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  1. #1
    Toeclips are real delver's Avatar
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    Is this considered touring?

    Every once in a while I ride a bike 200 miles one way to visit a friend for a couple days, then ride back.
    Generaly two nights camping each way over the boston mountains of Arkansas with minimal camping gear and a set of street clothes. Every time I try to stop at a different camping place, though thats getting harder.

    Planning my next trip, I am wondering if this is just a trip by bike, or if taking a different route each time makes it touring. The whole point is really seeing my friends and thier kids, but I take the bike because I am car light and its fun, but feels different from a long journey just for the sake of taking the bike.

    This trip I plan on mailing some clothing there and taking my road bike with touring gearing, trying for a one day trip but with my hammock just in case. My base wieght for camping gear, stove, hammock, tarp and bag is 12 lbs so I think I can do it(crossing some river valleys may kill the idea).
    The first time I did it I carried 15 lbs of tea pot and cups as a wedding gift + regular load Its funny now, but not while I was climbing out of the Buffalo river valley.
    Last edited by delver; 06-04-09 at 10:21 AM. Reason: I really can't spell
    Ucla, Ariel, ride!

  2. #2
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    This sounds like credit-card touring made even better (with no credit card involved).
    When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

  3. #3
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delver View Post
    Every once in a while I ride a bike 200 miles one way to visit a friend for a couple days, then ride back.
    Generaly two nights camping each way over the boston mountains of Arkansas with minimal camping gear and a set of street clothes..........
    Sounds like touring to me! Watch out...it tends to be habit forming. Before ya know it you'll be riding around the world.

    roughstuff
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

  4. #4
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Heck yeah - it's touring! It won't be long before you'll start thinking about going to visit your friends in LA, then New York, then Florida...
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  5. #5
    Day trip lover mr geeker's Avatar
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    I'D call it touring.
    instant human: just add coffee
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  6. #6
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    A tour - to me - is when you ride somewhere, stay overnight, then ride somewhere the next day. So yes, this is touring.
    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.

  7. #7
    imi
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    Yeah, good definition... I have friends who live just 20 miles away in the country, but when I visit them I take my crash bag and bike tools, sleep in their garden (in the summer) and ride home the next day... It feels like more like touring definitely not commuting or just popping out to the shops... so 200 miles? definitely... p.s It must be great to have a friend who rides 400 miles to visit! good on you!

  8. #8
    Toeclips are real delver's Avatar
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    Well, thanks. I figured that since it just feels a bit different than fighting headwinds for days, running out of water cause all the gas stations are closed down, trying to find a camp when there are miles of barbed wire on each side of the road, or losing 15 pounds while eating 8500 calories a day it may be different. I always seem to do long trips in the worst weather as well.

    And thinking about it, there always seems to be a vista that is new, odd people to talk to in towns like Possum Trot, and the joy of cooking something to eat in the middle of nowhere.
    And of course there are things like this to see.

    I love Arkansas.
    Ucla, Ariel, ride!

  9. #9
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    A tour - to me - is when you ride somewhere, stay overnight, then ride somewhere the next day. So yes, this is touring.
    Yeah, I tend to use the term that way too.

    Still, I'd rather talk about bike touring than "bike touring" if you see what I mean. Isn't there a Semantics forum where people talk about what words mean?

  10. #10
    Neil_B
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    It's a tour to most of us here, aside from possibly a few 'elite' tourers.

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    A tour - to me - is when you ride somewhere, stay overnight, then ride somewhere the next day. So yes, this is touring.

    +1

    I'll add that I include hub-and-spoke style tours as touring too.

  12. #12
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    I don't quite like the "ride somewhere, stay the night, ride somewhere" definition. Sometimes friends and I go to the beach, and some of us ride down (70ks), some of us drive.

    So, it's a tour if:
    - There are two days of bike riding, between the time you left home and when you returned; AND
    - The bike ride is the primary purpose of the outing, OR you ride two two days in a row.

    (So yes, riding 3 days to visit a friend is a tour. Riding 1 day to the beach then back is not)
    Specialized Tricross Sport 2009. Giant Yukon FX 3.

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevage View Post
    I don't quite like the "ride somewhere, stay the night, ride somewhere" definition. Sometimes friends and I go to the beach, and some of us ride down (70ks), some of us drive.

    So, it's a tour if:
    - There are two days of bike riding, between the time you left home and when you returned; AND
    - The bike ride is the primary purpose of the outing, OR you ride two two days in a row.

    (So yes, riding 3 days to visit a friend is a tour. Riding 1 day to the beach then back is not)
    If you're riding 1 day to the beach, staying overnight at the beach and riding back home, it is a tour. If you want to call it something, that's called an "overnight tour". That's what the definition describes.

  14. #14
    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    That is a tour in my book! I do lots of "overnighters" as shake down rides to test new, or different equipment. Yesterday I rode my loaded bike all day in the rain and cool temps just to see if I was prepaired for difficult weather. I'm heading over into the Missouri Ozarks for a few weeks, just for fun!

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    The consensus here says yes. I tour in this fashion at least twice a month practically all year long. I spend one weekend home the next I ride, if at all possible. However, I remember Sheldon Brown calling it bike camping. He seemed to classify touring as biking long distance without a daily goal or firm plan. Please forgive me as I take liberty with his wording.

  16. #16
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Let's get real here, NO, this is not touring for the following reasons.

    1. You're only traveling through Arkansas and not going solo across Malaysia

    2. It's obvious with such a short gear list that you're not using both front AND rear panniers.

    3. You will only be gone for a few days and not the minimum 6 months (or is that 6 years?)

    4. You're probably not riding a LHT or Trek 520, so that disqualifies you immediately, and if by chance your bike is made from anything but steel, just get your non-Brooks riding butt right over to the roadie forum and stay clear of us true bike tourers.

    Nuff said, as tongue stuck in cheek.
    Last edited by robow; 06-05-09 at 09:22 PM.

  17. #17
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    Let's get real here, NO, this is not touring for the following reasons.

    1. You're only traveling through Arkansas and not going solo across Malaysia

    2. It's obvious with such a short gear list that you're not using both front AND rear panniers.

    3. You will only be gone for a few days and not the minimum 6 months (or is that 6 years?)

    4. You're probably not riding a LHT or Trek 520, so that disqualifies you immediately, and if by chance your bike is made from anything but steel, just get your non-Brooks riding butt right over to the roadie forum and stay clear of us true bike tourers.

    Nuff said, as tongue stuck in cheek.
    There are other rules, such as the requirement you stealth camp, disrespect private property, etc, but your four are a good start.

  18. #18
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Don't forget, if you don't take a bazillion photos it's not a real tour. Because the thread you post about the tour (another requirement to make it a real tour) will be worthless without pictures.

    (There will inevitable be someone who doesn't get that this - and the previous three posts - are sarcasm. Go figure...)
    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.

  19. #19
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    Don't forget, if you don't take a bazillion photos it's not a real tour. Because the thread you post about the tour (another requirement to make it a real tour) will be worthless without pictures.
    Just make sure they are "real" pictures, not "snapshots."

  20. #20
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Ah yes, like a tree falling in a forest, if there are not enough "real" 35 mm photos of your loaded bike against some iconic background, then it didn't happen. See, I added a smiley so as to add clarity to my oh so subtle post.

  21. #21
    Toeclips are real delver's Avatar
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    I guess that having all brand new uber expensive equipment helps as well. I think that Robow can attest that I tour on nothing but the latest and greatest
    When we met I was on cracked old 27" gumwalls and a gaspipe frame with cheap avenir panniers. One of my favorite bikes actually.

    and all I ever seem to take pictures of is my bike with a flat and whatever is around when I am fixing it.

    Well, whatever it is I am leaving next week, and have decided to tackle mount Nebo and Petit Jean Mountain, since I just recomended them to someone else. Got to put the foot where the mouth is.
    Ucla, Ariel, ride!

  22. #22
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    Just make sure to remain over sensitive to the opinions of others because touring with a hair shirt is really fun .

  23. #23
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    yeah, it's touring if the miles per day divided by the weight of your gear multiplied by the square root of the cost of your trip plus 150% of the tire air pressure divided by tire size width is less than 100. I'm not sure what the other folks are doing.

  24. #24
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Yea, when I met up with Delver on the Katy Trail a couple years back, well let's put it this way, there are people who love to bike tour and then there are slob poseurs like me, and Delver is the real thing. Best of luck to you but I'm sure which ever one of your 60+ vintage steeds you select to ride, you'll be flying both up and down those mountain tops.

  25. #25
    Recovering mentalist Randochap's Avatar
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    Sure, it's a short tour. I even refer to a long day, ridden for no other purpose than sightseeing as a "day tour."

    During the brevet season I'll ride longer distances, in shorter times, but these are with the official clock ticking, so not in the same low-key spirit as "tours."
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