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  1. #1
    Newbie cmcclements's Avatar
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    Credit card touring

    Anyone know what the term "credit card touring" refers to?
    Even Google was stumped on this one!
    Dig in...

  2. #2
    Virtulized geek MsMittens's Avatar
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    It's when you do a tour with minimal clothing in pannier (if any) and use your credit card for places to stay, food, clothing, etc. Basically, if fully loaded self-supported touring is one end of the spectrum, credit card touring, IMO, is the other end. (super light, minimal weight on bike)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmcclements
    Anyone know what the term "credit card touring" refers to?
    Even Google was stumped on this one!
    In other words..... You can practically get by with any bike and only with a Carradice saddle bag.
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  4. #4
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    Oh yeah!

    I did the credit card touring last year. That was super nice. Sometimes, it's nice to take a break from staying in campgrounds and tents.

    Next year, I'm back to the full camping/touring though. It was nice to whip out the credit card, but I missed roughing it and having those types of adventures.

    Koffee

  5. #5
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I love credit card touring. You immediately lose 20 pounds or more ditching the tent, bag, stove, etc. You sleep in a bed, swim in pools,
    it's civilised.

  6. #6
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    Yea, and you also spend lots of $$$. It seems kinda the opposite of what you would want to do when touring, but that's just my perspective...

  7. #7
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    well there is one level that is even lighter than credit card touring and that is credit card touring with SAG support. . Sag support is they carry EVERYTHING for you and you only ride with the bike.

    The two disadvantages of credit card touring is the cost and also you having to end at a spot that has facilities for you to stay at. It restricts you somewhat on where you can go if don't carry camping gear etc. Of course an advantage is having a nice warm room, shower, and the luxuries of the modern world. I personally tour and hike in part to get away from the modern world. I enjoy a nice stealth site with only myself, my tent, and the sounds of nature. Maybe a hotel for me once a week. Some credit card tourers will also camp at times combining both.

  8. #8
    Macro Geek
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    A credit card tour is always more expensive than a self-contained camping tour, but how much more expensive is a matter of how you tour. One can be reckless or frugal with a credit card. I try to be thrifty.

    There are always ways to economize on a tour. In certain areas of the world you will find cheap hotels, motels and/or inns in almost every town, and locally-owned and operated restaurants where one can get meals made from local, fresh food for a modest sum. I often choose these places as destinations.

    I try to start my mornings by stopping in a store and buying food for the road (fresh bread, seasonal fruit, local cheese, nuts, or whatever) to nibble on during the day and sometimes to have as my lunch. If I do go to a restaurant for a mid-day meal, I usually order something simple, like a sandwich. Last summer in Switzerland, I discovered that bakeries sell sandwiches for a fraction of what you would pay in a restaurant. I usually start looking for places to stay between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m., so I have lots of time to find inexpensive (and hopefully attractive) places to stay. I prefer B+Bs, because there is almost someone interesting to talk to, and because the cost is often reasonable.

    I usually splurge on supper. After a day of riding I am hungry. I get whatever I feel like appetizers, wine, dessert, you name it. I try to find restaurants that are frequented by locals. The local joints are a unique way to experience the culture of where you are, meet people, and talk late into the night.

    I like bike touring because I want to partake in the culture of the places I visit, and my bike allows me to reach places where the magic of travel can happen. I want to meet the people, try to speak their languages, and struggle to understand their worldview. I once spent an evening discussing Platonic and Cartesian dualism with a retired philosophy professor (in French no less, a language that I barely speak!)... learned all about hydroelectric power generation from a pair of jet-setting consultant engineers... met a Ph.D. student from the university I went to 30 years earlier whose academic advisor had been one of my favourite undergraduate professors...

    I believe -- perhaps incorrectly -- that I am more likely to have these kinds of experiences while touring with a credit card than, say on a tour that involves a lot of stealth camping.

    A confession: I do not get stealth camping. When I travel, I want to immerse myself in the places that I visit. After spending a day in the saddle communing with nature, my body, and my bike, the last thing I want is to spend evenings and nights by myself in a tent in the wilderness! (My guess is that the appeal of stealth camping is being in the wilderness by oneself, which is not my idea of a good time.)

  9. #9
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    depends on the place i tour, if the costs between camping/bed, cooking/restaurant is not that significant i would tend to use the credit card. however i always carry my credit card just in case that im too tired of setting up the tent and cook every night. i think most of the tourers tour this way.

  10. #10
    Velo Tourist
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    My ancestors fought the British, the Indians, the French, the Germans, the Spanish, and amongst themselves. They endured the hardships of the weather and the varmits and critters of the forests and deserts. All so I could sleep indoors on clean sheets, take a shower, and use a channel changer. I honor and respect their legacy when I load my bike down with a credit card and take out over the horizon.

    Pelorus

  11. #11
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    I love credit card touring too. It's light, so you can go faster and make longer daytrips. You can have the pleasant feeling to arrive in a small town with a modest hotel, but which gives you a warm welcome and a good meal. After all, you drove all day long in nature with perhaps bad weather included, so a safe and dry place to stay is not so much asked then IMHO.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRUCE NORTHCUTT
    My ancestors fought the British, the Indians, the French, the Germans, the Spanish, and amongst themselves. They endured the hardships of the weather and the varmits and critters of the forests and deserts. All so I could sleep indoors on clean sheets, take a shower, and use a channel changer. I honor and respect their legacy when I load my bike down with a credit card and take out over the horizon.
    Yeah, kids these days have no respect for the accomplishments of their forefathers. I do, of course, which is why I insist on egyptian cotton sheets wherever I sleep...out of respect and gratitude!!

    In future I will only camp if I'm doing a backcountry tour and sleeping in wilderness areas. Otherwise, I’m credit card touring. I don’t like staying in campsites in towns/cities - its not as safe and its just too vagabond/hobo-ish. I feel grubby when camping - fine in the backcountry, but not so great when hanging out in classy european cities. A big part of travelling to places like Europe is being able to stay in the core of a city, enjoy the ambiance, and have a great meal at the end of the day. The only thing that could convince me to camp in europe is the possiblity of tenting on the beach or at seaside campsites which is pretty appealing.

  13. #13
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    Most of my touring has been hostelling. Its not exactly pricy. For my last tour I stayed in tourist farms which were quite comfortable and I enjoyed lots of local home-cooked specialities. The breakfast alone would double up as lunch.
    I don't regard this as credit card touring since I usually take 2 lightly packed pannier bags. The pictures you see of guys on racing bikes with only a tiny seat pack going touring are more of a myth.

  14. #14
    Virtulized geek MsMittens's Avatar
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    The pictures you see of guys on racing bikes with only a tiny seat pack going touring are more of a myth.
    Not so. I saw a group of 3 guys on the Cabot Trail doing a tour like that. I'm sure there are some but they are usually limited to 2-3 day "tours" rather than things that last a few weeks/months/years.

  15. #15
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acantor
    A confession: I do not get stealth camping. When I travel, I want to immerse myself in the places that I visit. After spending a day in the saddle communing with nature, my body, and my bike, the last thing I want is to spend evenings and nights by myself in a tent in the wilderness! (My guess is that the appeal of stealth camping is being in the wilderness by oneself, which is not my idea of a good time.)
    To each his own, I think staying in motels rooms which pretty much look the same all over the place and they all look the same when the lights are out (dark) not my idea of a good time Plus it cost about/around $40 a night or $1,200 a month here in the US. I'll use them from time to time but generally avoid them. Even if travelling in a car, I'll avoid hotels. Camping in unique places as you tour is awesome though. Different trees, sounds, sights, animals, and yes the idea of being out of the rat race for a bit. But that is just me.

    The hotsel thing is a hit or miss but I have only stayed in two of them, I stayed in one in Damascus, VA before and Harper's Ferry WV. The one in Damascus was good, did that one while section hiking the Appalachian trail. The one near Harper's Ferry was overrun with boy scouts on a weekend and was awful because of the noise of the kids.

    The late Ken Kifer wrote quite a bit about his experiences in wild camping on www.kenkifer.com and why he enjoys doing that over hotels.

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