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Old 09-24-09, 05:41 AM   #1
erbfarm
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how do you get that jamboree feeling?

Just doing a little reflecting after my first self-supported tour.....had a great time, went w/ a small group of 3, stayed at campgrounds but the thing I missed the most was having a lot of people around who were doing the same thing. Last summer, I did a sag-wagon tour with 75 people and it was so much fun meeting all those new people and having a group of 6 or 7 to ride with. and I loved camping on school soccer fields and seeing all those tents in the morning. I found staying at campgrounds on my self-supported tour a iittle depressing -- you're surrounded by people w/ kids in RV's. I like getting to meet other cyclists which is something I don't get to do too often in my daily round. Soooooo.....how do you get that jamboree feeling without the big price tag of say an Adventure Cycling tour? I'm kind of tempted to go the ACA route just b/c I would then be surrounded by other cyclists, but spending $1,000 to do a 10 day tour when I could probably swing it for $250 by cobbling together my own little group of tourers is hard to swallow. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-24-09, 06:04 AM   #2
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Cycletouring Clubs

In Canada there are several Cycletouring Clubs who put on a variety of events.

Alberta:
Elbow Valley Cycle Club - http://www.elbowvalleycc.org/
Edmonton Bicycle and Touring Club - http://www.bikeclub.ca/

Manitoba:
Winnipeg Cycletouring Club - http://www.winnipegcycletouringclub.ca/drupal/


In Australia there are a lot of different Cycletouring Clubs who do different sorts of rides.

These are just the ones in the vicinity where I currently live:

Geelong: http://home.vicnet.net.au/~gtcycle/
Knox: http://home.vicnet.net.au/~knoxbike/
Melbourne: http://www.mbtc.org.au/
Bayside: http://home.vicnet.net.au/~baybike/


In England there's the CTC: http://www.ctc.org.uk/


Do some Google searching and see what sort of club might exist in the area where you want to tour. Most clubs require you to take a membership before you can ride with them. The membership fees vary from about $30 to about $100. Then there might be a fee for the larger events.

The Elbow Valley Cycle Club, for example, runs a Golden Triangle Tour ... three days of cycling in the Canadian Rockies. They require a membership fee (~$35, I believe), and then the fee for the event was $150 when I did it, but I think it has gone up to $175. Still, $210 for a fully supported, well catered, 3-day event on a long weekend in the Canadian Rockies isn't bad. On that weekend, you're not going to do it for too much less than that.
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Old 09-24-09, 06:33 AM   #3
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erbfarm, have you heard of RAGBRAI or some of the other annual state rides? RAGBRAI is the original cross-state ride, I believe. It attracts about 10,000 cyclists each year for the week-long ride across Iowa in late July. It's the best party I've ever attended! Costs are extremely low, and it's superbly organized.
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Old 09-24-09, 07:24 AM   #4
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HI-USA Christmas Trip - 70-120 cyclists, 6 days, $350 includes meals other than lunch, indoor camping and bag transport/sag (not aid stations, just emergency sag). I've done this trip 3 times and love it. Great people.

Or, Bike Tour of Colorado - about $380 for bag transport, sag, camping. meals are on your own (restaurants) or you pay their exhorbitant price for bad food.

It's funny, the jamboree was the thing I hated most about the Bike Tour of COlorado.

Or, for a totally different perspective, go ALONE instead of with a couple of buddies - you are then forced to interact with everyone else in the world - they aren't doing the same thing as you, there's no jamboree, but there's no better way to be exposed to folks in all different walks of life. You'll actually meet those people with kids in RVs, instead of just staring at each other.
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Old 09-24-09, 09:27 AM   #5
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HI-USA Christmas Trip - 70-120 cyclists, 6 days, $350 includes meals other than lunch, indoor camping and bag transport/sag (not aid stations, just emergency sag). I've done this trip 3 times and love it. Great people.
That ride sounds AWESOME! If I had the time and was near the ride I'd sign up for something like that. I love this part:

Please bring an old T-shirt to go into the prize box as an award during the Award Banquet in Fallbrook. Everyone gets an award!
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Old 09-25-09, 05:40 AM   #6
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I'm going to plan on RAGBRAI for next year, thanks for the input. I did plenty of interacting w/ the RV n' kids folks at the campgrounds but like I said, I rarely get to meet other cycle tourers since there aren't any cycle touring clubs in my area and that's what I'm aiming to do.
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Old 09-25-09, 07:10 AM   #7
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One place to look for this type of event ride is: http://www.nbtda.com/default.php

There will be some pricey commercial tours there but you can also find some less expensive or state type rides. For example, I can find the following example in New England:
http://www.nbtda.com/EventInfo.php?id=42

I'm planning on the HI-USA Christmas trip this year (4th time I will have done that ride, and I'll second earlier recommendations for it).
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Old 09-25-09, 08:13 AM   #8
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The RAGBRAI is the jamboree feeling to the Nth degree. I loved it, but it's bizarre and not like "real" touring.

Consider the west coast - especially Oregon. I've done it twice during July and August. Both times there were so many other bike tourers doing it that I met lots of people and fell into a group of riders who tacitly agreed to ride together. Some of them are still friends to this day.
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Old 09-25-09, 09:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erbfarm View Post
Just doing a little reflecting after my first self-supported tour.....had a great time, went w/ a small group of 3, stayed at campgrounds but the thing I missed the most was having a lot of people around who were doing the same thing. Last summer, I did a sag-wagon tour with 75 people and it was so much fun meeting all those new people and having a group of 6 or 7 to ride with. and I loved camping on school soccer fields and seeing all those tents in the morning.
I am not sure that you will be able to duplicate that on a self supported non group tour. It sounds like you would be happier with the cross state rides like RAGBRAI and the many others. Then again maybe you can adjust your expectations and learn to enjoy a non-jamboree like tour.

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I found staying at campgrounds on my self-supported tour a iittle depressing -- you're surrounded by people w/ kids in RV's.
Maybe you could try not staying in campgrounds. I guess it depends on where you tour, but in much of the US you can find church yards, city parks, and other non-campground type places to camp. Still it is a more solitary experience, no jamboree feeling.

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Originally Posted by erbfarm View Post
I like getting to meet other cyclists which is something I don't get to do too often in my daily round. Soooooo.....how do you get that jamboree feeling without the big price tag of say an Adventure Cycling tour? I'm kind of tempted to go the ACA route just b/c I would then be surrounded by other cyclists, but spending $1,000 to do a 10 day tour when I could probably swing it for $250 by cobbling together my own little group of tourers is hard to swallow. Any suggestions?
If you can adjust to enjoying meeting a few other riders and sometimes camping with others, picking routes where you will meet others, like the Pacific Coast, a section of the Trans America, or some other popular route might do it. If you really want the jamboree thing, I think that you are stuck with big organized events.

If you look for them there are a lot of the crazy carnival atmosphere rides. A lot of the cross various states. They really don't appeal to me, but they sound like what you are looking for.

Last edited by staehpj1; 09-27-09 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 09-25-09, 09:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
One place to look for this type of event ride is: http://www.nbtda.com/default.php

There will be some pricey commercial tours there but you can also find some less expensive or state type rides. For example, I can find the following example in New England:
http://www.nbtda.com/EventInfo.php?id=42

I'm planning on the HI-USA Christmas trip this year (4th time I will have done that ride, and I'll second earlier recommendations for it).
Hi mev, I might see you there.
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