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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 01-18-05, 12:55 PM   #1
teadoggg
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Okay, first lets get this out of the way… I enjoy putting myself through unnecessary stress, pain, exposure to the elements, sticky situations, solitude, and just about everything else that makes people miserable. I’ve done “stealth camping” in box cars (abandoned and moving), houses that were under construction, corn fields, rock quarries, caves, under bridges, sheds in home depot parking lots, people’s tool sheds, on the ground in the rain with no shelter, the back of a semi, and just about any other unusual place you can think of. (and I’m only 22). (I’ve only been caught once – by Canadian police who just wanted to make sure I wasn’t littering).

That being said, Here’s my idea: As soon as the ground thaws, I’m going to ride from Chicago and Columbus Ohio to visit my family. I’m planning on doing this on a single speed, by myself, and using a backpack, instead of panniers, and no tent/sleeping bag (though I may bring a tarp). Also, this will be my first tour, ever.

Does anyone else share the same sick fetish as me with self-inflicted misery, or am I alone on this one? (I’m not looking for a partner, I just want to know if anyone else does this kind of thing). I guess what it boils down to is that I like the feeling of accomplishment after achieving something most people wouldn’t try. The feeling afterwards just feels great. It’s just a great release. What kind of supplies to you bring on a tour like that? (food-wise, mostly). I just want to have a very simple, natural, refreshing tour and not worry about gear, pitching tents, shifting gears, or being in any sort of hurry. 5 or 6 days alone on a bike on mostly rural roads sounds like an amazing time to me.

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Old 01-18-05, 01:50 PM   #2
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Sorry, you're a bit too young for me....
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Old 01-18-05, 01:51 PM   #3
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Bit too young for you? I said I wasn't looking for company.
maybe i'm just missing the joke though
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Sorry, you're a bit too young for me....
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Old 01-18-05, 01:54 PM   #4
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I said I wasn't looking for company.
maybe i'm just missing the joke though
You are correct....
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Old 01-18-05, 02:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by teadoggg
(I’ve only been caught once – by Canadian police who just wanted to make sure I wasn’t littering).

Does anyone else share the same sick fetish as me with self-inflicted misery, or am I alone on this one?I just want to have a very simple, natural, refreshing tour and not worry about gear, pitching tents, shifting gears, or being in any sort of hurry. 5 or 6 days alone on a bike on mostly rural roads sounds like an amazing time to me.
I think I know what you mean.
Back when the world was young, and I was 18, I rode a Gitane steel frame across Europe from Kassel, Germany to Watford, England. Then back again.
It was more of a flight than a bike tour because I was working illegally in Germany and the police were onto me. Riding on the lam gave me the kind of rush that you're describing.
Good luck on your ride. Use your head and stay safe.
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Old 01-18-05, 03:47 PM   #6
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what, are you some kind of sissy? carry food? real manly-man bikers only
eat what they can run over. raw. seasoned maybe with a little dirt.

oh, yeah, and for a truly sublime experience, cut the chamois out of your
biker shorts. not only will you get more feeling from the roads, but you'll
save time and money. no need to wash anymore, just turn 'em inside out.
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Old 01-18-05, 04:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss Hoser
I think I know what you mean.
Back when the world was young, and I was 18, I rode a Gitane steel frame across Europe from Kassel, Germany to Watford, England. Then back again.
It was more of a flight than a bike tour because I was working illegally in Germany and the police were onto me. Riding on the lam gave me the kind of rush that you're describing.
Good luck on your ride. Use your head and stay safe.
haha thats awesome
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Old 01-18-05, 05:42 PM   #8
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I think every cyclist here has thought about doing that. It sound like a good time.
Only a few will ever get to do it. You are one of the lucky ones. Bring a camera so you can look at the pictures years later. They will be important in your old age.

Bring a digital camera and a laptop and post pictures as you go?
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Old 01-18-05, 07:57 PM   #9
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It sounds like you are planning to do what many people in their late-teens and early-20s do: test yourself and your mettle against the world. I did several versions of your "torture tour" between the ages of 22 and 26: On my first trip, I hitchhiked for ten months, from Toronto to Victoria BC to southern California, across the desert (sometimes without water), to the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Yellowstone and home. I slept on roadsides and scavenged food from dumpsters. One night, I slept on the roof of a shed. A real sick person noticed me there and set the shed ablaze. Had I slept a minute longer, I would have been fried. On another trip, I hitchhiked from England to India, although I ended up flying over a hot war zone on a rickety Bangladeshi airplane. A few days after arriving in India, I developed hepatitis -- probably picked up from a piece of cheese hungrily devoured in a tiny village in Turkey (where I had tea with a revolutionary, a crime that could have easily landed me in prison during the political crisis of that time) -- and spent three weeks in the Kasturba Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Bombay recovering -- followed by two years of general convalescence before my strength returned. On a third trip, I travelled by train north of the Arctic Circle in Norway to see the sun NOT set on Summer Solstice, and a few weeks later, I came inches from death while sliding down a glacier in the Swiss Alps on my back, head first! (I narrowly missed slamming into several metals poles at 80 km/hour. My shorts were stuffed full of snow at the end of my descent!)

During my time of slumming around the world, I took huge risks. I was lucky: I survived and remained healthy. Sadly, not everyone does. I have fond memories of my "wild years," and am very glad that I had these experiences. But I would never choose to do these things again!

Enjoy your torture tour. But be careful. "Extreme travelling" can give you a sense of accomplishment and make you feel alive, but it can also substantially increase the chance of serious injury or death. (Hey, what am I saying? I did not heed advise when I was your age!!!!!)
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Old 01-18-05, 09:13 PM   #10
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teadoggg,
If you do this, would you consider putting up a journal for it at www.crazyguyonabike.com or even post a journal here? I like to see something different like this and see a log of the good experiences and bad experiences on this type of trip.
Just avoid the sleeping in Walmart's my friend
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Old 01-18-05, 09:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpsblake
teadoggg,
If you do this, would you consider putting up a journal for it at www.crazyguyonabike.com or even post a journal here? I like to see something different like this and see a log of the good experiences and bad experiences on this type of trip.
Just avoid the sleeping in Walmart's my friend
you got it. it's sure to be an interesting trip... i don't think i've ever been on a trip that didn't have all sorts of wierd occurances...
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Old 01-18-05, 10:03 PM   #12
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I travelled by train north of the Arctic Circle in Norway to see the sun NOT set on Summer Solstice
That's quite a trip to see something that doesn't happen.
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Old 01-18-05, 10:51 PM   #13
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I hope you make this trip. I made a short trip a few years ago on the fly after getting fired from a job by buying a $58 Roadmaster at Walmart and riding it from Columbia SC to Raleigh NC with no notice to anyone making my wife really upset. I did buy a tent, a cheap rack that only attached to the seat stem and a $20 tent and sleeping bag and of course a backpack. Believe it not, it worked (the trip I found the treehouse to sleep in). Cheap Bike handled fine and when I got to Raleigh, rather than pay $40 to ship a used cheap bike back to South Carolina, I donated it to Goodwill. Took Greyhound back. I'll have to get my notes from that trip and post them sometime. Although I had fun on that trip, I learned a lot of things that were both and bad and have gotten much better at touring.
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Old 01-18-05, 11:01 PM   #14
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That sounds a bit like Ultra-light touring except for the bit about it being a torture tour.

Why torture yourself, just go and have some fun!

~Jamie N
www.bicycletouring101.com
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Old 01-19-05, 08:43 AM   #15
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That sounds a bit like Ultra-light touring except for the bit about it being a torture tour.

Why torture yourself, just go and have some fun!

~Jamie N
www.bicycletouring101.com

oooh, but that's the thing! i enjoy that sort of thing. I was thinking about it last night and i don't know if Chicago to Columbus is going to cut it, so I'm thinking of extending it somehow. I've been meaning to go to texas for a while to visit my grandparents, so I'm thinking about making my way down there also.

there are some pretty amazing stories here... keep 'em coming! I wish i had more time to do this kind of thing. I need to hurry up and finish school so I can take some more time off and explore.

like I said, this is my first tour though, so i'm really excited.
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Old 01-19-05, 12:01 PM   #16
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Don't know Jamie, people might consider only sleeping in a hammock to be torture instead of staying a nice warm motel. Cowboys and early settlers never had tents or sleeping bags. I think the idea is kind of cool. I'm too old and unwilling to depart from my bivy sack and sleeping bag. Don't like bug bites and I need something to wrap around me when I am sleeping, even at 90 degrees.

I do have two questions about the hammock, does it rock somewhat when the wind blows? and can you sleep on your stomach in one of those things?
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Old 01-19-05, 01:16 PM   #17
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Yeah, the bugs are the only thing I don't like about just sleeping on the ground... I've awoke several times with what seemed like hundreds of ants crawling over my body, mosquito swarms, etc. It's not plesant. Otherwise, it's a very natural, humbling experience. That's why I do it. It takes some getting used to, being exposed like that. I started out on picknic tables and worked my way down to the ground without a sleeping bag, tarp, or anything like that.

I wondered about those hammocks, too. Light, cheap, bug-preventing... I have to admit i'm tempted. I wonder how confortable they could be, though. But people seem to like them.


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Don't know Jamie, people might consider only sleeping in a hammock to be torture instead of staying a nice warm motel. Cowboys and early settlers never had tents or sleeping bags. I think the idea is kind of cool. I'm too old and unwilling to depart from my bivy sack and sleeping bag. Don't like bug bites and I need something to wrap around me when I am sleeping, even at 90 degrees.

I do have two questions about the hammock, does it rock somewhat when the wind blows? and can you sleep on your stomach in one of those things?
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Old 01-20-05, 12:23 AM   #18
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Hi!

I agree with you that different people like different things. I always like to encourage people to do what works best for them and allows them to have fun at the same time.

Years ago I used to go motorcycle touring. My sleeping setup usually conisted of a picnic table and a sleeping bag. Later I added a tarp for water protection so I understand the appeal. Those tours were fun back then too. Nowadays I like carrying a little comfort along, get more exercise and spend more time really seing the scenery. Of course I don't mind the 1.5 pound hammock either!

My hammock doesn't sway in any appreciable way in windy conditions or if it did I certainly didn't notice it while sleeping soundly! (grin).

I have been out in significant winds (> 80 km/hr) and driving rain without problems.

I usually sleep on my back. Sleeping on my side requires a bit of an exercise of getting your arm in the right place so that your arm doesn't have your entire body weight on it causing it to fall asleep (and therefore wake you up all too soon).

Sleeping on your stomach would likely be uncomfortable in my hammock. The curve of the hammock would likely cause you to arch rather then lay flat. I can't imagine that being fun but I almost never sleep on my stomach even at home.

My advice to someone considering a hammock is to try it for at least two or three nights. It is different then a tent or a bed and it might take a night or two to really appreciate the comfort of a hammock.

~Jamie N
www.bicycletouring101.com
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