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  1. #26
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    We like car-light hub-and-spoke style tours and have done a lot of them.

    A hub-and-spoke tour is one where you base yourself in a particular location and spend several day cycling out in various directions to explore the area.

    You could cycle to that central location, and then do a hub-and-spoke thing for a few days, and then continue cycling (we've done that as a part of longer tours), or you can use other transportation (i.e. car, bus, train) to get to the central location. When we've driven, we usually park the car and may not touch it again for the duration of the tour. In fact, on one occasion last year we converted our van into sleeping accommodation when we arrived at the campground.

    It's a great way to get to know a location rather than just cycling through a location. You also don't have to worry about finding accommodation each night. And you can adjust the length of your daily rides to whatever you want to do ... if you feel like going out and riding a century or if you feel like riding to the beach and spending the day enjoying the water. It's also a good option for those with family who don't cycle or don't cycle much.

    I grew up doing hub-and-spoke tours with my family in the Canadian Rockies.





    Some stories from 2009, 2010, and 2011 ... these short stories include both long rides and hub-and-spoke tours ...


    Charlene Barach (Machka) - Miscellaneous Meanderings 2009

    Charlene Barach (Machka) - Miscellaneous Meanderings 2010

    Charlene Barach (Machka) - Miscellaneous Meanderings 2011


    Some photos from some of those tours ...

    The Grampians: https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...7622606387971/






    Easter 2010 - northern Victoria: https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...7623759790260/






    South Australia, near and in Adelaide: https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...7626551829330/






    Port Fairy ... we went there many times! https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...7623312198466/






  2. #27
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Christmas Tour 2011 ... a combination of hub-and-spoke and out-and-back.

    A brief summary ...

    Day 1 (23rd) - Drove to Mount Gambier via a route we had not driven before. Part of the fun is getting there.

    Day 2 (24th) - Drove to a beach not far from where we're staying, and spent a couple hours in the ocean ... trying out our wetsuits, trying out our surf skis, and trying out our boogie boards. The temperature reached a nice sunny 31C (88F) so it was a good day to spend on the beach, although it was a little windy.

    The beaches here are incredible ... kilometres of beach, and hardly anyone out there! We parked right on the beach, and I think 2 other 4WDs went past, plus a small handful of people walking by. Other than that ... we had a whole entire beach to ourselves! It was great!

    Day 3 (25th) - We got out for a 70.88 km ride on our tandem today ... to the ocean, along the ocean, and back again. And then Rowan cooked up a good Christmas dinner. The temperature only got up to 25C ... not as warm as predicted, but still nice.

    Day 4 (26th) - Day 1 of our out-and-back cycling tour up to Southend.

    Day 5 (27th) - Day 2 of our out-and-back cycling tour back to Mount Gambier.

    The theme of this tour was ... WIND! Head and crosswinds on the way up ... and head and crosswinds on the way back. Beautiful little ocean beach destination, but mostly flat fields and pine plantations on the way out and back. I'm not sure we'd cycle that route again, but we liked the destination spot and may drive up there one day.

    Day 6 (28th) - 40 km ride around Mount Gambier exploring the roads around the city and taking in some of the sights. And then ... the Speedway in the evening!!

    Day 7 (29th) - Did a cave tour in the morning, then a pancake brunch, and then the afternoon at the beach attempting to use a boogie board and getting rolled and tumbled in the ocean waves. Later we got a 23 km ride in just as the sun was setting.

    Day 8 (30th) - Drove home ... followed the ocean for a while. It's so beautiful.


    I'm working on photos ... I've got a few here ...
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-...7628560512525/




  3. #28
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    I need to get my tent out of the dust and do some weekend trips! Lately I have been so motivated by inertia.
    Summer (in your half of the world) is slipping away ... have you been out yet?

  4. #29
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Organised Tours!

    I've done 3 organised group tours over long weekends, and all three were with the Elbow Valley Cycle Club in Calgary. They put on really good tours.

    Two of the tours were the Golden Triangle route ... Castle Junction to Radium Hotsprings to Golden and back to Castle Junction via Lake Louise. Just beautiful!!

    I drove to the start/finish area, but after that it was all bicycle ... almost all bicycle. The tour had a few sweep/mechanical/medical/baggage vehicles and a shuttle van to the hotsprings, but a small handful of vehicles for the 300+ riders is pretty car-light ...

    Golden Triangle 2005:
    Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...7622657710824/






    Golden Triangle 2007:
    Story: Charlene Barach (Machka) - 2007 Golden Triangle Tour
    Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...7602327325240/







    The third tour was a Hub-and-Spoke tour based near Logan Pass, Montana. I drove there, but after that, we all parked our cars and the 3 days of the tour were car-free. It's a really pretty area.

    Logan Pass in 2008:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...7606589046925/




  5. #30
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Has anyone else here done a car-free or car-light holiday? Rowan, B.Carfree, and I can't be the only ones! I'd love to hear some other stories.

  6. #31
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Summer (in your half of the world) is slipping away ... have you been out yet?
    Actually.... to be quite honest... my current living arrangement is rather like a camping trip. I used to look forward to camping trips to get away by myself. But a few years ago, everyone left home, including the missus, so I'm just hanging out by myself.

    Which is a rather long-winded way of saying "No... I haven't"!!

  7. #32
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    The summer vacation season is finally here! Here's a chance to share stories of your carfree vacations--past, present, or future plans.

    You haven't told us about any of your tours yet!

  8. #33
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    This November I'm packing up my whole life and moving back to New Zealand from South Korea. Plan on going to grad school again. But, before I do I plan on 3 week (or more if time allows) Ride across as much of the country as I can. Got a tent, a solar charger, a Garmin, some lights, and my bike. Hopefully I can ride the lenth of the North Island up the west coast, and back down again on the East coast. Before I leave I plan on riding from Seoul To Busan in South Korea,but thats a 3-4 day trip at most. I'll also ride Seoul to Sokcho on the East coast and ride back again. Have a grand fondo in October and I want to preride the fletche route down the west coast heading south before I leave.
    Last edited by krobinson103; 07-31-14 at 05:40 AM.

  9. #34
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    April 21/22, 2012 - Saturday & Sunday - Victoria Australia (Wangaratta/Beechworth)

    Friday, we packed up our panniers with everything we thought we might need for an extended cycling tour. We're a bit out of practice packing for a tour ... so it was a good exercise.

    Saturday morning, we drove to Wangaratta, a couple hours away, set up the bicycles with the panniers etc., and set off.

    We decided to ride a paved/sealed rail trail to Beechworth, about 50 km away. We don't normally like rail trails and MUPs, but this one wasn't too bad ... for one thing, the sealed surface really helped. So many of them around here are gravel.

    For another thing, the trail is quite scenic, and it was nice not having to deal with motorised traffic.

    The trail was generally a climb most of the way, and especially the last 16 km, but it went quite well, even with the panniers and all.

    We arrived at Beechworth just before 5 pm, set up camp, and then walked into town to have dinner. Pizza!

    It started to rain in the middle of the night and finally quit just before 9 am, so that's when we emerged and started to pack up.

    We stopped for brunch in town at a tasty little bakery, and then began the descent. That went a lot quicker than going up!

    There were quite a few other cyclists on the trail, but not as many as I expected there might be for a beautiful autumn weekend.


    It was a really good practice tour, and we talked about some changes we'd like to make on future tours.







    (Click photos for more)

  10. #35
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    April 21/22, 2012 - Saturday & Sunday - Victoria Australia (Wangaratta/Beechworth)

    Friday, we packed up our panniers with everything we thought we might need for an extended cycling tour. We're a bit out of practice packing for a tour ... so it was a good exercise.

    Saturday morning, we drove to Wangaratta, a couple hours away, set up the bicycles with the panniers etc., and set off.

    We decided to ride a paved/sealed rail trail to Beechworth, about 50 km away. We don't normally like rail trails and MUPs, but this one wasn't too bad ... for one thing, the sealed surface really helped. So many of them around here are gravel.

    For another thing, the trail is quite scenic, and it was nice not having to deal with motorised traffic.

    The trail was generally a climb most of the way, and especially the last 16 km, but it went quite well, even with the panniers and all.

    We arrived at Beechworth just before 5 pm, set up camp, and then walked into town to have dinner. Pizza!

    It started to rain in the middle of the night and finally quit just before 9 am, so that's when we emerged and started to pack up.

    We stopped for brunch in town at a tasty little bakery, and then began the descent. That went a lot quicker than going up!

    There were quite a few other cyclists on the trail, but not as many as I expected there might be for a beautiful autumn weekend.






    (Click photos for more)
    First, that trail looks super nice. I love using the rail trail system near me, it seems to go on for miles(though I believe I read somewhere its only like, 60 miles long) and the scenery isn't half bad. It also helps that there's not a whole of other bike/pedestrian traffic to get in the way.

    Second, is that a graveyard in the background of the 2nd pic? Why would anyone want to camp that close to a cemetery?
    You don't have to fetch it. You don't have to feed it. Just ride!

  11. #36
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeRides View Post
    Second, is that a graveyard in the background of the 2nd pic? Why would anyone want to camp that close to a cemetery?
    It is quiet?

  12. #37
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    I like to ride to comic cons. The closest is about 300 miles away, but I take a route that is more like 500 on the bike, so about five days each way. I don't take many pictures, either on the road or at the cons. It keeps the shopping a bit under control to be on a bike, though I have mailed boxes of t-shirts and books home.

  13. #38
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeRides View Post
    First, that trail looks super nice. I love using the rail trail system near me, it seems to go on for miles(though I believe I read somewhere its only like, 60 miles long) and the scenery isn't half bad. It also helps that there's not a whole of other bike/pedestrian traffic to get in the way.

    Second, is that a graveyard in the background of the 2nd pic? Why would anyone want to camp that close to a cemetery?
    First, that trail is part of quite a large trail in Victoria ... the best of several such trails in Victoria. It is beautiful!

    http://www.murraytomountains.com.au/


    Second, that is not a cemetery ... it's a tree-planting area. Those light-green things each surround a new, tiny little tree ... so that people don't accidentally walk all over them. But even if it were a cemetery, it wouldn't worry me at all. It would be quiet and peaceful.

  14. #39
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    Graveyards make good stealth camping options if they are big enough. usually a quiet corner somewhere and I'm sure the tenants of the place are happy for some company.

  15. #40
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    You haven't told us about any of your tours yet!
    My vacations for the last 15 years have been monthly trips to spend time with and assist my aging parents. Fortunately, they lived in a beautiful resort town in northern Michigan (Traverse City), so there were plenty of fun activities. I had a road bike and a mountain bike there and enjoyed both.

    Now that both parents have passed away, its time to think about traveling more--especially after I retire in a few years. For the time being, I enjoy spending my time at home with my intergenerational family. I enjoy reading about the trips others are making also.
    Last edited by Roody; 07-31-14 at 10:24 PM.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  16. #41
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    This is my new recipe for clean car-free bike-camping:

    1) Take 1 pair of shorts and 1 bathing suit, two shirts, two pairs of underwear, 2-3 pairs of socks.

    2) After pitching a tent, shower and change into fresh clothes. Hang up used clothes until morning.

    3) In the morning, use a strong, waterproof bag to hand-wash the previous day's clothes. Hang them up in a sunny spot and pack up camp.

    4) Strap clothes on top of packed gear on the bike so they will continue to dry in the sun while riding and continue to next destination.

    Although it's a bit tedious to hand-wash clothes like this every morning, it doesn't really take that long and whatever bedding you're using (as well as the tent) stays cleaner and fresher if you shower before sleeping. That way, you can usually find a laundry facility at least once a week to avoid having to hand-wash sheets (difficult) or a sleeping bag (impossible?).

    I'm curious what other people do when bike-camping/touring? Do you carry more clothes? Hand-wash?

    I've been camping at campgrounds with shower facilities but I've been considering using the same water-proof bag for handwashing as a shower bag. Using squeeze-bottles could be more effective with less water but if you're using surface water from a stream or lake, it's probably not a good idea to put that water in your squeeze bottle, idk.

  17. #42
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
    I'm curious what other people do when bike-camping/touring? Do you carry more clothes? Hand-wash?

    I've been camping at campgrounds with shower facilities but I've been considering using the same water-proof bag for handwashing as a shower bag. Using squeeze-bottles could be more effective with less water but if you're using surface water from a stream or lake, it's probably not a good idea to put that water in your squeeze bottle, idk.
    These questions have been asked and answered several times in the Touring forum
    Touring

    Try a search on words like "wash", "handwash", "clothing", "laundry", etc.


    But you could probably ask them there again. I don't think we've had a thread with "laundry" in the title since 2012.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    These questions have been asked and answered several times in the Touring forum
    Touring

    Try a search on words like "wash", "handwash", "clothing", "laundry", etc.


    But you could probably ask them there again. I don't think we've had a thread with "laundry" in the title since 2012.
    Thanks, Machka. I might do that. I only posted about it here because you asked about carfree vacations and this was the aspect of my vacation that made it surprisingly pleasant. Bike touring is always great but keeping clean is a challenge.

    BTW, is it just me or are you slightly admonishing me here for discussing something 'asked and answered several times' elsewhere? Sorry if I read too much into your posts but you just often seem to have something passively (or actively) degrading to say. You may not like me personally bc of conversations in other threads but could you just regard my posts in terms of content instead of thinking about how to relegate me to some other thread?

  19. #44
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
    Thanks, Machka. I might do that. I only posted about it here because you asked about carfree vacations and this was the aspect of my vacation that made it surprisingly pleasant. Bike touring is always great but keeping clean is a challenge.

    BTW, is it just me or are you slightly admonishing me here for discussing something 'asked and answered several times' elsewhere? Sorry if I read too much into your posts but you just often seem to have something passively (or actively) degrading to say. You may not like me personally bc of conversations in other threads but could you just regard my posts in terms of content instead of thinking about how to relegate me to some other thread?
    Roody started this thread ... asking about carfree vacations, not me. But I have enjoyed posting about my travels, and I hope that others will post some of their stories too.


    And once again, you are reading too much into my posts.

    I suggested asking questions about the mechanics of touring (i.e. keeping clean) in the touring forum because that's what it is there for. The touring forum is full of people asking and answering those sorts of questions and generally chatting about touring. It is the perfect place to ask questions like the ones you asked. It's a nice, interesting, informative forum.

    And you've expressed interest in travel in various threads ... the touring forum is full of people travelling, and making plans to travel, all over the world, using their bicycles as their main form of transportation. There are often discussions about touring on a budget and working while touring, as well.


    Bikeforums has a plethora of good and interesting subforums ... it is not an insult to suggest that someone might enjoy the conversations going on in another subforum ...
    http://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php

  20. #45
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    If any of you are thinking about doing some car-free touring, have a look through the Touring forum ...
    Touring


    I'll just highlight a couple threads over there ... but there are threads on just about every aspect of travelling with your bicycle ...


    2014 - Your Short Tours ... all about overnight tours, weekend tours, hub-and-spoke tours, test ride tours, etc.
    2014 - Your Short Tours


    2014 - Touring Plans ... all about our touring plans this year.
    2014 - Touring Plans = Where Are You Going?

  21. #46
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    I just completed a five day tour of South Korea where they now have a bicycle path that goes across the entire nation. Only rarely is it ever unprotected from car traffic. I would love to see more states in the US do something like this. If you ride the whole trail and collect all of the stamps along the way, they will give your own memorial medal. 633k total.

    Here is a quick video I took of the ride. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...43242799376326

    More info about the trail: http://www.riverguide.go.kr/eng/index.do

  22. #47
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
    I just completed a five day tour of South Korea where they now have a bicycle path that goes across the entire nation. Only rarely is it ever unprotected from car traffic. I would love to see more states in the US do something like this. If you ride the whole trail and collect all of the stamps along the way, they will give your own memorial medal. 633k total.

    Here is a quick video I took of the ride. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...43242799376326

    More info about the trail: http://www.riverguide.go.kr/eng/index.do

    I'm glad you posted!! Rowan and I have talked about that bicycle path in South Korea for the last year or so ... since I first read about it. Did you do the whole path, or a section of it?


    Oh, and unfortunately that link doesn't work for me anymore ... the riverguide link. It used to work, but then stopped working a couple months ago. Does it work for you?

  23. #48
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I'm glad you posted!! Rowan and I have talked about that bicycle path in South Korea for the last year or so ... since I first read about it. Did you do the whole path, or a section of it?
    I rode the whole length. Incheon to Busan. It took five days and averaged about 120-130k per day. There are numerous other paths around Korea as well that take several days to ride so if you are looking for an even longer path ride you can take buses to and from the other rides. Buy the "bike passport" ahead of time and get all your stamps to earn medals. The passport also comes with great maps for all the rides. I have a lot ore pictures from the ride and you can PM me if you want any more information about it. I have toured across a lot of countries, especially in Asia and this was easily one of the most relaxing because of the almost complete lack of car traffic.

  24. #49
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
    I rode the whole length. Incheon to Busan. It took five days and averaged about 120-130k per day. There are numerous other paths around Korea as well that take several days to ride so if you are looking for an even longer path ride you can take buses to and from the other rides. Buy the "bike passport" ahead of time and get all your stamps to earn medals. The passport also comes with great maps for all the rides. I have a lot ore pictures from the ride and you can PM me if you want any more information about it. I have toured across a lot of countries, especially in Asia and this was easily one of the most relaxing because of the almost complete lack of car traffic.
    Thanks for that ... and we will likely ask more questions. We won't be able to go this year ... but maybe next year.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Bikeforums has a plethora of good and interesting subforums ... it is not an insult to suggest that someone might enjoy the conversations going on in another subforum ...
    http://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php
    It didn't sound like an insult; more like a subtle relegation to go somewhere else. Anyway, I know about the touring subforum but thanks for mentioning it. Have you considered that many of these sub-forums overlap topically? Bike touring is really a combination of living 'car-free' and 'home-free,' i.e. nomadically, for example.

    Does the 'living car free' sub-form refer specifically to aspects of car-free living besides touring? No matter, you referenced the touring sub-forum as a resource and we're wasting thread posts discussing it further.

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