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What do you find hardest about cycle touring now we aint spring chickens any more?

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What do you find hardest about cycle touring now we aint spring chickens any more?

Old 11-26-13, 09:20 PM
  #26  
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Sleep. For the first time, we had a sag wagon this year when we did a tour of Niagara Falls & Canada. We did a combo of B&B's and camping, and because we had the sag, I could bring a nice thick foam sleeping pad for camping. It worked out great. I had just resigned myself to not getting much sleep on tours anymore because sleeping on the ground was causing me hip pain. I hope we can do more tours that way.
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Old 11-26-13, 10:07 PM
  #27  
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Waking up in the AM after spending the evening hob-nobbing with the locals over a pint or two.
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Old 11-26-13, 10:13 PM
  #28  
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The hardest thing? Getting my wife to agree to sleep on the ground in a tent.
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Old 11-27-13, 06:21 AM
  #29  
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Finding the time.

Sleeping on the ground is not a problem. Not yet, anyway.
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Old 11-27-13, 06:32 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Saints2000 View Post
At 66 I'm still doing long distant cycletouring and find the riding no problem. What I find hardest is getting up off the ground after spending the night in a tent…

But it won’t stop me touring .

So what do you find has started getting harder?
My earliest cycling activities back in the 70s and 80s, were cycle-touring with my girlfriend-then-wife, including a honeymoon cross-country tour. Since then, I've been strictly a cycle-commuter, and sport road cyclist, mainly due to work and family lifestyle. Last year, I avidly read the posts on BF about a perimeter tour of Lake Ontario, and I experienced some surprising mental discomfort that struck me as a sign of getting older.

While I would still enjoy riding about 50 miles a day for an extended trip, the thought of the uncertainty of finding a place to stay for the night was unsettling. (Our previous tours were all self-supported and self-guided. If I/we were to resume touring, it would at least be a credit card style, if not an organized tour.) On that honeymoon though, finding a place to stay was a memorable part of the adventure:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… 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 guess 30 years of a stable, predictable cycle-commuting lifestyle erodes that exhilaration of the uncertainty. One of the best quotes I have seen about the spirit of cycle-touring is this:

Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
A thought or two, based on personal experience.

… what's the hurry? One of the joys of touring is the singleness of purpose and absence of demands. All you have to do is get there: you don't have to get there fast or get their first - and if you are touring with camping gear, odds are you can be incredibly flexible about what "getting there" means on any given day. Embrace that. Don't let your tour become an exercise in trading one rat-race for another.
I think I can get back into that if the opportunity arises.
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Old 11-27-13, 09:18 AM
  #31  
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What killed it for me, besides the normal hassles of camping, was having to get up, get semi-dressed, and stumble out of the tent at 2AM trying to find the porta-john because I had to pee. I took to not drinking anything after about 6PM to avoid having to do this more than once a night! Add "in the rain" to that a couple times and I knew my tour/camp days were over.

The problem now is that I'd really like to go on one of those large-group, week-long tours, but there's no practical way to do it if I want to stay in motels. The last guy I knew who pulled it off had his wife traveling with him in their car, which is kind of cheating.
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Old 11-27-13, 10:52 AM
  #32  
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last tours, I kept my plastic OJ jug, and bring it into my tent, at night, to avoid the night Wiz-Trip.
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Old 11-27-13, 11:24 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
last tours, I kept my plastic OJ jug, and bring it into my tent, at night, to avoid the night Wiz-Trip.
Trucker tea! I don't care, I just get up naked and pee. More of a problem in Alaska, I think. I sure as heck won't stop camping because of that. I don't camp in fancy lawn-and-paved campgrounds anyway. If my wife can do it, I can do it.
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Old 11-28-13, 08:03 PM
  #34  
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This might gross out some folks but it works well for those that get up frequently at night to pee. Pack a flexible, synthetic hot water bottle. You can get them fairly cheap at a pharmacy like Walgreens. They scrunch up pretty small and hardly take up any space for packing but they can hold a full night's worth of fluid. Some have a screw top that tightens and is very water proof. You can rinse it and reuse it as needed.
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Old 11-29-13, 02:18 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Trucker tea! I don't care, I just get up naked and pee. More of a problem in Alaska, I think. I sure as heck won't stop camping because of that. I don't camp in fancy lawn-and-paved campgrounds anyway. If my wife can do it, I can do it.
With my prostrate issues it was getting to be 4 times a night. That's too much. I use a jug. It hangs inside my hammock and I go without emerging into the cold. I can stay zipped in for 10 hours if it's cold out.
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Old 11-29-13, 02:22 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
This might gross out some folks but it works well for those that get up frequently at night to pee. Pack a flexible, synthetic hot water bottle. You can get them fairly cheap at a pharmacy like Walgreens. They scrunch up pretty small and hardly take up any space for packing but they can hold a full night's worth of fluid. Some have a screw top that tightens and is very water proof. You can rinse it and reuse it as needed.
Plus they can warm you on a cold night.
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Old 11-29-13, 03:35 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
... This amounts to calves, hamstrings and lower back which is troublesome...My goal is to maintain mobility and reduce the amount of groaning when getting out of a chair.
That's where my stretches most benefit me, too. I do a Cobra (but only on elbows, not on hands) for 5 minutes, and then do 3 sets of 5 X 30 second hamstring stretches, pulling a band round my foot while flat on my back. Also do 3 sets of 5 X 30 seconds on each quad, standing.
My PT, when asked whether to do fewer longer hamstring stretches, or more shorter duration ones, said that the latter is better to condition the muscles for followup strengthening. YMMV.
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Old 12-01-13, 05:25 AM
  #38  
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Various yoga poses keep me limber. I have lower back issues in particular that become problematic if I don't stick with the yoga. And as I age, consistent daily attention becomes more important. I invest the necessary time, which usually amounts to about 30 minutes per day. 15 in the morning but then little breaks during the day too. Every once in a while I find more like an hour. This also keeps me in tune with my body. I focus on each part and what that part needs that day to feel better the next. It's kind of like being a good parent to all my little children. Concentrate on each joint and muscle and vary the routine to spread the attention to where it's needed. Failure to keep the right balance puts undue stress on other body parts which ultimately revolt.

That said, I hurt my back a couple days ago and I'm nursing it at home this morning. I'll have to get out for some grocery shopping at some point today. Nevertheless, I recently returned from a three week tour, camping most nights in my hammock. And with no difficulty at all. It's odd how I can injure myself doing "nothing" by comparison. I think slipping up and pumping hard without due warm-up might have done it. While on tour I concentrate on avoiding injury so as to avoid incidents like this. My back flares up like this once or twice a year.

I think as we age, it's important to realize that the right kinds of stretches can become critically important to staying active. While you can ignore that at younger ages, the need is likely to catch up with you as you age. If you're like myself, you won't easily give up on camping. It's important for keeping touring affordable to me. And it's an important part of my personal connection to nature. I'll accept the need when it arrives. But not without deploying a lot of attention and inventive strategies first.
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Old 12-01-13, 06:40 AM
  #39  
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Motel 6

Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
These days my ideas of roughing it when touring is a Motel 6. Hot showers and real beds are no longer optional.
AMAN, with you on that , otherwise my body will not work the next morning
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Old 12-01-13, 09:05 AM
  #40  
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I'm less interested in camping. Too much hassle and too much extra weight. I much prefer motels. I figure I've traded the inconvenience of camping for a shower and warm bed, --and the enjoyment of a few pints that I definitely earned. Making new friends and celebrating life definitely trumps lonely, uncomfortable camping.
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Old 12-01-13, 09:17 AM
  #41  
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My wife is not much of a camper but I go car camping with her sometimes. I've always used the thin backpacking type therma rest mattresses; recently I bought one of the thicker car camping mattresses for her and it made a big difference. They're kind of bulky but if the ground ever gets too hard to sleep on, I'd think about bringing one of those along.
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Old 12-01-13, 01:54 PM
  #42  
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Our bucket list of places we want to bike tour is very long. It was hard enough when we were working to decide on the place where we wanted to spend our hoarded vacation time. We were fortunate, even then, to be able to take 2 or 3 months off, and were able to accomplish some of the bike tours that were high on our list. However, not being spring chickens anymore, and no longer gainfully employed, it is even harder. Now that we have the time and resources to go where we want for as long as we want(within reason), we are finding it extremely hard to decide on where our annual tour(s) will be.

I also feel, at least for me a fossilized chicken, that I do not have that many more epic rides left in me, and that I need to carefully choose the rides I really want to do. I'm hoping for 10, but will be happy with 5 more tours that are somewhere in the 2-3 month range. This makes the decision making process even harder for me. I do plan on doing shorter tours until I am physically unable to get on my bike anymore or can't remember where I put it

Last edited by Doug64; 12-01-13 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 12-06-13, 05:00 PM
  #43  
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I ride on fully loaded tour rides twice a year. Usually only a week at a time. Camping is fun. At 64 I feel I have many more of them in the future.
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