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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 02-18-14, 10:25 PM   #26
Jim from Boston
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For my first tour should I take a friend?

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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
I love solo touring… I have done some pretty great trips with my wife, too. And I have had some great traveling with other cyclists I've met along the way and had a compatible style with. So either way has its benefits.

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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
…that will test the friendship/partner and you will find out if you are compatible or not. It will put you through all the test you could ever hope to go through. By going solo you have to deal with everything yourself...but you only have yourself you have to deal with.
My first overnight weekend tour was by myself, and I got hooked, and I subsequently did a few over-nights with a semi-organized group of about five. Eventually I did longer tours with my then-girlfriend-now-wife, with an ultimate epic tour:

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On our eight-week, honeymoon, self-supported cross-country cycle tour we had left both our families in Michigan where we had lived all our lives for new lives and careers in Boston, where we essentially knew no one, and hadn't even arranged for housing. I have described the tour itself as:

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...It was a great way to start married life, since every day we would have to find and set up a homestead for the night in a new environment where we only knew, and could depend on each other. I can remember two distinct times on that trip when either one of us hit low a point, and were bouyed up by the other; me in Kansas and she in Ohio.
On the other hand, though,

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Originally Posted by Rudyard Kipling
“Down to Gehenna or up to the Throne,
“He travels the fastest who travels alone.”
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Old 03-31-14, 05:37 PM   #27
Chuckie J.
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I've mainly gone with other people and it's been hit and miss. I like people and offered touring opportunities to friends who have been interested. They liked it but but it always involved a certain amount of tactful "teaching" on how to tour. It's different than just camping or biking.

Food has been an issue. Some of the people I rode with wanted to do dinner all together but didn't want to do the organizing of the food beforehand. As a result, dinnertime came and they'd say, "who wants to share food?" The folks who had their dinner all ready to go looked like anti-social jerks. Meanwhile, they're still cooking after dark and I'm done with all my stuff packed for the night. Next someone wants to borrow some pot. It can get... well, touchy.

Leaving in the morning is another tough subject. You can't leave your friends behind but at the same time daylight is finite and biking in the morning is nice and pleasant.

And the couples always fight!

I'd still rather do it with people. I like to talk with folks, share a view, go through the suffering together. I know you can meet people on the road but my tours just aren't that long, 3-10 days.
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Old 03-31-14, 08:10 PM   #28
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I went solo, to other countries, made friends while I was traveling There .. that was before the internet ,
so I lost touch since ...same as Ex GF's
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Old 03-31-14, 09:25 PM   #29
hueyhoolihan
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If you have a really good friend to tour along side, it will make your tour much more enjoyable. Company really does easy any misery you may and probably will encounter. It's good to have someone to say the "F" word to when it rears it's ugly head.
good advice.

or you can start alone and latch on to the first person or group that strikes your fancy. if things don't work out, you can always part, well... strangers.
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Old 04-02-14, 09:33 AM   #30
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good advice.

or you can start alone and latch on to the first person or group that strikes your fancy. if things don't work out, you can always part, well... strangers.
I once sort of did that while touring in the west. One day in WY I caught up to a couple crossing the country on a Bike Friday tandem and sucked their wheel to the town where we both planned to stop that day. While after that we only riode together one additional time, and we did not share things like food, I ended up camping/hosteling with them off and on for neartly a week until, in Fairplay, CO, they continued east and I turned south. It was an interesting experience. They were Menonites who lived in Portland. The husband was a school teacher and the wife a former nurse. One cool thing was that the husband's hobby was bird calls. He was keeping a log of every species of bird he heard. He was also good at idenifying them by appearence. At the end of the day I could described some cool bird I had seen and he could identify it. They also took turns reading a book to each other in their tent, which just happened to be the same make and model as mine. I thought that was such a wonderful way to interact.

But something seemed strange. A couple of times they mentioned having a son who was either in college or had just fiinshed college, I cannot remember which. I thought to myself "They have a college age kid? Did they have him when they were 16 or something?" At one point we stayed in the hostel in Breckenridge, CO and were joined by two guys riding across the country in the other direction. The couple mentioned their college-age son again, and one of the guys got up the nerve to ask them their ages. Turns out the wife as somrething like 48 and the husband 44. We were all shocked. I had pegged them for mid-thirties at the oldest. Must have been all that clean living that kept them looking so young.
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