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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 03-13-17, 03:51 PM   #51
Chuck Naill
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Really? Working and talking with seniors 8 hours/day, 5 days/week in an extended care setting is a very narrow spectrum for understanding what regrets people might have for not doing things they really want to do in their lives... wonder what the wide spectrum is? My sample size is 400 people at any one time btw (it's a large facility). Your expansive sample size is???

I see people who are surrounded by family and those who are not. The common denominator for the former seems to be having had good character and being a kind spouse/parent. The denominator for the latter seems to be being selfish and/or overly harsh. The question is: Does denying a spouse the ability to follow their dreams put one in the first or second category? Rarely are people alone in that setting because they "followed their dreams".

And I bet almost anyone gets the bird analogy right off the bat so ridiculous isn't the descriptor I would use.

Keeping someone from doing what their heart calls them to do without good cause is a short term strategy for happiness, just as breaking a birds wings so it cant fly away and keep you company is. You will have the person (or bird) but they will not be happy and will sing a bitter song (metaphorically speaking). Pretty basic as far as analogies are concerned.

I scuba dive and ride my bike - those are two of my "passions". If my wife tried to deny me them (after a period of attempting to remedy the situation) I would probably get a divorce and she agrees that that would be reasonable. Just as reasonable as her expecting me to fully support her singing in an international chorus that takes her to many places around the world without me. In her words: Life is too short to spend it with someone you don't want to be with.

It's nice if peoples passions align and they can share them together as Doug and his wife do but in the absence of that the next best thing is to be as supportive as you can with the understanding that a fulfilled person is a happy person who will more likely cherish the relationship they are in.


Do you get paid for working with your clients? Of course you do, you work in a SNF. No pay no service.


Many families lack LTC insurance or a MC advantage plan that pays for maybe 7-10 days.


This is why family is important. While I was riding yesterday I was thinking of this thread. Harry Chapin came to mind. Something to consider for those considering abandoning their family to find themselves. Six months in a child's life is significant. I am more impressed with a young coach that someone who road across the globe sans family.
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Old 03-13-17, 04:58 PM   #52
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Sorry, this is Canada. Seniors care is part of our universal health care service. If you are broke we will still take care of you

People who need their butts wiped (your words) usually wind up in care and when you are in care family members don't do the wipen. HCA's (health Care Aids) do. My wife is an HCA (for 23 years) at the same facility that I work in so that's how I know about that.

I get that you are thinking of people abandoning all to go on some multi year round the world trek but that's not really what we are talking about here. You've got to read the OP again. To me it sounds like a guy who's family and GF just didn't like the idea of his bicycle touring period. No talk of young kids or anything.

But I'm curious about the coach/ world traveler thing. What if the coach is also a pedophile and the traveler is a sexual abuse survivor who does empowerment talks along the way? Life isn't really so black and white that you can just say you admire one type and not the other.

What if you sacrifice everything for your kids and they grow up with a spoiled sense of entitlement while the sometimes absent neighbor next door winds up being a great role model for his kids by setting and achieving big goals? I bet Dwight Eisenhower didn't spend much time at home with little Johnny. Thank goodness no one talked him out of taking that General's gig for a few years right around 1944.

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Old 03-13-17, 05:20 PM   #53
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The president of our club is 74. The immediate past president will turn 84 this year. I'm 58 and one of our 65 year old members kicked my butt on a 50 mile ride yesterday. Enjoy!
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Old 03-14-17, 01:55 AM   #54
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This discussion makes me chuckle. Friends of ours have been adventurers all their lives prior to and after becoming a couple. They toured on bikes in the Himalayas with a months-old daughter. From then on, their two daughters have toured around the world, and continue to do so independently. The eldest holds a degree; the second is a qualified tour guide.


The thing about these kids is that they were not neglected by their parents. Some thinks so because they lived over a decade in a small simple building while constructing their pole house on a piece of land that overlooks one of the most scenic vistas imaginable. My friend builds bikes... is a bicycle fanatic. I have toured and randonneed with him. Now, the couple's focus is on adventure kayaking -- including Ireland and Iceland and a circumnavigation of Tasmania.

Yeah, people can stay at home, afraid of offending family and anonymous posters on BikeForums, or they can take family with them, and even more importantly, stay healthy so that when they hit that "old age home" age, well, they are still quite capable of taking care of themselves and continue to live independently. It's why the grey nomad/snowbird lifestyle remains so popular and viable.

And Happy Feet... kudos to you and your wife for the work you do. Your stories show just how wide the gulf is between the American way, and how other countries tackle social issues.
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Old 03-14-17, 04:28 AM   #55
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Well my family and gf think I ride too far. They are kind of old school and fear my love of touring may hurt my health . I explain to them that most guys on here ride way more than I do. I have a poor family history but I am. 60 year old in good health and feel my riding makes me a healthier.
Well ... it sounds like you're an adult who can make your own decisions.


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Seriously? That is a weird way to look at things, how would touring hurt your health? It is a healthy and relatively safe activity. You could be involved in an accident, but that seems as likely at home and can happen whether you ride a bike or not. Riding/touring is more likely to lengthen your life than shorten it.

BTW, the "old school" reference puzzles me. I tend to think of touring as kind of an old school activity. Bikecentennial (1976) is where I first became aware of touring. Also a major portion of the folks I meet touring are over 60, some over 70, and a few over 80.

I'd suggest that you make an effort to keep the GF and family happy by staying in touch when on tour. Be careful not to over promise though. Better to promise to call twice a week and call more often than to promise to call every day and then only call 3 times a week or less. I find that if I set expectations low and call or text fairly often it keeps family happy.
Yes ... this ^^

On our most recent long tour, I was on Facebook, so I posted updates there from time to time, and often messaged my parents just to let them know a few additional details.

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Old 03-14-17, 04:31 AM   #56
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Funny thing about this whole touring issue...

It seems like, when you're 54 like I am, you should be sitting around reminiscing about all the tours you did when you were younger. Instead, I find myself wishing away the next ten years so i might have some time to finally START "really" touring.
You're only 54? You're only just a few years older than me! Go tour already!
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Old 03-14-17, 04:33 AM   #57
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It'd be a dream to do a tour on the level of the ones you read about on crazyguyonabike.com lol . . . . someday you never know I just gotta figure out where to start . . . so lost haha I don't really plan these things though, the tour cyclists seem to meticulously plan every detail, somewhat intimidating lol.
I've never meticulously planned every detail of my tours ... that would cramp my style too much. I prefer picking a start location, and maybe booking accommodations there, and that's the extent of the planning. After that we go where the wind or whim take us.
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Old 03-14-17, 04:53 AM   #58
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And regarding family support (which many of you have mentioned) ...

I grew up in a travelling and cycling family and a family who supports each other in whatever we do ... and they understand my passion for cycling and travel. The older I get, the more I appreciate how I was raised.

Fortunately, I met Rowan who is also into travelling and cycling and so we do all that together.


My parents are getting up there in years and my mother has certain health issues so she isn't able to cycle outside much anymore. I think she gets out on the Cattrike now and then, and rides her indoor recumbent, but that's about it. My father, however can still cycle and does get out for rides several days each week, and that's OK with my mother. She knows it is beneficial for his health to ride.

But even when they could both ride outside, because they rode at different speeds and strengths, they compromised. They either rode their tandem together ... or they made route compromises.

For example ... We did a lot of hub-and-spoke style tours growing up ... my father might head out early in the morning from the cabin we happened to be staying in, then my mother, brother and I would set off. My father would turn around at a designated point, and would meet us on the way back, often at a tourist attraction or something. Then we'd all cycle back together. That way, we could all get the rides in that we wanted.


So yes, as some of the others have mentioned ... have a good discussion with the GF and see if compromises can be made. You just never know.
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Old 03-14-17, 05:38 AM   #59
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Something to consider for those considering abandoning their family to find themselves. Six months in a child's life is significant.
A few points on that:
  • The OP never mentioned having children and most of the folks doing even moderate length tours either do not have children yet or have older or grown children. It seems that the bulk of tourists I have met are either, college age, just out of college, retired, or approaching retirement.
  • The OP never said anything about being gone 6 months at a time. Many tourists are never gone more than a few days at a time. Ones doing coast to coast (US) tours are typically 10-12 weeks (less if doing the Southern Tier).
  • It is a stretch to call going on a tour "abandoning family".
I know that my family may worry about me when I am on tour, but they were and continue to be supportive. My mother in particular worried when I did my first coast to coast trip even though I was in my mid 50s at that time, but that is what moms do.

I have been with my wife for 45 years and we have always been supportive of each other's activities. That is part of any good relationship.

When my daughter was young I wasn't touring yet. I did, now and then, go on a short trip mountain biking, kayaking, or backpacking (never much more than a week at a time). If I had been touring then I would have limited the length of my tours, but still would have toured now and then. When she graduated college I did a coast to coast tour with her and one of her college room mates. I later did another multi week tour with her in the Sierras. We still ride together fairly regularly (often with my son in law too).
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Old 03-14-17, 02:43 PM   #60
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A few points on that:
  • The OP never mentioned having children and most of the folks doing even moderate length tours either do not have children yet or have older or grown children. It seems that the bulk of tourists I have met are either, college age, just out of college, retired, or approaching retirement.
  • The OP never said anything about being gone 6 months at a time. Many tourists are never gone more than a few days at a time. Ones doing coast to coast (US) tours are typically 10-12 weeks (less if doing the Southern Tier).
  • It is a stretch to call going on a tour "abandoning family".
I know that my family may worry about me when I am on tour, but they were and continue to be supportive. My mother in particular worried when I did my first coast to coast trip even though I was in my mid 50s at that time, but that is what moms do.

I have been with my wife for 45 years and we have always been supportive of each other's activities. That is part of any good relationship.

When my daughter was young I wasn't touring yet. I did, now and then, go on a short trip mountain biking, kayaking, or backpacking (never much more than a week at a time). If I had been touring then I would have limited the length of my tours, but still would have toured now and then. When she graduated college I did a coast to coast tour with her and one of her college room mates. I later did another multi week tour with her in the Sierras. We still ride together fairly regularly (often with my son in law too).


Your processes are more like mine. I bet you had great time with your daughter. My pleasures today involve my family. They learned to paddle white water and we are now introducing another generation. My comments were more to respond to other posts besides the OP. Six months is a lot longer than people think. Even the more close relationships will be effected by that much time apart. I have known people to remarry after a spouse's death in 6 months.
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Old 03-14-17, 05:18 PM   #61
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Your processes are more like mine. I bet you had great time with your daughter. My pleasures today involve my family. They learned to paddle white water and we are now introducing another generation. My comments were more to respond to other posts besides the OP. Six months is a lot longer than people think. Even the more close relationships will be effected by that much time apart. I have known people to remarry after a spouse's death in 6 months.
We're not dead when we go on a cycling tour!!

Rowan and I spent the first 4 years of our relationship on the opposite side of the world from each other, including the first 9 months of our marriage. We married, had about 10 days together, and then he returned to Australia while I stayed in Canada. We survived.

Military couples often have to spend lengthy time periods apart as do long haul truckers, people who work in remote parts of the world and couples who, for one reason or another have to work in two different locations. This sort of thing happens all the time.

Fortunately, in this day and age, technology comes in handy. We don't have to wait weeks for a letter to get from one place to another, or limit our phone calls to a few minutes on a Sunday after 6 pm. There's email, Skype, social media, and the phone all of which are inexpensive, easy and quick.

Rowan and I didn't have Skype during the 4 years we were apart ... that would have been nice ... but Rowan phoned regularly and we emailed daily. In fact we got into the habit of emailing each other, so much so that we still do. We even communicated on Bike Forums here sometimes.

Yes, 6 months apart can affect a relationship ... it could make it stronger. But if the time apart destroys the relationship, maybe it wasn't all that strong in the first place.

However, in the OPs case, we're talking about adult children and, I think, a shorter time period than 6 months.

As an adult child of my parents, I've lived approx. 10 years (in two 5-year sets) near my parents, out of the 32 years I've been an adult. For a little over 13 years of that time, I lived 2 provinces over from them, and then I moved to Australia ... the other side of the world.

I'm glad I had the years living near my parents, and hope to move closer to them again eventually, but we've all got our own lives to live.

But again, technology is great. I can actually converse with my mother via email or on Facebook in real time, and when I go out on walks at lunch or whatever, I'll sometimes take photos and post them ... "I'm here, right now" for my family to see.

I graduated just recently, and my parents weren't able to come over to Australia for that. But the grad was broadcast live on the internet so they were able to watch me graduate as it happened, and then I took some selfies of Rowan and me at the reception and posted them, and "chatted" with my parents about it all. They weren't physically there, but they were able to take it all in.

Gone are the days when cycling across the country meant a complete lack of communication. Your family can be with you every pedal stroke of the way ... if you want.

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