By Sophia D. Merow for Altor Locks
With air travel curtailed, attractions closed, money unexpectedly tight, summer 2020 is shaping up to be the summer of the staycation. European holidays are out, cruises almost unthinkable, even hotel stays fraught with newfound concerns.
But our need to escape, to disconnect, to relax — this remains, and is perhaps stronger than ever. We could all use a change of scenery, a headspace reboot.
And bikes can help.
Staycation plans could include transforming your bathroom into a DIY day spa or pitching a tent in your backyard. But if you’re keen to spend quality time away from the four walls and patch of lawn to which COVID-19 largely confined you all spring, look to your bike to enable a short-to-middle-distance getaway.
Maybe you load your panniers with a hammock, a sleeping bag and a camp stove and head out on a solo bike-packing adventure. Or perhaps you toggle on your out-of-office message and power through that self-paced century you’ve been meaning to tick off your bucket list.
Even for the less rugged and less intense among us, a bike ride offers much of what we look for in a vacation — novelty, a change of pace, opportunities for self-care — and largely without the logistical nightmares or the expense.
Whoosh down a steeply inclined street on a safety-checked steed and tell me that, with the wind in your face and the radar speed sign registering a record, you don’t experience a theme-park-level thrill.
Complete a longer-than-you’ve-done-in-a-long-time loop around your ’hood and tell me you don’t feel revived in body and spirit as you relish the sensation of well-earned exhaustion.
Hop on your bike and take a spin around an area you typically traverse only by car or bus and tell me you don’t notice anything new or different. I bet you smell a scent (honeysuckle? barbecue?) or hear a sound (crows cawing? wind chimes tinkling?) or spy a sight (a wasp’s nest? a vegetable garden?) you would have missed, but for your bike ride.
Wind your two-wheeled way down one of the thoroughfares newly off-limits to cars to facilitate social distancing and you’re liable to discover a small business you’d like to check out or the perfect shaded spot to just sit and be for a moment.
Yes, a bike-enabled staycation, whether it’s an extra-long lunch break or sunrise-to-sundown in the saddle, is smaller, simpler, less ambitious in many ways than that exotic excursion you perhaps had planned.
But therein lies the beauty.
Keen to banish bike-theft worry from your trying-to-chill brain as you vacation this summer? Consider packing one of Altor’s lightweight, foldable APEX locks. Stylish but sturdy, the APEX or APEX Ti will protect your ride while you’re picnicking or cloud-watching or availing yourself of newly permitted outdoor dining options. Be safe, staycationers, and secure your summer!