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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 09-05-12, 10:01 AM   #1
MichaelW
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Not cycle touring

Got a week of free time and all the gear but I really don't want all the faff of packing, flying, prepping then pacing myself to get within airport range after only a couple of days riding. Just thinking about the logistics was making me jaded. I normally try to fit in at least 10 days of riding on a tour with flights, this would be 4-5 at the most.

Looking around at alternatives, I did a mini cycle tour of my county this summer but I've always fancied a canoe tour on our local national park (Norfolk Broads) . A company hires out canoes and has some campsites on local waterways (a large national park of lakes, marshes and rivers). There are few waterside campsites and stealth camping is very tricky (+ illegal + daily ranger patrols).

I'm really looking forward to spending a few days on the water in a canoe.

Does anyone else put their bike away on occasion and try something different?
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Old 09-05-12, 10:14 AM   #2
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Got a week of free time and all the gear but I really don't want all the faff of packing, flying, prepping then pacing myself to get within airport range after only a couple of days riding. Just thinking about the logistics was making me jaded. I normally try to fit in at least 10 days of riding on a tour with flights, this would be 4-5 at the most.

Looking around at alternatives, I did a mini cycle tour of my county this summer but I've always fancied a canoe tour on our local national park (Norfolk Broads) . A company hires out canoes and has some campsites on local waterways (a large national park of lakes, marshes and rivers). There are few waterside campsites and stealth camping is very tricky (+ illegal + daily ranger patrols).

I'm really looking forward to spending a few days on the water in a canoe.

Does anyone else put their bike away on occasion and try something different?
Yes, in the last couple years I have actually ridden very little when not on tour. For example I did the Pacific coast last September (Seattle to San Luis Obispo), the Southern Tier (Sandiego to Pensacola) last winter, and did a Colorado tour recently all with little to no riding in between other than some mountain biking this summer. I do a lot of trail running and some hiking and in winter maybe snowshoe running.

When I retire (probably in 8 months or so) I may do a car tour with a lot of hiking, some mountain biking, some trail running, and some high pointing.
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Old 09-05-12, 01:38 PM   #3
Jay H
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You could always circumnavigate Ireland :-)

http://www.amazon.com/On-Celtic-Tide.../dp/0312263686

I enjoy kayak camping, which can be anything from bouncing around the lakes in the Adirondacks or the Connecticutt River in New England to more exciting travels like sea kayak touring on the Maine Island Trail. I also enjoy backpacking though I think I'm more of a long distance cyclist than a "thruhiker" or similar...

I just enjoy exploring areas and forests and mountains, the mode of transportation isn't too important. I think you will find kayak/canoeing very interesting and a lot different than say backpacking or bike touring... You can carry *a lot* in a touring kayak or even more in a canoe so right there, that would be new to you.

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Old 09-05-12, 01:47 PM   #4
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We have a canoe back in Australia, and have done day trips with it so far, but we have talked about doing an overnight or perhaps long weekend.

Canoeing Summer 2011/2012 - http://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-...7627624047039/
Canoeing 2010/2011 - http://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-...7623927024320/


You've probably also heard me talk about hub-and-spoke tours ... those are great for incorporating a variety of activities. Take last Christmas, for example, we drove to Mount Gambier, South Australia where we spent a week. We did a few days rides, a couple days at the beach boogie-boarding and trying out our surf skis, and an overnight out-and-back tour.

On shorter hub-and-spoke tours we might spend a couple days riding, and one day walking around town, along the beach, or wherever.

We have debated about taking our canoe with us on some of our hub-and-spoke tours, but it is a little bit difficult to transport longish distances.
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Old 09-05-12, 09:29 PM   #5
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I am more a boater than a biker, though I guess in practical terms we spend more time in bikes and cars regardless. I design and build canoes as well as bicycles. I prefer wilderness camping, and in Ontario you get more opportunities to travel the wilds by boat than any other method.
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Old 09-05-12, 09:58 PM   #6
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I just rode my first bike tour after a 15 year hiatus. In the years off, I hiked the Triple Crown of US long distance hiking, climbed all of Colorado's 14ers, spent 10 years on a volunteer structural and wildland firefighting squad, helped finish building the recently completed Arizona Trail, celebrated my 30-year wedding anniversary, and some other fun stuff. I consider myself an avid cyclist, but there's more to life than cycling. Seek balance!
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Old 09-06-12, 10:13 AM   #7
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.

Does anyone else put their bike away on occasion and try something different?
absolutely. round these parts there's usually six months of bad weather and road conditions that would be treacherous to tour in.

I love ski touring, sea kayaking, mountaineering, and just plain craggin'.

for a while, in another part of the country, i did a couple of trips riding to ski mountaineer with skis on board, and have ridden to climb, etc.





I recommend a door to door trip that combines one of these other elements - is it possible to ride to scotland, bag a peak, and return in a week from where you live?
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Old 09-06-12, 10:44 AM   #8
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You could always circumnavigate Ireland :-)
Just note the Spanish Armada had a bit of trouble on the Irish west coast.
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Old 09-06-12, 11:18 AM   #9
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Variety is the spice of life. When I'm not cycling, I like to hike and kayak. Spent about 9 days in California and Oregon this summer visiting San Francisco, the N Cal coast, Redwood National Park and Crater Lake NP. Didn't ride a bike the entire trip and had a great time hiking and sight-seeing for a change of pace. Didn't gain any weight either, despite eating well, so all the hiking must have helped. Closer to home, I try to paddle 1-2 days/week but have fallen off the wagon ... er kayak ... this summer due the generally unpleasant weather. We went from having extreme heat (100+ F temps) for two weeks to extreme humidity with thunderstorms almost every afternoon, making it less than ideal for paddling.
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Old 09-06-12, 01:01 PM   #10
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...I recommend a door to door trip that combines one of these other elements - is it possible to ride to scotland, bag a peak, and return in a week from where you live?
Ditto! I love trips like that. I cycled from my front door to the trailheads of the highest peaks in CO and AZ in recent years and climbed the peaks on foot (Mts Elbert and Humphreys). I also did a few bicycle shuttles on canoe trips. I never tried carrying skis on the bike, and now I'm not sure why I never thought of that.

There's a John Muir quote about seeking adventure that goes something like, "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence."
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Old 09-06-12, 01:04 PM   #11
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You could always circumnavigate Ireland :-)
That reminds me of this: http://www.amazon.com/Round-Ireland-.../dp/0312274920

Great travel story.
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Old 09-06-12, 01:40 PM   #12
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... helped finish building the recently completed Arizona Trail ...
Thanks for the Arizona Trail. I've been day riding sections of it and will be putting together a tour of it from around the area of Strawberry to the South Rim.
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Old 09-13-12, 07:20 AM   #13
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Just back from my 3 day canoe trip around the Norfolk Broads. It was a really great experience and made a nice change from cycling. The pace was a lot slower, the muscle groups very different and there were no stops for repairs or adjustments to the canoe. It floats, you go: simples.
There was quite a lot of boat traffic from tourist rentals, a few sailboats, one Mississippi-style paddle boat, one vintage steam boat and one solar powered electric boat. All the boat traffic was slow and well behaved, no rogue speeding powerboats or wetbikes.

We saw lots of wildlife, close up. Camping was surprisingly hard to find. There are some known wild camping sites if you know who to ask (just patches of grass) if you know who to ask, and one or 2 pub campsites but none of them are officially recognised by tourist info. I can see a potential for hammock style camping on wooded but wet ground (think a cooler, gator-free version of the everglades)
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Old 09-13-12, 08:53 AM   #14
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Touring is a state of mind, that doesn't mean you have to do it on a bike.
"travel . . . for pleasure rather than competition"

Bike touring is just a means to have an adventure for me. : )
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Old 09-13-12, 01:02 PM   #15
Juha
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I'm really looking forward to spending a few days on the water in a canoe.

Does anyone else put their bike away on occasion and try something different?
Sounds like you have a plan. Enjoy!

I have done quite a bit of kayak touring on sea, lake regions and easy river stretches. I used to hike, but dropped that when I started with bike tours. I'm always planning self supported XC skiing tours for winter. I ski a fair bit, carry one day's food etc in the backpack, but haven't tried winter camping, yet. Long distance skating might be fun too, but we only have a couple of good days per year, if that.

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Old 09-13-12, 08:02 PM   #16
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I came to cycle touring from many years of backpacking after stone age knee surgery left me without any cartilage or an ACL in one knee forty some years ago. The bike along with sea kayak touring have treated my knee well and taken me to wonderful places many inaccessible by road or trail only by water. The Sea of Cortez along Baja, The Queen Charlotte Islands off British Columbia and Glacier Bay in Alaska have provided many glorious days on the water. Cross training between the bike and the kayak has benefits for both activities for me.
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