December 22, 2016 - Guest blogger Alberto Flores kindly submitted this post.
November 2010. I am sitting down in front of my emotional therapist, and I have no idea what to feel. A few months ago, I was in a car accident. The car was totaled. I survived, but my 18-year-old girlfriend did not. I was in shock. I lost my mind. I had lost my grasp on reality.
Fast forward six years. I am now traveling the nation by bicycle. I am welcomed by grand expanses of land, snow-peaked mountains, wide smiles, and endless kilometers of asphalt. I know why I’m out here, and I know what started it all.
I’m out here to explore the world on my own terms. I define how far I can go, and I decide where to go. With an extensive repair kit, panniers, tarp, and sleeping bag, my bicycle and I have travelled well over 10,000 km. Death isn’t kind. Grief isn’t pleasant. But what they can offer cannot be taught by anything else. Fortified by my experience, I press past remote areas, blistering heat, and freezing temperatures. All for the joy of accomplishing my own personal goals. With every new town and smiling face, my resolve, as a confident young man, finds a foothold within myself.
Touring has brought me back from a crippling depression and helped me survive my grief. Had I never discovered bicycle touring, a.k.a. adventure cycling, my life would be written elsewhere.
Photos by Alberto Flores
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