Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bicycle versus RV

[Gavin] We traveled through New Zealand by bicycle and bus in December of 1998. We're traveling some of the same roads again, this time in a big honking campervan.

I feel guilty.

Self-contained bicycle touring, where you carry all of your camping gear on your bike, is hard work. Every hill is an effort. Every evening it is a chore to set up camp, as is every morning when it is time to pack everything back on to the bike-- especially if it is raining.

But the top of every hill is a victory, and every downhill is a thrill. And it feels really good to zoom over the road on the most efficient vehicle ever designed.

Self-contained caravan camping, where you carry your refrigerator and shower and bed with you, is easy. Hungry? Thirsty? Pull over and get a refreshing beverage from the fridge. The only worries are whether or not the next town's gas station is open on Sunday and sells diesel, and whether you can find a place to park your behemoth.

I don't think we'll ever travel in a huge RV again; neither Michele nor I like driving, and driving a truck is even less fun. It is nice to be able to stop and camp almost anywhere; that is one way a caravan and bicycle/tent camping are alike.

As I write this, I hear the rain beating down on the roof of the campervan; if we were on bicycles, we'd be dealing with two VERY grumpy, wet, exhausted children. Part of me thinks "that would build CHARACTER!" ... and then the sane part of my brain kicks in and is grateful for a clean, dry place where I can write a blog post.

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