You may choose to identify yourself as a ‘bikepacker’, a modern day frontiersman exploring the lesser known. Maybe a ‘gravel rider’ blurring the line between road and trail? How about an ‘ultra-racer’, the epitome of long distance efficiency or a traditional ‘tourer’ perhaps, propelling your laden beast of burden across continents?
It’s been discussed, debated and even argued that there’s a huge difference between these groups and also, no difference at all. Some will feel that any similarities are small and purely physical and it’s ‘attitude’ that governs the matter and attitude changes everything. Others believe that the similarities far outweigh the differences and everything is the same aside from the name. I’m not here to express an opinion about that. Today, I care not whether you ride in shorts that cost more than my bikes frame, whether you sleep beneath the stars in a bin bag or in a room with an en-suite. I don’t care how bendy or straight your handlebars are and I’m not even too concerned if you decide to clip an enamel mug to your bike. No? No, because you’re not defined by your clothes, luggage, handlebars or whether you like to drink dilute sheep shit from a metal cup … you are defined by your actions.
The general non-cycling public know or care little about your tribe affiliations but they aren’t blind either. They can obviously see that you have a loaded bike but how it’s packed or what you’re carrying probably won’t register – to them, you’re just someone going camping on a bike. Any lack of acknowledgement on their behalf is fine and should be considered positive because problems will only arise should your actions cause them to single you out as one of those, Two Wheeled Adventure Types.
|Despite how it looks, there isn’t a single Two Wheeled Adventure Type in this picture|
Allow me to give you some examples of how your actions may come to define you.
The farmhouse kitchen.
“Ere Margret, I’ve just being down to see the cows in the bottom field and some TWAT had left the gate open. When I got there the things were all over the road”.
“Morning Deb – why is your floor all muddy?” “Because four TWATS came in here earlier and didn’t think to take their shoes off”
“Alright Fran?” “No, I was walking the kids to school through the park and some TWAT came riding past going really fast and nearly knocked Ellen of her scooter”.
The Fire Station.
“Okay guv where to?” “The woods above Milgate, some TWAT’s had a fire and set the banking alight”.
Be a bikepacker, be a gravel rider, a tourer or an ultra-racer …. just don’t be a TWAT.