Everyday Adventure: An Intro

Everyday Adventure is a monthly column penned by Bicycle Times web editor Helena Kotala about the amazing experiences that can be found close to home. 


Earlier this year I wrote an article about adventure and the fact that it is whatever you want it to be. Or rather, it is what you make it.

What defines an adventure is not where you are, how far you ride, how hard it is or how close to peril you might come. Instead, it is your attitude toward what you are doing that determines if it’s mundane or exciting.

I am the first to admit that I can get a bit envious of the lives of perpetual travelers exploring the world by bike, living an existence that offers a continuous stream of new experiences, places and people. As I wrote in my previous article, the age of social media has only exacerbated the issue. The ability to easily follow the lives of fellow bike enthusiasts who may be doing things that seem more exciting than my own life can certainly generate an urge to sell everything and hit the road. But what the pretty pictures don’t show is that that life has its own hardships and drawbacks. Truth be told, despite that occasional desire to adopt the nomadic life, recent years have shown me that while I do love to travel, I also love having a home, a family and a community to come back to.

Luckily, a life full of adventure and being home are not mutually exclusive. You do not need to go far to explore. I’m willing to bet there are plenty of places in your backyard that are yet to be discovered. It’s also possible to see very familiar places in a whole new way by simply changing your perspective or the circumstances. Riding a well-known trail on a different bike or at a different time of day or year can change the experience entirely. Showing friends or family the joys of cycling can make prosaic rides fun again. Embarking on a challenge or trying something new like bikepacking can spice up the same old routine without taking too much time away from other activities and life responsibilities.

I’ve been trying to fill my life with more everyday adventures. I travel a lot for work, which makes me even more appreciative of the time I’m home and boosts my fervor for exploring my own backyard. As a writer, I also love to share my experiences, so the idea for a regular column was born out of the desire to inspire others to find their own everyday adventures.

Stay tuned for monthly musings and explorations from the woods and back roads of central Pennsylvania!

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What’s YOUR everyday adventure? Tell us in the comments! OR if you’re feeling ambitious and want to submit a full story, send words and at least one photo to [email protected] for consideration. We’ll publish our favorites on the web! 

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