August 5, 2011
It is a Pavlovian response. The moment my feet hit the pedals and my legs start pumping ... I want a cup of coffee and a treat. No wonder I am a world-class bicycle lingerer.
Donuts. Pastries. Cookies. Fudge. Croissants. Scones. If I didn't ride a bicycle, I'd probably tip the scales at 600 lbs.
But that need also makes me a better traveler. It forces me to take more breaks and spend more time observing. Watching kids share a bubble tea in Thailand. Witnessing an old Turkish man place a sugar cube on his tongue before drinking his already sweetened coffee. Or, as in the photo above, watching men take a break from working on their coffee plantation in a cafe in rural Colombia.
These little moments stack the shelves of my collective travel memory. And the more I think of it, maybe it's not the sweets that I'm addicted to, but the sweet encounters.
Photos by Willie Weir
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday. Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His books, Travels with Willie and Spokesongs, will inspire you to hit the road, and might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can read about their adventures at http://yellowtentadventures.com.