There’s an ad on the television machine of late. It features a guy who got famous by playing an irascible heroin addict. The company and guy are not important. The ad is effective. It posits the simple question, “Are you going to regret the things you didn’t buy, or the places you didn’t go?”
Well, duh. And I’ve been some places.
Before the kids were born, we spent a week in the Yucatan, alternately hiking the pyramids and sitting on the beach contemplating what felt like a limitless future. One day we went to Xel-Ha to snorkel. I don’t know much about snorkeling, if I’m honest. I’m not an avid snorkeler. What I can tell you is that, to get to the less busy part of the eco-park there, we rented these old cruiser bikes and bumped our way down a jungle road to the far side of the sheltered inlet. That was my favorite part.
Years later, the family and I went to Zion National Park. In the mornings we walked the popular trails in the canyon. In the afternoons we swam in the hotel pool. On the fourth or fifth day, the wife and kids drove down to Bryce to see the hoodoos and monoliths, and I stayed behind to take a guided trail ride around Gooseberry Mesa with Heidi who owns and operates Deep Creek Coffee, just outside the Zion gates.
The following summer we went to Wales to see my family, and we split our days between visits with aunts, uncles, and cousins, and taking in some of Wales’ natural magic. We paddled on Lake Vrnwy. We rode the underground zip lines in Blenau Festiniog, in the old slate mine there. We walked the Great Orme on the north coast in Llandudno. And one day I convinced them to ride mountain bikes at Coed y Brenin.
This is not to brag. I have been very lucky. Friends have taken me places I couldn’t have imagined taking myself. I’ve been some places, and there are so many still to see.
This week’s TCI Friday asks, where do you currently regret NOT having ridden your bike, and when are you going to make that s*&t happen? I wanna ride in Japan and Vietnam. I wanna ride mountain bikes in New Zealand (have that very tentatively on the schedule for 2024). What about Chile? Yes, please.