it's all about food! at the end of a 192.6 kilometer stage with 4123 meters of altitude, you've burned more calories than you can ever eat. you eat until you drop - without having a guilty conscience. you drink coke in the morning and never end the day without a huge bowl of ice cream to top off the creme brulee you ate after two plates of pasta and the 500-gram steak.
"There is no mountain too high!" - written on the tom simpson memorial on the legendary mount ventoux says it all. just the sound of the names tourmalet, galibier, agnello, mortirolo, nufenen, bonette, stelvio, nivolet, gavia, croix de fer, angliru, alpe d'huez, zoncolan, aubisque, .... release all your energies.
anything can happen on a bike tour. sometimes your tent flies away (portugal), sometimes you get arrested (russian-norwegian border), sometimes you have to climb over avalanche cones (spain). in avignon we had to spend the night in the open air due to lack of accommodation and in iceland we were caught in a storm that swept away our bicycles. but in the end there is a solution for everything - and a new story to tell.
as a cyclist, you are not just another tourist - you are special. people invite you to their homes, offer you food. everyone wants to help you, and sometimes it's not so easy to explain that guest gifts, such as a bottle of wine from trier, don't necessarily have to be useful for the next stage.
people are often special. people you meet on bike tours are very special. in belgium, when a complete stranger hands you his car keys late at night so that you can get into town to get something to eat, that falls into this category.
only on a bike can you perceive nature in a decelerated way. every kilometer is a new experience. crossing rose garden (italy), torres del paine (chile) or lofoten (norway) by bike are impressions for life.
on a bike tour, you go through all the ups and downs. dealing with difficult situations trains your stamina not only for long stages. after a 38C battle in the midday heat at passo della mendola comes a cool evening climb up the tonale with pizza in ponte di legno.
cyclists are beautiful, and that's not just because of their bikes. that's not to say that there aren't other beautiful creatures, but as a cyclist you have quite a head start, at least leg-wise. you don't have to give your name, it's enough to show your calves and your opposite knows.
cycling connects. on a bike tour, it's not about winning like in tennis or volleyball. of course, everyone wants to be first on the mountain, and all psychological tricks are allowed. but at the end of a stage, you sit together in friendship and are just as happy about your opponent's performance. after one week in mallorca, you have 60,000 new friends.
finally, and no less important, as an experienced cyclist, you can call yourself a keeper of the cog. you belong to a group of people who are committed to the rules of the velominati. cyclists understand each other blindly because they share unique experiences that other people have not had.