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  1. #1
    Resident Old Fart Olebiker's Avatar
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    Do you flag down touring cyclists?

    I was wondering if I am the only one who does this. If I am in my truck and I see someone with panniers, obviously on a bicycle tour, I will flag them down, introduce myself and ask them about their trip. Just this week I met a nice couple here in Tallahassee who had started out in Kansas. The man's name was Bob Hoop (sp?) but I did not get the lady's name.

    They convinced me that a Trek 520 was more than enough touring bike since that was what they both were riding. Bob's appeared to have the stock crankset.
    Wag more, bark less

  2. #2
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    Someone just did that as i was training today.
    It was kind of cool.
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  3. #3
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    yes. Even invited some to stay a couple of days.

    must be close to 15 years ago, me and some college friends were out surfing Lake Superior in the fall, it was cold, there was snow in the air, and we see two fellas on touring bikes with a heck of a lot of gear piled up. We stop and talk, meet Urs Burgi and Lars ? , two Swiss circumglobal bikers, and invite them to ride into town, look us up and stay a couple of days.

    They were so funny when they broke out a pack of Camel unfiltered cigarettes at the apartment and lit up- we were like, "Urs! Lars! What's with the smoking? You two are riding around the world!"

    Urs responded in a most nonchalent and funny way, in heavily accented english....

    "First we bicycle 100 kilometres, and then we smoke a Camel!"
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  4. #4
    Senior Member toolboy's Avatar
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    I try to make contact with every tourist I see mainly because I see so very few of them out on the bald prairie of Saskatchewan. Since I have a complete shop in my basement and belong to the Warm Showers List I am always looking to help a fellow tourist. I have had nothing but positive experiences over the years. If you see ME on the road be sure to say hello - I will be touring in Cape Breton this summer!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Alex L's Avatar
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    I love such meetings on the road. They are my best memories about a tour. I can not pass by a heavy loaded bike tourist without waving him or talking with him about our routes, daily distances, the visited countries, the places worth seeing. On our last tour in Finland we met a couple from Helsinki: young fellow with his girlfriend on tandem. They even wished us happy journey in Russian, but it was so hot and I was so tired that I had forgotten all Finnish words that I knew and I had answered in Russian too.
    Last edited by Alex L; 05-04-06 at 05:32 AM.

  6. #6
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    I work at a university that's on the Transamerica Trail. When I see bike tourists, I try to return the friendliness and hospitality that meant so much to me on my various tours. Just last week, I bumped into two retired Brits who were cycling the Trail and took them out for coffee. They spoke glowingly of the many small acts of kindness from people they'd met along the way.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    I try to have no contact with people in motor vehicles at all. I never know whether people are honking encouragement or telling me to get off the road. I ignore them.

    Occasionally people stop to talk to me. I am civil but I find people who drive cars don't really 'get' the cycling culture and are useless for directions. If they say 'It's about 20 minutes' they mean 20 minutes at 120 km/hr up a hill.

    I was waiting for a ferry once and a friendly truck driver started talking to me. Just as the ferry was docking he said 'throw your bike in the back, I'll drive you'.

  8. #8
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    Just yesterday evening we saw a touring cyclist on Main St in Grand Junction, CO. He was 3 days out from Farmington NM, on a month long tour. We didn't get to talk for long, and didn't exchange names, but we pointed him in the direction if a place he might be able to stealth camp.

    He was a tall young man on a Voodoo mtn bike (rigiid fork), panniers all around. Said he was heading for the Kokopelli Trail.
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  9. #9
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    Yeah, as often as I can! I never see any at home (suburban SF Bay Area) but I stop when I'm travelleing and see someone, offer water and food, just say hi. Most of the time, though, I don't manage to find a place to pull over (stupid car is too big)!

    I've had a few folks stop for me too. Last year in Colorado, a family stopped and gave me a frappucino, and then later in the tour Wild Bill from the Leadville Hostel stopped and gave me directions to his place. This year, in Australia, I was getting worked by a storm, and a couple stopped and gave me a lift.

    Of course, when I'm riding, I ALWAYS stop and say hi and share information about the road behind me.

    Happy trails....

    Anna
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokell
    I am civil but I find people who drive cars don't really 'get' the cycling culture and are useless for directions.
    I drive a car (competitively even), but I really enjoy cycling too.

  11. #11
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemp
    I drive a car (competitively even), but I really enjoy cycling too.
    I've always found that to be an American oxymoron. Check out US bike mags and they are full of ads for SUVs. Why is that? Is the bike culture there so connected to burning fossil fuels that they don't see the big picture?

    Before you answer this post, first answer this question:

    Which country provides the USA with most of its oil? Is it:
    1. Kuwait,
    2. Saudi Arabia
    3. Iraq
    4. None of the above

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokell
    I've always found that to be an American oxymoron. Check out US bike mags and they are full of ads for SUVs. Why is that? Is the bike culture there so connected to burning fossil fuels that they....blah blah blah whine whine whine
    The poster was only commenting on the fact that he enjoys cycling, yet he drives a car(omg, wtf etc etc!!!). I'm pretty sure many people drive cars and also enjoy to cycle, it's not particularly hard to believe(although these people should be forced to choose one or the other, I mean where do their allegiances really lie???)

    There was no need to shoot him down for not aligning himself with your particular prejucides. Tit.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlyselassie
    The poster was only commenting on the fact that he enjoys cycling, yet he drives a car(omg, wtf etc etc!!!). I'm pretty sure many people drive cars and also enjoy to cycle, it's not particularly hard to believe(although these people should be forced to choose one or the other, I mean where do their allegiances really lie???)

    There was no need to shoot him down for not aligning himself with your particular prejucides. Tit.
    Exactly. Its not Cars or Bikes. One can like both. I enjoy driving fast and touring at 10mph. They are not exclusive of each other.
    This sort fo us or them atittude is why many drivers don't like bikes (of course many of them are just jerks).
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokell
    I've always found that to be an American oxymoron. Check out US bike mags and they are full of ads for SUVs. Why is that? Is the bike culture there so connected to burning fossil fuels that they don't see the big picture?

    Before you answer this post, first answer this question:

    Which country provides the USA with most of its oil? Is it:
    1. Kuwait,
    2. Saudi Arabia
    3. Iraq
    4. None of the above
    CANADA! what do i win? a new car? haaa...

    i recently counted 12 seperate full page auto ads in BICYCLING magazine. they send em to me for free occasionally trying to get me to subscribe.

    us economy is highly dependent on autos, auto advertising, fuel, auto insurance, auto parts, tires, auto repair, highway and bridge construction and maintenance etc. the $ tied into autos must be staggering.

    advertisers do an excellent job of convincing folks they are gonna be safer/happier/sexier/generally having a better life if they buy that car. its not going to change anytime soon. theres very little efficient. economical mass transit outside of major urban areas, which covers only 1-2% of the area of the US. i imagine this is also true for canada.

    hey, whats this got to do with touring?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    I use a small SUV to get to my vacation destinations, which have always involved bicycles, be they mountain or touring, for the last 6 years. You can only ride so far, so many times, out of rural Illinois before you need to motor out to a new place to see something different.

    Back on track, I'm curious to see where this goes. I don't see touring cyclists often, but I wonder if others like to be stopped for some friendly conversation, or if they prefer to be left to their solitude so they can keep up their momentum. The only time I've had vehicles stop is if we were already stopped. Personally, I don't mind friendly conversation, even from motorists, so long as it isn't every 5 minutes, but how is anyone to know when you were last stopped? Most of my tours have been pretty remote on fire roads and such, or on the opposite end, Ragbrai. It should be interesting for me this year going through Vermont.

  16. #16
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    What I like is the natural afinity for cyclists to flag other touring cyclists. It is a natural comaradrie should you all be on tour at the same time . If not on the bike and touring at the same time, doubt I'd delay their travels, unless ,somehow you like bumped into one another at some stop or business.
    The multiple conversations touring cyclists have when you share a campsite or just see each other at stop lights. The stories are sometimes fascinating.

  17. #17
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokell
    I try to have no contact with people in motor vehicles at all. I never know whether people are honking encouragement or telling me to get off the road. I ignore them.

    Occasionally people stop to talk to me. I am civil but I find people who drive cars don't really 'get' the cycling culture and are useless for directions. If they say 'It's about 20 minutes' they mean 20 minutes at 120 km/hr up a hill.

    I was waiting for a ferry once and a friendly truck driver started talking to me. Just as the ferry was docking he said 'throw your bike in the back, I'll drive you'.
    You need to expand your horizons a little. Most of us in the cycling culture also own cars. It's just a fact of life especially here in 'Merica where we don't take kindly to socialist things like 'public' transportation Most of the time however, when someone does stop to talk to me on a bike, it because 1. they want directions somewhere (including truckdrivers in the eastern Washington) or 2. they happen to be cyclists themselves and they want to hear about my travels. Sure they can give you bogus information but sometimes they give you good information and maybe even a place to stay for the night.

    Be a little more open and a little less judgemental.
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  18. #18
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemp
    I use a small SUV to get to my vacation destinations, which have always involved bicycles, be they mountain or touring, for the last 6 years. You can only ride so far, so many times, out of rural Illinois before you need to motor out to a new place to see something different.

    Back on track, I'm curious to see where this goes. I don't see touring cyclists often, but I wonder if others like to be stopped for some friendly conversation, or if they prefer to be left to their solitude so they can keep up their momentum. The only time I've had vehicles stop is if we were already stopped. Personally, I don't mind friendly conversation, even from motorists, so long as it isn't every 5 minutes, but how is anyone to know when you were last stopped? Most of my tours have been pretty remote on fire roads and such, or on the opposite end, Ragbrai. It should be interesting for me this year going through Vermont.
    On my solo trip in 2003, I had almost zero contact with people. It was like they were actively ignoring me. I had two cyclists on Day one and on Day 3 who were out riding in the opposite direction who never even waved! I mean, is South Dakota and Iowa so full of cyclists that one riding along with 50 lbs of junk on his bike is common? I even camped next to a guy who used to tour (you can read about it here) and he didn't even talk to me about it until I had clipped into my pedal and was ready to leave!

    I would have loved to had someone to talk to. Three weeks of your own company gets real tiresome!
    Stuart Black
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    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    I was walking down the street last summer when I saw a touring cyclist. He was from the UK and had a very distinctive older Claude Butler cycle. He was rather odd, and dismissive when I told him that he should be very careful parking his bike in downtown Riga with the tiny chain lock he had. Last week I saw some kid riding down the sidewalk on his bike.....

  20. #20
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    I have done this in the past and invited the folks to spend the night at our house. They usually accept and they get a nice, quiet yard in a pleasant neighborhood to pitch a tent in, a home-cooked meal and a hot shower. The neatest couple we've had was a pair of newlyweds on a 1-year honeymoon world bike tour; he was Swiss and she was Romanian if memory serves me correct (it's been a few years) and they were on the coolest tandem I've ever seen. The kids were so impressed with the bike that shortly after that, we bought one and now have a tandem with a kid-back adapter that pulls a Trail-A-Bike that pulls a trailer. The kids are 5, 7 and 9 and all of us get into the action and it was all ispired by those visitors.
    Last edited by Don Johnson; 05-05-06 at 08:12 AM.
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  21. #21
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    Quite a few tourists cross my path since I day ride the Erie Canal Trailway often. I almost always offer them lodging. If I am out driving I usually only stop tourists if they are traveling near dusk, look lost , or having a mechnical problem.
    I have met many Canadian cyclists touring through my area and have met many on my own tours in Canada. I hate to think and I seriously doubt that very many of them share Stokell's opinion of Americans.

  22. #22
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    i try to talk to most cycletourists i see if i can ... usually start by asking where they are going or where they have come from [country or last town] ... i offer some advice on their routes if they want it, after saying that i am am cycletourist as well ...
    sometimes language is a barrier, and other times the fellow cycletourist is quite hedgy, but sometimes you can engage in some quite cool conversation ...

    on the road i always wave at fellow cycletourists and always stop to chat if we are in the same place ... it is quite cool comparing notes ...

    at camping grounds it is cool swapping adventure stories with felow cycletourists, and even fellow campers in cars will ask where you have been or where you are going and 'are you crazy', 'is it hard work', etc etc
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  23. #23
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333
    CANADA! what do i win? a new car? haaa...

    i recently counted 12 seperate full page auto ads in BICYCLING magazine. they send em to me for free occasionally trying to get me to subscribe.

    us economy is highly dependent on autos, auto advertising, fuel, auto insurance, auto parts, tires, auto repair, highway and bridge construction and maintenance etc. the $ tied into autos must be staggering.

    advertisers do an excellent job of convincing folks they are gonna be safer/happier/sexier/generally having a better life if they buy that car. its not going to change anytime soon. theres very little efficient. economical mass transit outside of major urban areas, which covers only 1-2% of the area of the US. i imagine this is also true for canada.

    hey, whats this got to do with touring?
    Thank you seeker. You are the only one responding to my post who actually read the proviso. Yes, Canada is the largest provider of fossil fuels and we are also signators to the Kyoto Accord. It appears some of our southern neighbours can't see that the world is changing and we need to think about sustainability.

    What has this got to do about touring? Everything! Everyone who drives to a tour should start to think about the impact this has on the environment.

    Another form member in another post told us to "Live in Place". If we all lived close to our jobs we wouldn't have to hop in our SUVs and drive three hours a day.

    If my boss told me that I was going to be working 3 hours a day overtime I would be thrilled. If he told me he wasn't going to pay me and that to do this overtime I would have to buy and maintain a very expensive piece of equipment. I'd probably quit my job.

    Why is it that this is exactly what we are doing? We are driving 90 minutes to our job and 90 minutes back. We have to pay for the car and everything else involved including gas, insurance, maintenance, fines, et al.

    This has little to do with socialism and a lot to do with common sense. I would rather spend my time reading, making love, talking or just breathing fresh air than commuting.

    Just think about it. Is what you are doing sustainable?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333
    CANADA! what do i win? a new car? haaa...

    i recently counted 12 seperate full page auto ads in BICYCLING magazine. they send em to me for free occasionally trying to get me to subscribe.

    us economy is highly dependent on autos, auto advertising, fuel, auto insurance, auto parts, tires, auto repair, highway and bridge construction and maintenance etc. the $ tied into autos must be staggering.

    advertisers do an excellent job of convincing folks they are gonna be safer/happier/sexier/generally having a better life if they buy that car. its not going to change anytime soon. theres very little efficient. economical mass transit outside of major urban areas, which covers only 1-2% of the area of the US. i imagine this is also true for canada.

    hey, whats this got to do with touring?
    Never wonder why we get barraged with auto and auto industry related ads ... it's the second largest discretionary expenditure made by folks in the US, after their primary residence. And yes, the economic 'food chain' is both long and deeply embedded. Economic 'drain'? , you bet. How's it feel to be a 'worker bee'?

  25. #25
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokell
    What has this got to do about touring? Everything! Everyone who drives to a tour should start to think about the impact this has on the environment.
    First, I know it's Canada, but I was trying hard to ignore your soap box speech.

    So what about you flying to England twice in two years to tour? That's non-essential usage of natural resources. Planes kill birds, plane don't have catalytic converters, deicing chemicals contaminate surface water. In fact, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that aviation causes 3.5 percent of global warming, and that the figure could rise to 15 percent by 2050. Hope you can sleep tonight.

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