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  1. #1
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    How do you deal with Family and Friends

    That think you're plumb crazier than a bat on purple microdots for wanting to pedal a self-sufficient bicycle for 2 or 3 thousand miles?

    Has most of the adventure been bred out of the modern human pedigree?

  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    That think you're plumb crazier than a bat on purple microdots for wanting to pedal a self-sufficient bicycle for 2 or 3 thousand miles?

    Has most of the adventure been bred out of the modern human pedigree?
    Ignore them (unless they have a lot of money they want to leave you ) and go. As for adventure, most people don't want to be uncomfortable. It's always been that way, it's just a little more apparent now.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  3. #3
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Ignore them (unless they have a lot of money they want to leave you ) and go. As for adventure, most people don't want to be uncomfortable. It's always been that way, it's just a little more apparent now.

    Ohh ya.. it's so easy to ignore them - why didn't I think of that? </sarc>

  4. #4
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Ignore them (unless they have a lot of money they want to leave you ) and go. As for adventure, most people don't want to be uncomfortable. It's always been that way, it's just a little more apparent now.
    People tend to believe the worst can and will happen, particularly regarding things that they don't understand. When people don't understand something, they tend to fear it as well (sadly Americans IMO are the worst fear mongers).

    Try to help alleviate loved ones fears, that is in my experience, what keeps them trying to dissuade me from traveling (hiking&biking). When traveling, keep in touch (phone cards, post cards etc.). This also helps your well being, if you might be having a rough go of it, at the time.

    Folks who can't let go of the daily comforts (AC, TV) to explore, even for a few days, are really missing out. When you return, tell them what they've missed.

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    This is an interesting post, and I was going to start a similar thread as I am experiencing the same problems. I am about to embark on my first tour, and it is going to be solo self-sustained across pennsylvania and back. Now most of friends think it's a sweet idea, however, when I went home recently, I discovered that the bulk of my family think it is a terrible idea, and that I am going to die or something. I guess their main concern is that I am going by myself, but that's not really my fault, I would be more than glad to have company, but it's not out there, they don't seem to understand. Annyway, I just explain to them that I'm going to have my cell phone and all that jazz and that I'll be fine and that people (like you all) do it all the time. I don't know if it really alleviates their fears, but I guess the reason more people don't go on these sorts of adventures is because they are worrying the whole damn time.

  6. #6
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    It's silly.
    Some people worry too much

    I started touring when I was 14, asummer after Freshman year.
    I would call home after a few days and someone would answer and say, "I didn't know you were on the road?" or "well, no news is good news"
    This was the 70's.

    I jjst got back from a week onthe road and I really miss the open spaces.

  7. #7
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    Wait to you get to my age (65) and see how bad it gets. I've explained that if I pop off doing the things I love doing (self-supported long-distance touring) then I don't consider that's a bad deal. That said, it becomes even more difficult to convince them when you don't have one body- part that works properly.

  8. #8
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    Ohh ya.. it's so easy to ignore them - why didn't I think of that? </sarc>
    Ooh! They must have money to leave you Honestly, I've been doing stuff on my own for so long now that it's expected. Nobody worrys when I go off on an adventure. My wife knows that nothing will happen (and nothing happening to you out in the world is far more likely than the alternative) and she doesn't worry. I don't carry a cell phone but I do carry a calling card and I write letters home. That's actually the best way of keeping track of your trip: write a letter home to someone everyday. You don't have to mail it everyday but write one anyway. It keeps the day's events fresh in your mind.

    As for the other stuff that your family will worry about, well, let them worry about it. Honestly, you have more of a chance of being killed by a car, murdered, mugged or otherwise damaged close to home than out in the middle of nowhere. People are generally good no matter where you go and, considering that you are travelling via a mode that they don't normally run across, they will be curious about you. They will think that you are touched in the head, but they will be curious nevertheless.

    Go. Enjoy. And perpare to have your family not understand when you get back either. Most people just don't get it. They never will.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moT311
    This is an interesting post, and I was going to start a similar thread as I am experiencing the same problems. I am about to embark on my first tour, and it is going to be solo self-sustained across pennsylvania and back. Now most of friends think it's a sweet idea, however, when I went home recently, I discovered that the bulk of my family think it is a terrible idea, and that I am going to die or something. I guess their main concern is that I am going by myself, but that's not really my fault, I would be more than glad to have company, but it's not out there, they don't seem to understand. Annyway, I just explain to them that I'm going to have my cell phone and all that jazz and that I'll be fine and that people (like you all) do it all the time. I don't know if it really alleviates their fears, but I guess the reason more people don't go on these sorts of adventures is because they are worrying the whole damn time.
    Explain to them that you are far more likely to die driving back and forth to work then out on the road on a bicycle. Sure people get kill on bicycles sometimes but we kill 45000 people a year in cars and no one gives it a second thought. There aren't vast gangs of murderers roaming the US (or any place else for that matter). You are far more likely to be killed by someone you know than by a stranger. I don't carry a cell phone for the simple matter of what good is it to me? If I'm 1500 miles from home am I going to call my wife and say "Honey, come get me."? Not unless I want to make her laugh

    I am married to either the most understanding woman on the planet or she just doesn't give a hoot about me...maybe both But she knows I will go out and do stupid stuff and still she lets me go. I'm taking my daughter with me the next time and together we do 4 times the stupid stuff I'd do alone. It should be fun.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  10. #10
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurdd50
    It's silly.
    Some people worry too much

    I started touring when I was 14, asummer after Freshman year.
    I would call home after a few days and someone would answer and say, "I didn't know you were on the road?" or "well, no news is good news"
    This was the 70's.

    I jjst got back from a week onthe road and I really miss the open spaces.
    I was at a lecture on Merriwether Lewis recently and the lecturer pointed out that on the day that Lewis died he told the innkeeper that he hadn't slept in a bed in the 3 years since he had returned from his expedition. The lecturer thought that the reason he killed himself was that he couldn't reintegrate with society. No one in the room could understand but I could. All the time you are "out there", you keep thinking about home and how much it hurts and that you will never do anything like this again and then...after you get back... you want to be out there again.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  11. #11
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    I was at a lecture on Merriwether Lewis recently and the lecturer pointed out that on the day that Lewis died he told the innkeeper that he hadn't slept in a bed in the 3 years since he had returned from his expedition. The lecturer thought that the reason he killed himself was that he couldn't reintegrate with society. No one in the room could understand but I could. All the time you are "out there", you keep thinking about home and how much it hurts and that you will never do anything like this again and then...after you get back... you want to be out there again.
    That reminds me of a poem by Robert Service:

    There's a race of men that don't fit in,
    A race that can't stay still;
    So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
    And they roam the world at will.
    They range the field and they rove the flood,
    And they climb the mountain's crest;
    Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
    And they don't know how to rest.

    If they just went straight they might go far;
    They are strong and brave and true;
    But they're always tired of the things that are,
    And they want the strange and new.
    They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
    What a deep mark I would make!"
    So they chop and change, and each fresh move
    Is only a fresh mistake.

    And each forgets, as he strips and runs
    With a brilliant, fitful pace,
    It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
    Who win in the lifelong race.
    And each forgets that his youth has fled,
    Forgets that his prime is past,
    Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
    In the glare of the truth at last.

    He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
    He has just done things by half.
    Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
    And now is the time to laugh.
    Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
    He was never meant to win;
    He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
    He's a man who won't fit in.

  12. #12
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    That is interesting because most of my friends and family are either quite supportive or a bit jealous... many are affraid to fulfill their dreams and admire those who take the time and courage to do what they like.

  13. #13
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    I have to say that my friends and family have been incredibly supportive.

    I've gotten a lot of "You're insane!" and "Aren't you scared!?" from strangers, though. I usually just laugh it off.

    Top five most heard comments from strangers in gas stations during the tour from SF->Yorktown that I'm finishing up.

    "Aren't you scared?!!! You must be crazy!"
    "I could NEVER do that!!!"
    "It's going to be a hot day today!"
    "There are some hills between here and >insert next city name here<."
    "Maybe you should trade your bike in for a four wheeler."

    I'm not sure what the deal with the four wheeler comment is, but a lot of people, especially in MO and KY seem to think that riding a four wheeler across the country is somehow similar to riding a bike.

  14. #14
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    I liken this to my family's insistence that I will need to buy a car "sooner or later."

    Somewhere, there's a list of all the things people think you need in order to survive. My family just can't imagine how anyone can spend a week without running water, or worse, without CABLE! I blame this on commercial advertising. Somewhere along the line creature comforts became creature necessities, and camping and biking became bad (or dangerous) ideas in the eyes of society. When someone refuses to buy into the status quo, society figures the person must be deranged. This reaction is their only protection from the reality: they don’t need all the things that they think they need.

    I’m just very forward about it. I tell them that it’s great to get a way from television and dishwashers and crazy drivers and all the other things that make home home. I tell them that it’s an incredible experience to exercise my right to shun all the ideals of modern suburban life.

  15. #15
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onbike 1939
    Wait to you get to my age (65) and see how bad it gets. I've explained that if I pop off doing the things I love doing (self-supported long-distance touring) then I don't consider that's a bad deal. That said, it becomes even more difficult to convince them when you don't have one body- part that works properly.
    That's been my excuse for several years. "This may be the last time I'll be able to make a trip as strenuous as this." It's not a bad way to go.

    Usually relatives are concerned about me being hit by a car. I explain it could happen but I do as much as I can to mitigate that possibility. I plan my trips, I don't take unneccessary chances, I try to avoid biking on super-highways. I avoid rush hours and late nights.

    Once I was biking from Kingston, ON to Toronto. The route required a short ferry ride. While waiting for the ferry, a man in a pickup started a conversation with me. He asked me where I started and where I was going. He seemed impressed. Just as the ferry was coming in he said "I'm going to Toronto, drop your bike in the back and I'll take you there.

    Some people don't get it.



    I could choose to sit at home in a dark room and watch CNN all day. Instead I choose an active healthy lifestyle and I'm loving it!
    Last edited by stokell; 07-09-05 at 02:55 PM.

  16. #16
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    I'm 67 and went from San Diego to Alamogordo NM in early May.

    Everyone I know thought I was nuts - my sons thought it was cool - Stopped in Phoenix at a friends and went to a bar-bq. Several Health nuts went into detail about what I was doing wrong - Mountain bike rather than road bike, sneakers rather than clips and $100 shoes, cargo pants and tank top rather than Spandex, not enough water for desert, don't drink too much water, yada, yada, yada.

    Worst one was a guy who swore up and down that Snickers didn't have the right nutrition - should have xyz (tastes like crap) power bars. We did solve that one - went to store and looked - Snickers had exactly same nutritional stuff as expensive xyz power bars. Also cheaper.

    Just ignore them and have a good time.

    Tom

  17. #17
    Stand For Something mntbikedude's Avatar
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    I've never had any negative comments about my biking. Most treated me like a hero for doing it.

  18. #18
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    My advice would be (and who listens to advice?) , do it while you can as one never knows when your health may let you down. I've been active all of my life and going off with my bike and tent for a month or two is what I do and a vital part of who I am. That said it gets harder all the time as your body begins to break down. Forgive the blackness but I wrote this after my last catastrophe prevented me from leaving on a long-planned tour this summer.




    Leave me my anger

    Leave me my anger
    leave me that at least.
    I used to love the lark’s first song
    and could cry at the beauty of all
    that it promised.
    Now I watch it rise with swooping steps
    but nothing do I hear.
    Leave me my anger.


    I watched my knees rise and fall
    brown and sweat-polished.
    Pushing hard I would crest the hill
    to dive down and down
    my heart lifting in my breast.
    For that moment I was a King.
    Now my knees are grudging
    each movement demanding some painful penance
    some consequence.
    Leave me my anger.


    My hands were clever once
    cunning in ways too numerous to count.
    But now… with no allegiance to former shape
    they strive hard to become claw-like and
    useless.
    Leave me my anger.


    There was a time I stood with legs apart
    voiding my bladder like other men.
    Was this too prideful?
    Such a basic thing… but this too
    was taken.
    Leave me my anger.



    My mind was never great
    but in its time was adequate to the task.
    When pressed it could be subtle and knowing.
    Now it sends me like some clown
    on these repeated journeys.
    Looking for something—something
    But what?… I cannot remember.
    Leave me my anger.


    Where are those promised virtues
    that was to come with age ?
    Patience… Tolerance… Acceptance of one’s fate.
    Where is that promised benignity?
    That would be some sort of recompense.
    I have seen little of them.
    Leave me my anger.


    So if anything is to be left
    Anything at all—then
    Leave me my anger
    Leave me that
    at least.








    George White 11/06/5

  19. #19
    Virtulized geek MsMittens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    That think you're plumb crazier than a bat on purple microdots for wanting to pedal a self-sufficient bicycle for 2 or 3 thousand miles?
    My solution was to make some of my trips as ways to visit them (particularly my extended aunts and uncles). At first they thought I was nuts but as I made it a common activity, and called them regularly when on tour (this helps the anxiety hugely), they began to understand that I was serious about this and loved doing it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    That think you're plumb crazier than a bat on purple microdots for wanting to pedal a self-sufficient bicycle for 2 or 3 thousand miles?

    Has most of the adventure been bred out of the modern human pedigree?

    I ignore them.

    Koffee

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by onbike 1939
    Wait to you get to my age (65) and see how bad it gets. I've explained that if I pop off doing the things I love doing (self-supported long-distance touring) then I don't consider that's a bad deal. That said, it becomes even more difficult to convince them when you don't have one body- part that works properly.
    You have to smile at what other folks think are hard times and obstacles. I'm 56 and working on my first westbound trek for next summer. Just got outdoors (6/29) riding for summer conditioning only to get stuck in my clips in a patch of sand and last Tues.'s MRI confirms a pelvic fracture. PT starts the 20th. and I've been walking-in-the-walker/rehabing less than one wk after injury since I've a crew position on a 125' wooden schooner set for the week of 7/24. Plenty of time to continue upper body strength training.

    Way I look at it ... there's plenty of time for the rocking chair.

    The Ortho. Surgeon said I was in a lot better shape than most. My hips were too strong to go so it drove the femur's ball into the inside famework. Feels like a pulled groin muscle. Hurts but so does sitting on the sidelines watching life go bye (word choice intentional.)

    Just go for it ....

    Tim

  22. #22
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onbike 1939
    My advice would be (and who listens to advice?) , do it while you can as one never knows when your health may let you down. I've been active all of my life and going off with my bike and tent for a month or two is what I do and a vital part of who I am. That said it gets harder all the time as your body begins to break down. Forgive the blackness but I wrote this after my last catastrophe prevented me from leaving on a long-planned tour this summer.




    Leave me my anger

    Leave me my anger
    leave me that at least.
    I used to love the lark’s first song
    and could cry at the beauty of all
    that it promised.
    Now I watch it rise with swooping steps
    but nothing do I hear.
    Leave me my anger.


    I watched my knees rise and fall
    brown and sweat-polished.
    Pushing hard I would crest the hill
    to dive down and down
    my heart lifting in my breast.
    For that moment I was a King.
    Now my knees are grudging
    each movement demanding some painful penance
    some consequence.
    Leave me my anger.


    My hands were clever once
    cunning in ways too numerous to count.
    But now… with no allegiance to former shape
    they strive hard to become claw-like and
    useless.
    Leave me my anger.


    There was a time I stood with legs apart
    voiding my bladder like other men.
    Was this too prideful?
    Such a basic thing… but this too
    was taken.
    Leave me my anger.



    My mind was never great
    but in its time was adequate to the task.
    When pressed it could be subtle and knowing.
    Now it sends me like some clown
    on these repeated journeys.
    Looking for something—something
    But what?… I cannot remember.
    Leave me my anger.


    Where are those promised virtues
    that was to come with age ?
    Patience… Tolerance… Acceptance of one’s fate.
    Where is that promised benignity?
    That would be some sort of recompense.
    I have seen little of them.
    Leave me my anger.


    So if anything is to be left
    Anything at all—then
    Leave me my anger
    Leave me that
    at least.








    George White 11/06/5

    Wow! That's some great chit!

    I lost my father 5 years ago to cancer at the very young age of 53. And being only 20 years his junior, it gave me great pause.

    Carpe Diem! And keep life simple and without unnecessary responsibilities!

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