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Old 11-13-12, 01:51 PM   #1
chefisaac
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Hosted our First Touring cyclist... a Clyde too!

Hello all.

Yesterday, my wife and I got to have the pleasure of hosting a cyclist on a 9 month tour of the US, Canada, and Alaska. It was a real great time.

Here is our story and at the bottom his a link to his blog.

If you would like Dave's contact info, let me know. He would love to meet anyone and everyone in the cycling community. And he is very very nice and respectful!

Take care all!
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Old 11-13-12, 02:00 PM   #2
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So he is touring the United States AND Alaska huh?

Good on ya for hosting him.
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Old 11-13-12, 04:39 PM   #3
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So he is touring the United States AND Alaska huh?

Good on ya for hosting him.
lol. Guess I should say Lower 48.
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Old 11-14-12, 03:08 PM   #4
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Perhaps if Dave is riding anywhere near any other clydes or athenas, feel free to reach out to him. He would love to meet you all.
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Old 11-16-12, 12:35 AM   #5
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Very nice. Congratulations on your first bike tourist.
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Old 11-16-12, 11:00 AM   #6
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Very nice. Congratulations on your first bike tourist.
Thanks Neil. It was a lot of fun from start to finish. I signed up for Warmshower.org too and maybe we can do it again sometime.

I am getting closer and closer to the first tour. It's babysteps but today with REI's 30% off, I got the front and back panniers.
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Old 11-17-12, 04:16 PM   #7
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Thanks Neil. It was a lot of fun from start to finish. I signed up for Warmshower.org too and maybe we can do it again sometime.

I am getting closer and closer to the first tour. It's babysteps but today with REI's 30% off, I got the front and back panniers.
Gear is useful but attitude is everything. Ask Indyfabz about his tours - including the ones with mechanical problems, bad weather, etc. And people tour on and with everything and anything. In 2008 I camped with a Boy Scout troop doing its first overnight tour. The 'equipment' included two different sized backpacks bungied to a rear rack, and tents consisting of string, stakes, and a sheet of plastic.
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Old 11-17-12, 09:59 PM   #8
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Gear is useful but attitude is everything.
True.
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Old 11-18-12, 04:12 PM   #9
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True.
Hmm, you are in Florida. You can host the Iron Chef when he rides the East Coast Greenway next year.
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Old 11-18-12, 04:29 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=Neil_B; In 2008 I camped with a Boy Scout troop doing its first overnight tour. The 'equipment' included two different sized backpacks bungied to a rear rack, and tents consisting of string, stakes, and a sheet of plastic.[/QUOTE]

That's the best kind of camping. Last year I bought a canoe, and then HAD to buy all the gear and camping equipment to go with it. That cost as much as the canoe. I've been a dedicated member of the consumer culture for some time now. But I have great memories of youth and just going with what you got.
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Old 11-18-12, 05:10 PM   #11
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That's the best kind of camping. Last year I bought a canoe, and then HAD to buy all the gear and camping equipment to go with it. That cost as much as the canoe. I've been a dedicated member of the consumer culture for some time now. But I have great memories of youth and just going with what you got.
Dravo Cemetery, just outside Boston, PA, on the Great Allegheny Passage:







BTW, here are other bikes sporting 'other' equipment, all photographed that same trip:



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Old 11-19-12, 06:56 AM   #12
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You would love to see my canoe setup when I was a teen. Did 14 days in Algonquin Park in Ontario with a fishing pole a backpack, pup tent and a bunch of cloths in a garbage bag. I could likely have went without the extra cloths I pretty much wore the same set for two weeks!
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Old 11-19-12, 09:29 AM   #13
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"Its not about speed or distance, but more about the journey, the people you meet, and the memories that are created while on two wheels."

That's the oversimplified, romaticized notion, like in "Pulp Fiction" when Jules tells Vincent that he's giving up the life to walk the earth like Kane in "Kung Fu." Walk from plce to place, meet people and get into adventures.

The reality is not always so neat. When the temperature drops into the 40s and it starts drizzling halfway through your 55 mile hilly day that ends with 15 miles of giant rollers and a headiwnd. You make it to that night's destination a mere 15 min. before the only grocery store, located on the edge of the town, closes for the day. When finish shopping and return to your bike, the town is experiencing it's third major deluge of the day. You try to wait it out, but you are tired, cold and hungry so when the rain eases a bit you shove off for the creek-side campground in town, which is allegedly easy to find. Since the center of town is on low ground and the creek which surface water drains into is already swollen from the previous two downpours, there is water bubbling out of the storm drains, flooding many intersections. After 10 min, and figuring that the campground it probably a wading pool and/or mud pit by now, you give up looking for it and end up bargaining for a room with a kitchenette at a somewhat seedy motel whose sign out front boasts the modern conveniences of direct dial phone and fax. There is barely enough floor space inside for your two rigs and one trailer, and the water dripping off of everything wets most of that floor space. But at least you are inside and can cook dinner. A luxury since there isn't any place in town that's open on a Sunday evening except the liquour stores.

It's still raining pretty hard the next morning. You decide to do launrdy and look for a breakfast spot. After all, it's only a 33 mile day. How long can it take? After doing you wash and getting soemthing to eat at the only place within walking distance (that didn't open until 9 a.m.), you finally hit the road around 11:15. It's cold, cloudy and damp, and it spritzes from time to time. You can see that it's snowing at higher elevations. But the worst part is the wind, which is gusting to 30 mph, and is almost always in your face. Going down hill in a tuck you are luckly to hit 15 mph. You climb the hills at about 5 mph. After a stop for hot beverage and snacks, a stop at the park entrance and a few miscellaneous stops along the way, you pull into town after 5 p.m. You have to pitch your tent on the concrete floor of one of the towne campsite's camp kitches because the wind coming off the lake is too stong and too cold. Dinner that night is pasta with cheap canned chili on top since that's all you had the mental and physical energy to make.
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Old 11-19-12, 09:58 AM   #14
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"Its not about speed or distance, but more about the journey, the people you meet, and the memories that are created while on two wheels."

That's the oversimplified, romaticized notion, like in "Pulp Fiction" when Jules tells Vincent that he's giving up the life to walk the earth like Kane in "Kung Fu." Walk from plce to place, meet people and get into adventures.
My husband has a quirky friend that walked from Minnesota to the northern reaches of Alaska when he was a young man. Ruined his feet. Still has trouble walking to this day. His stories are more frightening than entertaining.
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Old 11-19-12, 12:47 PM   #15
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My husband has a quirky friend that walked from Minnesota to the northern reaches of Alaska when he was a young man. Ruined his feet. Still has trouble walking to this day. His stories are more frightening than entertaining.
I have more great memories than I can remember, if that makes any sense. Actually ended up taking two years off from the working world and did three long tours along with some other fun stuff. The experiences were worth far more than the money, career advancement and other things I sacrificed. Now I do shorter trips. No more than 10 days. But even shorter ones are fun.

You can have amazing experiences, but one has to understand that every day is not magical. Imagine a bad day ride. You were tired. Maybe it was hot and humid. Maybe it was cold. The road surface sucked in many places. With a day ride, you eventually get to back to all the creature comforts of home. When you are touring, the end of that bad ride might land you in a crappy campground. It may be swarming with mosquitoes, It may be closed for renovatioins, forcing you to find alternative lodging. Food options may be limited. The walls and floors of the shower in the city park may be covered with thick, black mold and lack hot water. You have a choice between one of two t-shirts and the two pair of underwear that haven't been washed in the last four days. Having the proper attitude and flexibility helps you better deal with those realities.
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Old 11-19-12, 01:16 PM   #16
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I have more great memories than I can remember, if that makes any sense. Actually ended up taking two years off from the working world and did three long tours along with some other fun stuff. The experiences were worth far more than the money, career advancement and other things I sacrificed. Now I do shorter trips. No more than 10 days. But even shorter ones are fun.

You can have amazing experiences, but one has to understand that every day is not magical. Imagine a bad day ride. You were tired. Maybe it was hot and humid. Maybe it was cold. The road surface sucked in many places. With a day ride, you eventually get to back to all the creature comforts of home. When you are touring, the end of that bad ride might land you in a crappy campground. It may be swarming with mosquitoes, It may be closed for renovatioins, forcing you to find alternative lodging. Food options may be limited. The walls and floors of the shower in the city park may be covered with thick, black mold and lack hot water. You have a choice between one of two t-shirts and the two pair of underwear that haven't been washed in the last four days. Having the proper attitude and flexibility helps you better deal with those realities.
I would not have the right attitude. But I can easily see doing a tour from luxury hotel to luxury hotel.

Actually, my spouse has volunteered to let me tour by taking the motorhome and driving to each day's destination. I might do that for a week next summer. We did that for three days this summer and that was luxurious.
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Old 11-19-12, 02:44 PM   #17
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Hmm, you are in Florida. You can host the Iron Chef when he rides the East Coast Greenway next year.
I like the idea!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-19-12, 02:48 PM   #18
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"Its not about speed or distance, but more about the journey, the people you meet, and the memories that are created while on two wheels."

That's the oversimplified, romaticized notion, like in "Pulp Fiction" when Jules tells Vincent that he's giving up the life to walk the earth like Kane in "Kung Fu." Walk from plce to place, meet people and get into adventures.

The reality is not always so neat. When the temperature drops into the 40s and it starts drizzling halfway through your 55 mile hilly day that ends with 15 miles of giant rollers and a headiwnd. You make it to that night's destination a mere 15 min. before the only grocery store, located on the edge of the town, closes for the day. When finish shopping and return to your bike, the town is experiencing it's third major deluge of the day. You try to wait it out, but you are tired, cold and hungry so when the rain eases a bit you shove off for the creek-side campground in town, which is allegedly easy to find. Since the center of town is on low ground and the creek which surface water drains into is already swollen from the previous two downpours, there is water bubbling out of the storm drains, flooding many intersections. After 10 min, and figuring that the campground it probably a wading pool and/or mud pit by now, you give up looking for it and end up bargaining for a room with a kitchenette at a somewhat seedy motel whose sign out front boasts the modern conveniences of direct dial phone and fax. There is barely enough floor space inside for your two rigs and one trailer, and the water dripping off of everything wets most of that floor space. But at least you are inside and can cook dinner. A luxury since there isn't any place in town that's open on a Sunday evening except the liquour stores.

It's still raining pretty hard the next morning. You decide to do launrdy and look for a breakfast spot. After all, it's only a 33 mile day. How long can it take? After doing you wash and getting soemthing to eat at the only place within walking distance (that didn't open until 9 a.m.), you finally hit the road around 11:15. It's cold, cloudy and damp, and it spritzes from time to time. You can see that it's snowing at higher elevations. But the worst part is the wind, which is gusting to 30 mph, and is almost always in your face. Going down hill in a tuck you are luckly to hit 15 mph. You climb the hills at about 5 mph. After a stop for hot beverage and snacks, a stop at the park entrance and a few miscellaneous stops along the way, you pull into town after 5 p.m. You have to pitch your tent on the concrete floor of one of the towne campsite's camp kitches because the wind coming off the lake is too stong and too cold. Dinner that night is pasta with cheap canned chili on top since that's all you had the mental and physical energy to make.
Where is the sign up sheet?
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Old 11-19-12, 02:51 PM   #19
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I have more great memories than I can remember, if that makes any sense. Actually ended up taking two years off from the working world and did three long tours along with some other fun stuff. The experiences were worth far more than the money, career advancement and other things I sacrificed. Now I do shorter trips. No more than 10 days. But even shorter ones are fun.

You can have amazing experiences, but one has to understand that every day is not magical. Imagine a bad day ride. You were tired. Maybe it was hot and humid. Maybe it was cold. The road surface sucked in many places. With a day ride, you eventually get to back to all the creature comforts of home. When you are touring, the end of that bad ride might land you in a crappy campground. It may be swarming with mosquitoes, It may be closed for renovatioins, forcing you to find alternative lodging. Food options may be limited. The walls and floors of the shower in the city park may be covered with thick, black mold and lack hot water. You have a choice between one of two t-shirts and the two pair of underwear that haven't been washed in the last four days. Having the proper attitude and flexibility helps you better deal with those realities.
You speak the truth, no doubt. I know it's not magical everyday but I would take the worst day of riding (riding.... not touring since I do not know what that entails yet) then the best day in corporate life. The meeting rooms might be warm but you can smell death. lol
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Old 11-19-12, 04:24 PM   #20
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You speak the truth, no doubt. I know it's not magical everyday but I would take the worst day of riding (riding.... not touring since I do not know what that entails yet) then the best day in corporate life. The meeting rooms might be warm but you can smell death. lol

no long distance bike tours but plenty of long distance hikes. You have no idea until you have done it, how it can wear you down mentally and physically. After walking solo across alaska on a (approx) 5000 mile tour, Andrew skurka was asked what he was afraid of. His answer, was 32 degrees and raining.

When you are a days walk away from the nearest road, town, hotel, food, etc, and its cold, or cold and wet, and you have to fend for yourself, life changes.

All I am saying what I thought before I did my weeks, and after I did my weeks, were ALWAYS different. It would take me a year in between to want to go for another two week hike.
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Old 11-19-12, 04:29 PM   #21
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no long distance bike tours but plenty of long distance hikes. You have no idea until you have done it, how it can wear you down mentally and physically. After walking solo across alaska on a (approx) 5000 mile tour, Andrew skurka was asked what he was afraid of. His answer, was 32 degrees and raining.

When you are a days walk away from the nearest road, town, hotel, food, etc, and its cold, or cold and wet, and you have to fend for yourself, life changes.

All I am saying what I thought before I did my weeks, and after I did my weeks, were ALWAYS different. It would take me a year in between to want to go for another two week hike.
I wonder if there is a such thing as easing into touring either by doing a fully supported tour then doing a credit card tour (staying in hotels for example) to fully loaded touring with camping. Or perhaps going for a two night tour and then increasing distance and days.
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Old 11-19-12, 10:55 PM   #22
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I wonder if there is a such thing as easing into touring either by doing a fully supported tour then doing a credit card tour (staying in hotels for example) to fully loaded touring with camping. Or perhaps going for a two night tour and then increasing distance and days.
The rule is there are no rules. These are lots of people who tour by traveling from hotel to hotel with a support vehicle. There are people who ride to a campsite and do day rides from there.

That said, I think an overnight is a good idea for a first time. Find out what works and what doesn't. Better to do it on a short tour than a long one.
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Old 11-20-12, 08:45 AM   #23
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The rule is there are no rules.
+1. I have done fully-supported tours. Most were camping but one (in Italy) used hotels. I have also done two overnight "credit card" tours, although for one we stayed in someone's house, not a motel. And, obviously, I have done unsupproted camping tours. Even during those I have stayed inside a few nights.

Decent mileage, supported tours are good to acclimate you to getting up early every day and riding multiple days in a row. If they are camping tours, they also get you acclimated to setting up and striking camp in an efficient manner. For example, most people learn very quickly that if you go to bed without packing stuff you won't need the next morning, you are just going to have that much more to when you wake up and are under more pressure to hit the road.

I never did a "shakedown" trip before my first unsupported tour. I had never camped in my life and had only set up the tent once in my mom's living room. I didn't even have an idea what out camp stoves would look like or how they would operate. However, my tour was with a small group, so there were people with experience that I could learn from. If you have the time (I didn't), a trial run is definitely recommended.

In the end, however, it's not something one need's to overthink, especially if you are not going anywhere exotic or far from home. You accumulate the gear, plan a route and go. While it's not my style, many people put little effort into step two.
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Old 11-20-12, 10:13 AM   #24
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+1. I have done fully-supported tours. Most were camping but one (in Italy) used hotels. I have also done two overnight "credit card" tours, although for one we stayed in someone's house, not a motel. And, obviously, I have done unsupproted camping tours. Even during those I have stayed inside a few nights.

Decent mileage, supported tours are good to acclimate you to getting up early every day and riding multiple days in a row. If they are camping tours, they also get you acclimated to setting up and striking camp in an efficient manner. For example, most people learn very quickly that if you go to bed without packing stuff you won't need the next morning, you are just going to have that much more to when you wake up and are under more pressure to hit the road.

I never did a "shakedown" trip before my first unsupported tour. I had never camped in my life and had only set up the tent once in my mom's living room. I didn't even have an idea what out camp stoves would look like or how they would operate. However, my tour was with a small group, so there were people with experience that I could learn from. If you have the time (I didn't), a trial run is definitely recommended.

In the end, however, it's not something one need's to overthink, especially if you are not going anywhere exotic or far from home. You accumulate the gear, plan a route and go. While it's not my style, many people put little effort into step two.
I am with ya on the no camping part. This will be my first time for that too. We did have some camping when we fished but that was 18 or so years ago.

What other tips might you be willing to pass along?
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Old 11-20-12, 10:18 AM   #25
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Maybe I am over thinking it but I equate touring with cooking. You learn the small steps before you make the bigger stems. Example: You dont make a sauce without knowing each component of it first.

I might think a small tour would be best first and then graduating up to a longer tour perhaps not supported. I dont know. Just a thought.

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