I’ve given a lot of workshops and presentations. One could say that that’s what teachers do all day, every day. Even ignoring the every day part, there have been many. And I’ve given presentations with many of my wonderful colleagues. But I’ve never given a presentation with my wife. Or at a public library. So our talk at the Tom L. and Anna Marie Giodone Library on Friday May 13th was definitely a new experience.
We were asked to talk about bicycle touring, which is a pretty broad topic. So we decided to focus on one of our favorite portions of the gap year–our six weeks of cycling in Western Europe. I prepared this map as a tool to talk about the trip as a whole. Each little squiggle is one segment of biking: (1) London to Oxford, (2) London to Dover, (3) Bruges to Brussels, (4) Strasbourg to Basel, (5) Zürich to Lindau, and (6) Passau to Vienna.
We’ve written at length about each of these journeys, so I will limit myself here to the talk and its preparation. Though we’d known about the talk for some time, we didn’t actually start preparing for it until a couple weeks before it was scheduled (in true procrastinator form). For each segment, we chose both a cultural highlight and a logistical challenge to discuss. Next we chose photos. We have a lot of photos! It was actually quite fun to relive the trip by looking at all the photos!
We had only a night or two to practice the presentation once it was prepared, so we were a little nervous heading into Friday. We arrived at the library, in a part of town we hadn’t yet visited, about 30 minutes before our scheduled appearance. Our hostess/handler, Kayci–the branch director, set us up with the projector in a very modern meeting room. Soon after, our first audience members arrived. Several others joined them before the start. We talked easily through the slide show, adding many details we had not rehearsed. We concluded after about 45 minutes and our audience asked questions for 25 minutes more! Those who attended seemed really interested in our experiences and how they might pursue bicycle touring themselves.
Our first joint “travel talk” was a success! Several of our new acquaintances here in Pueblo were not able to attend, given the 5 pm Friday meeting time, so we’re hoping to repeat it once we have a building for the hostel. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it to share our experiences in a venue beyond this blog!