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  1. #1
    Doesn't ride enough Lamabb's Avatar
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    Finding Touring Partners. Trans USA

    First off, since this is such an active forum of bike enthusiasts... and touring enthusiasts, I suggest sticky-ing a thread for people (like me) to post about future tours in search of a partner. I know there are places like crazyguyonabike and Adventure cycling that do this, but I figure we might as well do the same since this is an active touring forum.

    I want to ride across USA next year and I want to find one or multiple companions. I'm a 20 y/o college student who avidly cycles and will probably be doing some racing soon. I have the summer to do the trip, so that's June to September. I plan to make the route based on what any partners would prefer. As long as it's coast to coast, I'm happy. I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy it all the same. I'll match my partners pace (I'm pretty confident in my strength) but prefer to do the standard 50-100 miles a day.

    If anyone is interested in a coast to coast tour for next year, send me a message or post here.

    Sorry if it's frowned upon to look for partners this way, I haven't seen anything that said it is.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TonyS's Avatar
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    Cool idea!

    I plan on doing a West to East TransAm in the summer of 2012, and I have the route and everything set up with Tour d'Afrique. Full Disclosure: They have a program where if enough people sign up to do the trip, I get to go for free as the creator of the trip.

    The Fine Print: We'll be starting May 1, so we'll have plenty of time to cross the country in nice weather, and we'll have light support from the company as well! They will be bringing along some sammiches and breakfast, and providing mechanical support.

    Click here to learn more: http://tourdafrique.com/dreamtours/show/89

  3. #3
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Just a couple suggestions.
    1. Don't count on any companions you find working out, unless it is someone you already know you are very compatible with.. Leave yourself in a position to sever ties if needed. This is a very common occurrence.
    2. Use a well used route like the Trans America and you can meet folks along the way. If you get along you can ride or camp together for as long as you both feel like it.

  4. #4
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    i'll be making a trans am crossing summer 2011. i've already made contact with one other guy who is doing the same. i'd like to stay in contact with people who will be traveling next summer but i'm not necessarily looking for a riding partner. definitely won't shy from riding with people, but for me the trip is going to be unplanned and organic. that's what i'm planning for at least

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/tbender

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyS View Post
    Cool idea!

    I plan on doing a West to East TransAm in the summer of 2012, and I have the route and everything set up with Tour d'Afrique. Full Disclosure: They have a program where if enough people sign up to do the trip, I get to go for free as the creator of the trip.

    The Fine Print: We'll be starting May 1, so we'll have plenty of time to cross the country in nice weather, and we'll have light support from the company as well! They will be bringing along some sammiches and breakfast, and providing mechanical support.

    Click here to learn more: http://tourdafrique.com/dreamtours/show/89
    You are starting AC's TransAm west to east starting May 1? How do you plan to get over McKenzie Pass at that time of year? Also, bring a warm sleeping bag. Somewere like Sisters has average nights a little above freezing in May.

  6. #6
    Senior Member KDC1956's Avatar
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    Nice idea I would also like to go to Bangor Maine in 2012 I will be leaving from Arkansas.Little Rock so if any one wants to join you are welcome to come and ride.I want ride over 40-45 miles a day unless it's a cool day.And I don't go fast at all.I have very low gearing on my LHT 22,32,44t with 11-34 on rear so if you are a fast rider going with me then it's not a good idea to go.But if you like to take it easy and see a lot of stuff on the way and kill time then come on and go.I would start off on US70 east out of NLR Ar. It's a long road trip for sure any where from 1768 to 2035 miles and that's if I.we don't get lost lol.Time is all I have.You would need to be able to take your own food and cook setup.I have it all just because you never know where you may be and you want to eat.You will need a tent as well another word you best be fully loaded for touring.males and females are all welcome to come ride the more people the better and we all could help each other out as the need comes.No set time to start it's open at this time but am thinking about starting maybe in April this way the heat want kill us lol.The trip could take from 68 days to how ever long it takes.
    Last edited by KDC1956; 08-05-10 at 09:25 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TonyS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    You are starting AC's TransAm west to east starting May 1? How do you plan to get over McKenzie Pass at that time of year? Also, bring a warm sleeping bag. Somewere like Sisters has average nights a little above freezing in May.
    The book I had on the route suggested starting in May... but now that I'm looking through CrazyGuyOnABike I've been noticing a lot of June dates. So, good catch! I'll be updating that immediately. Ride now leaves June 1.

  8. #8
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Just a couple suggestions.
    1. Don't count on any companions you find working out, unless it is someone you already know you are very compatible with.. Leave yourself in a position to sever ties if needed. This is a very common occurrence.
    2. Use a well used route like the Trans America and you can meet folks along the way. If you get along you can ride or camp together for as long as you both feel like it.
    +1 And part of #1 above bears repeating: Leave yourself in a position to sever ties if needed. I got stuck for 9 weeks with someone who I would have loved to strangle. We were in a foreign country, tried not to duplicate gear to keep weight down, and as a result were stuck together through the duration. Never again.

  9. #9
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyS View Post
    The book I had on the route suggested starting in May... but now that I'm looking through CrazyGuyOnABike I've been noticing a lot of June dates. So, good catch! I'll be updating that immediately. Ride now leaves June 1.
    June 1 doesn't guarantee passes will be open. McKenzie is often still closed then, but you can use Santiam Pass if that is the case. My point is that you still need to be prepared for cold weather with a June 1 start. That said we started June 11 in 2007 and were fine.

    Weather wise I think the optimum would be an early start in the east. You miss the oppressive heat and humidity in the south east and get to the Rockies when it is warmed up and the snow is gone.

  10. #10
    Senior Member TonyS's Avatar
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    So... if you had it to do over again (west to east) , would you start the same time, earlier, or later?

  11. #11
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    Interesting about the failure rate of relationships. I know someone who did a coast to coast with her boyfriend. They broke up within a few months after the trip. I don't know if the trip had anything to do with it.

  12. #12
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    Solo is better. You don't need a partner, and are usually better off without one. It's not like you'll be alone anyway. There are a lot of people living in this country.

  13. #13
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    I'm scared for you, but only because you aren't laying down firm expectations right now. Coast to coast is a fine goal, but that's a whole lot of gray area in between coasts you're leaving open for someone elses interpretation and potentially awkward situations. Don't be so wishy washy about what you want, especially if you're posting your search for XC companionship on the internet . Be extremely clear on your basic goals and expectations for your trip: the daily mileage you want to cover, cities you would like to reach by approximately X-Date, and the exact time frame that you can afford to have your ass on a bike seat.

    Best of luck!

    Kevin

  14. #14
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyS View Post
    So... if you had it to do over again (west to east) , would you start the same time, earlier, or later?
    I think if I was starting in the West and had to set the date ahead of time, I would probably start mid June. Ideally if I had a flexible start date I would start when McKenzie Pass was open for bikes but not yet open to cars, regardless of the date (within reason). It should be noted that it isn't all that unusual for McKenzie pass to open pretty late. Check out the ODOT site for historic records of opening and closing dates. http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGIO...yClosure.shtml

    That said I would give serious though to an earlier start in the East if I were doing it again.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
    Solo is better. You don't need a partner, and are usually better off without one. It's not like you'll be alone anyway. There are a lot of people living in this country.

    + 1. Since I had never done any loaded touring or even camped once, I introduced myself to the lifestyle by doing Adventure Cycling's Nothern Tier tour. 13 strangers (including the leader) thrown together for 3 months. One guy was an alchoholic racist. Another guy would do anything he could to avoid doing his share of the cooking and cleaning when it was his turn, and he always grabbed the lightest items out of the shopping cart when we had to ride with food to camp. Another guy was a bit of a nudist and would walk around the bathroom naked while he did things like shave. That didn't sit well with the leaders of a children's religious camp where we stayed one night. Our leader was an ass and incompetent in some areas. One evening he tried to goad me into taking a swing at him so he could have a reason to get rid of me. (Props to AC for finding us a great new leader by Minneapolis.) And there were some other tensions I could have done without. I almost dropped out on several occasions, but stuck with it, spending much of my time riding with one guy who I got along with extremely well. After the tour ended in ME I rode home to PA by myself. It was such a relief to not have to take anyone else's needs or wants into consideration. The following year I did two multi-month tours solo and confirmed that, for me, it's the best way to go, although I did enjoy my week-long tour with my sweetie last year. But I don't think a three month tour would have worked out as well.

  16. #16
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    On the solo vs riding with someone issue. I like riding solo just fine. Riding with someone because I like them and want to ride with them is good too. I really enjoyed riding with my daughter and one of her college room mates on the Trans America. Making an extra effort to recruit strangers to ride with is probably not something I would do, but if I did I would for sure keep my options open wrt to parting ways.
    Last edited by staehpj1; 08-06-10 at 10:31 AM.

  17. #17
    Doesn't ride enough Lamabb's Avatar
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    Solo sounds fine to me, but I'm a social person and find that most big trips are better with company. My biggest reason for riding solo is that if god forbid, something happens to me, like I'm hit by a truck (which happened to another cyclist I know) with another person there, I have a better chance to survive. A stranger may just leave me there to die, but a partner could call an ambulance and get the plate number of the driver.

    There is safety in numbers...

    Also, I'm wish-washy with my ride right now becuase once I find people to ride with, I want to plan a route to make us both happy, not just me.

  18. #18
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    When you are the strongest rider it is easier to ride in a group. Don't consider other people's bad experiences to have much relevance to you, they are often born of fatigue. Many decades ago I was that strong young rider who loved to tour. I had a great time with weaker riders; they appreciated having someone who could take all the heaviest gear without complaint (riding with me was like having a sagged tour) and I loved the company. The only partner who wouldn't play the game that way was my wife; she would insist on carrying her own share of the load. We finally solved the problem by getting a tandem.

    Good luck finding partners. It is even possible that you might have a certain pair of old people on a tandem join you.

  19. #19
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    Since you don't care about the route & timing so much, you could answer someone else' ad on crazyguy or A.C.

    Having tried touring with a boyfriend (we broke up), a stranger (we broke up), alone (found a stranger to ride with for a little while), alone (found a boyfriend along the way, still have him 6 years later), alone (had a great time alone), with friends (had a great time with friends)....

    I would agree that finding a partner is really hard, staying with them & having fun even harder. If you feel you need company, an organized tour or joining a small group would probably be best, and being equipped to go your own way is important.

    In terms of timing I started the Lewis & Clark August 1, and rode WA ID MT WY SD MN WI MI OH IN PA NJ ending Oct 15th. ONly had about 5 days of rain, and several days of wind in the prairie, a few too hot days in WA. Mostly the weather was perfect.
    ...

  20. #20
    Senior Member TonyS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    I would give serious though to an earlier start in the East if I were doing it again.
    Cool... I might consider that... it would definitely make it easier to have friends and family meet me at the end if we ended on the coast where all of them live. But one of the reasons I chose west to east is that the sources I've been reading say that if you want the wind at your back for the majority of the trip, you want to go W->E.

    Any comments on that? What attracts you to an earlier start from the East?

  21. #21
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyS View Post
    Cool... I might consider that... it would definitely make it easier to have friends and family meet me at the end if we ended on the coast where all of them live. But one of the reasons I chose west to east is that the sources I've been reading say that if you want the wind at your back for the majority of the trip, you want to go W->E.

    Any comments on that? What attracts you to an earlier start from the East?
    First the prevailing winds. If we are talking the Trans America forget the prevailing westerlies thing. Look at the following maps to see what I mean. Eastern Colorado and Kansas are where wind is probably the biggest factor and they tend to favor a start in the east.

    OK now the weather. The biggest problems are the heat and humidity in the Southeast and possible cold and snow in the Rockies and Cascades. If you start in the east you can start early enough in the season to miss some of the heat and humidity and still get to the Rockies and Cascades late enough to be warm.

    Other issues... Sun in your eyes in the morning or evening. Personally I don't like to ride at sunset, but do at sunrise for westbound favors that.

    The things that I like about starting is the West... I like finishing at home so friends and family can be there at the end. Since you live in the west that would be the opposite for you. I also like to save the Ozarks and Appalachians for late in the trip when I am a bit more road hardened. Believe it or not Virginia is probably the hardest state climbing wise.


  22. #22
    Ninja! paste_me's Avatar
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    Where are these forums or lists to find touring partners on crazy guy on a bike and adventure cyclist? I have been looking for such a list for a long time.

  23. #23
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    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/classifieds/?o=RrzKj - may have to sign up at the site, but it's free.
    http://www.adventurecycling.org/mag/companions.cfm - have to be a member to post, but anyone can answer
    ...

  24. #24
    Senior Member scorch's Avatar
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    im actually interested! Finding the right riding partner is tough, but im open. Ill pm you for more details. Im a touring newbie, i've been cross country on a motorcycle, would love to do a bicycle trip.

    I have 3 weeks off next year, so im not sure if its possible with that amount of time. But i guess for me, i could fly home whenever i got there.

  25. #25
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    That's incredible. You've mapped out the wind currents to determine the precise route!! I'm inspired.

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