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  1. #1
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    How do you kill mass quanties of time?

    Okay, simple problem...maybe if you are one of those people that can sit around doing nothing all day long it won't sound like a problem. This does sound like a stupid question but I'm a little stumped right now and trying to come up with a solution before I have to deal with the problem.

    I have a couple of simple problems, one I'm in shape and two I'm in shape. Sounds retorical(sp?) but I mean it quite seriously. This past summer when I went on my tour everyday was pushed for one reason or another. I knew I had a deadline for getting to western Ohio which I didn't quite make so I called my mom and her and my brother met me about 80 miles from her place and picked me up so I could get to her place that evening, pretty much a requirement. The second leg I knew I was trying to get the roundtrip leg to St. Louis back to my mom's place before the remenants(sp?) of Hurricane Issac made it into Ohio. The final leg coming back to NH I was trying to continue my nice stretch of dry riding weather and until I ended up coming down with a case of the stomach flu a little over half way home I was maintaining the pace that would have gotten me home before the rain arrived.

    I was averaging 113 miles a day over the course of the whole trip. Like I said, I'm in shape. My longest day in western NY/PA/northeast OH was 172 miles and the second longest day of the trip, two days after the stomach flu hit, was going across PA heading back home and that was 146 miles.

    This coming year my challenge is to change everything around for the entire year with the first qualifying criteria being I'm not going to ride a single 100 mile day all year long. So far in 2012 I've rode at least 100 miles in a day on 95 days. I'm hoping to hit 100 days of 100 miles or more a day before the end of the year. Yes, I over 20,600 miles so far this year. Next year, with all my challenges I'm hoping for 25-30K miles.

    With all the extra time while touring next year, what do you guys typically do with the extra free time when you're stealth camping every night. As it was this past summer I was typically getting on the road around 8-9AM, mid August-mid September, and depending on the day I was either riding all day until around sunset or I would end up taking 1-2 hours off at a McDonalds along the way and get online for a while and end up trying to reroute the ride to make it shorter/take less time to get to where I was trying to get to. I was normally getting into town around sunset and then spending the evening at McDonalds on Google Earth looking the town over for a place to stealth for the night and then wait until it got dark enough to set up camp.

    I know this coming summer their is a very good chance I will be going through far more remote areas, midwestern US, than anything I saw this summer. How do you kill massive quanties of time while on tour? I can easily see while in the midwest being on the bike 4-5 hours a day and have the rest of the time free with nothing anywhere around to occupy the time.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Why would you artificially restrict your daily mileage? If you're comfortable with 100 mile days and can see/do whatever you want while racing across the country, why not? You should control your down time, not the other way around.

    Strangely, 'killing' down time has never been a problem for me. I ride 5-6 hrs/day. Hang out in places with wifi, usually eating. Sight see. Visit with strangers. Spend time with WS hosts. Set up camp, cook maybe, read. Helps if you've got a buddy to tour with. I'm one of the many 50 miles/day folks.
    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

  3. #3
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    It sounds like you're in it for the miles more than "smelling the roses." To each their own, but I don't understand why it's important for you to limit your miles/day. Especially if you're aiming for more miles/year.

    I target around 50 miles/day with generous variance for sightseeing or aiming for a specific campground. I don't stealth camp, so I'm free to set up camp and spend my time cooking, sightseeing, talking with folks, eating, writing, and planning my next day. I don't recall ever being bored off the bike.

    I prefer the local eateries, so I avoid large chain restaurants as much as possible. I can eat McDonald's every day of the week at home if I want. Give me local diner with an unhurried, friendly server any day on tour.

  4. #4
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    On thing that might help is camping in plain sight rather than stealth camping. The ability to do that may be dependent on where you tour though. It worked fine for me in places like the western half of the Southern Tier, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, and Wyoming where it was pretty easy to camp in picnic areas or other impromptu places, but in plain sight. In places on the west coast, camping in the cheap ($4-8) hiker biker sites was always fun because there were plenty of other tourists to hang out with.

  5. #5
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    I always have a good book or two with me. Besides that, I maintain an online blog and spend a good deal of time arranging photos and writing daily entries, which I find very enjoyable. I also research the areas I pass through, keep in touch with friends and family back home, pass the time talking with strangers or other bike tourists I meet along the way, and take leisurely meals.

    The best way to ruin a tour for me is to give me a rigid schedule and a deadline that requires high daily mileage day after day. It's not just about the biking to me. It's about seeing and experiencing more than that. It's about spending mornings relaxing with several cups of coffee, and taking my time getting on the road. If it's not hot I usually don't hit the road until 10am, sometimes even later. If it's hot - that's a different story. I will (reluctantly) hit the road as early as 6am but will finish riding early so still have plenty of time for lazing around doing the things mentioned above.

  6. #6
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Look into geocaching. There are geocaches hidden in all parts of the country and the world. Get yourself a GPS and you can easily burn a day, hunting up a few geocaches within a few miles of almost anywhere.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  7. #7
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    There are more reason to ride than just to ride. I know my challenges for next year are CRAZY, I'm also looking at making them something more just riding. You can ride a bike, even tour across the globe on bike, but what good is that. What does that do for anyone else. I'm looking at next year as spreading it out to being not just about me. I'm trying to set up next year as an inspiration year and not just another year of riding 'worthless' miles. Inspire others to get off their ass and get on a bike, rather than just pollute the air more while getting fatter. I want to keep my mileage/time spent on the bike each day 'short' so that what I'm doing isn't something that only 'Lance Armstrong' can do, but rather something anyone can do. You figure ride 4-6 hours(including commuting to work) a day, work an 8 hour job, sleep 8 hour, and still have 2-3 hours each day for other things while still riding 20,000+ miles a year. Can't be done, right? In actuality I'm also planning on a year of extreme climbing, climbing enough vertical throughout the year that I would have climbed to the International Space Station, 250 mile roughly, in one year. Can't be done, right?

    I already know I can ride 20+K miles a year without even trying, I've did it this year. Now for a completely different challenge next year while still riding the bike and getting around without a car.

    I admit to not eating at McDonalds, I just use their wifi. I'm sitting at McDonalds right now as I type this out, I don't have internet access at home. I rarely eat out, unless it's carbo loading at Pizza Hut during the lunch buffets.

    If I'm around a bigger town somewhere that's one thing. I can see it being quite easy to occupy time if your in a decent sized town, 5-6K or bigger, but if your in someplace like eastern CO, western NE, SW SD, heck even someplace like US20 through NY like this year, places where there is nothing, not even much in the way of towns anywhere what do you do to occupy your time. I may be just trying to cover bases before they may never happen but I would rather give myself some ideas in case I need them.

    I know of one or two things I could differently compared to last year but then again that doesn't add much killed time, talking maybe 15 minutes a day unless I get into a real nice scenic area.

    When I say stealth camp I simply mean camping someplace other than established campgrounds, whether it be behind churches, city ballparks, truck stops, behind big box stores, hiking trailheads, etc. Yes, I've camped out behind Wal-Mart already, literally right behind the store, same for Lowes. One of the campsites I had this summer was within 100 yards of McDonalds and maybe 200 yards, if that much, from the front door of Wal-Mart...right behind a gas station/truck stop just 150 yards from the on ramp to I-70, and yes, 2 feet from a corn field. Unless you was looking for me you would have never found me. I make it so I can't be seen by anyone unless they are going out of there way to try to find me.

    I do like and will remember the TX picnic areas. After seeing them this year while down in west central TX I liked them but could not understand the reason why TX ever put them scattered along the roads, especially the roads I saw them on. I'm already planning on using them next year when/if I head back down that way, hopefully by bike. If it's by car then that will change those plans. I know I'm looking after the TX event about catching US385 and possibly riding all of it from Big Bend to the Black Hills...why not, being in Big Spring for the event puts me awfully darn close to the southern end of 385 to start with and since I'm looking to go up to the Black Hills and it takes me there why not ride the entire road south to north. I don't have to follow stinkin' established routes, I can create my own.

  8. #8
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    So,you ride as fast as you can to get someplace,you get there early and now you need something to kill time because your early? Is that about right? I don't get it......Is this a race of some kind?

    Slow down?....Ride farther?.....Quit looking at the time?.... Get drunk?..... Pick up chicks?.....Do crossword puzzles?......Clean your bike?......Take up knitting?.......Hunt Rocky Mountain Spotted Snipe?....Teach yourself about plants and stuff?....Learn how to make crop circles?

    If I could ride 100 miles in 4-5 hours on my touring bike,on ANY bike....I'd quit touring and take up racing......
    Last edited by Booger1; 12-18-12 at 02:42 PM.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  9. #9
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    Have a child. That took care of it for me! ;-)

    But seriously, expand your horizons by forcing yourself to talk to people more, perhaps stop at local small (and big) museums, etc. Learn about the places you are riding through, and what make the local people "tick." Take a mid-day nap during the heat of the day. Get a Kindle and load it with lots of books to give you something to occupy your time.

    It sounds like you need a mind-set change rather than ideas on killing time. Or, as others have said, if that's not your thing, then just ride your miles and do what works for you. If people ask how many miles you ride each day, lie to avoid sounding like Superman. Or, just accept that it's who you are and how you like to travel. Nothing wrong with it! "Ride your own ride."

    I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, but your posts come across as a bit of grandstanding despite what you are saying about wanting to be humble and inspire people. But maybe I'm reading too much into it.

  10. #10
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    Some people seem to kill mass quantities of time with excessive posting on this and other forums.

  11. #11
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    I don't know where you are riding but you should perhaps find some different roads. Find a road with features that feed your curiosity.

  12. #12
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    Watch the wildlife
    Cook more elaborate meals.
    Stop and chat to people
    catch your own food
    Read a book
    Spend more hrs on the bike.
    Chillax

  13. #13
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    I don't know your age, but if you're young enough and you can train 24,000 miles in a year, you need to do more interval training and turn pro. Seriously, very few of the elite pros in the world ride more than 24K in a year, most are in the 20K year range.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
    Some people seem to kill mass quantities of time with excessive posting on this and other forums.
    ...and excessive reading of those posts, too.

    Hey, OP, carry more stuff. Spend every evening unpacking and repacking it. Works for me.

  15. #15
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    I Play Music in Pub Jam sessions and drink what ever is served, locally when I can..

  16. #16
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    If you are really looking for a challenge, why don't you take a couple of weeks off and ride the Race Across America
    Last edited by Doug64; 12-18-12 at 09:58 PM.

  17. #17
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I tour on a tandem with my wife, and we can kill any amount of time with great ease. We once were stuck in our tent for 4 days during a mountain rainstorm. It was fun, one of our best times. I recommend Moby Dick or War and Peace. Crime and Punishment is a good touring read, though it's hard to beat Moby Dick. Read Anna Karenina and be ready to see the movie. Most of us read those books when we were entirely too young to appreciate them. Now we can take them with us on a Kindle and save weight. Get a girlfriend, dude.

  18. #18
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Stop somewhere in the middle of the day to have a leisurely lunch.
    Stop somewhere in the middle of the day to see the sights ... go for a walk along the beach ... check out a museum ... go for a hike in the red rock countryside of the west.

    You can easily fill a day just looking at all the interesting stuff there is around you.

    Other ideas ...

    -- take in some concerts of various sorts
    -- go to the local outdoor swimming pool
    -- try boogie boarding or surfing at the beach
    -- many campgrounds have internet access ... take your laptop and browse the internet
    -- bring a decent camera and document everything you see in photographs
    -- write stories
    -- read stories
    -- sketch (a recent acquaintence of ours went on a cycling and sketching tour in Spain)
    -- drop in at some night classes in the places you stay. Many places have 1-day community classes on cooking, arts, and various other things
    -- learn to play an instrument


    And start staying in real campgrounds so you can get internet access, and so you can meet people and talk to people. Some campgrounds have recreation rooms and swimming pools and stuff like that where you can read, watch TV, play games, workout, etc. etc.

    Also stay with people (warmshowers, couchsurfing, etc.) or visit people ... you could spend the evening chatting.

  19. #19
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Concur with that, Machka. I've traveled a good bit, and feel that traveling is all about the people you meet. Sure the places are nice, and if you're touring the riding is fun, but it's the people that make the tour, that make the memories, which is why we tour. The places are the stage sets for us, the actors.

  20. #20
    mev
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    I'm not sure I see the problem.

    If you think spending 4-5 hours on the bike isn't enough time, then spend more time on the bike. If you are doing your own tour, nobody is telling you how long or short your daily distance needs to be. If you think your daylight hours are cut with sunset, start a little earlier in the morning.

    If you think spending 4-5 hours on the bike is enough time, then do other things. While touring you can choose to travel to interesting areas, meet people, see things and likely also do similar things you would otherwise do at home when not bicycle touring.

    It sound like you are traveling by yourself and have ability to adjust the trip distances and times to work for you. So just do that.

  21. #21
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    contrived conflict.

    however, words for the conflicted.....

    "The slower you go, the more you know." M. Beck

    there's a lot of great stuff to see in this country if you look thoroughly.

    Hanging out at a McDonalds surfing the web doesn't qualify.

  22. #22
    Hooked on Touring
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    Yikes!
    How 'bout spending a month in a Buddhist monastery?

  23. #23
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    from reading your posts, i'm not quite sure why you even bother 'touring.'
    you didn't say anything much, if anything at all, about the places you've been
    or want to go, the sights you've seen, the people you've met, or the things
    you've experienced. it's just a compilation of longest days, highest, longest,
    fastest, equivalent to the tallest, blah, blah, blah.

    maybe you'd do better posting under long-distance/ultra/endurance/extreme
    cycling, since what you're doing isn't what most people would consider
    cycle touring.

    and really, why leave the house at all? you can set up your stationary bike
    with video and controls to simulate a landing on the moon.

  24. #24
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    Heck, just tour with me and carry all my gear. Set up my tent when you get to camp, cook the food, wash my clothes, do the maintenance on my bike, etc. That way I can increase my mileage and you can kill time. If you need to go slower even more, we can just strap some cement blocks to your bike. Merry Christmas!
    Happy Trails and May the Wind Be At Your Back!
    Tulsa John

  25. #25
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    O.K. I'll bite....Take up smoking. I was a smoker when I crossed the country. I only did a couple of days over 100 miles.

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