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  1. #1
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Separate Touring Forums: Equipment and Touring

    I've been a member of Bike Forums for several years and always have been amazed at how quickly touring questions and posts make it to the second page while equipment queries and discussions seem to stay around forever on the first touring page.

    I realize the reason for this is the number of hits and responses for the latter is much greater and that this phenomenon is treated in a very democratic manner in that the majority rules. Just because I want to talk about the joys of touring on tow paths doesn't mean another member who has no interest in tow paths but just wants to talk about LHTs must suffer through my prose. They have the same rights as I do. There just seems to be more of them.

    My modest proposal then is to ask the powers that be about opening a new thread just for people planning tours, starting tours and finished tours. It would be for questions and answers, posting routes, hints and suggestions and posting pictures and links to blogs et al. We could leave the questions about disk brakes and which bike is better than the other to those who truly care about such matters.

    So what do you think?

  2. #2
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    I think it would be useful (maybe it already exists?) to have a way to create your own "sticky", ie. a way to keep threads that you are following at the top of the page. So you don't have to hunt for them, and lose them after they have died out.
    2006 Lemond Sarthe
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  3. #3
    Hooked on Touring
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    Amen, brother!

    I don't want to know about all the shoes in Imelda Marcos' closet.
    Yes - all the choices are nice - but the tyranny of hyper-consumerism is that all the hashing about this thingy and that doo-hickey gobbles up your mental RAM. I've seen a guy crossing the country on a 3-speed.

    I am much more interested in why people tour - who they have encountered - what magical moments have transpired. There is, most definitely, a place for the technical - but when it is mixed in with these other topics, it always tends to dominate. I believe that is because of the nature of the consumerist beast.

    Okay, now - you can fire away!

  4. #4
    Bike touring webrarian
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    I, too, want to vote for a separation between touring experiences/plans and equipment.

    As an experienced tourer, I already have most of the equipment I need. Reading post after post about which bike to buy or bags vs trailer or camelback yes or no, adds very little to my touring experience. However, a small tidbit about a route I am planning on taking might transform my tour.

    Another thing I deplore about the equipment threads is the snide remark involving someone's pet peeve or sacred doo-dad. I rarely read such stuff in the touring threads.

    Ray

  5. #5
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    I think the only problem with doing this is that the forum will get too complicated... If you do it for touring, next the road cycling will want the same thing, and then the commutors, and so on. I say just read the title, and determine if it is about equipment or not... perhaps an easy fix would be if everyone would be sure the title of the thread clearly shows if it is a gear question or not.

    another point is this... it is common for a gear thread to turn into an experience thread. take this one for instance: how to be comfortable in the tent.... i had simple questions about camping gear. before you know it people started talking about bears, and their experiences with them. This is just the nature of the beast when it comes to forums. If you go out of the way to seperate things too much, it becomes difficult to find things, and you end up missing threads that you really would have liked to have read.

    Mike
    Last edited by mcavana; 03-11-06 at 12:30 PM.
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

  6. #6
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    It's already fragmented enough. If you only have one fragment of an interest, a special forum is ideal, but for those with broader interests one has to hack all over the place.

    Also, part of the reason specific threads lag is because they aren't interesting, a lot of the touring specific threads are very specific to a particular place, and often the person is leaving so soon that before the thread has run it's course they have gone.

    I'm not sure the criterion for a new forum should be that currently the posts have minimal interest. Unless it can be demonstrated that is only because of format.

    We already have a separate location for touring stories. I like well writen touring stories. I may never go to Argentina, all the more reason to read about it. I'm not going to be very interested in a thread on the best place to get water in Argentina, not only don't I care, but I doubt many other people do either. A thread on what tires to use in Argentina, may quickly define itself to a point where we can all pile in with suggestions of where best to buy cheap nobbies.

    Crazyguyonabike already seems to be outbidding us on the stories. Such that already having a forum on that subjects just ads to the impression nobody actually gets out much.

  7. #7
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    As for myself, I don't read everything that is posted on this forum. I select what I find interesting. But contrary to the OP, I really don't see the need for more segmentation.

  8. #8
    Prairie Path Commuter
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    1.) It seems to me there were more threads about touring a month or so ago. Right now people, and this includes me, are trying to get rigs lined up for the up coming season and thus there is more interest in touring eqipment.

    2.) People who have never set a bike up for touring or toured need to ask questions about equipment.

    3.) The definition of touring - riding a bike a long distance over several days supported or unsupported- suggests that there is a technical side to it. Equipment is important for this activity as you are depending on it to get you from point A to point B. It needs to be dependable, comfortable, and efficeintly selected.

    4.) The comment about consumerism has me divided. As with any activity, there is a good dose of marketing trying to get you to buy more than you need. The sharing of experiences about tires, panniers, and tents helps make people better consumers by helping them avoid making poor purchases. I find Bike Forum very usefull when I am reserching and specing out equipment.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmcl
    1.) It seems to me there were more threads about touring a month or so ago. Right now people, and this includes me, are trying to get rigs lined up for the up coming season and thus there is more interest in touring eqipment.

    2.) People who have never set a bike up for touring or toured need to ask questions about equipment.

    3.) The definition of touring - riding a bike a long distance over several days supported or unsupported- suggests that there is a technical side to it. Equipment is important for this activity as you are depending on it to get you from point A to point B. It needs to be dependable, comfortable, and efficeintly selected.

    4.) The comment about consumerism has me divided. As with any activity, there is a good dose of marketing trying to get you to buy more than you need. The sharing of experiences about tires, panniers, and tents helps make people better consumers by helping them avoid making poor purchases. I find Bike Forum very usefull when I am reserching and specing out equipment.
    Ditto to this. Be happy-- every day there are new threads coming out to the effect "I'm a newbie, help me". That is a very good thing because more folks are getting into touring. Hopefully, that will in turn give us all better equipment, better places to ride, and better adventures to share with new friends.
    A lot of this tour equipment thing is just the season "gear up". Give it a month or two and we will all be reading threads of "I'm going to xxx, where do I find a good map?" or "I've left for yyy and I'm lovin' life check out my blog!"

  10. #10
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    One reason for all of the technical threads is that at least once or twice a week a newbie comes on here and starts in with the "what touring bike can I get for $600?" question, and no matter how hard we try to tell them to do a search on "budget touring bike" and read to their heart's content, they inevitably get a few responses and pretty soon it turns into a thread that diverges at some point into an discussion about custom frames, or LHT vs. 520, or whatever. WHich I suppose many of us secretly enjoy anyway, but it does add to the clutter and gets redundant.

    Over in the roadbike section they had the same thing going on and eventually created a sticky thread called "The under $700 road bike thread", to do away with some of the redundancy. Maybe we need something similar, along the lines of "The $800 touring bike - choices", or "which $2500 steel touring bike is better?", or even "what's a nice rack like that doing in a place like this?"...

  11. #11
    Senior Member jcwitte's Avatar
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    Why doesn't someone start a thread entitled "THE NEWBIE'S GUIDE TO TOURING BIKES" and immediately make it a sticky. People can add to it all they want and when a new person asks the question, we can just direct them to the first (or second or third) thread in the forum.

  12. #12
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcwitte
    Why doesn't someone start a thread entitled "THE NEWBIE'S GUIDE TO TOURING BIKES" and immediately make it a sticky. People can add to it all they want and when a new person asks the question, we can just direct them to the first (or second or third) thread in the forum.
    The Newbie's Guide To Touring Bikes


    done... get some info in the thread, and we will ask for a sticky.
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

  13. #13
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmcl
    4.) The comment about consumerism has me divided. As with any activity, there is a good dose of marketing trying to get you to buy more than you need. The sharing of experiences about tires, panniers, and tents helps make people better consumers by helping them avoid making poor purchases. I find Bike Forum very usefull when I am reserching and specing out equipment.
    This is bike touring... marketing is trying to get you to buy LESS than you need :-) titanium pots and pans.. no wait, a titanium cup that you can use as a pot and as a pillow at night!

    Also I think this is anti-consumerism. People are wanting to know what is best about the various things so they don't have to buy both. Can I just buy a tarptent or should I buy a tent and a hammock? I am just starting (day training runs right now, haven't overnighted yet) so having everyone talking about equipment is great. However I can understand that once you have your setup, you don't want to read about it all.

  14. #14
    Senior Member BikePackin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokell
    I've been a member of Bike Forums for several years and always have been amazed at how quickly touring questions and posts make it to the second page while equipment queries and discussions seem to stay around forever on the first touring page.

    I realize the reason for this is the number of hits and responses for the latter is much greater and that this phenomenon is treated in a very democratic manner in that the majority rules. Just because I want to talk about the joys of touring on tow paths doesn't mean another member who has no interest in tow paths but just wants to talk about LHTs must suffer through my prose. They have the same rights as I do. There just seems to be more of them.

    My modest proposal* then is to ask the powers that be about opening a new thread just for people planning tours, starting tours and finished tours. It would be for questions and answers, posting routes, hints and suggestions and posting pictures and links to blogs et al. We could leave the questions about disk brakes and which bike is better than the other to those who truly care about such matters.

    So what do you think?
    Yes. For one, I am in favor of your *'modest proposal.'

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcavana
    The Newbie's Guide To Touring Bikes


    done... get some info in the thread, and we will ask for a sticky.
    Done and stuck.

    Thanks!

    Koffee

    Mod

  16. #16
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    thank you koffee!!!!!

    Ok everyone, homework time! everyone post about at least one component...

    The Newbie's Guide To Touring Bikes
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

  17. #17
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    "Also I think this is anti-consumerism. People are wanting to know what is best about the various things so they don't have to buy both. Can I just buy a tarptent or should I buy a tent and a hammock? I am just starting (day training runs right now, haven't overnighted yet) so having everyone talking about equipment is great. However I can understand that once you have your setup, you don't want to read about it all."

    I think you might have tasted to the Kool-Aid on this one. You could say the same thing about any consumerism thread that the idea is to narrow down the choices so that you can buy less of the stuff you don't need. Everyone is for that. But the real anti consumer people like my wife somehow manage to cover the same distance while spending almost no money and certainly buying nothing made of Ti, in fact nothing that isn't second hand. I take up all the slack for both of us.

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