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Thread: Frugal Tourer

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Frugal Tourer

    For all of us worrying about which bike, which bags, which wheels, which rack, I give you Fred. Been on the road for three years on a WM Schwinn, hauling 100 lbs of gear 20 miles/day. No government check. Living by his wits. Very 'green.' He'll take the 'right' job, but otherwise.....

    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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    There's a difference between touring & homeless dude on a bike.
    ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    There's a difference between touring & homeless dude on a bike.
    yes, the "frugal tourer" is cutting a fine line.

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    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    He has a flat tire.

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    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
    He has a flat tire.
    Patches cost money plus hardcore "tourers"
    don't need no stinkin' patches

  6. #6
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    now let's don't be snobs. peoples is peoples. I like him. and his rig. I crossed Ireland a few times on worse.
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

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    I've always wondered if in the end it isn't cheaper to buy a low-end or mid-range touring bike rather than a junker where you constantly have to repair and replace broken parts. This guy could probably tell us.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jude View Post
    This guy could probably tell us.
    Fred could tell us a lot about how to live on practically nothing, see the US on a bicycle, and have a positive outlook while doing so. With I'll add, a physical handicap. Not that many of us really want to hear about such. We don't have to, want to, have time for, or even could live that way. Besides, his way is not "cool" in our consumer obsessed society whose economy is based entirely on buy, buy, buy. Fred is interesting proof that there is an honorable alternative when you live in a rich country where millions of perfectly useful items are thrown away everyday.
    Last edited by Cyclebum; 12-13-11 at 09:22 PM.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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    Senior Member Jim Kukula's Avatar
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    Thanks for the inspiration - that's pretty much my dream, to keep paring down so my possessions fit on a bike. I like 20 miles a day!

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    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    Fred could tell us a lot about how to live on practically nothing, see the US on a bicycle, and have a positive outlook while doing so. With I'll add, a physical handicap. Not that many of us really want to hear about such. We don't have to, want to, have time for, or even could live that way. Besides, his way is not "cool" in our consumer obsessed society whose economy is based entirely on buy, buy, buy. Fred is interesting proof that there is an honorable alternative when you live in a rich country where millions of perfectly useful items are thrown away everyday.
    Does he get many dates?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Jim Kukula's Avatar
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    http://www.americarecycled.org/

    I don't know if these boys really eat road kill, but they sure look on the frugal side!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
    Does he get many dates?
    Can't live on "practically nothing" and get a date. Well, maybe if she paid. I hear that's ok nowadays.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    Can't live on "practically nothing" and get a date. Well, maybe if she paid. I hear that's ok nowadays.
    Unless you happen to also find a woman that lives on practically nothing.

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    Also wondering what his budget looks like and how much less it is than an average bike tourist's. I mean, if you already never pay for a place to stay and your only expenses are food and bike maintenance (neither really that outlandish for a "normal" bike tour) that's about as cheap as it gets. Unless you are getting free food somehow, I don't know how you can reduce the budget beyond that.

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    In my town, his name is Doug. He pretty much keeps my biking exploits in perspective as he rides everywhere he wants to go, including a commute of 20 miles several times a week (on a 5 lane highway), getting home well after dark this time of year.

    He is my local cycling hero.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    There is a fine line between bike tourist and homeless guy on a bike. I try to not judge on where that line is drawn, but I will say that I met some nice folks that were probably on the line or beyond.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    There is a fine line between bike tourist and homeless guy on a bike. I try to not judge on where that line is drawn, but I will say that I met some nice folks that were probably on the line or beyond.
    No fine line here Staehp1. Fred is a 'homeless guy on a bike' and not particularly concerned about the homeless part. I gather that he rarely pays for food, being an expert at dumpster diving. Carries a short hoe for retrieving stuff. He would be a wealth of mostly useless infomation for your article. Useless because your target audience is not likely to include folks inclined to Fred's way of life.

    I am mostly impressed with the fact that $200 Schwinn can haul Fred and all his gear reliably. With a couple of bike buckets, and Fred's milk crate bar basket, outfitting for a long tour can be done very cheaply.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
    Unless you happen to also find a woman that lives on practically nothing.
    No need for money. They can collect acorns and fiddlehead ferns for a nice meal.

    And how do we know he's not a "trustafarian?" There is a guy in our local bike club who looks destitute. Clothes as old as Methuselah. Things wired and duct taped to his bike . A helmet that looks like it pre-dates ANSI. He even makes a lot of his own food. What many don't know is that he makes good money from several rental properties that he owns and is actually a slum lord.

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    BTW...is that cup he's holding biodegradable?

  20. #20
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    No need for money. They can collect acorns and fiddlehead ferns for a nice meal.

    And how do we know he's not a "trustafarian?" There is a guy in our local bike club who looks destitute. Clothes as old as Methuselah. Things wired and duct taped to his bike . A helmet that looks like it pre-dates ANSI. He even makes a lot of his own food. What many don't know is that he makes good money from several rental properties that he owns and is actually a slum lord.
    Reminds me of a local cyclist, an accomplished recluse who lived deep in a wooded area in town. Had nice bikes and rode recreationally. When he died, mostly because he was too 'frugal' to pay a doctor, left 4 million $$s to the Salvation Army.
    Last edited by Cyclebum; 12-14-11 at 10:38 AM.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  21. #21
    Heretic Caretaker's Avatar
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    He's self sufficient which in my book makes him more of a touring cyclist than some.
    History is the future

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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    There's a difference between touring & homeless dude on a bike.
    I don't like this comment at all. There is nothing wrong with living a life by any means you choose.

    I don't have a home, a real address, a job and yet I do just fine too.

    Does touring require you have a home to go back to at the end of the trip? I think not.

  23. #23
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    There's a guy in my town who owns an old Gary Fisher MTB. He tows his 85 lb dog in a trailer along with all of his possessions. He takes his tent down every day and keeps most of his possessions with him rather than risking anything being stolen. He's told me that every once in awhile he decides to take a week or two to just tour and see the country, but he's been keeping himself based out of our town for quite a few years now.

    He takes meticulous care of his dog and bike. He does contracting work and takes more pride in his work than most contractors. If it's not done to perfection, he's not satisfied. Incredible eye for detail. He only charges $10 an hour. He's painted three houses on my block and did a better job than any paint company would've done. He's happy and prefers to live the way he does. He's honest and reliable. He keeps in touch with clients with his cell phone and an internet ready tablet. He's complained of the behavior of other homeless people he's come in contact with who live to get drunk or high - he avoids associating with such and finds places to camp where he's alone.

    I'm not sure what he's whole story is. He doesn't beg, he doesn't drink or take drugs. He's living the way he wants and is happy with his life.

    I couldn't do it myself. I have a family and a house payment to make. In some ways his life makes sense. It makes sense to him.
    “If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out”

  24. #24
    Bike touring webrarian
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    After doing some volunteering with Project Homeless Connect, San Francisco's attempt to provide services to its homeless, I can say that the "homeless" are not a homogenous group. While some are drug abusers and/or mentally ill, many were simply unlucky, ill-prepared for personal disaster, or victims of circumstance.

    In my personal experience, bike tourist is not easy to do. It requires lots of effort and a bit of planning. Many of the city "homeless" wouldn't be able to manage it. Doing it as a lifestyle choice is something to admire. Thus, the "homeless" label might be correct, but any assumptions about who they are is likely wrong.
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  25. #25
    Heretic Caretaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    There's a difference between touring & homeless dude on a bike.
    Yeah, having your own website.

    www.heinzstucke.com
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