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Old 11-18-09, 05:34 AM   #1
zeppinger
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Bicycle Touring "Pro" website...

Does anyone have anything good to say about this guys books?

http://bicycletouringpro.com/blog/th...ers-blueprint/

He also sells a book called "Ultra light bicycle camping" that I am interested in. While I appreciate what he is trying to do for the touring world with his web site, that is offer a one stop website with lots of info in a user friendly, lets get new recruits sorta way, I think he comes off as rather condescending.... Even the name, Bicycle Touring Pro sounds kinda lame to me because it makes it sound like a competitive sport.

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-18-09, 07:36 AM   #2
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I guess if he's making money off it he's a pro?
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Old 11-18-09, 08:09 AM   #3
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yeah i used to tune in to his site every now and then not any more ,always trying to sell you something or other.there's much better info on utube .
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Old 11-18-09, 08:29 AM   #4
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It read like a get rich qick / get thin quick / work from home / I make $4000 per month from google / secrets of the stock market / you can win on the horses type website.
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Old 11-18-09, 08:41 AM   #5
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I've found some of the articles on the site interesting.

He's had a very detailed recording keeping on how much it cost him to stay, eat, and travel around in Europe for most of 2009:

http://bicycletouringpro.com/blog/ho...vel-in-europe/

He also wrote a really comprehensive review of the Bike Friday New World Tourist.

Other stuff has been hit or miss -- for example, he attempted at one point to list all the touring bikes on the market, and seemed to give up after a couple of days.
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Old 11-18-09, 08:50 AM   #6
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I've followed his blog for a while. I think he has lots of experience and is well intentioned. On the other hand, he does use it as a business to support himself and his touring. So, he will come off as trying to sell you something, because that's the point. Over all I like him. His youtube videos aren't bad at all.

I do wonder what happened to make him stop selling Ortliebs.
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Old 11-18-09, 09:01 AM   #7
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I was wondering about the Ortlieb thing too. Speaking of selling me things, no one has read his book?

While his list of touring bikes did fall a bit short, as most of them do, his list of pannier companies is fairly comprehensive. Although, there are several notable brands that he did not mention such as Swift Industries.
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Old 11-18-09, 01:48 PM   #8
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yeah, i got the ebook from his site.

haven't really delved into it much, but it looks like it's a compilation of the articles that you can access in a not-so-convenient way of his current content in his site. i count it as a token sum of appreciation for writing the articles in the first place...
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Old 11-18-09, 02:17 PM   #9
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What the heck? In the above link about travelling in europe (http://bicycletouringpro.com/blog/ho...vel-in-europe/) he spends about $1000 per month to rent an apartment! How is he bicycle touring again? He claims it cost him $11k for 9 month, when in reality it probably could have been done with $3-4k camping. He just lives in an apartment and goes out on bike rides and takes a few days to travel from one city to the next once per month.
I'd hardly call what he's doing bicycle touring, its more like travelling with a bicycle.


Also, he claims, "Over the last ten years or so I’ve amassed 4,000+ miles of bicycle touring experience and over 3,200 miles of hiking experience."

I understand the hiking experience is beneficial and will help you become a better tourer, but hiking is not bicycle touring. He claims, 4000+ miles, I'll be generous and give him 5000 miles. 5000 miles/ 120 months = 41 miles traveled per month. I would hardly call him a major bicycle tourist with a huge wealth of knowledge. I would say he's not qualified to be the one telling everyone how to tour and reinvent touring.

Last edited by awesomejack; 11-18-09 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 11-18-09, 02:53 PM   #10
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I am put off by his web site - strictly smoke and mirrors, if you ask me.
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Old 11-19-09, 08:39 PM   #11
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Awesomejack you hit it right on the head. He looks like a spoiled rich kid spending some time in Europe.
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Old 11-19-09, 10:08 PM   #12
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Lots of haters in this thread. I have a feeling that there is more than one type of touring. If he enjoys stopping for a while in a place and exploring, and can afford it, who are you to care?

From what I understand he's done many longer trips and has done plenty of camp touring.
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Old 11-19-09, 11:13 PM   #13
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I found his site and articles very informative. After all, I am new to touring.
On numerous occasions I referenced articles from his site to help us along the way.
I only hope he keeps doing what he is doing.
He seems like a cool guy too.

It does sound like some people have a beef with him. But sheesh, these days people are giving seminars on how to use a netty pot.
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Old 11-20-09, 01:00 AM   #14
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Christ. I don't see why you need a "guru" to teach you how to ride a bike and camp out. Forget about it.
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Old 11-20-09, 01:22 AM   #15
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I don't care if he tries to finance his touring with his website if only he delivers. I'll give him a try.
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Old 11-20-09, 01:31 AM   #16
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His site is off-putting to those in the 'know' for cycle touring. It comes down to the matter of fact opinions he puts forth and how he presents himself as a guru (for a lack of better words - but that makes him sound more professional, and therefor more likely to sell his "product"). 4000 miles in 10 years sounds like a lot to someone who rarely/never cycles, but in reality we (here on this forum) all know better than that. 4000 miles in 2 months isn't a lot for some of us. I suppose it's a neat go-to place for those starting up / etc, but part of the fun is learning what works best, learning from your mistakes and learning there is a greater picture to touring. There isn't just one way to do it. Staying in an apartment while cycling around countries is probably a bit far-fetched for the majority of this forum. I personally much prefer reading direct experiences of people who have done the same kind of touring I like to do.
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Old 11-20-09, 09:17 AM   #17
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I've checked out his site many times. Most of it seems like it would be useful to a newbie but not much to me. He tells "how" to do things, like how to pack panniers. Just from reading this forum you know there are many ways to do things like that, personal to each tourer, and it's a bit presumptuous to think you have "the" way. However, like I said, if you're new you might get a head start by following his advice before forming your own opinions.

My take is that this is a young guy who likes to bike tour, and he's found a way to pay for his hobby - his website.

He seems harmless, and I don't think he's defrauding anyone. I haven't found anything major to quibble about with any of his postings that I've seen.
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Old 11-20-09, 09:20 AM   #18
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It's somebody with too much time on his hands. Like most of us!

OTOH, I also find his style to be condenscending and opinions unenlightening. I would prefer more objective writing, a style that lays out the pros and cons of various equipment choices. Of course, it's hard to sell stuff that way......
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Old 11-20-09, 03:13 PM   #19
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What a dink. (the website guy, I mean)
I love his writing style - contrived third-person narrative and all that...

"Darren set out after high school to find adventure, his large, powerful hands soon became pitted with the dust of all the world's continents and his strong, broad back and chest soaked up thousands of miles of hard road. It wasn't easy for Darren, being an amazingly charming and handsome stranger in foreign lands, but somehow Darren did it. Darren learned 17 languages, seduced over 100 women, and Darren invented the Internet. Darren."

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Old 11-20-09, 03:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awc380 View Post
What a dink. (the website guy, I mean)
I love his writing style - contrived third-person narrative and all that...

"Darren set out after high school to find adventure, his large, powerful hands soon became pitted with the dust of all the world's continents and his strong, broad back and chest soaked up thousands of miles of hard road. It wasn't easy for Darren, being an amazingly charming and handsome stranger in foreign lands, but somehow Darren did it. Darren learned 17 languages, seduced over 100 women, and Darren invented the Internet. Darren."
I lol'd.
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Old 11-21-09, 12:10 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awesomejack View Post
Also, he claims, "Over the last ten years or so Iíve amassed 4,000+ miles of bicycle touring experience and over 3,200 miles of hiking experience."
I think these are the stats of a guest poster on the site, "JimboTrek", and not Darren himself? I can't find how much touring he's actually done.
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Old 11-21-09, 01:11 PM   #22
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oh, I didn't realize that, my apologies then.

I was looking at this, http://bicycletouringpro.com/blog/st...ing-locations/
the article says by Darren Alff, so I thought that JimboTrek was darren.
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Old 11-21-09, 09:35 PM   #23
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I enjoyed the guy's site. He's doing what he loves doing, and he's trying to make a few bucks so he can keep doing it. Is that really so bad? He may sound a little phony or condescending to thsoe of us who have done some touring, but he's probably very helpful to the neophyte. I wish I had that guy's chutzpah when I was his age.
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Old 11-22-09, 08:27 AM   #24
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The website seems to have roughly the same ratio of good to bad information as the Touring forum does, and better manners.
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Old 11-22-09, 10:16 AM   #25
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It's a cool website....and Darrin does know what he's talking about.

Over the years I've bought a lot of worthless bike stuff....I'd say this guy is good value for money.

Of courser he'll get flamed by the haters here on this forum, but that's mostly jealousy.

One thing I will say...the guy knows how to live the good life! His 9 months in Europe spending 11K he outlines in his blog....very classy, very smart, totally worth it if you got the time and cash.
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