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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.

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Old 02-03-08, 04:01 PM   #1
Machka 
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Education/courses related to touring

Most of us don't do too much touring during the winter, unless we're fortunate enough to get away from the the miserable weather for a few weeks, or unless we opt to brave the wintery conditions and tour in them.

The winter is my time of year to take courses ... further education. Some years I might take a single night course for a few months over the winter. Other years I might be engaged in full time education (like this year, for example).

But many of these courses could be related to touring. For example, most winters in recent years I've taken a spinning class or yoga class. These help keep my fitness level up over the winter so I'm in shape to tour in the summer. Last winter I took the classes toward a Fitness Trainer Certification. I didn't manage to get the practical part done in time for various reasons, so I'm not certified, but I still passed the two, rather intensive, courses on aspects of fitness, health, and nutrition with flying colors. And the information from those classes has been beneficial for both my long distance cycling, and touring. I've taken two bicycle maintenance classes to familiarize myself with some of the basic repairs I might encounter on the road.

Since I started University, I've taken several classes that could also be related to touring ... Kinesiology (another 'health and fitness' class), Physical Education, French ... and this semester, I'm in a Social Studies course with an emphasis on global citizenship, a Canadian history course, and two Anthropology and Culture courses learning about the cultures and languages of people all over the world. Very interesting.


Do you take courses with the intent of enhancing your tours, or which have indirectly or unintentionally enhanced your tours?
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Old 02-03-08, 05:10 PM   #2
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No. (sigh...)
But I've gone on supported tours as a medical volunteer, so I guess you could say 12 years of university and residency have come in useful for touring!
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Old 02-03-08, 07:12 PM   #3
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Me neither. I wouldn't mind taking classes, but just never seem to find the time unless I have to do it for certification. Maybe once the kids are grown and out of hte house I"ll do that more.
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Old 02-04-08, 01:00 AM   #4
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I'm more the self-taught type. Normally there aren't courses available in what I want to learn, and I just have to go to it. I would never take a bike fixing course, I would just try to figure it out myself. All sounds wonderful, but it is a lifestyle that tends to lead to a lot of baggage and not living lightly as I would imagine those who want to travel a lot would do.
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Old 02-04-08, 07:41 AM   #5
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What about little seminars or lectures?

For example, Hostelling International will put on evenings where a person or group of people will come in and talk about their adventures in a certain country. In Winnipeg, they might hold these evenings in a restaurant that cooks the food of that country. I went to one about India (or a small part of India) in an Indian restaurant ... so they had the dinner and the talk.
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Old 02-04-08, 08:01 AM   #6
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I just read the Adventure Cyclist article about Quebec's Route Verte. That and memories of previous bike trips from Boston to Quebec City make me want to take a class to learn French.

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Old 02-04-08, 08:07 AM   #7
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The thought has occurred to me. I have taken a short course on bike mechanics sponsored by local bike shops. Once had considered a course sponsored by Adventure Cycling dealing with being tour guides. I might have taken it had the time been convenient. There was a week of course work, then some time on the road leading a tour. It sounded fun. Maybe sometime in the future, it might be possible.
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Old 02-06-08, 01:22 AM   #8
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OK ... how about TESOL courses which have allowed you to go to other countries to tour and teach?


I can hardly believe there aren't any Education, or Anthropology, or Sociology, or Second Languages, or Physical Education majors here.
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Old 02-06-08, 05:18 AM   #9
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I take writing courses online so that my journals at crazyguyonabike don't make me seem ignant.
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Old 02-06-08, 11:07 PM   #10
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This subject of educational courses that would benefit our bike touring got me thinking.... how cool would it be if we could do bike touring that would benefit an educational course? An extended tour is an exercise in physics, geography, social studies, phys. ed., language, etc, etc. Has anyone heard of educational credits that could be earned by touring? I'd love to be able to legitimize my time off for touring with my employer (govt.) because it's educational.
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Old 02-06-08, 11:27 PM   #11
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Both the College I went to for the first two years of my degree, and the University I am at now, have courses where you travel to another country and work with members of the Anthropological Department, or Education Department to study and/or teach the people in these other countries. It seems to me there are similar courses for Biology students as well. Those are the ones I can think of off-hand, but there could be lots more.

They usually run in the summers for 1 or more months.

Check your local College or University.

But I'm not sure how much cycling would be involved in these.
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Old 02-07-08, 01:04 AM   #12
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I somehow suspect that basic coastal marine navigation doesn't count. But that's what I'm studying this winter. The navigational skills tought there are very different from what you need in cycle touring though.

I learned orienteering, camping and general outdoorsy stuff in the army, and some of it has been valuable on my bike tours.

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