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  1. #1
    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    Cyclists of Differing Abilities Traveling Together

    OK, first I must ask you all to keep this post a secret from my wife...She would kill me.

    Let me start by saying that she is far more adventurous than me. Heck, she even suggested that our next journey be by bicycle. But our level of cycle fitness is...well...different. Don't get me wrong, she's in exceptional physical condition. It's just....well....she's a bit slower than me.

    Not only that...Also, she's an evening person, and I am up first thing in the morning ready to go. And she likes to stop every few minutes to adjust her helmet, or put on her gloves, or take off her gloves, or wipe her glasses, or put on sunscreen, or lip balm, or...well you get the picture.

    And, as you can probably tell, I am somewhat deficient in the patience department.

    So....for all you experienced cycle travelers out there....when traveling with someone else, how do you keep from killing one another? Surely you must have come up with some techniques. Do you each go at your own pace and meet up along the way? Do you stick together no matter what? Do you have a mantra that brings inner peace when you feel like screaming bloody murder? Do you just give in to temptation and scream bloody murder?

    Any words of wisdom would be appreciated. You may just save a marriage.

    Rich Ligato
    www.vwvagabonds.com
    Around the World in a Volkswagen

  2. #2
    Back after a long absence joelpalmer's Avatar
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    Will it be just the two of you, or a larger group? I know when I go touring with my friends, usually groups of 5-8 people, we use some of the 2 way radios to keep in touch, and set certain stop points but then open up and ride. So if one person wants to go slower and another prefers to ride quick and have longer breaks it all works out.
    When the going gets weird the weird turn pro
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  3. #3
    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    It will be...thankfully....just the two of us....

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    nik
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    Quote Originally Posted by Losligato
    It will be...thankfully....just the two of us....
    If you're quicker, why not carry most of the baggage or a heavier portion of the baggage.

    I get a little nervous when I can't see my fiancee behind me so I usually use that as a guide as to how far to ride ahead. The two-way radio idea seems like a good one, too.

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    Do you tour for the distance or for the fun of it? I toured for a month last summer with my girlfriend who never used a bike equiped with a derailleur prior to that trip. She was slower at the beginning and I carried much more equipement than she did and we just went slowly. It was one of my best trip! But we did not break any speed record.

  6. #6
    40 yrs bike touring
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    Consider a tandem. My significant other was significantly slower too. But on the tandem likes not having to control the gearing, braking and steering so she just pedals, takes pictures, reads the map and is never left far behind me. Wherever I Go There She Is!

    There are tandem touring companies that provide the bike, route ,food and lodging while you are test riding the bike. Just an alternative to consider.
    http://www.co-motion.com/mauitour.html
    http://www.ecycletours.com/
    http://www.tandemcycleworks.com/ireland.htm

  7. #7
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Once you get on the road she may get into the flow of the ride and not feel like stopping so often. Also you could sneak out early and go get a good workout for an hour, then relax and cycle at her pace later in the day.

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    Senior Member geoffs's Avatar
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    Hi Rich

    I had a look at your website and if the two of you can do a trip like that and still be together then you need a tandem!
    You get to the top of a hill together, no waiting around for the slower half to catch up, no getting seperated when in traffic in a strange town.
    Yes there are compromises to be made but relationships are a full of compromises. I am a morning person so I get up and make coffee and breakfast. Marian packs the clothes bags while I pack the large items like tent , Therma-rests etc. If space is needed then there are towns to explore, a book to read, diary to write etc.
    There are lots of sites with information or stories of people who have done this and survived. Although we both ride our singles as well, we would never use singles for a tour.
    Some pics of us on tour are here

    Cheers

    Geoff

  9. #9
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    Take digital photos of her while she is stopped to do whatever. Maybe you will also have time to take photos of the scenery. +1 for the tandem. I used to ride a tandem with my sister when we were teenagers, and the ease of conversing while you are riding makes the observation of the countryside so much more enjoyable.

  10. #10
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    My wife and I tried the tandem thing, but she didn't like it, so instead she has gotten real good at drafting and we can cruise along pretty quick together.
    "The wind, it is what it is, you can't curse it and you can't count on it."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Losligato
    So....for all you experienced cycle travelers out there....when traveling with someone else, how do you keep from killing one another? Surely you must have come up with some techniques. Do you each go at your own pace and meet up along the way? Do you stick together no matter what? Do you have a mantra that brings inner peace when you feel like screaming bloody murder? Do you just give in to temptation and scream bloody murder?
    I was gonna suggest that couples that do a lot of traveling to exotic places seem to find just the right levels of karma to settle in and live with differences and not strangle each other, so that you might want to do some of that......

    Then I went to your website. Never mind.


    Wow! You've got us beat by about 42 countries.

    One trick I discovered and now try very hard to employ, is to use other people as a buffer. Engage locals, strangers, kids, park rangers, fellow campers -- whenever you have a chance, both to expand the human experience (which you no doubt understand), and to deflect the claustrophobic feeling of too-much-togetherness. On a tour through Canada last summer, my wife and I met so many characters -- for an hour, sometimes for 3 days -- and sometimes it was just to give us a break from our own company. For those days when we didn't meet memorable people, we at least had stories to tell about the last ones. That kind of thing takes the edge off different cycling speeds.

    My wife and I have similar personalities to your situation. We had a few forgettable character collisions in the tent at the end of some exhausting days.... But I wouldn't trade our trips for anything, and least of all would I plan on cycling more than shouting distance apart. (She once left me 4 miles behind out of camp, for a peaceful morning cooldown ride.... but that was her doing )

    Otherwise, it's "Stick together no matter what." Your cycling tour is going to take you through some exotic lands, she can help you slow down and soak in things you'd otherwise miss. How could you strangle that?

    -- Mark

  12. #12
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    My wife and I travel together, she is a lot slower then me too. I carry the heavy gear and stop often to take pictures and let her catch up.

  13. #13
    Desert tortise lsits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Losligato
    Surely you must have come up with some techniques.
    Don't call me Surely! (Sorry, I couldn't resist)
    Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then. - Bob Seger

  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nik
    If you're quicker, why not carry most of the baggage or a heavier portion of the baggage.

    I get a little nervous when I can't see my fiancee behind me so I usually use that as a guide as to how far to ride ahead. The two-way radio idea seems like a good one, too.
    Just don't get the kind with VOX "Oh come on! Can't you go any godd....d faster? Get yer lazy butt in gear woman...we have some place to be...Why are you so .......g slow! Geeze my grandmother is faster..." "Whad you say Dear? The mic was open? I'm sleeping where for the next year and a half? The name of your divorce attorney is who?..."

    On second thought - bad idea!
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
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  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP
    Take digital photos of her while she is stopped to do whatever. Maybe you will also have time to take photos of the scenery. +1 for the tandem. I used to ride a tandem with my sister when we were teenagers, and the ease of conversing while you are riding makes the observation of the countryside so much more enjoyable.
    Just say no to digital! You want a film camera. One that takes lots of futzing to get the shot. Preferably one where you have to put the emulsion on the plate yourself. And then you have to take lots of time to compose the shot and wait for the light to be just right and...well you get the idea. By the time you get the shot, she'll be 20 miles up the road and you can 'sprint' to catch her
    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'.

  16. #16
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    When I am with a group of youth cyclists, I just have to go slow.

    Shoot, I have nowhere else to go.

    I'll up the velocity when I'm alone.

    Give me patience, and give it to me now!
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

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