Quick Brown Foxes | Chapter 6 : Susan goes Further
I caught up with Susan a few weeks after our initial chat to see how things were going and dig a little deeper into what makes her world go ‘round.
How’s that injury?
Thanks for asking, it's all heading in the right direction. I'm starting to increase my mileage and building up my fitness again. So I'll be back touring again soon.
Have you found fitness to be an asset, obstacle or both for your adventures?
Definitely both. When I started my tour I was very fit which was an asset and it helped me through some very hilly and long days. But during the past 18 months I have had periods where I've not been as fit and getting back onto my loaded bike has sometimes been challenging. This is all a learning curve because I've never been away touring for this long, and in reality when I'm at home I would have periods where I wouldn't be as fit and I would gradually build my fitness back up again and it's trying to apply that same principle to this tour and not jump on my bike and try and do 60 miles loaded on my first day back touring. I've found that with touring you can get so focused on trying to get from A to B within a certain time frame and not always being realistic about it and taking all factors into consideration.
Is there a skill that you didn’t have before you set off for your tour that you have acquired along the way? I think that because I spent two years preparing for this tour plus also I had toured beforehand I had acquire a lot of the skills that I needed. So, for example, I spent quite a bit of time in my local bike shop being shown how to service my bicycle.
Do you find it challenging to navigate in countries where you don’t speak the language? I use a Garmin as well as a map to navigate. Also maps on my phone have been invaluable. I do still get lost and always have done, but that's all part of the adventure and I've had some fun adventures due to me getting lost. I always try and factor 'getting lost time' into my journey.
Do you find it more fun to travel solo? Or would you recommend traveling with a group/ friend? I'm enjoying solo travel. Travelling on my own means that I'm more likely to interact with others. Whereas in a group or with a friend I most probably wouldn't meet as many different people as I have.
Once you return home, what do you think will be your next adventure? At the moment the plan is to get home in time for my 50th. So I'm hoping to organise a birthday tour somewhere in the UK to celebrate with friends. After that hopefully I'll head off somewhere else, but at the moment I'm having fun coming up with lots of different ideas.