This is my “what you don’t see” blog post.   You get to see all the beautiful photos and videos I post.  But there are also the physical and mental challenges that come with living on a bike that for the most part you don’t see.  Fellow cycle tourist can appreciate a lot of what I am about to write.  And we all have our ways of dealing with these challenges.  I have the additional privilege to be able to have experienced some of the winter challenges that many cycle tourist don’t get to enjoy.  (a bit of tongue and cheek there).


  • I remember being so tired at 4 pm for example and it being pointless to set up my tent to take a nap because it was the middle of winter

  • And the reason I would be so tired at 4pm was that I would toss and turn all night in my sleeping bag until 4am because I slept horribly in the cold.  Even though I would be exhausted and actually enjoyed winter camping in the tent

  • My bike bags (panniers) being caked in snow and ice and having to put them in my tent knowing they would melt inside my tent

  • Putting cold cycling clothes on in the morning.  I would change out of my daily biking clothes every night into sleeping clothes to let my biking clothes air out
  • I ate in restaurants every meal because I discovered I hated cooking in the cold and was too difficult to do in the cold


  • Did you know sweat soaked clothes don’t dry over night?  And they are cold and sticky to put back on in the morning (when the mornings are cooler)
  • Sweat soaked clothes get heavier each day
  • Your hair being drenched in sweat at the end of the day when you get in your tent

  • Needing a bathroom in the morning when you are stealth camping
  • And being anxious if you are going to need a bathroom first thing in the morning when you are stealth camping
  • Having difficulty finding a place to camp sometimes (such as in a city) and then it gets dark
  • Your battery packs starting to drain
  • 6+ days without a shower
  • Running out of clean clothes
  • Being soaked from pouring rain

  • Setting up you tent in the rain
  • Making supper/breakfast in the rain
  • Biking 8+ hours a day in hot, cold or rainy conditions
  • When you can smell your clothes in your tent
  • Facing (and actually) climbing steep mountains

  • All your gear and bags being wet from the rain and having to put them in your dry tent
  • Setting up a wet tent
  • Setting up camp and making meals with 1,000+ mosquitos buzzing around your head
  • All the different noises that forests make (was that bear or your imagination?)

  • Sleepless nights because of hearing car traffic from the highways all night
  • On cool/cold days and being drenched in sweat when you climb hills (also a factor in the winter)

Most People

Most people have experienced many of these experiences (soaked from rain or sweat) but then they go home and have a nice warm shower and feel great.

Others Challenges

Potentially another challenge for many cyclists is loneliness.  Fortunately I can not really speak to this as I don’t have or feel loneliness whether I don’t see anyone all day or all week.

Being away from home.  This would also be another challenge that I don’t really have to deal with.  I was a long haul truck driver for 6½ years leading up to my bike ride.  Finding a new place to sleep every night.  Actually I was homeless for the last 2 years leading up to my bike ride living in my truck.

In conclusion – I love living on my bike and finding a new place to sleep virtually every night.  At the time of writing this I have been on the road for over 275 days.  And for all the challenges – I just deal with them.  What problems that can be helped and solved through other people usually are solved through other people.  The challenges that I am required to face by myself I simply face.

Who wants to go on a bike tour?

35 Days On The Road

Biking it alone

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