” ….mixing with people is wonderfully appropriate. So are visits to foreign lands……..mainly learning of the humours of those peoples and of their manners, and knocking off our corners by rubbing our brains against other people’s.” – Montaigne
Traveling by bicycle puts one literally at the ground level. We are subject to all of nature’s whims and to the topography. And we have no choice but to be exposed to and sometimes to participate in “the humours of those peoples and of their manners”. We are not floating in a four wheel, air-conditioned capsule watching the scenery as if it is on TV. Sometimes when “bike touring” is mentioned I wonder if the vision that comes to mind is one of purple mountains majesty or amber waves of grain. That’s why when the Adventure Cycling Association announced the new Detroit Alternate to the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route I was immediately intrigued. A trip by bicycle through the deep south and the heart of the rustbelt might be a sure way to knock off some corners!