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My Touring Preferences Have Changed

Old 06-28-15, 09:11 AM
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My Touring Preferences Have Changed

Bike Touring can be a life changing adventure. It could be a fun vacation. For many, it can be somewhere between the two.

All of us who visit touring sites either do, or want to do long distance touring. Since 2005 when I signed onto bikeforums and crazyguyonabike, I have envisioned myself doing some kind of cross country tour, be it east to west, or south to north. Last year I was within a week of riding the Southern Tier solo until things happened to force a postponement. I ended up riding the GAP/Martha’s Vineyard tour a few weeks ago as my annual bike tour.

My bike tours are vacation tours. My favorites have been supported as well as unsupported tours domestically and overseas. I really enjoy traveling by bike, but no longer have any desire to have an adventure. I suppose it's an age thing. Last year I came across a journal on crazyguy by a couple who rode Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. Reading someone else's take on my back yard gave me a refreshing take on a possible summer tour. Leaving from my home eliminating the travel to and from the start of a tour makes that option all the more appealing. Today I came across a journal of a guy riding and Inn to Inn tour in Bar Harbor, ME. It's another take on a bike vacation that we could do unsupported using his itinerary.

The third choice is to ride the Erie Canal towpath. If so it would be my son and my third time doing this together. We both enjoyed those tours so much that if it were not for his time limitation because of living and working in Austin, TX and the travel times, we would have done it again. We talked about ways to cut down the travel time while we were riding the GAP a few weeks ago, and the Erie Canal is high on the list of next summer's tour. Of course there is also Europe. Very high on my list is a supported tour of Hungary and Slovakia with Vermont Bike Tours.

The rest of the story can be read, HERE

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Old 06-28-15, 09:21 AM
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I liked touring other countries.. Europe has many smaller ones..
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Old 06-28-15, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
I liked touring other countries.. Europe has many smaller ones..
Thanks for the reminder. I edited my post to include Europe which is always in the mix.
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Old 06-28-15, 10:11 AM
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A cross Luxemburg tour is an afternoon, south-north takes a little longer..
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Old 06-28-15, 11:52 PM
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My bike tours are vacation tours. My favorites have been supported as well as unsupported tours domestically and overseas. I really enjoy traveling by bike, but no longer have any desire to have an adventure. I suppose it's an age thing.
Even standard air + auto tours can be a hassle & on bike adventures the hassles can be 3X that. Shorter tours can limit the route to the more scenic & suitable areas. I would have thought that GAP tour was something of an adventure though. I'd like to do a cross-US tour just to experience riding into super-fitness. Even weekend tours do an amazing job at improving fitness where you start to laugh at the hills.
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Old 06-30-15, 06:46 PM
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I have entertained the idea of a cross-country tour a few times, but it just doesn't hold a strong appeal for me. Much more appealing is a tour where I go wherever the wind blows me. I don't mind fixing a few points along the way, but for the most part, I like setting off and seeing where this road leads ... and then if I lose interest in that, I'll go somewhere else.

And personally, I especially like that there is travel between where I live and the start of my tours. I ride long distances from home and within a fairly decent radius around home. If I were to start a tour from home, I'd be covering the same ol' ground for the first couple days and last couple days. And I want to see something new!!

I have done a few local tours, and they're OK ... they're particularly good for a long weekend or something short. But if I've got several weeks, I want to go somewhere!
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Old 06-30-15, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
I have entertained the idea of a cross-country tour a few times, but it just doesn't hold a strong appeal for me.
I'm a bit surprised, I sorta assumed that w/all your tours in different areas you guys would have done cross-US (or Canada) long ago. Sure there would be long days w/unchanging scenery but it might be interesting just to get the flavor & history of going thru all the regions. Seemingly boring sections can be Zen-style relaxing & at least are usually the flatter bits.
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Old 06-30-15, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan
I'm a bit surprised, I sorta assumed that w/all your tours in different areas you guys would have done cross-US (or Canada) long ago. Sure there would be long days w/unchanging scenery but it might be interesting just to get the flavor & history of going thru all the regions. Seemingly boring sections can be Zen-style relaxing & at least are usually the flatter bits.
Cross-US has never interested me. I have thought about Cross-Canada a time or two, but I have just never been able to get up enough interest to do it.

Rowan did most of a west-east cross-Australia before he met me, and I did quite a bit of a north-south cross-Australia when we were just getting to know each other.

We've both cycled just about all the way across France, between Brest and Strasbourg, but half of that was the Paris-Brest-Paris.
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Old 06-30-15, 11:40 PM
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My touring preferences and opportunities have also changed since my retirement. When working, the longest tour I could manage was 2.5 months off work to ride across the U.S. Since my wife and I are both retired now, it has provided opportunities to take a long ride every year. In the last 7 years we have spent over a year of that time on self supported tours. We'll add another 2.5 months this summer riding across and through places.

While I like to let serendipity happen, I also like the challenge of riding across or through places. I believe that I get a better feel for a place when I take a slice rather than just "cherry pick" the so called nice areas. Sure, We try to see some of the iconic attractions, but usually stick to the smaller cities, and off the beaten path routes. And for us, camping is still an integral component of touring. However, our ratio of camping days to motel days seems to be shifting as we get a little older

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