had, 8 years old at that stage. I met one woman cyclist, Ina, who had biked over from Europe, through Tibet, 4000m mountain passes and I noticed something strange about her bike—no gears. She said, no, it’s a three speed, stop, go, stop.

So here’s my gratuitous advice about financing a long tour: be less fussy, be more adventurous.

See, I’ve saved you 50% of your budget already.

If you are needing perfection you will often be disappointed in this imperfect world.