Find us on Facebook

Find Willie Weir’s speaking information

Find Kat Marriner’s design portfolio

Willie Weir : June 20th, 2013

The Reluctant Traveler

She stares out from underneath the gap in the backyard fence. It’s a scary world out there. We recently adopted a rescue puppy—a Formosan Mountain Dog/Lab mix from Taiwan. We named her Tiva. Her name has a bittersweet history.

My wife Kat was the excited instigator. I was the skeptic. I wasn’t sure how a dog was going to fit into our travel lifestyle.

Kat dreamed of long walks with her trusty dog on city streets and mountain paths. I hoped for a dog who saw a bike trailer as her second home.

Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan it.

Tiva is horrified of traffic. The revving of an engine sends her into a panic. Garbage trucks are enormous monsters in her eyes (or ears). She can hear their rumblings a mile away, and she retreats to the safety of her crate.

She is a reluctant traveler. Our dreams of cross city walks and long bike rides with her in the bike trailer are indefinitely postponed. We have to take a step-by-step approach.

Our goal this month is a fear-free walk around the block. Tiva’s bike trailer sits in the living room and we are slowly introducing her to it as a safe place. Hopefully, not too long from now, I will be that crazy neighbor who walks the streets, towing his dog in a bike trailer. Then I hope to actually attach the trailer to a bike. Then, and this I understand might be years away, we’ll take Tiva on a bicycle camping trip.

I look into the frightened eyes of this lovely, friendly little animal that I adore, and am reminded that conquering fear is almost always an incremental process.

I’ve talked with cyclists who dream of a long distance bicycle journey, but have a companion or spouse who is afraid of the venture. Maybe you find yourself in the same situation.

A cross country trip can be daunting, even for an experienced cyclist. So why not start with a bike overnight? Take a grand adventure on a much smaller scale. An overnight trip could lead to a weekend, and then a week-long tour, which could lead to the possibility of a cross country trip. Step-by-positive-step.

Who knows? Maybe your reluctant traveler will transform to one who longs for the open road. I’ll keep you posted on ours.

Originally posted on the Adventure Cycling Association’s blog.

1 comment to The Reluctant Traveler

  • Someone told me recently that experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you expected. Sounds like this could be a good experience.

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>