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  1. #1
    Stand For Something mntbikedude's Avatar
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    Supported vs non-supported tours

    Just wondered what everyones thoughts are on this. I personaly prefer non-supported. It seems that there is a whole different level of adventure. It was interesting that both of our coast tours my wife would drive up and get us. Both times there was still a few days of riding left after she arrived on the scene. We would send her off to do her thing. However just knowing she was in the area changed the dynamics of the ride.

    MBD

  2. #2
    Two Tired Traveler
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    So much of a good trip is spontaneous, and it's hard to change plans when you know your food is waiting for you 10 miles up the road. I just came back from a 2-week unsupported tour in southern Italy, and the best parts of the ride were unplanned. Conversations with the locals led to side trips through muddy country lanes to see ancient Roman ruins. One time I stopped for a 2-day party in a tiny village in the Apennines. A town I thought I would just pass through turned out to be my favorite place, and I made friends who are now coming to visit me in Los Angeles.

    I guess it depends on why you're touring. Sometimes, you're just on vacation and want to relax and enjoy the scenery. Then it's good to have support.

    But when you want an adventure, you tend to be paid back tenfold for every comfort you're willing to give up.

  3. #3
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    there is room for both. Roughing it is great. So is a comfy bed and
    a good restaurant. You won't find me knocking either.

  4. #4
    Virtulized geek MsMittens's Avatar
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    there is room for both. Roughing it is great. So is a comfy bed and
    a good restaurant. You won't find me knocking either.
    You can do that on an unsupported tour. Heck, I've done that for PEI (B&B and restaurants). I personally like unsupported with camping and finding some little nearby local place for food. Means you get to meet the locals and find out a little more about the area you're in plus save a few bucks from camping. That's what I did for my Nova Scotia/New Brunswick tour. Amazing what good food you can find without spending lots.

  5. #5
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Yup, there are supported tours with camping as well.
    His theme was adventure. And I was just saying there are different flavors.

  6. #6
    Stand For Something mntbikedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobino
    So much of a good trip is spontaneous, and it's hard to change plans when you know your food is waiting for you 10 miles up the road. I just came back from a 2-week unsupported tour in southern Italy, and the best parts of the ride were unplanned. Conversations with the locals led to side trips through muddy country lanes to see ancient Roman ruins. One time I stopped for a 2-day party in a tiny village in the Apennines. A town I thought I would just pass through turned out to be my favorite place, and I made friends who are now coming to visit me in Los Angeles.

    I guess it depends on why you're touring. Sometimes, you're just on vacation and want to relax and enjoy the scenery. Then it's good to have support.

    But when you want an adventure, you tend to be paid back tenfold for every comfort you're willing to give up.
    Yup thats how I see it as well.

  7. #7
    Stand For Something mntbikedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsMittens
    You can do that on an unsupported tour. Heck, I've done that for PEI (B&B and restaurants). I personally like unsupported with camping and finding some little nearby local place for food. Means you get to meet the locals and find out a little more about the area you're in plus save a few bucks from camping. That's what I did for my Nova Scotia/New Brunswick tour. Amazing what good food you can find without spending lots.
    Yeah nothing wrong with eating out on unsupported tours. And I don't mind the odd night at a motel. Like mid way thru the trip. But I think the best sleep I ever have is on tour in my little backcountry II tent.

    MBD

  8. #8
    Geriatric Member 48x16's Avatar
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    There is something about leaving your front door for a tour and then returning to that same door.

  9. #9
    Tug
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    As a person who lives alone and spends a lot of time alone, it is a pleasure to travel on a supported tour for the companionship of other cyclists. I meet lots of wonderful people, learn lots of new things about bikes and cycling, and love to eat meals with other riders. There is a camaraderie that I don't have in my daily life. Touring alone is fine also, because of the freedom and adventure of it. So each has its merits...

  10. #10
    Better dead than trendy.
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    Much depends on who you are travelling with. My wife and I went on a supported cycle tour of Connemara (tip of the hat to the good people at Irish Cycling Safaris) and I know that she would not even have considered a cycling holiday without support and, in particular, a sag wagon.

    Adventure is subjective. My wife hadn't ridden a bike in 17 years and then was doing 40 to 70 km a day -- that was all the adventure she wanted. We had great time, but if we were self-supported it would have been miserable. She needed the sag wagon a couple of times and it was nice to have it available.

    We also had a good tour group -- two other Canucks and 16 Americans; we all got along great. The guide was friendly and helpful, and we had meals at some excellent places.

    So I would recommend a supported tour for someone who has a partner who has some trepidation about a cycle tour.

    --Aphidman

  11. #11
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    I prefer non-suported. I tour solo, and had a bunch of previous camping/hiking experience. The costs of most supported trips I've seen listed seem reasonable, however on my two long trips (4 weeks each) I've spent about what a weeks supported cost.

    However, if I were to tour with inexperienced cyclists/campers (friends, family), I would definitely go the supported route. Taking folks who are not experienced "roughing" it on a loaded self supported tour is a recipe for disaster-or a good way for them to "possibley" be turned off of cycling.

    Holiday is supposed to be enjoyable for everyone involved, and to be enjoyable for all, there is some give&take.

    Granted, some folks may be able to buy a bike-load it up&go (without much prior cycling experience), and have a blast-but would seem rare.

    Some folks may not have the time (or interest) in planning a trip, so supported fits that holiday perfectly.

  12. #12
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    Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. It takes all kinds. To each his/her own. One man's meat is another's poison. The more, the merrier. There's always room for Jello. Whatever. [Sorry, couldn't resist.]

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