Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26
  1. #1
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,334
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Your first tour - great or terrible?

    I always figured that your first tour should be really memorable, defining in its way. Mine was. i still look back at it with fondness.
    How about yours? Where was it and how did it go? Are you smiling now thinking about it?

  2. #2
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Fallbrook,Calif./Palau del Vidre, France
    My Bikes
    Klein QP, Fuji touring, Surly Cross Check, BCH City bike
    Posts
    13,145
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Memorable. One of life's highlights.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  3. #3
    mev
    mev is offline
    bicycle tourist
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Austin, Texas, USA
    My Bikes
    Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500
    Posts
    869
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The first one I'd describe as overnight tour was ~135 miles from Boston to tip of Cape Cod. It was memorable, though mostly because I had faulty brakes and went over the handlebars ~10 miles from the start and was headstrong enough to continue the rest of the trip despite a painful nasty gash on my back. It is the sort of adventure that is sometimes better looking back on than living in the moment. From there it had been a progression of trips with increased length and time.

    Though hardly a first tour, my first transcontinental trip nine years later also held a special memorable place and influenced my outlook on life and approach to cycle touring. It was a more aggressive trip than I would do now (3475 miles from Astoria, Oregon to Boston in five weeks). However, it got myself completely in the flow of living as a cycle tourist and focus during the trip. It was a time of transition in my life with multiple high-stress events happening that year and spending some long hours on the bike gave me a chance to reflect and work things through and develop a better understanding of who I was and what was important to me.

    That first trans-continental trip influenced me in living a bit more simply and also in working towards a longer extended multi-month cycle trip which I've been fortunate to do every 4-5 years after that.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Gouverneur NY
    My Bikes
    2003 BIANCHI VIGORELLI, 2000 TREK 520, Schwinn Mesa WINTER BIKE
    Posts
    1,229
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    First tour....
    Fun? yes.
    Learning experience? yes.
    Glorious? yes.
    Miserable? yes.
    Painful? yes.
    Memorable? most definitely.

  5. #5
    Senior Member xilios's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Maastricht, NL
    My Bikes
    Gazelle Playa (Hybrid) set-up for touring. Voyager citybike for everyday use.
    Posts
    574
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It was a great experiance and one that I'll never forget. I never thought that riding a bicycle 3000kms across Europe would be so much fun. I can trully say that it changed my life in a way.

  6. #6
    Neil_B
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Gotte View Post
    I always figured that your first tour should be really memorable, defining in its way. Mine was. i still look back at it with fondness.
    How about yours? Where was it and how did it go? Are you smiling now thinking about it?
    I remember my first tour in October 2007. It was both delightful and miserable. I was riding with a friend who planned the tour. However, it soon came out he was incapable of reading either a cue sheet or a street map. At one point he led us into a salt marsh. Another he tried to lead us back to the hotel we had just left. My favorite moment was watching him read a street map upside down. Good times, good times.

  7. #7
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,084
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    First tour was just as memorable as the last. Every tour has it's own personality. It will time to stop if they ever start running together or become boring.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  8. #8
    Neil_B
    Guest
    [QUOTE=wahoonc;8198454]First tour was just as memorable as the last. Every tour has it's own personality. It will time to stop if they ever start running together or become boring.

    Aaron[/QUOTE

    +1!

  9. #9
    Senior Member MNBikeguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Bikes
    05 Trek 5200, 07 Trek 520, 99 GT Karakoram, 08 Surly 1X1
    Posts
    1,834
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My first tour was down the famed "Elroy-Sparta" trail.
    Calling that route "bike touring" is like calling "add water and stir" cooking.
    Nevertheless, that was the experience that got me completely hooked.
    I recall those painful 20 mile days with great fondness..
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    - Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  10. #10
    BikeForums Founder Joe_Gardner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    My Bikes
    Santa Cruze Superlight, Bianchi Pista, Klein Race
    Posts
    105
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't know of too many people who attempt a 2nd tour if the 1st was terrible.

    I had a great time on my first tour, one really bad day (attacked by a dog), but extremely memorable. I have done two tours sense, they only seem to get better with time and experience.
    http://www.joe-gardner.com <-- my photo site.
    http://www.joe-and-heather.com <-- the wife an I.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern MA
    My Bikes
    Cotic Roadrat, Bianchi BASS, and a steel fixed-gear conversion of unknown make
    Posts
    930
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    First was 350 miles, 5 days. Crazy amounts of climbing but the pain is long forgotten. Lots of mechanical problems, but I was on an old, untested, not-entirely-worthy bike and I've upgraded. I daydream about this year's tour, which should be about 1500 miles and about a month long.

  12. #12
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    My Bikes
    Too darn many.. latest count is 11
    Posts
    5,345
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    However, it soon came out he was incapable of reading either a cue sheet or a street map.

    Had to check, you said "he". Thought you were talking about my wife.

  13. #13
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,488
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It was one of the best experience of my life, if not the best. It was also full of difficulty, trials, and challenges.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    My Bikes
    2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom, 1985 Univega Gran Turismo; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
    Posts
    6,920
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My first tour was great, super easy. No accidents, breakdowns, or bad weather.

    It was a credit card tour; a friend of mine and I took fairly light road bikes, strapped on racks, and carried enough stuff to get us from town to town. We usually were done "traveling" by 2 p.m. or so each day; we would ditch our stuff in the motel and take our bikes out for more riding.

    We had no big destination to get to - we were just out to get some miles in.

    If all you are doing is waking up the morning, throwing your leg over a bike and then riding (no job, no distractions, no camp to put up) you can rack up a lot of miles....

  15. #15
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Saskatchewan
    Posts
    2,382
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    1300kms of wind, rain, snow and cold northern temps with a few blazing hot days thrown in.
    The three of us were 16 and 17 years old. We fought, laughed, conspired and as it turns out it was the most memorable trip any of us ever had to this day.
    This was a full tour, unsupported except for the few bucks we had in our pockets...
    Last edited by ricohman; 01-18-09 at 11:46 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Central Coast, CA
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)
    Posts
    3,388
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Mine was in college - about 75 miles from Bellingham, Washington to Golden Ears Provincial Park, B. C. I had primitive equipment, an old 10-speed Raleigh with a saddle that was torturous, and no money. I rode up in two days, stayed 4 days by the lake, and rode home in one. I was planning on riding home in two days as well, but was having so much fun that I waited until the last possible moment to come home. I was playing in a band at the time. Our first set was "dinner music". I sat on a barstool and almost fell asleep (and off my stool) during "My Funny Valentine." I was pooped but happy. It was a glorious trip and I was hooked!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Boston Area
    My Bikes
    Univega Gran Turismo, Guerciotti, Bridgestone MB2, Bike Friday New World Tourist, Serotta Ti
    Posts
    1,998
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    1987 England and Scotland

    I was expecting endless days of sunshine and soft breezes. It rained, and I mean RAINED, 21 out of 25 days. I melted down first, and my fiance, now wife, spent the early part of the trip cheering me up. Then I slipped into survival mode. My wife then melted down and I had to try and keep her spirits up. Then she went into survival mode. By the end of the trip each day was grim struggle against the elements. Oddly, that's when the trip was at its best. We had no great expectations, and took pleasure in doing battle against the rain and wind.

    My favorite memory is of the fifty miles from Fort William to Oban into a stiff, rainy headwind. The castles we passed along the way looked properly spooky in that weather, and the innkeeper in Oban was kind enough to be impressed that we'd ventured out that day.

    While I look back fondly on that trip from the comfort of my living room on a snowy day, it put us off bike touring of any sort for ten years.

    Speedo

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    443
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My first tour was memorable because of my touring partner, who drove me crazy. I laugh about it now.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    817
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    C'mon Speedo, it was probably just a slight Scottish Highlands Drizzle, that's all.....

    Seriously, touring through the rain is not my idea of fun. With the exception of a disasterous Nova Scotia tour (that was considerably brightened by my then new found friend, Alexander Keith), I've been very fortunate with the weather.

    My first tour was down on Cape Cod, but it really was just a dry run of a Europe tour. It was decidedly uneventful, and to be honest, not very memorable, apart from I knew I enjoyed it!



    Quote Originally Posted by Speedo View Post
    1987 England and Scotland

    I was expecting endless days of sunshine and soft breezes. It rained, and I mean RAINED, 21 out of 25 days. I melted down first, and my fiance, now wife, spent the early part of the trip cheering me up. Then I slipped into survival mode. My wife then melted down and I had to try and keep her spirits up. Then she went into survival mode. By the end of the trip each day was grim struggle against the elements. Oddly, that's when the trip was at its best. We had no great expectations, and took pleasure in doing battle against the rain and wind.

    My favorite memory is of the fifty miles from Fort William to Oban into a stiff, rainy headwind. The castles we passed along the way looked properly spooky in that weather, and the innkeeper in Oban was kind enough to be impressed that we'd ventured out that day.

    While I look back fondly on that trip from the comfort of my living room on a snowy day, it put us off bike touring of any sort for ten years.

    Speedo

  20. #20
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    New Haven, CT, USA
    My Bikes
    Road, Cargo, Tandem, Etc.
    Posts
    2,765
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Belfast to Galway to Dublin on a bike that cost (and just about weighed) forty pounds-- some 20 year old 10 speed from a street makrket in Belfast. Cheap yel
    low nylon over-the rack pannier. Slept in my little tent on farmland and the rocky shore of one of the Aran islands. What an incredible trip.

    I had to walk up every hill on the way out of NI, but made pretty good time overall. 3 days to Galway, a day and a half to Dublin.

    I had no camera, only a sketch pad, some charcoal and watercolors. I should scan some of that into a computer and post it sometime.

    Other than MS-150's I did as a kid, I haven't had the chance to do another big tour.

    Can't wait until the kids are old enough!
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

  21. #21
    nashcommguy
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    nashville, tn
    My Bikes
    Commuters: Fuji Delray road, Fuji Discovery mtb...Touring: Softride Traveler...Road: C-dale SR300
    Posts
    2,500
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Standalone View Post
    Belfast to Galway to Dublin on a bike that cost (and just about weighed) forty pounds-- some 20 year old 10 speed from a street makrket in Belfast. Cheap yel
    low nylon over-the rack pannier. Slept in my little tent on farmland and the rocky shore of one of the Aran islands. What an incredible trip.

    I had to walk up every hill on the way out of NI, but made pretty good time overall. 3 days to Galway, a day and a half to Dublin.
    Spent 7 weeks in Ireland, Wales, Scotland a few years ago. It was unguided and self-supported. Contacted the Irish Tourist board and they sent me some info. Found a book called 'Cycle Touring Ireland' by Brendan Walsh. He had a recommended 'Grand Tour' that I adapted to my own route.

    My wife and I are planning to do another one within a couple of years. This time we'll go counter-clockwise and NOT take Swords Road into Dublin...not recommended. We'll go from hostel to hostel as they're all to a certain standard of accomodation. There's the Independent Holiday Hostels group sponsored by Guiness that are very good. Dormitory style bunkbeds and fully equipped kitchens. The great thing is that one can book an entire tour in advance and you'll be guaranteed a bed. We're going for at least one month...anything shorter is a waste of time. It takes a few days to get into a 'groove' as any experienced tourer will know.

    It was a life changing experience. The adversity I encountered toughened me into a 'touring cyclist' and I learned how much I could actually do without. As soon as I got off the plane in New York I wanted to turn around and fly back thinking, "Man, I've learned so much. This time I'll do it RIGHT!"

    Overall, it was a great experience w/alot of terrible and exhilarating moments interwoven. The biggest thing I learned is that good quality equipment and a good quality diet are WAY more important than anything else. Believe me, when my wife and I go every variable in terms of equipment failure will be covered. The biggest preparation will be in pre-tour conditioning. Can't stress THAT enough. I know how to build and true my own wheels now. A skill I didn't have then. I'm a more complete mechanic whereas before I was a 'rider' w/o many mechanical skills. THAT'S really important as well.

  22. #22
    Cycled on all continents JohnyW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Germany
    My Bikes
    see homepage (currently only in German)
    Posts
    398
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi,

    I had 3 first times - all memorable.

    The first first was a day trip. Two friends of mine and I told our parents that we cycle to the public swimming pool. But we cycle to lake 50 km away from home. In total we cycled 100 km without parents. I was 10 years old.

    The second first was a several days trip with my father than I was 13. It was only cycling (no sight seeing) and I continued with style until I was 18. 200 km was an lower average on these kind of tours

    The third first was my trip to Morrocco 1996 (I was 24). I would call it "Modern Bike Tour". A lot of sight seeing with an average of 70-80 km per day.

    All first tours lighted the fire and it's still burning... and to be honest all other tours (>20) are also memorable.

    Thomas
    My Travelogues: http://thomasontour.de (currently only in German)

  23. #23
    Recovering mentalist Randochap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    On the Edge
    My Bikes
    Too many
    Posts
    2,808
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    Mine was in college - about 75 miles from Bellingham, Washington to Golden Ears Provincial Park, B. C. I had primitive equipment, an old 10-speed Raleigh with a saddle that was torturous, and no money. I rode up in two days, stayed 4 days by the lake, and rode home in one. I was planning on riding home in two days as well, but was having so much fun that I waited until the last possible moment to come home. I was playing in a band at the time. Our first set was "dinner music". I sat on a barstool and almost fell asleep (and off my stool) during "My Funny Valentine." I was pooped but happy. It was a glorious trip and I was hooked!
    Interesting! My first camping trip was to Alouette Lake, my first summer in Canada, 1965. I returned many times to Golden Ears Park over the years and climbed the main summits in all seasons. I rode there by bike many times, while living in Vancouver and suburbs.

    My first big trip in Canada was in 1972, across to Banff, Alberta with a friend. Awesome trip, despite knee problems, due to high gearing and furious pace. Kids!

    My first day tour though was in 1964, in UK, at age 12. I describe it in part of this story.
    VeloWeb | VeloWebLog

    "The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind." ~William Saroyan

  24. #24
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Highland Park, NJ, USA
    My Bikes
    "Hildy", a Novara Randonee touring bike; a 16-speed Bike Friday Tikit; Dahon Curve D3 folding bike; a green around-town cruiser; and a Specialized Stumpjumper frame-based built-up MTB.
    Posts
    3,778
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    I remember my first tour in October 2007. It was both delightful and miserable. I was riding with a friend who planned the tour. However, it soon came out he was incapable of reading either a cue sheet or a street map. At one point he led us into a salt marsh. Another he tried to lead us back to the hotel we had just left. My favorite moment was watching him read a street map upside down. Good times, good times.
    That was me, and that's my cue. That tour was my first as well, and truly an experience in how not to tour.

    Don't:
    • Assume that parks will have proper roads all the way through
    • Utility roads are not always well-kept or, indeed, proper roads at all
    • Depend on a cheap plastic compass


    Do:
    • Get a flat in a hotel room, if you must get one - it's much easier to change it indoors
    • Have proper road maps
    • Reroute without a second thought when the road is impassable, stubbornness doesn't help anyone


    Neil, wasn't that the tour where we ended up using a sidewalk for a few hundred feet to cross route 18 in East Brunswick?

    I also learned to study the route ahead of time, but not to the point of obsession. I'm better with directions now, but not so much that I didn't pick up a GPS.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  25. #25
    Neil_B
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    That was me, and that's my cue. That tour was my first as well, and truly an experience in how not to tour.

    Don't:
    • Assume that parks will have proper roads all the way through
    • Utility roads are not always well-kept or, indeed, proper roads at all
    • Depend on a cheap plastic compass


    Do:
    • Get a flat in a hotel room, if you must get one - it's much easier to change it indoors
    • Have proper road maps
    • Reroute without a second thought when the road is impassable, stubbornness doesn't help anyone


    Neil, wasn't that the tour where we ended up using a sidewalk for a few hundred feet to cross route 18 in East Brunswick?

    I also learned to study the route ahead of time, but not to the point of obsession. I'm better with directions now, but not so much that I didn't pick up a GPS.
    That might have been. We were in East/West/North/South Brunswick so often it's hard to recall.

    That's the tour I slipped off my bike at one point on the last day. I was probably dehydrated. I hydrate much more frequently on tours now.

    Your sense of direction and map-reading skills improved a great deal, as I told you on later tours and day rides. I remember sending your Princeton day ride route to Bicycle Club of Philadelphia to add to their ride library.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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