Looking forward to a summer of micro-adventures

I love my work. And I work a lot. But I also love outdoor adventures of various sorts. As summer approaches, I’ve been thinking about how much I manage to fit in on weekends and weeknights, and how to fit in more.

This week I came across the idea of micro-adventures. The term comes from Alistair Humphreys who defines it this way: “A microadventure is an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding.” It should be achievable by ordinary people leading regular lives.

Humphreys writes, “How can you fit adventure into the realities of a nine-to-five career? Simple—fit it into the five-to-nine. That’s the 16 hours of theoretical daily freedom we all tend to undervalue and fritter. When somebody asks me, “What is a microadventure?” I say, “Leave work at 5 P.M. Head out of town. Sleep on a hill. Wake up at sunrise. Get back to your desk for 9 A.M.” Simple, but you will remember it a year from now.”

So the night my daughter Mallory hiked to the top of a mountain to be there when the sun rose, and then hitchhiked to her 9 am class, that was a micro-adventure. I only heard about the hitchhiking part after but it was the south island of New Zealand where hitchhiking seems relatively safe and common. She was with other University of Otago students and they emerged sleepy but fine.

I’m too old for working the next day after that and never was much of a stay up late kind of person, but I do get lots of vacation-like adventures in on my weekends.

In my post about the best length for vacation I wrote, “My best bang for buck vacation time wise are my canoe camping trips. Even my four day back country canoe camping trips feel like real vacation. There are no phones, no email , lots of natural beauty, and lots of movement. I sleep very well! I come back rested and sometimes feel like I’ve been off for weeks.”

Three canoes

But there are all only so many weekends during the summer.

Maybe I could do more in the evenings?

Weeknight bike rides to new locations feel pretty good. There’s also summer evening dinghy races.

We’ve been exploring lots of new places in Ontario during the pandemic and I’ve been making a list of places to go swimming.

I loved our Alpaca yoga experience.

Alpaca Yoga

What do you recommend for local, inexpensive micro-adventures?

Oh, here’s Humphrey’s 8 tips for leading a more adventurous life.


Bike to work with us! #biketowork #biketoworkday #biketoworkmonth #bikemonth

Related imageJune is Bike to Work Month and we kick it off with Bike to Work Day. That’s Monday, May 28th. See here.

Tracy kicked if off early and blogged about it today. She’s back in the saddle again!

I’ve signed up for the Guelph Bike to Work Monday and hope to win some prizes and meet some fellow cyclists.

Some of us at Fit is a Feminist Issue are celebrating Bike to Work Day on the blog by sharing photos of ourselves and our commuter bikes on the blog on Monday. (And we’re also biking to work of course!)

Want in? Send me a photo of you and your commuter bike. Include your name, kind of bike, where you live, how far you ride and one other fun fact about you and biking to work.

Email Sam at Looking forward to seeing your bikes. And you too, of course!


cycling · fitness

Cycling versus walking: Both are good but riding’s better

If you’re cyclist, you probably saw this good news story in your social media newsfeed , shared with delight by cyclists everywhere: New study suggests health benefits of cycling to work are staggering.

“We found that cycling to work was associated with a 41% lower risk of dying overall compared to commuting by car or public transport. Cycle commuters had a 52% lower risk of dying from heart disease and a 40% lower risk of dying from cancer. They also had 46% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 45% lower risk of developing cancer at all. Walking to work was not associated with a lower risk of dying from all causes. Walkers did, however, have a 27% lower risk of heart disease and a 36% lower risk of dying from it.”

I was happy that it answered the question about the health benefits of cycling versus walking. Often studies proclaim health benefits for cycling but don’t compare them to the health benefits of other modes of self-propulsion. Lots of runners, for example, were frustrated by the story which profiled 80 year old cyclists with the health of 20-somethings but didn’t say anything about the anti-aging effects of running and walking.

But what about stress? You have to enjoy it, surely, or at least not be terrified by it. My fave thing about cycling home–when the ride is long enough, right now I’m too close to campus–is how relaxed and happy I feel when I get there. I’ve always associated that with the  health benefits of cycling. But if I was a fearful cyclist, maybe I’d still choose to walk.

I mean, right now I’ve got the world’s shortest bike commute, just 1.5 km. But I can ride without the knee brace so it’s any easy choice.

How about you? Biking or walking? Why?

cycling · triathalon

Dreaming of summer, scheduling rides and races

It’s what cyclists (runners and triathletes too) do as we’re about to turn the corner, past midwinter, into days of more light (if not necessarily, for awhile at least, more warmth)…

We start planning and scheduling summer rides and races.

Sadly I’ll miss Paris-Ancaster (next year I’ll definitely hold the date) and the Ontario Randonneurs’ Devils Week as I’ll be speaking at philosophy conferences. Pesky day job!

In addition to regularly doing some of the London Centennial Wheelers and London Cycling Club weekly rides, here’s what I’m thinking of so far:

July 13 Kincardine Women’s Triathlon

The photo above is me on the bike course of that race a few summers ago…I can date the picture by looking at the bike. I have a better, faster bike now.

July 20 Warrior Dash

July 27-28 MS Bike Tour, Grand Bend to London

August 16-18 Centurion Niagara

Sept 14 Grandfono, Niagara Falls

Details on all of these just rolling in…

I’d also like to throw in a duathlon or two. And depending on how the transition from indoor to outdoor rowing goes, I might be doing some of those events as well.

And of course there’ll be a cycling holiday thrown in for fun, not speed.

What are your favourite spring/summer events?