Monday, June 24, 2019

Two Weeks of Learning

I think most of us will have some sort of Bucket List. I am certainly fulfilling many items at once when I ride Route 66 starting on Friday this week. Many people would regard riding Route 66 as the trip of a lifetime - while I hope that it is fantastic, I still hope that there might be other trips of a lifetime still to make! But as an educator I like to think about how and what we can learn from Bucket List experiences.

First of all - I certainly do not consider a Bucket List as a box ticking exercise. Route 66 is a 2,807 miles, my longest ever ride was from Dublin to Almancil in Portugal, which was 3,210 miles including return trip, in the summer of 2005. I rode almost non-stop and it took me four days (including the ferry from Rosslare to Roscoff in France). I did not learn too much about this trip because I stuck to motorways - it can get boring riding a bike from early morning to early evening stopping only at motorway service stations. While Route 66 is a bit shorter, it will take us 13 days to ride - so plenty of stops and sights to see, and a lot of opportunity to learn. Nowadays of course we have phones and cameras to record anything we want. This helps us to recall what we have done much better than before - it's almost like taking notes in class. I have been to the Grand Canyon in the year 2000, but only have a few photos taken with a film camera to remind me of what it was like. We will be stopping at the Grand Canyon on the Route 66 trip, and I hope to learn a lot more this time.

Posing at the Grand Canyon (2000)
I think one of the things I'm looking forward to most is learning about what Americans call the "Mother Road" or "Main Street of America". We will also be in a group of riders from all over the world - so lots of opportunity to learn from fellow motorcycle and travel enthusiasts. 

So - in addition Route 66 being both a "trip of a lifetime" and being on my "bucket list", it will also be two weeks of learning!

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