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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.

View Poll Results: My longest cycling tour was ...
I haven't toured by bicycle yet 16 15.38%
A weekend or a few days 11 10.58%
1-2 weeks 15 14.42%
2-3 weeks 13 12.50%
About a month 10 9.62%
1-2 months 12 11.54%
2-4 months 14 13.46%
4-8 months 7 6.73%
8-12 months 1 0.96%
More than a year 5 4.81%
Voters: 104. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-16-06, 12:01 AM   #1
Machka 
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Your Longest Cycling Tour?

I'm just curious .... how long has your longest cycling tour been?

And while I'm asking ... do you have any plans for a "big one" (i.e. several months) in the next year or two?

Last edited by Machka; 04-16-06 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 04-16-06, 03:08 AM   #2
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My longest tour was about 6 months and a long time ago; from Brussels to Cairo through Belgium, The Netherlands, Belgium again, France, Monaco, Italy, Austria, daytrip through Germany, two days in Slovakia, Hungary, bit of Yugoslavia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. This was my first-ever tour and was an attempt to go around the world. The rest of the trip should have been back through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, somehow get into Tibet and then through China to reach the Pacific, tramp steamer it across to LA and, then, across North America to Montreal.

I currently have more than enough funds to actually finish the trip without staying in US$1 hotels (yes, there are those but you wouldn't want to touch the bathroom walls!) but I'm a cautious fellow.

Dream tours would include the Silk Road, China (Beijing to HK), circumnavigate Australia, circumnavigate NZ, and Cairo to Cape Town but all of these will have to wait until probably retirement. Life's a little complicated at the moment so any future rides (depending on job situation) will probably be; Toronto-Montreal again, the Lighthouse route on PEI so I can say that I've done all of PEI, Cabot Trail again and/or do the southern route, and circumnavigate Vancouver Island.

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Old 04-16-06, 04:05 AM   #3
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Hmmm I haven't toured yet. Well when I was 16 (30 years ago) I rode my Schwinn 35 miles to my cousin's house spent the night and then rode back the next day ...

Seriously tho I am looking at the week long tour thru Colorado for 2007
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Old 04-16-06, 06:45 AM   #4
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haven't gone yet but am leaving in 2 weeks (!!) on a 2.5 month tour from Pennsylvania to Oregon.
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Old 04-16-06, 06:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
I'm just curious .... how long has your longest cycling tour been?

And while I'm asking ... do you have any plans for a "big one" (i.e. several months) in the next year or two?
Had 23 months on the road touring around Australia on our recumbent trikes and had a blast.
We are now in the final stages of planning our North American ride. Starting here in Perth, Western Australia we intend to ride across to Melbourne before flying to friends in Calgary, then a flight up to Prudhoe Bay before the real ride starts.
From Prudhoe Bay we will ride back to Calgary via the Yukon and BC, then down into and around the USA if we can get long term, multiple entry visa's. If we cant get the US visa's we want we will do Alaska, Canada, some of the US (Death Valley, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon), and then go to Europe and maybe ride home.
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Old 04-16-06, 09:14 AM   #6
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I voted "about a month", as my 2 previous long tours were just shy of a full month each.

I'm off for my "big one" on tuesday.

I've honestly no idea how long nor far I'll be touring. The current plan is to hopefully get to Lhasa from Paris before it's too too cold, then see how my finances, mental and physical health are. If everything's peachy (as I imagine they will be), I'll continue on for another 6-8 months or so.
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Old 04-16-06, 09:45 AM   #7
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I haven't toured but am planning to go to Joshua Tree National Park and touring around the park next weekend (4/21-23). I'm taking my bike there with my vehicle, camping and riding the bike around from there.
I consider this a "tour" but is it a tour if you start out with a bike loade on a vehicle?
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Old 04-16-06, 11:48 AM   #8
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My longest tour was a two year round-the world tour. loved it, and planning to do a 2nd one from 2010 to 2012.

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Old 04-16-06, 11:59 AM   #9
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I voted one two weeks. six days to cross Nevada. about same from Monterrey, Ca to LA.
Longest might be two weeks. But not continous? still one tour. rode from outside Paris to St. Malo to Anger( where our tour encountered the TDF.) but after Anger motored the bikes to Macon, Burgundy and rode for almost another week. One two week tour. Well, does not the TDF take days off between stages and transport their bikes somewhere else.
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Old 04-16-06, 03:19 PM   #10
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So far my longest tour has been 18 days from oregon to tijuanna last year. This year I'm leaving late may or early June and going coast to coast.
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Old 04-16-06, 03:30 PM   #11
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Six months across Europe. Best decision of my life.
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Old 04-16-06, 03:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackberry
Six months across Europe. Best decision of my life.
I did 3 months (90 days) in Australia and it was the best decision of my life too .... so far! Those long distance tours can really change your perspective on life, and open your eyes to a whole other world out there!
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Old 04-16-06, 05:52 PM   #13
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I would love to go on a six month tour but could never afford to take six months off.
How do you do it? are you independantly wealthy or what? How much does it cost to go to Europe and ride around on a bike for six months?
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Old 04-16-06, 06:31 PM   #14
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Took 12 months off work and spent 10 of it in Australia, about 11,000 miles, and one month in Fiji, about 300 miles. I have to say the month in Fiji had more of an impact than OZ although I really loved the desert. Something about riding in a 3rd world country and going through small villages and everyone yelling, "Bula". Very friendly, authentic, non-touristy (as long as you stay away from the beaches) place to visit and I am sure that can be said about most 3rd world areas. I am all for getting a way from the tourist track and as much as I loved Oz, that's pretty hard to do there.
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Old 04-16-06, 06:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makeitso
I would love to go on a six month tour but could never afford to take six months off.
How do you do it? are you independantly wealthy or what? How much does it cost to go to Europe and ride around on a bike for six months?

I'm not sure about 6 months, but for 3 months, you don't have to be independently wealthy ... you just have to plan ahead and save up some money. Both Australia and England cost me about $30/day (give or take a bit), so for 3 months that came to about $2700 + the airfare which was about $2000-ish = about $5000.00.

I sold, tossed, gave away, and packed all my stuff ... the stuff I kept (probably about 1/3 of what I originally owned) went into storage in my parent's basement. I gave up my apartment (the lease was up anyway), and handed over my cats to my mother (who loves cats). And then I was off!!

Oh yes, I also quit my job, before I went, because I made the decision to return to University when I got back to get my Bachelor of Education ... which has been considerably more expensive (and difficult) than going to Australia for 3 months!!

When I finish my B-Ed, my plan is to start travelling around the world, getting teaching jobs here and there to support my cycletouring "habit".


That's how I did it and how I plan to continue doing it ... but I, too, would love to hear from others who have done even longer tours, and how they did it! I see we've got some year + responders, and I'd especially love to hear from them!!
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Old 04-16-06, 07:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makeitso
I would love to go on a six month tour but could never afford to take six months off.
How do you do it? are you independantly wealthy or what? How much does it cost to go to Europe and ride around on a bike for six months?
Everything Machka said.

And from my own perspective- Didn't have a mortgage or any family repsonsibilities at the time, had saved a few bucks and off I went. Believe me, I'm not wealthy by any traditional definition. But I travelled very cheaply, camping, staying in youth hostels and cooking most of my own meals much of the time. It's amazing to realize how much stuff we have that we don't need--and that actually encumbers our lives.

Another amazing thing is how many people offered hospitality, meals, etc. I never asked for it or expected it, but many wanted in some way to participate in my adventure. I was grateful to accept their kindess.

Bottom line: I really, really wanted to do it and found a way.

Oh--and one more thing about Europe. Generally speaking, the further south you go, the less expensive it is. Not always. But often enough.
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Old 04-16-06, 07:47 PM   #17
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My longest was a month-long tour from Moncton to Prince-Edward Island, then Newfoundland and back all the way through Nova Scotia, the East and North side of New Brunswick, and in Québec the Charlevoix area... til home in Trois-Rivières.

Apart from that I have done lots of 1-2 week tours.

Lately, I have done two 4-day tours and one 11-day tour with my eldest daughter and one 4-day tour with both of them. I'm planning another one this summer which might be a mixed formula : 2 weeks with both of them and 1-2 weeks riding all by myself, who knows.
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Old 04-16-06, 07:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
I'm not sure about 6 months, but for 3 months, you don't have to be independently wealthy ... you just have to plan ahead and save up some money. <SNIP>

That's how I did it and how I plan to continue doing it ... but I, too, would love to hear from others who have done even longer tours, and how they did it! I see we've got some year + responders, and I'd especially love to hear from them!!
G'day Machka.
Joanne and I went around Oz and for the first 12 months I was on Long Service Leave (from the Royal Australian Navy) but the second half was living on savings (no military pension because of being in a different scheme). We kept a pretty good journal (including costs) and it worked out at $67 per day for the two of us, and that included a storage unit for our belongings, private medical insurance, phone account, internet account etc, etc. We cooked our own meals only rarely bought a meal or other items we didn't need. We paid $24 for a campsite once so we then camped "stealth" wise, each night in the bush was another $24 saved!

Our upcoming trip to North America and who knows where, will be totally funded by savings. Both of us are currently working and living as minimal as possible, and saving like there is no tomorrow. By the time we hit the road it will be 3 years since we returned from our round Oz journey and in that time we anticipate that we will have saved enough for a 3 year trip (we hope). When we leave we will also have reduced our household stuff (like you did), sold our car, and got rid of all other non-touring shackles. We will have a small storage unit for our meagre belongings. We rent as opposed to own a house so we will just pack up, clean the house, return the keys and ride away
Our plan, like our last trip, is to camp in the bush on the side of the road or wherever there is a free, or very cheap place to stay, live clutter free, and to "live" on the road as opposed to "sight-see" all the time. That means we will do most of the natural sight seeing but not the commercial stuff.
When we return to Oz, we intend to continue to ride and tour, but will stop here and there to work and will also take up Wwoof(ing) - www.wwoof.com.au. We did some of that last time and it was a great way to have somewhere to stay, get fed, meet interesting people and reduce the flow of money from the bank account all for a little bit of labour.
So, our method of affording it is to - save some money and then spend it very wisely on the road.

Would love to hear other year+ touring ideas from you and other posters.
Regards
Andrew & Joanne
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Old 04-16-06, 08:55 PM   #19
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I've done about 20 three month tours - mostly summer since I teach - but when I was in the restaurant business in Jackson - the fall was a slow time and a perfect time to tour. My first cross-country trip back in 1987 was in the fall, too.
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Old 04-16-06, 09:57 PM   #20
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Well I'm running my own business and have a mortgage, two car payments and one kid still at home so I may have to wait for my long tour sure sounds great to do and I love hearing about the experiences.
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Old 04-16-06, 11:23 PM   #21
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My longest tour so far was with 3 college friends right after graduation (2001) from Vancouver, BC to Crescent City, CA in 10 days. Two of the guys continued to Tijuana; I went home to work. For some stupid reason, I thought I was almost out of money and needed to start my career. That was very silly of me. My wife and I did an 8 day tour in the San Juan Islands, WA in April 2005. It was her first tour, and an amazing experience for both of us. Everything worked out perfectly, even the weather. We're planning a 6 month zigzag tour across the US from Portland, OR up to Maine, then down the Atlantic coast. Unfortunately, we have to wait until 2008 for that. Until then, lots of weekend trips and maybe a couple weeklong adventures are in the works.

I love reading about everyone's past, present, and future adventures. Keep 'em coming!
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Old 04-17-06, 03:44 AM   #22
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The longest tour was in 2001 ,I did Portland Oregon to Portland Maine, then to the UK ,Lands End t John O'Groats.
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Old 04-17-06, 12:16 PM   #23
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25,000 miles in 30 months. Euope, Asia, Australia / NZ, North America and East Africa.
4,000 miles in 6 months. South America.
Now planning a 18 month trip in Asia, China and maybe back to Africa.

Cycle touring is great.
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Old 04-17-06, 01:16 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srrs
haven't gone yet but am leaving in 2 weeks (!!) on a 2.5 month tour from Pennsylvania to Oregon.
Don't know if you're heading straight west or northwest but if you do a big 100 mile first day and need a place to stay in Kent, OH, drop me a line. We're a couple poor graduate students but I'd be interested to talk bikes and give you a bed.

Cheers,
Brian

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Old 04-17-06, 02:52 PM   #25
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Took a group of 16-18 year old boy scouts out for a car supported weeklong mountain bike trek last year down the Arizona trail. Can't wait to do it again with my kids unsupported.
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