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  1. #1
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    Bicycle Touring is for the Rich.



    45 Dollar touring bike. 5 days across the Mekong Delta. No problems at all until I broke the chain on what was last day I could bike tour anyway. Got a ride into town holding the bike on the back of a motorbike. Sold it for $15. Got the boat/bus back to Saigon to meet up with a friend and travel as a normal backpacker for the rest of my trip.









    Don't let your wanderlust get translated into consumerism.

  2. #2
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    Applause.

    I once rode across northern Guatemala in 1988 with a locally bought cheap mountain bike. No rack, just carried everything in a pack and stayed at local hotels. Threw it on the top of the bus when I got back to the main highway that was too busy and dangerous for biking.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Love it! It's been said here over and over that touring is possible on ANY bike. But why is it that those guys put the girl on the cheap $45 bike while they rode their nice Dawes? Those cheap bikes are exactly right for those purposes: short tours. Had you gone any further your tour most likely would have been plagued with more breakdowns than just a broken chain. In other words, reliability becomes an issue. Nevertheless, you did right thing for this situation. Some people would have gone out and dump $1K on a new touring bike for a 5-day bike tour and then let the bike rust in storage. BTW, awesome pics!
    Last edited by Chris Pringle; 03-10-13 at 05:42 PM.

  4. #4
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    Oh, she had her own cheap touring bike. I took those photos while riding the $45 bike.

  5. #5
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    I like the chain guard on that $45 bike.

    I paid $5 for the bike I take to the grocery store. However I did pay about $100 for the parts I put into it to make it useable.

  6. #6
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    Omiak, For people that can't be so tongue-in-cheek about a $30 loss in five days, touring IS for the rich.

    Brad

  7. #7
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    Omiak, For people that can't be so tongue-in-cheek about a $30 loss in five days, touring IS for the rich.

    Brad
    Take it easy, bro...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    Omiak, For people that can't be so tongue-in-cheek about a $30 loss in five days, touring IS for the rich.

    Brad
    Everything's relative I guess. Or was this some kind of meta-tongue-in-cheek?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omiak View Post
    Everything's relative I guess. Or was this some kind of meta-tongue-in-cheek?
    Just this.

    Brad

  10. #10
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    Is the OP and English teacher in Korea?

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Meh.

    Foffing around internationally, throwing dollars at every cheap thrill and indulgence, is for the rich. A "normal backpacker"? this means, presumably, a wealthy global citizen on vacation.

    Good job snubbing others who BYOB and ride bikes that don't break after five days, regaling the forum with your own proletariat purports.

    Don't get "cheapskate" confused with "poor".
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    Meh.

    Foffing around internationally, throwing dollars at every cheap thrill and indulgence, is for the rich. A "normal backpacker"? this means, presumably, a wealthy global citizen on vacation.

    Good job snubbing others who BYOB and ride bikes that don't break after five days, regaling the forum with your own proletariat purports.

    Don't get "cheapskate" confused with "poor".
    I don't know what "foffing" means but the first google result gives "sexual games involving chocolate bars." But whatever you meant, I'm sure its roughly equivalent to taking a 3 week vacation after working full time as a high school teacher for a year.

    Why exactly do you consider my bicycle tour a cheap indulgent thrill? I'm assuming that you must approve of some kind of bicycle touring given you're on a bicycle touring forum.

    How am I snubbing anyone by demonstrating how you can tour on a cheap bike? If anything that seems more inclusive to me than the people on this forum who act like you need a LHT or similar $1500 touring bike to enjoy yourself on tour.

    I never used the word "poor" in anything I wrote so really I don't know what your talking about here. If you think I meant to imply that I was poor in the original post you're mistaken. If you mean to label me as a cheapskate I really don't mind.

  13. #13
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    'bicycle touring is for the rich' and 'don't let your wanderlust get confused with consumerism' are curiously disparaging themes in a scant report about an occidental taking a three week vacation in vietnam, and i'd think any educator would agree.

    During which you bought a cheap bike and rode it for a few days till it broke. cool.
    Some of us might have spent a hundred fifty bucks and ridden the bike the entire three weeks up and back the length of the Ho Chi Mihn trail. With live poultry in a cage hanging off the back for authenticity.


    -----------------------------------


    As to wealth of societies, privilege, and westerners acting largely like entitled vessels of flaming money, that's the topic of another conversation.

    Other than this vacation, do you use a bike over there?

    Glad you enjoyed your trip. yes, people don't need much to ride a cheap bike for a few days on an international thrill tour.

    cheers!
    Last edited by Bekologist; 03-12-13 at 03:40 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  14. #14
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report. I enjoyed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omiak View Post

    How am I snubbing anyone by demonstrating how you can tour on a cheap bike? If anything that seems more inclusive to me than the people on this forum who act like you need a LHT or similar $1500 touring bike to enjoy yourself on tour. .
    Cheap touring isn't news, most of us started that way. The only reason one needs a 1500 dollar (or hopefully more) bike, is to enjoy riding a bike of that quality while one is also touring. If one could tour simply by sipping wine (and maybe one can...), it might enhance the experience if the wine in question was of a decent quality. It is a two for one thing. Riding and touring.

  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omiak View Post
    Why exactly do you consider my bicycle tour a cheap indulgent thrill? I'm assuming that you must approve of some kind of bicycle touring given you're on a bicycle touring forum.
    I'm with Bekologist on this one...a rarity, I assure you. It's not the cheapness of your tour but the disparaging attitude of your post that grates. I don't really care what you use for touring. I'm not going judge you based on your equipment. Nor would most people posting here. We only ask that you extend the same courtesy to us. Those of us who spend more on equipment have our reasons. They are personal reasons and have little to do with wealth or consumerism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omiak View Post
    How am I snubbing anyone by demonstrating how you can tour on a cheap bike? If anything that seems more inclusive to me than the people on this forum who act like you need a LHT or similar $1500 touring bike to enjoy yourself on tour.
    Again, it's not the post but the attitude. Those of us who have spent far more on a touring bike then $1500 do so for various reasons. My touring bike has 10,000 miles of touring on it which works out to around $0.30 per mile. I expect it to last another 10,000 miles at least. The more miles I put on it, the less it has cost me per mile. Your bike cost you a per mile value as well but since you've sold it, you can't expect any value from it in the future.

    Additionally, most of us want our bikes to finish the trip. How much did you enjoy yourself when your chain broke and you had to find someone to haul you to your destination? I've had to hitch a ride because of equipment failures and it didn't leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling.

    Finally, which consumerism is worse: to buy a bike and use it for years and years and tens of thousands of miles or to buy one, use it for a few days and a few hundred miles and then get rid of it?
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  17. #17
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Bicycle Touring is for the Rich.

    Define "rich."

  18. #18
    Senior Member LuckySailor's Avatar
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    Wow! really you guys. Is it really worth your time? Go to your rooms already!

  19. #19
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    Bicycle touring makes one richer.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>Don't let your wanderlust get translated into consumerism<<<<

    Cheez, aside from this one line, all the guy did was tell us about a cool five-day trip on a cheap bicycle. I get what he meant by the statement above, and I'm not at all offended by it. Whether you prefer to ride a "good" bike or a $50 department store model, it's not a bad idea, every once in a while, to step back and take a look at what your ultimate goals are - and to make sure they are YOUR goals and not something sold to you by a magazine ad. I find that, if I can get my head right on a tour, put all my stress aside and just enjoy the heck out of every mile, I can easily forget which of my bikes I am riding.

    Omiak, point well taken. Glad you enjoyed your ride. However, my advice is to abort this thread now and not try to convince anyone that their attitude about biking is somehow inferior to any other attitude. We are ALL correct.
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  21. #21
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    We are ALL correct.
    Good thought.

    We can all be open to new correct ways as well.

    Omiak: Cheers!







    Last edited by Niles H.; 03-12-13 at 04:49 PM.

  22. #22
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    >>>Don't let your wanderlust get translated into consumerism<<<<

    Cheez, aside from this one line, all the guy did was tell us about a cool five-day trip on a cheap bicycle. I get what he meant by the statement above, and I'm not at all offended by it. Whether you prefer to ride a "good" bike or a $50 department store model, it's not a bad idea, every once in a while, to step back and take a look at what your ultimate goals are - and to make sure they are YOUR goals and not something sold to you by a magazine ad. I find that, if I can get my head right on a tour, put all my stress aside and just enjoy the heck out of every mile, I can easily forget which of my bikes I am riding.
    No. Omiak could have told us about interesting bike tour but he had to cop a "holier-than-thou" attitude about it. Bekologist may have been a little prickly in his response but that's just the way he is. He's also quite knowledgeable about touring, as am I and many other people who post here. Getting all up in our grills and evangelizing about touring on the cheap and the evils of consumerism isn't the way to impress people who have probably been there, done that and have the t-shirt.

    I doubt that Bekologist has read a magazine ad and let it influence his touring choices in about as long as it's been for me...and that's going on 20+ years for me now. There never has been too many magazine ads aimed at those of us who tour and they get fewer and fewer every year. I'm also certain that Bekologist is as well aware of his 'ultimate' goal as I am. Neither of us are new to touring. We know what touring is about, and it's not about the gear.

    In the end, Omiak, you made this about consumerism. It was reverse consumerism but consumerism nevertheless. Try again. Make your story about the trip, not the equipment. I am a gear head and I love equipment but I'm more interested in your trip then your equipment. Papa Tom is right about making sure what your goals are. But your goal...i.e. the trip...was lost in the noise of your message.
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  23. #23
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    No. Omiak could have told us about interesting bike tour but he had to cop a "holier-than-thou" attitude about it. Bekologist may have been a little prickly in his response but that's just the way he is. He's also quite knowledgeable about touring, as am I and many other people who post here. Getting all up in our grills and evangelizing about touring on the cheap and the evils of consumerism isn't the way to impress people who have probably been there, done that and have the t-shirt.

    I doubt that Bekologist has read a magazine ad and let it influence his touring choices in about as long as it's been for me...and that's going on 20+ years for me now. There never has been too many magazine ads aimed at those of us who tour and they get fewer and fewer every year. I'm also certain that Bekologist is as well aware of his 'ultimate' goal as I am. Neither of us are new to touring. We know what touring is about, and it's not about the gear.

    In the end, Omiak, you made this about consumerism. It was reverse consumerism but consumerism nevertheless. Try again. Make your story about the trip, not the equipment. I am a gear head and I love equipment but I'm more interested in your trip then your equipment. Papa Tom is right about making sure what your goals are. But your goal...i.e. the trip...was lost in the noise of your message.
    For what it's worth I read the comment "don't let your wanderlust get translated into consumerism" as meaning nothing more than a statement that if you want to go and see the world you can do it very cheaply if you want to. If you've got $10,000 and want to drop it all on a touring bike you'll only use for a fortnight you can do that, but it's not necessary.

    I found it an interesting comment given how many discussions take place here about how much it's likely to cost per day to go touring, just another data point at one end of the scale.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  24. #24
    eternalvoyage
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    Omiak might have been addressing beginners primarily (or maybe not), and trying to help them by sharing this sort of approach or possibility. And maybe he (/she) was feeling a bit celebratory about this trip, and sharing a gamble or adventure that worked out.

    Other approaches can work well too though (some of them have been mentioned in this thread), and have advantages of their own. Maybe that is why some are taking exception (or part of why) -- it can seem as if the OP is saying that this way is the way, or the best way, or the better way, when it is really one way among others.

    Any way, cheers to you Omiak and all. And Happy Saint Patrick's Day.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 03-12-13 at 07:23 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeregrineA1 View Post
    Bicycle touring makes one richer.
    Love it.

    Omiak - great photos. Gotta make it to that part of the world someday. My brother just returned from a trip to Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Vietnam and Cambodia were his favorites. Really glad I wasn't forced to go there 40-some years ago though. Missed that by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.

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