And after reading the "Parasite Bicycle Tourers" thread,I got to thinking (I know,bad idea) about all the folks I have seen "runnin the roads" this year.
I live in Virgil Ks. so as one can imagine I do a lot of driving,as the nearest grocery store is 24 miles away for instance.
This year I have seen an exceptional number of folk on U.S.-50,U.S.-54,U.S-40,Ks.99 and other roads around here that are not part of the Trans-Am,and a lot of these folk are not riding LHT's...In fact it's been a lot of 80's/90's Mt.Bikes.
This got me to remembering my first "tour". A ride from Boulder Co. to Austin Tx. Sept-Oct '03,I left Boulder on a Trek 950 dumpster frame that was pieced together with a bunch of scrounged or dumpstered bits and peices.
I was broke.
I was homeless
It was getting cold in Colorado.
I needed work and Austin was booming.
So I took the $25 I had,my "Trashster Trek" and my Pacific Kiddy Hauler trailer and off I went. It took me almost 7 weeks to get to Austin,mostly because I had to stop in almost every town and do my best to pick up a day's work.
Sometimes this took a coupla days,sometimes not.
I learned a ****load.About bicycles,About People,And mostly about myself.
So,my point and thought is this...In light of todays economic crisis there are obviously more folks out "Touring",Walking the Appalachian Trail ect. because they have lost everything,house,car,job and sometimes family,all they have left is their bike or backpack and lotsa time...
How do Ya'll feel about these folk?? Being "Bikenuts" like my self,Ya'll would get rid of all of lifes trappings before you would sell your bike,and if you lost everything,would be just as likely (maybe more so) to travel to another city to find work on said bike.
I have always wondered why some treat a poor biker like crap...some speak of the "Touring Experience" like an exclusive club or click. Others treat poor bikers like any other rider,with respect.
Why does having money(or not) make such a difference?
This is assuming that one is not a Psycopath,Criminal,or some kinda other Weirdo...Just the average person,who thru no fault of their own feel they have no other choice,but to leave where they are and go somewhere else.
On a Bicycle.