#22 (Douar Sidi Mohamed Chelh, Morocco - Ceuta, Spain)

You watch the news and you read the papers and you're led to believe that the world is a big, scary place. People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil. People are axe murderers and monsters and worse.

I don't buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we've invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own—it's easier to dismiss an opinion as abhorrent than strive to understand it. Badness exists, sure, but even that's quite rare. By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind. No greater revelation has come from our journey than this.

#20 (Cairo, Egypt - Tiflet, Morocco)

Of all the gin joints in all the world, we find ourselves here. Casablanca.

Approximately. We're not really in Casablanca, but the Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport, which is about thirty kilometers south and east from Casablanca proper in a dusty little place called Nouaceur.

We won't be going to Casablanca. For all its Humphrey Bogart-inspired old-timey allure, modern Casablanca is roundly summarized as an expensive, gritty, industrial port town with little in the way of pleasant ambience or Moroccan culture. There are nicer gin joints to be found.

What to know about cycling southern Morocco

In February 2016, I headed to Morocco for my very first cycling trip. Starting in Marrakesh and heading south over the Atlas Mountains via the Tizi n'Test pass, I traveled to Tafrout and onwards to the southern Moroccan coast—requiring two climbs over the Anti-Atlas range—before reaching Sidi Ifni, turning north to Essaouria, and returning to Marrakesh at the end of the month. It was a challenging, rewarding, amazing journey; here are a few things I learned en route.