My cycle tours were featured in an article published by Dainik Gomantak, a prominent Marathi newspaper based in Goa, on August 11, 2023. Here’s a translated version of the same:
TOURING COUNTRIES BY CYCLE
In today’s world, we have a multitude of travel options at our disposal. But we are so focused on wanting to reach our destination as quickly as possible that no one is ready to accept the bicycle as a means of travel today; it has relegated bicycles to a mere mode for shopping or exercise. However, the experience of someone who uses a bicycle for commuting will tell us that a long-distance journey on a bicycle teaches us to look at the world in a different way.
Cycling came into Lynn Barreto Miranda’s life relatively recently, but today it has become his companion on his travels around the country and abroad. A bicycle is, of course, different from any other vehicle. Its speed is limited, making it a choice only if one has an abundance of time. This leisurely pace imparts a liberating sense of stress-free travel, as there is no urgency to arrive at a specific destination within a stipulated timeframe. Moreover, cycling offers a profoundly ‘human’ experience. It grants the freedom to gaze at one’s surroundings, pause at will to explore an area, and establish connections with the individuals encountered along the way. In stark contrast, the drivers of high-speed vehicles remain fixated on the road, their gaze seldom deviating.
Lynn has embarked on bicycle journeys to far-reaching destinations such as Nepal, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. Reflecting on his experiences, he shares, “Indian travelers are not always met with warmth, given the recent surge in badly behaved Indian tourists.” However, cyclists receive a distinct level of respect, as their dedication and effort are appreciated. Lynn vividly recalls the warm greetings he received as he pedaled through Vietnam. He even recounts an incident where a young boy alighted from his car to offer him a refreshing beverage. These amiable interactions were recurrent themes throughout his travels. Although there were instances of less-than-pleasant encounters, they were of minor significance.
Being Goan proved advantageous for Lynn in various places. Goa enjoys a fair degree of recognition worldwide, especially in Sri Lanka, as many locals have worked alongside Goans in the Gulf. Upon mentioning his Goan heritage, they would often trigger recollections of individuals with Goan surnames, such as Fernandes or Naik, who were once their colleagues. In these moments, the world seemed remarkably small. While Lynn was an Indian traveler, there were instances where it served him better to say he was from Goa, due to the esteemed reputation Goans hold worldwide.
When journeying abroad, Lynn carries his own bicycle, as the available options in foreign countries might not suit his height. For instance, the average Vietnamese person tends to be shorter, resulting in bicycles tailored to their stature. Utilizing tools like Google has simplified travel, rendering navigation, route planning, and sightseeing recommendations readily accessible. Additionally, the prevalence of travel-related videos on social media expedites the journey planning process.
Lynn emphasizes, “Cyclists command respect from everyone. From truck operators to car drivers, they instinctively slow down upon spotting a cyclist on the road.” Lynn’s journey has even led to his appearance on various social media, resulting in locals recognizing him and requesting selfies.