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What really is Adventure?

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Everyone has a different view on what adventure is. Whether you are a desk jockey on a first-time ride to the grocery store to carry back your weekly staples or a world traveler who gets the bug to bike Siberia in the winter, you understand the idea of the unknown. The unknown is what adventure is all about. Adventure is not knowing what will come up next. Preparing for adventure is difficult. How can you know what to bring for the unknown? Every adventure seems to inspire another. You just keep building on what you learned the last time. Some steps are bigger than others.

What do you forum members think? What makes adventure so darn fun? Does adventure always involve risk? Does adventure imply danger? Does adventure mean going beyond your comfort zone? Is it a spiritual experience? Let's explore what adventure means to people from around the globe and from all walks of life.

Paul Adkins
Adventure Cycling Association

This message was edited by Webmaster on 6-16-04 @ 3:11 PM


I can say that I do not equate adventure with risk or danger...beyond the slight but omnipresent chance that I'll be run over by a dump truck. Also, the thought of "adventure" cycling thru a third world country holds no interest with me.

With respects to Lance Armstrong, it really is about the bike. I've logged many thousands of touring miles over the years...all of them in North America. The one aspect that sticks in my mind is the actual, physical act of cycling. I simply love to ride my bicycle. Self-contained touring has provided the freedom to ride long in and day out.

I don't feel that comfort, by default, is a deterrent to adventure. After a long ride, I'd be quite content with a warm shower, a pizza and a beer. The feeling of adventure is more internalized with me...if that makes any sense.


Adventure does not always equate risk, but just the fact of living by the moment.  I have an old shirt from The North Face company that has a view of some mountain range with the words below it "Never stop exploring".  I really like it because that is what life is to me. We are put on this world for such a short time, that there are always someplace to go, some people to meet, and go explore. That, in a nutshell is adventure to me.  Adventure is enjoying the best and the worst of life and being able to deal with both. Living in NYC could be adventure to folks from the country or vice versa. Cycling the Karakorum could be an adventure.  Going to the mall can be an adventure (to some! :)) Everybody has his or her adventure and that is one of the appeal.

Nice thread!  :)


Nice question!  I suspect that many people are pondering what they might say in response.
For me, it's not primarily about danger and discomfort, although I can appreciate how risk can be alluring for some folks.  Me, I don't even like roller coasters...  :)
When I think about adventures, I remember hiking out onto a point in Newfoundland following an old cart track- coming upon a beached iceberg bigger than a house, of biking up WA-20 in the early morning with no idea of how far up the pass was, of walking into a high school classroom full of 9th graders at age 46 on my first day on the job as a teacher, of waking up this morning and wondering what's going to happen today.
For me, adventure is a sense of openness, a willingness to be fully connected to life, an invitation to be surprised by what comes next.
And somehow, adventure seems to always be part of every ride, every time I get on my bike!

Adventure is . . .

. . .spending over a grand on a bicycle when my car only cost $600.00.

. . .meeting a bunch of strangers from some cycling club for my first club ride and being welcomed like an old friend.

. . . having my first flat tire (on a road bike) and trying to figure out how to get air into a stupid presta valve.

. . . walking my bike back home because I'm too stupid to figure out this stupid valve.

. . . planning my first point to point solo century.

. . . living vicariously through the journals of others who have attempted trans am rides.

. . . having something to daydream about that matters to and depends upon no one but me :  the next ride.


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