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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
    "The best things in life are free."

    Than again - - the best things in life you work for. Isn't that the idea behind pedaling 65 miles during the day rather than driving it in an hour? Those of us with a few years and many touring miles under our belts have surely heard something in the nature of, "Why would you do something stupid like that?" Surely there is a sense of accomplishment when you reach the top of a pass in the Rockies - - or else why would so many people post photos of themselves at the elevation sign?

    Whether it's mulching and tilling the garden in the springtime or building a dollhouse for your daughter (which probably doesn't have as many bells and whistles as a plastic one from Walmart) - - and yes, even a job - - there is something gained by perseverance, effort, work. The "Instant" age began long before electronic media took hold, but the latter has certainly accelerated the instant need. "Instant Karma" most certainly.

    The idea of working and saving for a trip and for the requisite equipment might sound terribly puritanical, but the rewards of doing so are usually far greater.
    Hard to disagree with any of what you write, but it doesn't sound to me like the OP/Troll/Griffon/Phoenix/Leprechaun is talking about a "vacation". Sounds to me like he's floundering/searching and needing to take a next step. Since I know nothing about his home situation I can't say whether he's wise or feckless and unfeeling for wanting to get away from it. Sometimes you know you're at a point where you just have to s**t or get off the pot, but you don't know where the bathroom door is. The challenge and nature of a bike tour could be a significant help.

    In my mid 20s I had only a vague idea what I wanted to do, I had few real (read employable) skills and I had never really developed a plan or worked hard at anything. I then spent five summers as a canoe guide in northern Minnesota and Canada. It toughened me up, forced me to plan and take responsibility for myself and others, taught me to think and push my way through challenges, etc., etc. Those summers for me were not "vacations". They were hard work for very little money and they formed me. Perhaps the OP does understand that pushing day after day on a bike is not the same as sitting around home, and perhaps he sees that as the exact kind of thing he needs. It's also sometimes true, and this was certainly the case for me, that people cannot change without getting away from their present situation, their people, their environment. It can be tough to become the person people tell you you cannot be.

    I think the foodstamp idea is dumb and wrongheaded. Meeting the girl of your fantasies on some lonely two lane is a pipedream. But jumpstarting your life by following Sheehan's advice to "first be a good animal" is spot on. It's an appropriate place from which to build.
    "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." Emerson

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by contango View Post
    Don't be afraid of dumpster diving. Not only can you find things to eat but they are also places to sleep. Close the lid and you can keep the rain off. Just don't sleep in them the night before they are due to be emptied. That doesn't usually end well.
    Heh. When I read this first paragraph of your post I thought, based on some crazy posts I have read on BF over the years, you were being serious.

    And for the record, I did once have a one night stand well into a long tour and never called the woman. Several years later, through the wonders of the Internets, I found out that she got arrested for possession of pot and cooking crystal with her boyfriend and child. At first I freaked when they gave the age of the child. But I quickly did the math and determined that it could not be mine--unless the report of the child's age was not accurate. Please don't judge me.

  3. #78
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Not buying this. It's really pretty lame. I haven't heard any stories of one last person on line at a soup kitchen being turned away because they just ran out of food. You're making it up, and as such, it does not make your point.
    Soup kitchen maybe not, but definitely food pantry, which is what I referred to in an earlier post. Where I grew up, food pantries ran out of food and then there wasn't any more until donors came in, so there were stories in the newspaper about how people were limited to how often they could visit it to stretch out reserves. If he's eating at soup kitchens, why wouldn't he stop at a food pantry too for a loaf of bread and some peanut butter so he can go further on the road between stops?
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  4. #79
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revcp View Post

    I think the foodstamp idea is dumb and wrongheaded. Meeting the girl of your fantasies on some lonely two lane is a pipedream. But jumpstarting your life by following Sheehan's advice to "first be a good animal" is spot on. It's an appropriate place from which to build.
    Hell, if he'd gotten rid of that sentence, I wouldn't have posted. I don't care that he's walking out on his dying father. Maybe his dad is an abusive dick. That's not for me to judge. I just don't like it when people game the system. Start over at any age you like, just be responsible for yourself, don't go into it expecting everyone to take care of you. Don't go hiking in dangerous conditions expecting rescuers to put their lives on the line to come save you when you get in over your head, and don't abuse the social safety net that others need. It's like the old rule about firepits at campsites. Leave them (in this case the world) in the same or better condition than you found it and I don't really care what you do. But don't leave it a mess with the expectation that the person coming after you is going to leave it in a better condition than they found it so you can trash it however you like.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  5. #80
    Hooked on Touring
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    And for the record, I did once have a one night stand well into a long tour
    Haven't we all?
    Thread topic, perhaps??

  6. #81
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Heh. When I read this first paragraph of your post I thought, based on some crazy posts I have read on BF over the years, you were being serious.

    And for the record, I did once have a one night stand well into a long tour and never called the woman. Several years later, through the wonders of the Internets, I found out that she got arrested for possession of pot and cooking crystal with her boyfriend and child. At first I freaked when they gave the age of the child. But I quickly did the math and determined that it could not be mine--unless the report of the child's age was not accurate. Please don't judge me.
    All those years waiting in lonely desperation, but the phone never rang. Maybe if you had just called her, she wouldn't have had to turn to a life of crime.

  7. #82
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    All those years waiting in lonely desperation, but the phone never rang. Maybe if you had just called her, she wouldn't have had to turn to a life of crime.
    Or she might not have had that kid with another man (had she been with you). Raising that kid alone led her to need more money, which led to the life of crime. Therefore, everything she did was all your fault.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  8. #83
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    It is very conventional thinking to say that the best things are things you work for, like kids presumably it was having made the money myself that made the experience so special. Or all the creative stuff I have made, like bamboo fenders (as a tiny example), it sure felt good know it was all about the money or the back breaking work.

    Overall Marx won, because one of his insights was to see that people would be defined by their work status, not some other thing like character or breeding, etc... (nobody is saying all the other stuff was good). It has come to the point where even the most privileged, like the monarchy are largely defined by beavering away at charitable roles, and paying their fair share of taxes.

    In a materialist society, you can be sure someone will put a price tag on everything.

  9. #84
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    Massive D - It is more than conventional thinking to equate work with money. Ask any woman, especially those who were full-time mothers in the 1950s whether or not they "worked". The word "work" has many meanings - in physics, in economics, in social construction. I prefer to think of work as the effort expended to achieve a goal. Sometimes that can be a paid occupation, but many times not.

  10. #85
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    Pretty weird set of opinions.

    He can tour any way he likes -- that's just not my style.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Not buying this. It's really pretty lame. I haven't heard any stories of one last person on line at a soup kitchen being turned away because they just ran out of food. You're making it up, and as such, it does not make your point.
    Soup kitchens don't have that Star Trek thing in the back, "Tea, Earl Grey, hot" and it appears. My church runs a soup kitchen where my wife, daughter and I volunteer. The kitchen is open for a certain amount of time. A certain amount of food is made. If you as a customer get there after the kitchen closes, you go hungry. If you get there close to the end, you might only get potatoes and salad, because the meat, veggies and bread are already gone. If the OP got the last full meal, then you go hungry (or at least not as full as you might have been). Been there, seen it, and feel really bad having to tell a truly needy soul that there is no more food.

  12. #87
    Clark W. Griswold
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    Here's a few of my thoughts:

    1. going touring is great.
    2. having a job and money while horribly evil is also a useful thing in the society that has been created. I am not saying "get a job" because I have had that thrown at me too often and it is stupid and wholly wrong, however a job provides more than just money in some cases.
    3. Don't take if you don't need to take. Food Not Bombs is a cool concept and useful but be careful not to strain their resources.
    4. EBT is fine and dandy and I would rather my tax money go towards that than blowing brown people up and destroying the planet to satisfy corporate jackasses. Sure it is better if you truly need it but with the major corruption that goes on in the government by the government, people "scamming" EBT is a non-issue.
    5. Live life to the fullest when you can but always do good and be good.

    i probably have a ton more wisdom that I could impart but after a night of camping debuachary and working today, yo neccesito dormir. If you want work, outdoor retail generally is a pretty good experience and a lot of fun.

    Also before I go check out Zinelibrary.info they have tons of useful resources for D.I.Y. stuff and I think even a zine on bike touring.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    We know that he is unemployed and contemplating trying to get "food stamps" so he can see the country on a bicycle. Are you good with that? As I have previously stated, I certainly am not.
    I live in the bum capital of the nation. Okay, maybe not the capital, but we do have about ten times the ratio of homeless/housed as the national average and they all seem to pass by my house daily (I live between the river and the mission, which feeds/houses many of them). The riverfront near my house is full of drug addicts on SSI disability (alcoholism is a disability) who smoke and drink all day every day. Thus, I'm not inclined to be super supportive of freeloaders.

    However, I wouldn't mind it if our support dollars went to folks who rode their bikes around the country looking for opportunities. At least they are likely to stay somewhat healthy and add some flavor to the places they stop. I've known people in similar situations who did indeed find ways out of them and went on to thrive economically. A couple of them found a trucking firm that was willing to teach them to drive class A trucks and then pay them to drive them 16-hour shifts all summer long. After that job, all other work seemed easy for them. (Said firm was Morningstar trucking in Woodland, CA. They hire people to haul tomatoes all summer while providing housing and kitchens.)

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    All those years waiting in lonely desperation, but the phone never rang. Maybe if you had just called her, she wouldn't have had to turn to a life of crime.
    She never gave me her number. I felt so used. But I think I did send her a post card. And I left out one detail. Her name was...wait for it...Crystal.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

  15. #90
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Wait, really? Crystal the meth dealer? I think it was fated. Either that or she was going to become a stripper.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  16. #91
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Altair 4, point taken.

    Freeloading is not a strategy I recommend, though you might think it is. It's just not always completely reprehensible. Everyone takes a handout sometimes. Also, I have said that the OP's plan doesn't sound reliable or even safe. I can't imagine embarking on a trip without cash on hand. I traveled for three months until I ran out of money, as per my father's advice. I got one free meal at a hostel. The warden there had cooked a gigantic exotic meal just for the hell of it, and he wanted to share it with all present. I never asked anyone to feed me. It's not my style, and I don't recommend it. If someone makes it work for him, that's fine, and I could learn a thing or two. But it won't convert me.

    B. Carfree, very interesting points! I have visited Eugene once. I remember noticing a lot of the homeless (or poor homed people) ride bikes. I remember seeing one guy pulling a trailer that was pulling another trailer! That's my kinda guy.

    Taking the argument to the extreme, no one should ever take a vacation, and no one should ever take time to earn less than his full earning potential. And of course, that's just silly. Does that express my point any better?
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  17. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I don't know why everyone has to be so hard on the guy. If affording meals is difficult for him, why shouldn't he take advantage of soup kitchens? That's what they're there for. I've volunteered at a soup kitchen, and I never considered anyone coming in to be a freeloader. They're just people who happen to be hungry. That's no crime.
    are you kidding ? you believe this guy is genuinely trying to make his own way, albeit with difficulty ? we should feel sorry for him that he has such a poor and deprived home environment ? be real, he is CHOOSING to be a freeloader. trying to get on food stamps so he can have access to food while bike touring ?? tell you what, you give him a donation. i think i'll prefer to let me tax dollars go to someone who really needs the help, not someone who chooses a life of dependence on others and is not motivated to make his own way.
    Last edited by adablduya; 04-10-14 at 09:21 AM.

  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Taking the argument to the extreme, no one should ever take a vacation, and no one should ever take time to earn less than his full earning potential. And of course, that's just silly. Does that express my point any better?
    I don't think anyone's saying that, but if you choose to live in an environment such as America is becoming -- where people are having to work harder and harder to pay for basic necessities and in many cases can't afford much other than the basic vacation -- then the OP should understand why people would be upset over what he's saying.

    Most people don't regulate whether they earn up to their potential or not, they take the best job they can get when they need one. One thing I will say about attitudes such as that expressed by the OP is those folks are generally the ones that find themselves unprepared for every phase of life. When they get married and have kids, they don't save anything for college. They have to go into debt to afford any unplanned expense, etc.

    Failing to plan, combined with the real estate crash, is one of the reasons our economy is as stagnant as it is. For better or worse, we're a consumer economy and people were living above their means for years before the bubble burst. Then when it did and they couldn't take more cash out of their homes, people had no alternative but to put the brakes on their spending and that had huge implications for the U.S. economy.

    One thing that poses a huge threat to the economy is student loan debt. People didn't save for college, took on tons of debt to pay for it, didn't realize it can't be discharged even in bankruptcy in the vast majority of cases, and can't find a job that can pay their ongoing expenses plus service their college debt. This is the kind of thing that happens when people fail to plan and in some cases, we can all pay the price for it.

  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    I live in the bum capital of the nation. Okay, maybe not the capital, but we do have about ten times the ratio of homeless/housed as the national average and they all seem to pass by my house daily (I live between the river and the mission, which feeds/houses many of them). The riverfront near my house is full of drug addicts on SSI disability (alcoholism is a disability) who smoke and drink all day every day. Thus, I'm not inclined to be super supportive of freeloaders.

    However, I wouldn't mind it if our support dollars went to folks who rode their bikes around the country looking for opportunities. At least they are likely to stay somewhat healthy and add some flavor to the places they stop. I've known people in similar situations who did indeed find ways out of them and went on to thrive economically. A couple of them found a trucking firm that was willing to teach them to drive class A trucks and then pay them to drive them 16-hour shifts all summer long. After that job, all other work seemed easy for them. (Said firm was Morningstar trucking in Woodland, CA. They hire people to haul tomatoes all summer while providing housing and kitchens.)

    so, it's a matter of making sure 'support dollars' get spent on the most preferable (in your opinion) ? how about they get spent on those who need it most ? and 'adding flavor' definitely does not sound like a 'need' that society should be paying for. that kind of thinking is indicative of successful brainwashing by the left to institute a belief that government is a bottomless pit of non-existent resources available to anyone for any reason.

    going bike touring does not qualify ANYONE for ANY public assistance. you want to bike tour ? have the resources ON YOUR OWN to make it happen.

  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Wait, really? Crystal the meth dealer? I think it was fated. Either that or she was going to become a stripper.
    Really. It was unclear whether she was accused of cooking for herself or for distribution. Didn't sound like a Pollos Hermanos type of operation.

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    Here's a link to the vanished thread about riding to Charleston (I googled it):

    I would like to ride my bike from Northern VA to Charleston, SC....Can it be done?

    And in case that link dies, here's the post that began that thread on Feb. 15, 2014:

    Quote Originally Posted by RadfahrDavid281 View Post
    Hello, bike forum! The last time I posted here, I was considering a bike trip in the Deep South, but nothing ever came out of that. Instead, I would possibly like to ride my bike from my parents' house in Northern VA all the way to Charleston, SC. In theory, according to the American Cyclist Association (ACA), there's a "trail" that goes along the Atlantic Coast, with a "spur" going to Charleston. However, in looking at the ACA website, it does not give any specifics about where the trail is located, if there even IS an actual bike trail. Are those "trails" on the ACA maps really just roads that I share with cars? Or a combination thereof? Could anyone shed light on that?

    If there is indeed a bike trail, I would love to "upgrade" my mountain bike (hence, make it more "suitable" for a long touring trip), get a luggage rack that I attach to the bike a drag behind me (sorry, I forgot what that's called), and just get on my bike and ride to Charleston. I HAVE TO get out my parents' house...I'm 29.5 years old. Too old to be living at home. I would like to picture this trip as a "soul-searching" journey. If I can find work in Charleston, then great, I'll have a new home. If not, my bike will give me the freedom to go elsewhere. I'm going CRAZY living with my parents. I want to be free and feel the "wind in my hair." I know naysayers will say, "A mountain bike? Unless you have an actual road touring bike, forget it, it ain't gonna happen. Your bike will not make it that far." I used to ride every Sunday from my parents' house to Bethesda, MD to go to a German church service, and neither I nor my bike ever had any problems. Yes, that's nothing compared to riding from NoVA to Charleston, but it was good practice nonetheless.

    I'm hoping to leave by mid- or late March, when it's warmer out and there's no more risk (or little risk) for snow/ice, especially since I'd be going south anyway. I "budget" about 1.5-2 weeks total. Of course, it's never too early to start training, though you could say I've BEEN training for years now, with all those long bike rides over the years.

    I know it's a risk, but if no one ever took risks, where would humanity be today? Plus, I've been suicidal before, so I'm not afraid of death anymore. This stupid Obamacare is going to ruin things for me anyway (there are lots of political forums where I/you could discuss Obamacare, so please stick with this bike trip topic). Ironically, I should get Obamacare BEFORE leaving on this long bike trip, because there's always a chance of a hospital/ER visit on a trip like this!

    Why am I not flying? Because it's a PAIN to bring/check in a bike on an airplane, including excess/overweight baggage fees, amounting to, on average, $100-200! Plus, as Clark Griswold said, "Why aren't we flying? Because getting there is half the fun, you know that!"

    So...main question...can it be done? Am I being rational here? My parents' town has a really great bike shop; many of the employers "know" me (being a regular customer) and they can help me out and give me advice. For those of you who have done several long-term bike trips, do you think NoVA to Charleston is reasonable or would it be overkill for a first-time touring trip?

  22. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
    Here's a link to the vanished thread about riding to Charleston (I googled it):

    I would like to ride my bike from Northern VA to Charleston, SC....Can it be done?

    And in case that link dies, here's the post that began that thread on Feb. 15, 2014:
    Hmmmmm. That's the one I referred to way back near the beginning of this thread. It's strange because it does not appear in the OPs itemized list of posts even though posts in another thread he started about riding through the deep south do appear on that list.

    In any event, more trolling.

  23. #98
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    Definitely a troll, looking at the Charleston post. He almost had me until the mention of "Obamacare is going to ruin me". Once "Obamacare" is mentioned in any context, one exposes ones self as unreliable, at the minimum. Including in this post

  24. #99
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    Anyone else NOT finding freelance teaching jobs?

    "So...I know this isn't the most appropriate thing to post on a forum, but I'm SLIGHTLY concerned that I'm going to harm/kill myself if I don't have anything (whether here or in Latin America) by early January. I'm aware of the TelefonSeelsorge (Germany's equivalent of the crisis hotline), but if I call that number threatening suicide, won't I spend MONTHS in a German psych ward (that's what I read on a German website one time)? Yes, that would buy me time, but I can't imagine a German psych ward being much more "entertaining" than a U.S. psych ward (which I've been in, and it didn't help anyway). BUT if some people respond saying they or someone they know has also NOT been able to find a freelance teaching position in Germany, then I might not do anything to myself. Let's hear some of your experiences!"

  25. #100
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    If he's not a troll, he's in some dire straights mentally, that's for sure.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


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