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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 05-07-13, 06:14 PM   #76
venturi95
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Off topic a bit... but I have to chime in here: I have lived in east Detroit, San Francisco, and Oakland for a good number of years, and I am quite familiar with all types of homeless folk. About 5 years ago in the summer I was riding the Redwood Highway on a solo tour... I saw the absolute filthiest person I have evert laid eyes upon, (harmless, ,mental, and quite friendly) riding a late 1980s Rockhopper with a Pepsi can alcohol stove, a pair of sweatpants, and one dollars and fifty cents to his name, and nothing else. He was headed from Arizona to Portland, OR. He looked like a dirty unkept wild animal, and his clothing was crusted with layers and layers of sweat. I was astonished, yet I tried to help him relate to why folks didn't want to even talk to him, he had to purify water in every town because people were so negative, they wouldn't even offer him water!
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Old 05-07-13, 06:26 PM   #77
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[QUOTE=cbike;15589180]I have meet a wide variety of people at the hiker/biker sites on the Oregon and California pacific coast and started wondering myself where the line between a homeless (a.k.a bum) and a bicycle tourist/backpacker/adventurer is. Before I thought it was straight forward but now I can't tell anymore.


I couldn't have said that better. That's exactly how I felt on the pacific coast tour. I guess it took me by surprise because I had never even considered it before.
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Old 05-07-13, 06:39 PM   #78
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>>>> It's ok to dress up like an acrobat and ride around in a big circle once a week with friends, but choosing a bike for transportation is looked upon as an act of desperation.<<<<<

I love this line. Do I have to pay a royalty if I use it somewhere...or everywhere?

O.P. - I don't know what stage of life you're at, but as a 50-year-old, I can tell you with confidence that, one day, you won't be as concerned with that other people "assume" you are. When I was making a living as a professional musician in my twenties and I was home during the day every day of the week, I was embarrassed to go outside, afraid that people would think I was unemployed. Now when I have a day - or several days - off from my day job, I wander the neighborhood freely, with no shame whatsoever. What has changed? Only me and the fact that I know I am gainfully employed. The outside world might assume I lost my job, but so freakin' what?

I think a person who sees a cyclist on a nice bike with all the trimmings and assumes/she is homeless just doesn't get it. On the other hand, a person who sees me biking to work every day has reason to believe I'm either homeless or I have a DWI. For lack of a more clever response: who cares?
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Old 05-07-13, 10:04 PM   #79
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>>>> It's ok to dress up like an acrobat and ride around in a big circle once a week with friends, but choosing a bike for transportation is looked upon as an act of desperation.<<<<<

I love this line. Do I have to pay a royalty if I use it somewhere...or everywhere?

O.P. - I don't know what stage of life you're at, but as a 50-year-old, I can tell you with confidence that, one day, you won't be as concerned with that other people "assume" you are. When I was making a living as a professional musician in my twenties and I was home during the day every day of the week, I was embarrassed to go outside, afraid that people would think I was unemployed. Now when I have a day - or several days - off from my day job, I wander the neighborhood freely, with no shame whatsoever. What has changed? Only me and the fact that I know I am gainfully employed. The outside world might assume I lost my job, but so freakin' what?

I think a person who sees a cyclist on a nice bike with all the trimmings and assumes/she is homeless just doesn't get it. On the other hand, a person who sees me biking to work every day has reason to believe I'm either homeless or I have a DWI. For lack of a more clever response: who cares?
Use the quote whenever you like, but you can always provide appreciated credit by referring to my blog
Simply Cycle.

Your comments are great, why care if somebody makes an erroneous assumption? If they are prone to that, what difference can their opinion have?

Marc
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Old 05-08-13, 07:21 AM   #80
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I was camped in a city park in west Texas years ago. The local Baptist church was having a feed in said park, but did not invite me to participate. I was told later that a 12 yo had complained to her mother about how rudely the 'homeless guy' had been treated by the church crowd..

At a state park in Louisiana, while in town dining, a 'little old lady' left a bag of sandwiches at my tent. For the 'homeless guy.' Recounted to me by a camp neighbor.
Good for the 12 yo. Seems like he/she has been actually listening instead of just warming a pew.
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Old 05-09-13, 10:11 AM   #81
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As I get closer to retirement, I'm now 54, my mind wonders to a time when I can just spend my life touring around the world on my bicycle. My wife aked me recently, "Could you be homeless?" The answer was an immediate "Yes" We've been car free for over ten years so it's mostly assumed we are poor and can't afford a car.
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Old 05-09-13, 10:47 AM   #82
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that's just political correctness. can't call bums or vagrants or crack-heads naughty things.
might hurt their self-esteem.
Ass
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Old 05-09-13, 11:34 AM   #83
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I wonder if it might depend on how your bike looks? If you've got nice panniers and a good bike, you don't really look homeless. If you've got an old, crappy bike, and have just tied a bunch of bags to it, you look homeless.

In truth, we were homeless for three years as we cycled from Alaska to Argentina, but I don't think people assumed we were. I don't think, anyway.
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Old 05-09-13, 02:39 PM   #84
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Papa Tom -- If "O.P." means "original poster" -- I am in your same stage of life and also do NOT care what people think who mistake me for homeless. One of the fringe benefits of being over 50 is that I am now invisible to attractive women, for example.

My post might have been better titled "how come people who assume you are homeless are so clueless?" Nothing about being judged, etc by them -- the vast majority who assume me homeless don't seem to mean it as an insult and never slight me in any way (I guess with the exception of the ones who called the park ranger on me once, but he and I had a fun conversation so it was all good).

I guess I still believe it depends a lot on a passerby's familiarity with touring cyclists, which varies based on region of country somewhat. Recently talked to a friend on Illinois to Virginia route, they meet over one touring cyclist or group like them every day.
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Old 05-09-13, 06:45 PM   #85
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I guess I still believe it depends a lot on a passerby's familiarity with touring cyclists, which varies based on region of country somewhat. Recently talked to a friend on Illinois to Virginia route, they meet over one touring cyclist or group like them every day.
It probably varies based on region of the world.

I've cycled toured, fully loaded, in Australia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, and several countries in Europe ... and no one has ever indicated that they thought I might be destitute.
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Old 05-10-13, 03:17 AM   #86
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As I get closer to retirement, I'm now 54, my mind wonders to a time when I can just spend my life touring around the world on my bicycle.
Same here! I'm a year behind you. Hoping to become a "bald nomad".
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Old 05-10-13, 12:54 PM   #87
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I really like the term "Homefree"! In my opinion homeownership is highly overrated.Especially homes that are excessively large. After 30 plus years of home owning there is nothing that appeals to me more than to downsize to something way smaller (1000 sq. ft.). leaving my wife set up in it after we retire and me taking off for a year or two living on my social security bike touring around North America while she lives on her retirement savings plus my 401k until I get this urge to escape the Rat Race out of my system.Dont get me wrong!I don't want a divorce but after 32 years of marriage and working full time for 41 years the thought of being Homefree and on my own on a bike is really appealing!
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Old 05-10-13, 07:54 PM   #88
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I really like the term "Homefree"! In my opinion homeownership is highly overrated.Especially homes that are excessively large. After 30 plus years of home owning there is nothing that appeals to me more than to downsize to something way smaller (1000 sq. ft.). leaving my wife set up in it after we retire and me taking off for a year or two living on my social security bike touring around North America while she lives on her retirement savings plus my 401k until I get this urge to escape the Rat Race out of my system.Dont get me wrong!I don't want a divorce but after 32 years of marriage and working full time for 41 years the thought of being Homefree and on my own on a bike is really appealing!
That's pretty close to my sentiments dclifton, truth is I aspire to be homeless and unemployed, on my bike just looking around to see what is out there. I dream of a time when I can pare down, sell off, sellout and hit the road. Gettin' closer every day, but a few years off.

The "homeless" I am talking about is very different from being homeless and hungry.
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Old 05-11-13, 06:55 AM   #89
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I really like the term "Homefree"!
I like "independently indigent", or "self unemployed".
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Old 05-12-13, 05:53 PM   #90
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There's also this jerk that pretends to be a cyclotourist in distress:

http://bikeportland.org/2012/05/31/r...amed-ian-72587

Anybody touring in the Pacific Northwest should keep an eye out for him.
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