The first step is always the hardest

I have rediscovered the joys of cycling couple of years back. It all began with a purchase of a [amazon asin=B0030U8SU6&text=Schwinn Discover Men’s Hybrid Bike&chan=default]. It was a well built and comfortable ride. But after about a year, I decided to move on to an entry level GT 3 Series Road bike which I really loved and put a few thousand miles on.
Initially, I was averaging 15-20 miles each ride, but as my behind got in shape (figuratively and literally speaking!) those numbers increased pretty rapidly. Before I knew it I was riding 50-80 miles on each trip and really enjoying it. Then, I started reading about others’ adventures on long trips using bicycles on sites like the That was the catalyst and I had caught the bicycle touring fever. But how, when and where do you begin such a journey?
The opportunity presented itself in April of 2013 when my parents asked me to travel to Turkey and spend some time with them over the summer. A light bulb went off in my head. I could fly to Frankfurt to stay at my cousins for a few days and then start riding all the way to Istanbul to meet my parents there. That was it, I was gonna do this. This was the right time to take that first step… If I could only find someone to share the experience with as I was neither a beast nor a god.
I pitched the idea to my youngest sibling who was pretty hesitant at first. But it took him about a week to come around, he was on board. How could he have refused; after all, I was offering him adventures to be had, exotic (OK, may be not so exotic) places and people to be seen in what was one of those rare opportunities in life. Pieces were slowly falling in place. Now I just had the find the right bicycle. After all a cowboy without a horse is no cowboy but a shepherd (admittedly, I also thought about walking across Europe for a moment or two but ring tone on my phone interrupted my day dreaming and brought me back down to earth).

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