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Old 01-10-09, 02:27 PM   #1
Machka 
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Your Cycletouring Club(s)

Do you belong to a cycletouring club or clubs?


I'm a member of both of my local clubs, and plan to ride with at least one, possibly both of them again this coming year:

Calgary - http://www.elbowvalleycc.org/
Edmonton - http://www.bikeclub.ca/

I enjoy riding with cycletouring clubs because they do longish day rides on the weekends in various places which gives me the opportunity to see more of my province, to ride longish distances, and to meet other cyclists. They also tend to ride at a pace I'm comfortable with ... with a "stop and smell the roses" attitude. The pre-ride talk prior to the Lake Louise Bakery ride I did last year is an example, when the ride organizer encouraged us all to stop and take lots of photos along the way ... so, of course, I did.

Many of the other cyclists in the clubs I've ridden with have toured more than just the tours organized by the club itself. I've heard tales of tours in many parts of Europe, Central America, South America, and Asia. It's interesting to talk to everyone, to listen to their stories, and to pick up tips.


So ... what are your local cycletouring clubs, and do you ride with them?
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Old 01-10-09, 02:54 PM   #2
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There isn't a cycletouring club were I live. I wish there was. I do belong to cycling club but they only do day rides of 30-60 miles. I've mentioned touring (multi-day trips) to several members and they all give a weird look. Oh well!
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Old 01-10-09, 04:34 PM   #3
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There isn't a cycletouring club were I live. I wish there was. I do belong to cycling club but they only do day rides of 30-60 miles. I've mentioned touring (multi-day trips) to several members and they all give a weird look. Oh well!
This looks like it is the cycletouring club in your area: http://www.biketcbc.org/ ... and actually looks like it covers pretty much all types of riding, but has several tours on the schedule too.

Not clubs, but some tours in Minnesota ...
http://www.tourofsaints.com/trails.tours/



And, somewhat off topic, but this is kind of interesting ... a list of trails and tours throughout the US:
http://www.usbiketrails.com/
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Old 01-10-09, 06:51 PM   #4
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As best I can tell, here in north Texas (Dallas area), cyclotourists are kind of like porcupines. You know they exist, but you only see them in pictures; you don't ever see a real one. I don't really remember ever seeing anyone here in this area with a cargo trailer or full set of panniers out riding. There are several bicycle clubs in the area, but as best I can tell, none of them are involved in touring. The club up in Oklahoma City does some weekend tours, and I may be overlooking some local activities, but all in all, it seems there just isn't a cyclotouring club in this area.
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Old 01-10-09, 06:59 PM   #5
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Do you belong to a cycletouring club or clubs?
I belong to the Charles River Wheelmen, and the Appalachian Mountain Club (which has a bicycling group). Both do lots of day rides, and have the occasional weekend trip, but neither do much in the way of touring as we mean it in this thread.

90% of my riding is with my wife riding on our own.

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Old 01-10-09, 08:47 PM   #6
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I ride with a local club in Loveland, a town 12 miles south of Fort Collins: http://users.frii.com/~pedal/

PEDAL puts together a schedule of mostly day rides. Some of them are during the week as "show-and-go" rides and during the past summer these were frequent. On Saturdays from May to October have a more explicit schedule of places we ride. Most years, I'll lead perhaps 4-6 of the Saturday rides and others will lead the other Saturdays and other days. PEDAL wasn't explicitly doing cycle touring, but in 2003, I first proposed and led a "three day ride" that was a supported mini-tour for club members. It has since become an annual ride that we do with the club.

Last year I actually led two different three day mini-tours with PEDAL. The first over Memorial Day weekend was titled "Gravel roads of Weld County". We cycled from Fort Collins onto the Pawnee National Grasslands to a B&B out on a ranch and stayed there two nights. There is some beautiful and peaceful riding out there on the plains.

The second one in August was our more traditional three day ride with a ~200 mile loop in Wyoming from Laramie to Saratoga to Medicine Bow and back to Laramie.

The PEDAL club has a pretty explicit culture of being a "no drop" club, so we'll periodically stop and make sure folks are caught up. The rides themselves have a bit of a variety in difficulty and average pace, with everything from a leisurely ~20 mile ride along the bike paths to a century ride showing up on the schedule. Last year we also experimented with having some of the Saturday rides have a long option and a short option with separate leaders.

I like doing my longer tours on my own, but I also like riding and leading some weekend rides with a local cycling club. I also like to help those with interest in cycle touring figure out how they can do that type of travel.
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Old 01-10-09, 09:13 PM   #7
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I'm with you, Machka. It's not howfar, but what you've seen. I belong to two bike clubs here in the Seattle/Everett area. There are members within each that tour here in North America and abroad. My main club is located here: http://www.seattlebiketours.org/

The name of the club is currently in some sort of nebulous status, so I won't type it in at this time. I'm trying to engage members in the idea of a bike trip in Europe, mostly for those who have never cycled there. There is interest, but the economy right now has dampened things a bit.
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Old 01-11-09, 09:29 AM   #8
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As best I can tell, here in north Texas (Dallas area), cyclotourists are kind of like porcupines. You know they exist, but you only see them in pictures; you don't ever see a real one.
There seems to be a racing and riding culture there including randonneurs though, in my brief travels through the area. I've done Texas Hell week in Fredericksburg twice and there seemed to be a reasonable contingent from Dallas Fort Worth metro areas with those interests.

Last weekend, I'm one of those porcupines that might have been spotted. I drove down to Brownsville just after Christmas and then spent the next eight days riding back up to DFW airport. This is a year that it is tough for me to take an extended vacation, so plan is to return to DFW in mid-May and then ride north to Omaha. I would then take another week later in the summer to ride from Omaha to Winnipeg and in the process ride the middle of the US between Mexican and Canadian borders. I didn't see any other cycle tourists riding the week before last.
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Old 01-11-09, 03:26 PM   #9
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This looks like it is the cycletouring club in your area: http://www.biketcbc.org/ ... and actually looks like it covers pretty much all types of riding, but has several tours on the schedule too.

Not clubs, but some tours in Minnesota ...
http://www.tourofsaints.com/trails.tours/



And, somewhat off topic, but this is kind of interesting ... a list of trails and tours throughout the US:
http://www.usbiketrails.com/
Thanks for the links Machka. Although not local (75 miles away) I was planning on doing a couple of rides with the TCBC. They do schedule/plan lots of different rides.
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Old 01-11-09, 05:32 PM   #10
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Thanks for the links Machka. Although not local (75 miles away) I was planning on doing a couple of rides with the TCBC. They do schedule/plan lots of different rides.
Well, my two "local" clubs are each 160 kms (100 miles) away, in different directions ... but I consider just about anything in the province "local".
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Old 01-11-09, 08:08 PM   #11
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Well, my two "local" clubs are each 160 kms (100 miles) away, in different directions ... but I consider just about anything in the province "local".
Does that put you somewhere close to Red Deer? In 1997 when I cycled across Canada, there were two teachers, Nancy and Shelly from Red Deer that left a month or so before I did and started from Vancouver, BC a month or so ahead of me. I started in Fairbanks, Alaska and came across the Alaska and Yellowhead Highways and met them in Campbellton, New Brunswick: http://www.mvermeulen.com/canada/fotox/jul04_05.jpg They had a website up that was sometimes useful browsing but their web link went dead not long after they completed their trip.
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Old 01-11-09, 08:36 PM   #12
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Well, here in Texas, the cycling hub is Austin, it seems, and I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't more cyclingtourists down that way. But that's a couple of hundred miles away, too. And OK City is a pretty good drive, too.

This fellow did an interesting tour that I wouldn't mind trying sometime- but like I say, I see this on the internet, not in real life. And he was on his own doing it, too! Some of y'all snow-bound people might enjoy coming going down to the gulf coast to give it a try.
http://www.adventureliving.com/home/cycling/index.html

Part of the deal may be the destinations available. For example, it would make a lot more sense to me to do this in Colorado, where you have lots of nice scenery to ride through- and I'll bet it's done more up there, too. Maybe climate enters into it. It's a real sweatfest three-fourths of the year here. Who knows?
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Old 01-11-09, 08:59 PM   #13
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Machka - we must be neighbors. I wish there was something more central in AB. Driving to Edmonton or Calgary area for a ride sounds like fun, but it's a bit far for my tastes.
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Old 01-11-09, 09:02 PM   #14
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Does that put you somewhere close to Red Deer? In 1997 when I cycled across Canada, there were two teachers, Nancy and Shelly from Red Deer that left a month or so before I did and started from Vancouver, BC a month or so ahead of me. I started in Fairbanks, Alaska and came across the Alaska and Yellowhead Highways and met them in Campbellton, New Brunswick: http://www.mvermeulen.com/canada/fotox/jul04_05.jpg They had a website up that was sometimes useful browsing but their web link went dead not long after they completed their trip.
Yes, as a matter of fact it does. And I commute (by car) to Edmonton to attend University. Last semester, I was driving up there 3 days a week ... when combined with my 70 km round trip to work on the other two days of the week, I was driving over 1000 km a week. Fortunately, this semester I don't have to do as much driving. But because I'm so used to travelling longish distances for work and school, my idea of "local" is rather broad.

Teachers do have a good opportunity to do cross-country rides like that. I've heard of others doing the same sort of thing.
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Old 01-11-09, 09:09 PM   #15
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Machka - we must be neighbors. I wish there was something more central in AB. Driving to Edmonton or Calgary area for a ride sounds like fun, but it's a bit far for my tastes.

Well, we do have a randonneuring club here too, of which I'm sort of a member and sort of the leader:

http://www.albertarandonneurs.com/
http://groups.google.com/group/abrando?hl=en
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Old 01-11-09, 10:27 PM   #16
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As best I can tell, here in north Texas (Dallas area), cyclotourists are kind of like porcupines. You know they exist, but you only see them in pictures; you don't ever see a real one. I don't really remember ever seeing anyone here in this area with a cargo trailer or full set of panniers out riding. There are several bicycle clubs in the area, but as best I can tell, none of them are involved in touring. The club up in Oklahoma City does some weekend tours, and I may be overlooking some local activities, but all in all, it seems there just isn't a cyclotouring club in this area.
Texas Hill Country Bicycle Touring Club, based in San Antonio, organized rides in Hill country.

http://www.hcbtc.org/
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