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Old 05-13-09, 08:03 PM   #1
BikeArkansas
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Do the 50+ riders go on tour rides?

Recently I went on a 7 day self supported tour ride. Four of us made the ride with a couple people joining for a while. Each of us carried our own tent, sleeping bag, clothes, cooking equipment and all else it takes to live 7 days on the road. We did spend the last (6th) night in a hotel. We rode 350 miles through mostly hilly terrain which ncluded a few 3 to 4 mile climbs. Two days included rain. My load, which was about average for this tour, came in at about 50 pounds added to the bike.

It was a blast. I will go again.

I know there is section for tour riding in the Bike Forum, but I wanted to know if many of the 50+ crowd make self supported rides. Do you find it as much fun as I did? How long are your tours?
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Old 05-13-09, 09:04 PM   #2
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I last did a 5 day tour 2 years ago. Would love to do some more, but I only do motels, no tents.
I spent so much time in tents years ago, I'd rather never do that again.
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Old 05-13-09, 09:16 PM   #3
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My last unsupported tour was a three day loop out from the house. I don't enjoy it as much as I enjoy staying in hotels, letting someone else cook the food, and sleeping on clean sheets.

I enjoy credit card touring much more than camping and cooking. Winter touring can be kind of fun in the South.
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Old 05-13-09, 09:19 PM   #4
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Recently I went on a 7 day self supported tour ride. Four of us made the ride with a couple people joining for a while. Each of us carried our own tent, sleeping bag, clothes, cooking equipment and all else it takes to live 7 days on the road. We did spend the last (6th) night in a hotel. We rode 350 miles through mostly hilly terrain which ncluded a few 3 to 4 mile climbs. Two days included rain. My load, which was about average for this tour, came in at about 50 pounds added to the bike.

It was a blast. I will go again.

I know there is section for tour riding in the Bike Forum, but I wanted to know if many of the 50+ crowd make self supported rides. Do you find it as much fun as I did? How long are your tours?
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Old 05-13-09, 09:24 PM   #5
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I only do this in my head now... meaning, I wish. From my late 20s to early 40s this was my only mode of vacation travel - tent 'n all, with one other person. Would go for two or three weeks. Cycle camped in lots of different places in western europe. Sigh, life got in the way.

Absolutely a great way to travel - but in retrospect it's hard to take in much of the local sights when you're always eating... but if you want to really sample a region's cusine, there's no better way.

I put up a cyclist for a night last year who after retiring took up long distance fully kitted touring. He would go out for six months of the year, returning home on the Washington coast in October. He's 73 and had been to every continental US state but two! So there's hope for me yet.

Well, who knows what tomorrow may bring...
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Old 05-14-09, 05:33 AM   #6
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There is much hope.
Ken here is 82 y/o.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/l...c_id=4767&v=6n
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Old 05-14-09, 06:18 AM   #7
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I do fully supported tours and short self supported tours staying in B&Bs. I would be interested sometime in carrying enough "stuff" to camp if I went through a stretch with no motels/B&Bs to stay in.
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Old 05-14-09, 06:27 AM   #8
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I had always wanted to tour and actually began training in 1977 for a tour that was canceled. Life got in the way. A year ago after retirement I rode a supported six day tour.

Last fall I went out with another man for a couple of nights non supported. This week I returned from my first fully loaded solo trip of 10 days.

I plan on leaving again by the end of the month for a short regional tour.

Then, next year I want to do the Pacific coast or cross country.
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Old 05-14-09, 08:46 AM   #9
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I used to do a lot of self-supported bike touring back in the '70s, much of it around the maritime provinces, specially Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, but also down into Vermont. My then-girlfriend-now-wife, and I did a self-supported ride from Vancouver to Montreal.
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Old 05-14-09, 09:29 AM   #10
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I have never toured, but I have taken a couple of 4-5 day bike trail vacations, where I ride for 25-40 miles a day. Usually along the lines of riding out 15-20 miles from my motel and then back. Then the next day riding 30 miles to another motel. Riding back the next day. Then finishing with another 30 or so miler from & to the original motel, but along a different trail than the first day.

I have hopes of doing a more tour'ish type trail ride later this year, when I go out and ride 30-40 miles from town to town along one of our long trails (we have a couple that run 100 or more miles), staying in motels, but not revolving around a home base motel as much.
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Old 05-14-09, 10:04 AM   #11
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I'm trying to get started, learning as I go. Did an overnight 82 miles last year, planning on a three day 130 to 150 mile one this year. Last time I towed a single-wheel trailer, I'm tempted to try rear panniers and a front rack next time.
P.S. I'm 69 years young.
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Old 05-14-09, 10:08 AM   #12
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Yes, but right now only supported.

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Old 05-14-09, 10:20 AM   #13
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My wife and I enjoy 2 to 5 day credit card tours ... that's self supported, but with good restaurants and motels with jacuzzi's instead of camping. We take it easy with max miles at about 50/day. We are planning several two week long trips this year.

We have also hauled the bikes to somewhere interesting and then made day trips around the area for a while. Last year we spent one week each in Glenwood Springs and Frisco CO.

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Old 05-14-09, 10:31 AM   #14
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So far I have only done supported tours where someone carries my camping gear and clothing for me. I hope to do some long self supported tours after I retire in a few years. I may try a couple of overnighters this summer if I can find the time.
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Old 05-14-09, 12:44 PM   #15
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Interesting that many 50+ riders have been on supported tours or credit card tours. I did a couple of those, but after the freedom I found being self supported, I doubt I go back to the credit card unless I cannot physically pedal the heavy load on my Surly touring bike. Time is my #1 problem, so I am limited.

I did ride a two day and then a three day self supported tour before taking on the week tour. The things I learned on the shorter rides came in very handy for the full 7 days. Therefore, I highly recommend some short rides before setting off on a longer adventure.
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Old 05-14-09, 01:25 PM   #16
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With any luck I'll be leaving on my first self supported tour in two weeks. Had planned on a couple shake down excursions, but that's not gonna happen. Figure the worst that happens is I hate it and hole up in a cozy tavern for the duration. Nice thing about being 50, is better expectation management + better credit rating = more options to success.
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Old 05-14-09, 02:08 PM   #17
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I don't do tours but Like to stay at a camp site in a good area and spend days sightseeing on the bike. Depends on the area but can get in some good hills or some longer distance rides and still get back for a beer and a bite to eat at some pretty good cafes.
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Old 05-14-09, 02:23 PM   #18
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I did some self contained touring during the late '80's early '90's. I have all the necessary gear, and I just bought a new touring bike. All I need now is motivation.
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Old 05-14-09, 02:30 PM   #19
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Touring

I have crossed the U.S. twice solo unsupported. And have done a supported tour in Italy. Good stuff.
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Old 05-14-09, 03:53 PM   #20
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My wife and I are doing an Adventure Cycling 8-day Washington tour. They'll haul our tents and such, but we camp out.
We'd like to tour next year, self supported, but that would require a large cash outlay for new tour-possible bikes. Not to mention a lightweight tent and all the tour panniers stuff.
Could be 3-4 grand for the two of use. YIKES.
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Old 05-14-09, 04:31 PM   #21
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I did some self contained touring during the late '80's early '90's. I have all the necessary gear, and I just bought a new touring bike. All I need now is motivation.
I'm a bit behind you - I am keeping my eye on ebay for the right size surly, don't have the camping gear yet, and like you am also looking for the motivation and I also need the time. I would like to do the cross the USA ride but that will have to wait for retirement.
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Old 05-14-09, 05:02 PM   #22
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One tour: My wife and I rode from Atlanta to New Hampshire to Milwaukee in 1981. Camped out half the time, the rest in motels or with friends/relatives (in NH and Milwaukee). Somehow have never got around to another grand tour. At the time we had no kids, no mortgage and flexible jobs.
Now we have an empty nest, mortgage paid off, but less job flexibilty and a mother-in-law who needs lots of help. We plan to look into some short tours on our tandem at some point. (No camping, please)
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Old 05-14-09, 05:49 PM   #23
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I last did a 5 day tour 2 years ago. Would love to do some more, but I only do motels, no tents.
I spent so much time in tents years ago, I'd rather never do that again.
That's what I think too.

Several years ago I was part of the support staff for a good sized RAGBRAI team. I'm glad that I did it but I don't particularly care to ever do it again. In my opinion there are three things necessary for civilized living: hot showers, flush tiolets and air conditioning.

I've done one 7-day motel tour during each of the last several years. I let Dr. J and Bubba schlep my baggage to the next motel. I must enjoy it because I keep going back.
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Old 05-14-09, 07:17 PM   #24
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Recently I went on a 7 day self supported tour ride. Four of us made the ride with a couple people joining for a while. Each of us carried our own tent, sleeping bag, clothes, cooking equipment and all else it takes to live 7 days on the road. We did spend the last (6th) night in a hotel. We rode 350 miles through mostly hilly terrain which ncluded a few 3 to 4 mile climbs. Two days included rain. My load, which was about average for this tour, came in at about 50 pounds added to the bike.

It was a blast. I will go again.
Well, from the title, I immediately thought about a trip some of my friends took recently. But apparently you know far more about the trip than I do. I enjoyed the travelogue at the BACA meeting

Did you have a frog on your helmet or get a spider bite?
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Old 05-15-09, 06:58 AM   #25
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I did a couple of 3-day self-supported tours in the late 70s. Always wanted to do more and finally got around to it in 2002 when I flew to Austria for 18 days and cycled along the Salzach and Danube river valleys. Liked it so much I went back the next year to Germany and France and cycled the Rhine and Mosel valleys. Both of these trips were alone and with lodging in hotels and hostels.

My trips got a friend interested and we have done five trips of 4 to 6 days here in North America. Then we went to Austria together with another friend and retraced some of my 2002 trip. You can see a slideshow of that trip here: http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/e...view=slideshow

Touring is a wonderful experience and leaves a great sense of accomplishment.
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