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  1. #1
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    how hard is it to find a touring partner?

    am planning my first self-supported tour for the Lake Champlain bikeway in mid August. Since this is my first tour and since I'm a female, I'd really like to have another woman along for the ride for company and to share camping fees, but I'm really having a hard time finding someone who wants to go. I've posted to Adventure Cycling and to Crazy guy, but haven't had any responses. And people that I know in "real life" either don't have the time to go (I've got a 10 day tour planned) or don't have any interest in carrying gear and camping. What's a girl to do? I may end up going by myself, I guess, but 10 days of it doesn't sound as much fun as 2 or 3 days on my own. Is it usually pretty tough to find a cycling mate? or am I just going at the wrong time, too long, unappealing destination? what? If I had the cash ($1,000) I would probably just sign up for the ACA Adirondack tour or something, but my budget is more like $200 and I can do this tour on a shoestring even if on my own. Why doesn't the low budget haul it yourself idea seem to appeal to more people?
    1997 Terry Classic

  2. #2
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    It's bad enough you wanna do something nuts like this. Best thing is to do like Machka and marry one.

  3. #3
    Day trip lover mr geeker's Avatar
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    i'm going to assume that its extremely hard. i myself can't get anybody to even cruise the bike trails with me. i think that though they like the idea of such, they just don't see it working.

    maybe you should do it yourself, you may just have alot of fun.
    instant human: just add coffee
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  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan View Post
    It's bad enough you wanna do something nuts like this. Best thing is to do like Machka and marry one.
    Yes ... but I had to meet him first!


    So to the OP ..... my recommendation is to join cycling clubs, especially those that specialize in touring and/or randonneuring. I know the Boston-Montreal-Boston used to run through your area, so there is a reasonably large randonneuring crowd in that area, and many randonneurs tour as well as doing long distance rides.

    If you start riding with a club or two, you can actually meet people who do tours etc. in person, and will increase your chances of finding someone to ride with.

    http://highaltitude2u.com/new-hampsh...ling-clubs.php
    http://www.directorynh.com/NHAssocia...lingLinks.html
    http://www.bikenewengland.com/links.html
    http://www.rusa.org/cgi-bin/eventsearch_GF.pl

    Another idea might be to see if someone would be interested in coming out and joining you for a day or two here or there.

  5. #5
    the bike made me do it oneredstar's Avatar
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    I have found it extremely difficult in the past. I would try to let as many people know your plans and that you are looking for someone to join you. Sometimes going it alone will be more fun in the end though. Conflicting personalities can make a nice ride dreadful.

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    Touring really doesn't appeal to that many people - accept that and move on. Go by yourself. Most ad hoc touring partnerships dissolve in a matter of days anyway. You'll figure it out in a few days. Everyone you meet along the way will want to talk to you, so if you are at all friendly and outgoing (or just fake it) you won't be lonely.


    ...

  7. #7
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan View Post
    It's bad enough you wanna do something nuts like this. Best thing is to do like Machka and marry one.
    I agree - but you have to be comfortable touring on your own first. At least that's my take on it!

    Way back in 1990 I wanted to tour for a year in India and couldn't find anyone to go with me - who would be crazy enough to drop everything and tak eoff for a year in India? So I decided to go by myself.

    Long story short... two months before I left I found out about another man who was doing the same trip, we went together, and got married when we arrived back in the USA after 13 months of touring together. We are now touring down in Nicaragua - with our children this time!
    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

  8. #8
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    thanks so much for all this feedback.....so I'm not just imagining it. ok then. I think I'll feel a little less anxious about the trip when I get the map of the bikeway in the mail and I can look things over and see where the campgrounds are and read about them online and so forth. I also have to get to work on practicing riding around on a loaded rig as I am just putting the finishing touches now on my "touring" bike (aka old mtn bike). There aren't any touring groups in my area, lots of road racer types, but not even a randonneuring group. I just didn't realize that touring was such an oddball thing. To me, if you can spend your whole day riding, and then kick back in your tent and read for awhile and do it for low dollars, that just sounds like a "getaway" to me and I can't believe I'm all that unusual. I mean, tons of people backpack and think nothing of lugging 35 pounds on their backs for days on end and sleeping in lean-to's where there aren't any showers, why is that immensely popular when stuffing that same gear into 4 panniers and staying at a campground where you can take a shower is considered unappealing?
    1997 Terry Classic

  9. #9
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    Dervla Murphy didn't have Adventure Cycling, Crazy Guy, Bikeforums.net or any of that stuff, and she seems to have had a pretty good time.

    Head for Lake Champlain on your own, start riding, and if it stops being fun take a bus home early. Maybe you'll meet a kindred spirit, or maybe you'll decide (like me) that traveling alone has its benefits.

  10. #10
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    Most ad hoc touring partnerships dissolve in a matter of days anyway.
    OTOH, when they do survive the first few days, that's a *really* good sign.

  11. #11
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I have yet to find a touring partner. My wife can't get away from work. My friends think I'm nuts.

    I have come close though. Twice I rode down the Oregon coast (once the whole west coast.) Both times I met lots of other tourers, and made some pretty good friends. I emailed two of them last summer to try to put together a tour. Both of them were interested but had things going on that precluded a tour.

    One of them met two other people on that same trip down the Oregon coast, kept in contact, and toured the Icefields Parkway the following summer. It can happen.

    The nice thing about making friends along the way is that you have a chance to get to know them without any commitment. I'd worry that if I found a friend via ACA or CrazyGuy or this forum, we'd get out on the road and I'd discover I couldn't stand being around the other person. That could get awkward, to say the least.

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    Meeting people on tour is one of the greatest benefits. Just start out by yourself...I doubt you will be alone for long.

  13. #13
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    I am 52 years old, and none of my old friends can do this anymore. I feel like I am in a minority of one sometimes.

    Howard

  14. #14
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Organized cycle tours makes it easy. Going solo , you'll have to connect with a touring club and seek out those with similiar interests.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living









    ^ Since June 16, 2011

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erbfarm View Post
    There aren't any touring groups in my area, lots of road racer types, but not even a randonneuring group.
    The two touring clubs in my area are each 160 km (100 miles) away. The last few years I've been a member of both, and have done rides with both clubs. Are there clubs that are not in your immediate area but perhaps within a 100 mile radius of where you live? If you really want to find a partner, you might have to expand your search area a bit.

  16. #16
    Never say never
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneredstar View Post
    <snip> Conflicting personalities can make a nice ride dreadful.
    Boy I can attest to that! Back in 1980, 2 friends and I bicycled from Wisconsin to California. A lot of the trip wasn't as pleasurable as it could have been due to never-ending bickering. When it was all said and done, I would guess that the trip was 80% work and 20% fun. I'm not sure how much of that was due to the conflicts within our little group.

    Here it is 29 years later (at age 53) and I'm finally getting a 2nd wind to hit the road again. 3 summers ago I bought a Bianchi Volpe which would be my ride. Still need to get a few accessories before setting out. Don't know where I'll be going yet. I'll most likely be by myself this time, wherever I end up. Looking forward to it though.

    Bob

  17. #17
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Maybe we should post the following: "Wanted: Partners for bicycle tour. Must be willing to dissolve partnership at a moment's notice, as we probably won't be able to stand each other for too long."

    Any takers?

  18. #18
    Senior Member damselfli's Avatar
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    To the OP, I am in the same boat. Planning my first long (300+mi) self-supported tour and not finding company among the people that I know (I am female, too, but haven't limited my search to women) My ACA maps arrived last week, instantly increasing my comfort level. (look at all the campgrounds!) My trip is on the opposite side of continent from 'home' (living in FL, touring the Pacific Coast), so not so easy to hop a train/bus home, but part of the excitement comes in the challenge. I had doubts about solo, too, until I read a few posts by valygrl who really convinced me that it's a good experience.

    The one thing I am doing is allowing a lot of time. I want to take in all the sights and sounds of the new world around me.
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  19. #19
    Cycled on all continents JohnyW's Avatar
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    Hi,

    it's even difficult to find other male tour companions. In Germany we have an annual bicycle tourer meeting. After 5 years I know a few persons. Then it's easier to find somebody. So my last 3 trips I found a touring partner. This year I want to go solo again...

    It's easier to find friends which you can convince that I bicycle trip is a good idea. And don't hestitate to go solo.

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

  20. #20
    mev
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    Maybe we should post the following: "Wanted: Partners for bicycle tour. Must be willing to dissolve partnership at a moment's notice, as we probably won't be able to stand each other for too long."

    Any takers?
    The last clause is strong than I would put it, but when soliciting partners for a ride across Russia, I did introduce up front the premise that we should both be able to cycle on our own - in case for whatever reason things don't work out. Like a lot of other things, it is useful to have that type of conversation prior to the trip. There are a lot of variables in that equation such as personality, riding style, preferences, etc and in some cases people will work well together and in others it just won't work. Some you might be able to figure out but others will be a surprise until you are on the trip together. Not as big a deal for a one week trip, but a six month trip is something different.

    The vast majority of my touring is alone and I'm happy with that. When I've toured with someone else in English speaking countries, it is typically an established friendship. So I'm not going to dissolve that partnership in the same way because I already have a different relationship there.

    However it isn't surprising to me that the OP can't quite find someone by posting for other riders.

  21. #21
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    Maybe we should post the following: "Wanted: Partners for bicycle tour. Must be willing to dissolve partnership at a moment's notice, as we probably won't be able to stand each other for too long."

    Any takers?
    That's basically what I did before my 1990-91 trip where I met my husband!! I placed an ad in "Great Expeditions" - One year mountain bike trip to Asia: Anyone want to join me? Leaving in two months! As it turned out, there was one other man who advertised for the exact same trip - and we traveled together for the whole year, then got married.
    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

  22. #22
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by erbfarm View Post
    am planning my first self-supported tour for the Lake Champlain bikeway in mid August. Since this is my first tour and since I'm a female, I'd really like to have another woman along for the ride for company and to share camping fees, but I'm really having a hard time finding someone who wants to go. I've posted to Adventure Cycling and to Crazy guy, but haven't had any responses. And people that I know in "real life" either don't have the time to go (I've got a 10 day tour planned) or don't have any interest in carrying gear and camping. What's a girl to do? I may end up going by myself, I guess, but 10 days of it doesn't sound as much fun as 2 or 3 days on my own. Is it usually pretty tough to find a cycling mate? or am I just going at the wrong time, too long, unappealing destination? what? If I had the cash ($1,000) I would probably just sign up for the ACA Adirondack tour or something, but my budget is more like $200 and I can do this tour on a shoestring even if on my own. Why doesn't the low budget haul it yourself idea seem to appeal to more people?
    It might appeal to more people if they knew more about it.

    If you tour alone (alone initially at least) on routes that are reasonably well traveled by other touring cyclists, there are often many opportunities for meeting people. The problems of coordinating times off and touring routes are already largely sorted out; and you can be somewhat selective -- meet people, and get to know them a bit before any sort of commitment. And the initial commitment can be a short one (an hour, a day) that serves as a trial period. You aren't stuck with someone; and breaking it off is relatively easy.

    You can meet a lot of people while out on tour.

    There are also places along some routes that are especially good for meeting people -- certain campsites and cafes, for example. There are ways of increasing the numbers, if you want a better chance of finding someone, or of spotting a likely or promising possibility.

  23. #23
    I don't wanna be a Newbie
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    I just went under the assumption that I wasn't going to find anyone else relatively close by who loved touring and went off on my own. I figure that if I waited for someone else to come along, especially another woman, I would still be sitting at home. I really enjoy that alone time on tours. I also adore meeting the people along the way.

  24. #24
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    well, at this point, I'm going to head off on my own and I"m sure I'll run into other tourers as the Lake Champlain bike loop (I would think) would be a popular destination since it is very bike friendly. Even if I just have company for 4 -5 hours a day, that would be enough for me and then at campgrounds, there are always people around. I guess I'm just kind of surprised that I didn't get any responses to my ads (except from one guy who wants to read my crazyguy journal since he wants to do the Lake Champlain tour in the future) since I know how thrilled I would be to find an ad like that from someone who had already planned the route, picked the dates, lined everything up including a ride and all I had to do was sign on. I'd jump on that! I had a great time riding with a pack of people last summer on the MassBikePike for 4 days (we had a sag wagon) and the company was great, loved the people, had a wonderful time, so I just assumed that there would be people like that waiting to go (I did contact one of them who had all her own touring gear but she had already signed on w/ ACA for the Adirondack tour).
    1997 Terry Classic

  25. #25
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by the smokester View Post
    meeting people on tour is one of the greatest benefits. Just start out by yourself...i doubt you will be alone for long.
    +1!

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