Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Bike touring webrarian
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    My Bikes
    I tour on a Waterford Adventurecycle. It is a fabulous touring bike.
    Posts
    1,516
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    On not touring cross country

    I have been a serious bike tourist for about 3 years. I have toured down the California coast, throughout Utah and England and just finished (last week!) my longest tour to date--Central California (Paso Robles) to Phoenix via San Diego (just over 800 miles).

    I did a number of touring firsts:
    Rode over a 4000+ ft pass
    Rode for 9 days straight
    Toured into another state
    Rode over 800 miles on tour
    Carried and used cooking equipment on tour

    One of the questions Ihad about this tour was to see what it would be like to go cross country. I realize that 800 miles is not 3000, but I felt it was enough to get a feel for what a cross country tour would be like. I now know that I could go cross country if I put my mind to it and really wanted it.

    However, spending a week riding through the California and Arizona deserts have convinced me that a lot of long distance bike touring involves repetitive and uninteresting scenary. I realize that southeast California and Arizona is not exactly representative of the entire US. Also, there is a tremendous allure to going from one coast to the other; the ultimate challenge, if you will.

    However, it seems to me that a certain amount of any long distance tour will involve simply getting through an area that doesn't offer much either in support or interest. I am still very attracted to bike touring. I just want to quiet that voice within me that says that the ultimate tour is cross country. Instead, I want to discover wonderful places to tour between, so that as much time as possible is spent in that transcendant state of natural beauty travelled through on a bike.

  2. #2
    Hooked on Touring
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,061
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ah, my friend -

    That is just the point of touring - slowing down - looking for the subtle detail. We live in an era where everything is bigger, faster, and more spectacular. Smaller, slower, and ordinary seems so - - - boring. One of my favorite memories is of biking in the Oklahoma panhandle on a empty road with a tailwind. Mile after mile of nothingness. I'm not a Buddhist, but it's the closest thing to a prayer wheel that I've ever encountered.

  3. #3
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    My Bikes
    Lemond Victoire, Cannondale.Mountain Bike, two 1980s lugged steel Treks, ancient 1980-something Giant mountain bike converted into a slick tired commuter with mustache handlebars, 1960-something Raleigh Sports
    Posts
    2,723
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    Ah, my friend -

    That is just the point of touring - slowing down - looking for the subtle detail. We live in an era where everything is bigger, faster, and more spectacular. Smaller, slower, and ordinary seems so - - - boring. One of my favorite memories is of biking in the Oklahoma panhandle on a empty road with a tailwind. Mile after mile of nothingness. I'm not a Buddhist, but it's the closest thing to a prayer wheel that I've ever encountered.
    Beautiful!

    I've been lucky enough to see a lot of places by bike, including quite a few famous sites. But what I love most are the quiet moments, the small villiages, the friendly encounters that can't be predicted. They can only be found by gliding slowly through the landscape. To each his own, but for me, these moments are the essence of touring.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  4. #4
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Democratic Peoples' Republic of Berkeley
    My Bikes
    1967 Paramount, 1982-ish Ron Cooper,1986 De Rosa Professional, 1978 Eisentraut "A," 1961 BianchiCompetizione, 1994 Trek 520, 199? Burley Bossa Nova
    Posts
    2,988
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Touring is a wonderful thing to do, regardless of whether you do weekends only or coast-to-coast or in Eupope or around-the-world or anything in between. If it floats your boat, it's good. If it doensn't do it for you, it isn't. So no, there is no requirement that you dip wheels in the Pacific and Atlantic, especially since it isn't easy to get the time and money together at the same point in one's life to pull it off.

    I will quibble a bit with an underlying assumption, though, that being that you will be riding through days and days and days of the same scenery and terrain. That wasn't my experience. The basic road profiles for central Nebraska and southern Iowa probably look a lot alike - non-stop low rolling hills. I can assure you, though, that the experience of riding through them is quite different. My route through Illinois, Indiana and Ohio sounds like it would be a repetitious grind, but it wasn't. The Sawtooths in Idaho and the Tetons in Wyoming are both spectacular mountain ranges, but they aren't the same and neither is the experience of seeing them..Granted, some days are better than others - but having done an 800 mile tour, you now all about that. To me, the greatest thing about touring is that your day is so completely your own - all you have to do is ride, and you don't even have to do that if you really would rather not. But the road, and the weather, the people you encounter, and the occasional quirky local custom, should provide enough subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) variation to make the trip an ever-unfolding, ever-changing experience.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    2,408
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Do you suppose it's any more interesting if you drive through repetitive and boring scenary in a car or fly over it in an airplane?

    The only advantages of those other modes of transport appear to be that they get you through those uninteresting areas faster. If it's speed you're after you can always buy a van and tour in style.

    I'm reminded of a painting I saw one time. The artist was a woman of not particularly great technique or talent. While out in the very repetitive and boring Mojave Desert she was painting a desert scene. While she sat there for a couple of hours she felt something sticking her in the leg. She got up and looked down and was astounded that a type of catcus had sent up a long stem and a bloom had appeared after she had placed her stool over it. The bloom came to a point and had actually started to bloom when she discovered it irritating her. The stem had not been there when she placed her stool there.

    She lifted her stool up and moved it back a couple of feet and painted it into her scene.

    Miraculous things happen even in the most boring of places. It's up to you to find those miracles. And bicycle touring allows you to go slow enough to observe them.
    Last edited by cyclintom; 05-05-06 at 01:01 PM.

  6. #6
    pointless & uncalled for
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    TOONCA
    Posts
    378
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's not always about the scenery either. Even in cable fed, corporately homogenised USA there is a tremendous diversity of lifestyle. Don't just ride through an area, pick up a travel guide and interact with it.

    I'd never imagine hitting an area without a Rough Guide book at hand, I think I miss a lot less stuff.

  7. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    5,117
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't think most coast to coast tours are "tours". It is all about getitng "there" not what is happening "here". There isn't anything wrong with that, it is a different kind of experience. For one thing, a strong objective pulls you on and may allow you to discover things about yourself or the trip that you would not have experienced without a goal.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I travelled last summer through Kazakstan, and pfua that was boring and monotonous!!! 3000km of emptyness, perfect flat lansdcsape at the infinite... days after day, nothing but monotony, repetition, buit that full of nothing, has something on it's own, something special and unique, that you can only start to grasp and enjoy after day's of that same repetition, which actualy after a few day's of it, you also realise that it is not repetition, that the landscape is changing ever so slowly, that you do eventually meet a town, or people offering you a roof, a cup of thea, that the winds blows in your back today,... That your thoughts have yet another crazy story to invent...

    Now, you can have the wind against you, or the rain, or whatever, which make the whole experience a nightmare instead, but you could have that too in the most beautifull sceneries, in the most exquisite country!!!...

    So do give a chance to the places which do not seem like the best bet at first! It is so nice to cycle not only the most obvious, but also the in-betweens, which sometimes, if not often turns out to be the best part!

    Alice

  9. #9
    Senior Member Alex L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Moscow, Russia
    Posts
    79
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A long distance bike tour is a path inward to me also. It looks like meditation sometimes. Probably we are a little bit Buddhists for all that.

  10. #10
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Frankfurt, Germany
    My Bikes
    Raleigh Aspen touring/off-road hybrid, and a Bob Yak trailer. Yak very useful for us car-free types that like to buy lots of beer.
    Posts
    2,008
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The way is the goal.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    1984 Raleigh Kodiak Touring, 1992 Scott MTB, 2004 Fuji Touring
    Posts
    275
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by raybo
    I have been a serious bike tourist for about 3 years. I have toured down the California coast, throughout Utah and England and just finished (last week!) my longest tour to date--Central California (Paso Robles) to Phoenix via San Diego (just over 800 miles).
    Raybo,

    Believe it or not, I'm pretty sure I was on your tail for part of your trip!!!

    You're the guy riding a Waterford and going to meet your wife in Phoenix, then take a car trip to the Grand Canyon, right?

    Just got back home Sunday...in a nutshell, my trip went from LA > Oceanside > Anza Borrego > Brawley > Blythe > Aquila > Prescott > Williams > Grand Canyon > Cameron > Sunset Crater > Flagstaff. 14 days total, a little over 800 miles.

    I first heard about you from the 2 Dutch tourists--Karen and Martin--when camping in Palo Verde. I was one day behind you, but never was able to catch up. Would have been nice to have a little company on those long desert stretches, right? Anyway, PM me if you're the guy!

    --Ron
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by rnagaoka; 05-09-06 at 08:35 AM.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    stolen touring bike

    i was on the discovery trail in kentucky heading west to colorado, camped overnite and my bike a trek 520withortleib panners front and rear was stolen. cable was cut and gone. lost everything i owned.bike and panners were black with red lettering. need a replacement bike, will work for one.my email is bikerrednecktoughstuff@hotmail.com thanks , zeke

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •