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Old 07-26-09, 05:13 AM   #1
erbfarm
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parting ways on tour

I've heard a lot of people say they "parted ways" with their touring partners after riding with them for a short time and I'm just wondering what exactly is it that makes you ditch your companion if you've been looking for a touring partner and hoping to have some company on the ride. Annoying habits? constant conversation? Dour disposition? creepiness? I can't find anyone to tour with me so I'm forced to go myself, but I did advertise for a companion and then started noticing how many times touring partnerships just didn't work out. Why not?
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Old 07-26-09, 05:19 AM   #2
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It's sort of like selecting one's spouse. You live with them for awhile.. That is not always easy.. So if you have the habit of selecting one's friends well; you'll have no problems..
You can't find any kind of touring bike clubs nearby... ? I'd use the web more in my search for cycling friends.. Does your state have a cycling advocacy organization. They might have ideas.. If not, I know of paid bike tours in Vermont should you want a partner..
I find if you find the right partner, who is supportive and with similar likes, riding with a group is more fun than going solo.
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Old 07-26-09, 05:31 AM   #3
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Have you ever tried to spend every day, day in and day out, for weeks at a time, with one other person?

In an office relationship, you arrive at work, spend 8 hours with one or more other people, and then go your separate ways for the rest of the day. In a marriage, you and your partner part ways for 8 hours of the day when you go to work. You've got some space from the people you normally associate with.

But on a tour, there is rarely an option for space. You ride together all day, you eat together, you check out interesting sights etc. together, and you might share a tent, or at least camp on the same site. Because you travel in areas where you don't know anyone else, you tend to stick together even when you might possibly head off in different directions for the day. You're glued at the hip.

Conflicts are naturally going to arise, especially if you don't know each other very well, and sometimes especially when you do.

I rode with one cycling partner throughout a 3-month cycling tour of Australia in 2004. We had minor conflicts from the get-go, but they continued to escalate throughout the tour. I probably drove him crazy because I wanted a more relaxed tour, and he drove me crazy for many reasons, not the least of which was his desire to ride a minimum of 100 km and preferably closer to 200 km a day.

In the first couple months of the tour, we had a couple breaks from the "just us" thing tours force you into. We stayed with his family for a while in the first month, and stayed with a friend* of mine in the second month. But the third month it was "just us", and by the end of the third month, I was done. Fortunately I was heading back to Canada and he was heading to New Zealand.

We stuck it out for the planned 3 months because we both wanted to see the parts of Australia we were visiting, and just about anyone can put aside difficulties, and tolerate each other if there's a goal in mind.

Oh, and if you do go your separate ways for whatever reason, it's very bad form to bash each other on forums and in your ride reports. No one wants to hear about it.



*about the "friend" we stayed with ....... I ended up marrying that friend.
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Old 07-26-09, 07:07 AM   #4
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For me it boils down to what the trip is for. If people have different objectives, it's a recipe for disaster. I like to enjoy the scenery by riding my bike. I have no interest in finding access to the internet. I don't want to hang around camp any longer than necessary. I like stopping for pancakes. I don't want to fish the rivers we pass. I have no interest in trying my luck at casinos or in bars. I don't want to score any weed or get drunk.

Group trips work only when there is mutual dependence and the trip couldn't continue for either party if one person bails. It's otherwise just too easy to go your separate ways when conflict arises.
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Old 07-26-09, 07:53 AM   #5
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With one exception we choose each other well. We had known each other long before our tour.. We had no significant problems, even if we lived and rode together more closely than even spouses often do.. Just sit down and discuss your ideal tour days with potential riders before the tour and maybe no surprises will occur. In fact on one large group tour , two marriages resulted and last I heard they lived happily ever after.
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Old 07-26-09, 10:20 AM   #6
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I've done most of my tours by myself. I haven't parted company with tour companions on ones I've done with others, but as folks have noted above - there are a lot of little decisions and "styles" that go from day to day. People can have different preferences or choices on everything from:
- when to get on the road or stop?
- how far to go, how fast and how often to stop?
- what types of routes to take?
- camping vs. motels on good days or poor weather?
- what to eat and where?
- etc.
You are with that other person continuously and by default might approach such decisions together.

For the longer trips where I've gone with others - in many cases I was either the organizer or more experienced and we adapted a bit to my style with variations. In most of those cases, I also knew the person well in advance so we had other aspects of friendship to base things on.

In my cross-Russia trip, I went with someone who was essentially a stranger prior to the trip. We adapted to a hybrid style of both our preferences and camped in same places but sync'd up a few times during the day. We were both experienced tourists and even before the trip we had some tour discussions on preferences as well as both approaching it that we would both have ability to go by ourselves if things didn't work (and in fact accidentally missed each others for a 10 day stretch).

I had also posted a "companions wanted" ad prior to the Russia trip and also had at least two respondents where in discussing things in advance, came to mutual conclusion that it probably wouldn't work cycling together since either our goals or styles were different enough.
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Old 07-26-09, 10:28 AM   #7
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Solo is good. But, it's a highlight of a tour to share a bottle of wine about a fire with good cycling friends after a days ride.. Also, when the going gets rough after a day of climbing, sometimes friends can urge you on to just do it.
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Old 07-26-09, 06:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erbfarm View Post
I can't find anyone to tour with me so I'm forced to go myself, but I did advertise for a companion and then started noticing how many times touring partnerships just didn't work out.
I second the suggestion that you start riding with your local cycletouring club. (In Alberta my "local" clubs were each about 100 miles away, so local doesn't have to mean right next door to you.)

Go out on some day rides with people from this club and start to get to know them ... and then do one or more of their weekend tours, or week-long tours, to get to know them better. If you're touring like that in an organized pre-set manner you can still figure out that this person would like to cycle a lot more each day (because once the group gets to camp, that person pitches his tent and heads out for another ride), and this person is struggling to make the pre-set distance and would probably prefer shorter days .... and this person is up with the birds and ready to go, while this person likes to stay up later at night and sleep in a bit in the morning.

Then you might gravitate to someone or a small group of people with a similar style as yours.
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Old 07-26-09, 06:48 PM   #9
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I met up with cyclists along the tour and we cycled for a short while. Different goals lead us on separate paths. We lasted for maybe two days.
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Old 07-26-09, 07:44 PM   #10
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I always wind up riding with religious ppl...can't stand that. Are there no atheist tourists?? As soon as someone drops the G-bomb, it's over baby.
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Old 07-26-09, 08:19 PM   #11
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What about Allah or Buddha?

Heh, personally I'm not religious. But I haven't been on any sort of tour yet.

Need to get out there soon though. Haven't slept in the woods for over a year now, really starting to miss the quietness.
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Old 07-26-09, 08:38 PM   #12
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i always wind up riding with religious ppl...can't stand that. Are there no atheist tourists?? As soon as someone drops the g-bomb, it's over baby.
+1
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Old 07-26-09, 08:42 PM   #13
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As soon as someone drops the G-bomb, it's over baby.
You got that right!

When I was touring in the Rockies, I met a jerk who soon started to proselytize. I immediately put an end to that. Then, when I mentioned I had recently gotten caught in a hailstorm above the treeline while crossing a pass, he arrogantly said "the lord protects me from hailstorms". Game over, buh-bye.
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Old 07-26-09, 08:47 PM   #14
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I always wind up riding with religious ppl...can't stand that. Are there no atheist tourists?? As soon as someone drops the G-bomb, it's over baby.
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+1
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You got that right!

When I was touring in the Rockies, I met a jerk who soon started to proselytize. I immediately put an end to that. Then, when I mentioned I had recently gotten caught in a hailstorm above the treeline while crossing a pass, he arrogantly said "the lord protects me from hailstorms". Game over, buh-bye.
I guess you all won't be touring with me. Oh well.
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Old 07-26-09, 09:05 PM   #15
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I always wind up riding with religious ppl...can't stand that. Are there no atheist tourists??
A lot of them. Many of them post here. And evangelize for their beliefs whenever possible.
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Old 07-26-09, 09:15 PM   #16
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Interesting thread. My experience with the Bike Forums GAP/C & O tour last month is related, in that I "parted ways" with the group on the last night on the trail. Aside from meeting ALHanson, Joel2Old, and a couple of other folks 35 miles from DC on the last day, I didn't see anyone in the group between Thursday morning and Friday evening. I camped instead of getting a hotel room Thursday evening. The decision had nothing to do with personality conflicts between myself and other riders - as far as I knew there weren't any, but instead was a resolution of the conflict between the tour schedule and my abilities. Frankly, once I left the group I felt like a cyclist for the first time on the tour.
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Old 07-26-09, 09:59 PM   #17
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I met up with cyclists along the tour and we cycled for a short while. Different goals lead us on separate paths. We lasted for maybe two days.
This is similar to what I've experienced on tours. I remember one day in New Zealand, where myself and six other cycle tourists were all riding the same way on the same roads, and we ended up going solo for the day and catching up at the end of the day, because we wanted to ride at different speeds and look at different things along the way. I've also parted ways with other people I've met on the road because we wanted to see/do different things along the way.

In the end, if you're going to tour with a partner, you either need to work all these things out before you go, or simply be prepared to have the flexibility to go separate ways for a while, sometimes for days on end, so that you all get to do the things you want to do on tour.
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Old 07-26-09, 11:22 PM   #18
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Machka: I knew it!

Glad to know there are other heathens out there like me though.

Axolotl: I'd have been temped to pop the guy one in the chin and say "Where was your god on that one?" LOL

Oscuro: Are you by chance the really tall bloke I met a few weeks back as I was heading through Victoria? I met a tall guy (I'm really tall too) who was aking me about touring and bikes and you sound like him.


Now to go have some gay "relations" and worship the devil
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Old 07-26-09, 11:31 PM   #19
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i guess you all won't be touring with me. oh well.
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Old 07-27-09, 12:38 AM   #20
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That's okay I prefer a different kind of brotherly love...no wait, it's the same kind...bwahahaha
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Old 07-27-09, 01:09 AM   #21
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The supreme irony has been enacted in this thread, the people who apparently don't want to hear about religion on their tours are bringing it up now.
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Old 07-27-09, 01:11 AM   #22
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the supreme irony has been enacted in this thread, the people who apparently don't want to hear about religion on their tours are bringing it up now.
+1 :d
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Old 07-27-09, 03:23 AM   #23
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Unfortunately not. I'm a really short guy.
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Old 07-27-09, 03:44 AM   #24
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The supreme irony has been enacted in this thread, the people who apparently don't want to hear about religion on their tours are bringing it up now.
Evangelical atheism. It's largely a fear response. And no surprise this forum is chock-full of such posters.
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Old 07-27-09, 05:29 AM   #25
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A lot of them. Many of them post here. And evangelize for their beliefs whenever possible.
A non-belief is not a belief.
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