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Touring styles

Old 11-25-15, 03:46 PM
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Touring styles

So what are the different catagories of bicycle touring?
A friend at the dog park mentioned she just returned from a bicycle trip in italy? or some such place. fully supported, hotels, meals, supplied bicycles.
I've heard the term credit card touring. bring clothes, eat out, motels, no camping , no stove. But the route is yours. no support.
I heard the term today, light sport touring. My guess it means bring your UL camping gear, stove.
And I have heard and seen fully loaded. complete with Coleman car camp equipment.
And somebody mentioned his 18 month expedition, a few times with 5 gal water and who knows how much food. said 175lb a few times. My only question would be crossing north Africa would be is that enough water?
Have I missed any, I would like to see some general gear lists for the catagories if possibly.
You have sensed an attitude from me "If you can get by without it reasonably comfortably why bring it?"
In '81 I realized I had not used my stove all week sent it home, I also realized I was on a bicycle with non-Euro sized tires, Had a pr sent to me, just in case. Geez! I don't know the answers for me. I'm not gonna look down my nose and tell you what you should, and shouldn't bring. I'm just curious about what stuff people bring with them and why. Trying to figure out what I need.
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Old 11-25-15, 06:10 PM
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Old 11-25-15, 06:12 PM
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The easiest way to figure out what you need is to go out for a few days and see what you can get away without using. This is figuring you are going out at the same time of the year and under the same kind of weather conditions as when you will be doing a longer trip. Sure if it's nice and sun when your out then you are still going to want to plan for rain, unless you are planning on going to the desert...then again it does rain on occasion in the desert doesn't it.

First thing you need to decide though is what kind of trip are you going to go on...supported, unsupported, hotels, camping(campground...or stealth sites only). Each different style of trip differs on what you need to bring with you. If I were to do a credit card tour it would radically change what I carry with me to probably only bringing a change of clothes for when doing laundry and bring along the laptop. Everything else I would leave at home. No reason to take anything else with me. Basically the same scenario as to when doing supported trips...they will pretty much tell you what to bring with you.

The trick is it all depends on when and where you are going and even to that extent what you bring with you will change depending on the time of the year you are going to be going there. If you are coming to New England this time of the year and you are going to be camping(stealth only this time of the year) you better bring a much lower temperature rated sleeping bag then if you are going to be coming up here in July.

Trying to tell someone what they might want to consider bringing with them when they aren't even suggesting when or where they are thinking of going is completely foolish. You haven't even hinted at where or when you are thinking of going on a trip. Hence why I started this post out the way I did. The simplest way to find out is to go out in a similar situation, even for just an overnighter and see how it goes. What did you wish you had on you, what didn't you need and why didn't you need it. Was it too warm out, even though it wouldn't be the norm when you are planning on going on the longer trip. Education is typically the best experience you will ever find. Find out what you need by getting out there and seeing how much extra crap you have brought with you that you don't use, and can't find a reason why you would ever use it.

Normally I bring the normal stuff with me and don't bring the extra stuff most people bring along simply because I know I won't have the time to read the book or play the guitar, etc that some people bring with them. Camping gear, change of clothes, laptop, bike tools/equipment, recharge cords to charge up the headlight and gopro camera. This year I left the cell phone at home. It's not a necessity so I left it at home and would continue to leave it at home. Mankind use to live just fine and jimdandy without cell phones and he can still do so today...he just doesn't realize how much he is getting ripped off by being brainwashed into thinking he can't live without the cell phone. Pretty much once I get 100 miles from home, part way through the first day of any trip, I'm on my own and anything that happens I have to get myself out the mess and can't rely on anyone else to help me out...so why carry the cell phone. Just extra weight that serves no beneficial purpose.
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Old 11-25-15, 06:28 PM
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Old 11-25-15, 06:37 PM
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Touring Styles

Short tours

-- hub and spoke ... where you set yourself up in a central location (could be a campground, hotel, relative's house, or whatever), and you do day rides in different directions to explore the area

-- overnight/weekend/long-weekend ... where you cycle to a location and camp, or stay in a hotel, or whatever, and then return the next day. Destination could be extended by driving or taking the train first and then cycling from wherever you stop.

-- day tours ... rarely talked about in this forum, but would be a casual, touristy kind of ride where you'd take in the sites in your local area, stop at a café for lunch, etc.

-- shake down tours/practice tours ... where you go out for a weekend or long weekend or few days or whatever with the intent of trying out your cycletouring equipment and deciding what you like and don't like.


Mid-length tours

-- 5 day or week-long, or longer tours ... where you might cycle from home in a loop or out-and-back, or where you might drive, take the train, or even fly to another area, and cycle from there.


Long tours

-- probably a month or longer ... same as above but more time on the road.


[HR][/HR]
Self-supported tours

-- one of the above lengths, but not organised by a touring company or cycletouring group of some sort. You do all the planning yourself.


Supported tours

-- one of the above lengths, but a company or club or something does all/most of the organising and may provide a service where they carry your bags and/or provide food, etc. Level of support may vary.


Credit card tours

-- no camping, no cooking ... you stay in hostels, B&Bs, hotels, etc. and you eat in cafes, restaurants, etc.


Fully-loaded/Camping tours

-- camping all or most of the way, and you will likely do your all/most of your own cooking.

-- a variation or extension of this might be Expedition touring where you'll be travelling in a rather remote area and will need to be self-sufficient. You won't be able to depend on there being a grocery store every 100 km or something.


Ultra-light tours

-- camping all or most of the way, and you will likely do your all/most of your own cooking, but you travel with a very light load ... perhaps under 20 lbs of gear or something?


Multi-modal tours

-- where you might use a variety of methods of transportation. You might fly into London Heathrow, catch the train to Dover, catch the Ferry to Calais, and cycle from there ... and somewhere along the way you might hop aboard another train to get you from one area to another ...


Event-style touring

-- this would be like Randonneuring, RAAM, or Pac-tour style ... you're on a mission to cover a distance, rather than relaxing and taking in the scenery.

-- variations on this might be cross-country tours or end-to-end tours or similar where the goal is crossing a country or similar


On-road or Off-road

-- one or the other or some combination of the two.



[HR][/HR]
Or some combination of the above. A longer tour might include elements from all of those ... for example, you might cycle into an area, set up camp, and then do a bit of a hub-and-spoke tour over the next few days before continuing. Or you might camp the first week or so, and then decide to stay in B&Bs for a while. Or you might start ultra-light, and buy stuff along the way. Or you might do a self-supported tour, then participate in a Randonneuring event, then continue on your self-supported tour. We're not locked into a particular "type" of tour ... we can do whatever suits us.


You might find these discussions interesting:
http://www.bikeforums.net/touring/87...ing-style.html
http://www.bikeforums.net/touring/89...over-time.html

Last edited by Machka; 11-25-15 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 11-25-15, 06:51 PM
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It's wrong to think of touring styles as categories. Instead consider a spectrum running from independent fully loaded & camping to 1st class supported tours with sag wagons, and 4 star hotels and restaurants. Along the way are independent and supported tours with various blends of pack, support and accommodations.

When I was younger I toured for years with a light pack, some camping (if weather was right) cheap hotels, and scrounged free accommodations in fire houses, town jails, peoples homes, and so on.

Skip the labels, and tour any way that suits your temperament.
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Old 11-25-15, 07:57 PM
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I do not think there is an official list of definitions, but Adventure Cycling might have a list of the different ones they offer. I recall the one trip I rode with them, they called it self supported, but they provided guide and logistics.

I consider:

- Loaded touring, you carry your camping gear and cooking gear.

- Credit card, in motels, haul minimal clothng on bike, no support.

- Vehicle supported, that is where a vehicle (friend or hired person) hauls your stuff for you. May or may not include cooking too. A friend of mine organized a trip, we got the permits, designated the route, we hired an outfitter to carry our gear and cook our food. But, since we got the permits (national park campsites) and not the outfitter, I do not consider this fully supported amd we had no guide support.

- Fully supported, a guide is provided and also rides along in case you blow a tire and do not know how to change one. Motels and meals provided, but you might be on your own for some meals at restaurants. I have done two fully supported trips in Europe, they also provided the bikes.

- Bikepacking, I consider that to be on gravel or dirt trails, carry your own bare minimum of gear, probably only a few days of food, maybe a rack on the bike and maybe not, but probably not panniers. But they likely carry odd looking saddle bag and frame bag. Might be a mountain bike with partial or full suspension, or might be a fat bike, or just about any other kind of bike.

I did not use the term self supported, there are different definitions of that out there so it can be a bit ambiguous.
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Old 11-25-15, 08:44 PM
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Thanks folks!!
I still can't help but wonder what is in those huge panniers with a car camp Coleman stove strapped to the top.
I guess that's a different thread.
In the Ozarks in July I probably wouldn't bring rain gear. We haven't had below 40* much here, But this weekend it could be 30* and rain. Yea a big difference. Above all be safe.
May the lightness ride with you.
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Old 11-25-15, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
I still can't help but wonder what is in those huge panniers with a car camp Coleman stove strapped to the top.
Can't say I've ever seen that. Have you?
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Old 11-25-15, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I do not think there is an official list of definitions, but Adventure Cycling might have a list of the different ones they offer. I recall the one trip I rode with them, they called it self supported, but they provided guide and logistics.

I consider:

- Loaded touring, you carry your camping gear and cooking gear.

- Credit card, in motels, haul minimal clothng on bike, no support.

- Vehicle supported, that is where a vehicle (friend or hired person) hauls your stuff for you. May or may not include cooking too. A friend of mine organized a trip, we got the permits, designated the route, we hired an outfitter to carry our gear and cook our food. But, since we got the permits (national park campsites) and not the outfitter, I do not consider this fully supported amd we had no guide support.

- Fully supported, a guide is provided and also rides along in case you blow a tire and do not know how to change one. Motels and meals provided, but you might be on your own for some meals at restaurants. I have done two fully supported trips in Europe, they also provided the bikes.

- Bikepacking, I consider that to be on gravel or dirt trails, carry your own bare minimum of gear, probably only a few days of food, maybe a rack on the bike and maybe not, but probably not panniers. But they likely carry odd looking saddle bag and frame bag. Might be a mountain bike with partial or full suspension, or might be a fat bike, or just about any other kind of bike.

I did not use the term self supported, there are different definitions of that out there so it can be a bit ambiguous.
The Bike Grease and Coffee blogger started his latest ride in Vermont in January, and ended up in Tierra del Fuego, the south end of South America. It's interesting to see where he went on his fat bike. Way off the paved roads. Lots of great photos.

January 2013:
Ice beards and coffee
You know a few things I like about touring this time of year: Hot coffee, rolling over frozen mud and that unnerving and tingly feeling of riding across frozen ponds. I admit the chill has had me spending a bit more time chatting with folks at crossroad general stores and local coffee shops than usual.
May 2014:
Shacks, tracks and a bushwhack
Like all good routes, you get some hiking with your biking.

I'm gonna print out a series of photos like this. When people ask me what the fat tires are for? I'm just gonna grin, shrug and hand them the stack of photos. Fat bike bliss.

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Old 11-26-15, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Can't say I've ever seen that. Have you?
Yep! saw it. And with the 3+ lb floor pump on top of that.
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Old 11-26-15, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
Yep! saw it. And with the 3+ lb floor pump on top of that.
I'd venture a guess that is relatively rare.
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Old 11-26-15, 06:44 AM
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On the California coast I met an Australian guy touring with a surfboard. Another was moving from LA to Vancouver, BC with a load of books in a trailer. Another was on a mission, proselytizing his religion, which he found in prison. Three more categories right there.
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Old 11-26-15, 07:03 AM
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Touring styles

Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Short tours

-- hub and spoke ...

-- overnight/weekend/long-weekend ...

-- day tours ....

-- shake down tours/practice tours ...

Mid-length tours

-- 5 day or week-long, or longer tours ...

Long tours

-- probably a month or longer ... same as above but more time on the road.
[HR][/HR]
Self-supported tours


Supported tours


Credit card tours


Fully-loaded/Camping tours
-- a variation or extension of this might be Expedition touring

Ultra-light tours


Multi-modal tours


Event-style touring
-- variations on this might be cross-country tours or end-to-end tours or similar where the goal is crossing a country or similar (see below)

On-road or Off-road
[HR][/HR]Or some combination of the above.

You might find these discussions interesting:
http://www.bikeforums.net/touring/87...ing-style.html
http://www.bikeforums.net/touring/89...over-time.html
Nicely constructed and comprehensive list, Machka. It reawkens in me the longing to tour, not done since 1986, though I was avid from 1972 til then, including a cross country ride. I particularly miss the novelty of riding unknown roads, even though cycling in Metro Boston is very nice.

I guess I would want at least a supported tour, or more preferably a credit card one, allowing for more independence. I posted to his thread on the Fifty-Plus Forum, ”What do you find hardest about cycle touring now we aint spring chickens any more?"

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
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…

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….

I think I can get back into that if the opportunity arises.
One wild dream tour is to ride the perimeter of the USA (after I win a big lottery, with a luxury moble home as my sag wagon, driven by my wife ). I discovered that there is a Perimeter Bicycling Association of America that maintains records of perimeter rides around various world-wide geographic and political regions.

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Old 11-26-15, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
On the California coast I met an Australian guy touring with a surfboard.
Funny thing ...

Just today, I was walking past some shops I haven't ventured into yet, and there in the window was a print which caught my eye ... so tempting to get it, but perhaps a little bit over my price range ...

The print was of a tandem bicycle ... being ridden by two penguins ... carrying a surfboard!!!


Found it ... oh wait, maybe they're not penguins, maybe they're sloths. Not sure ...


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Old 11-26-15, 08:00 AM
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re surfboards--here in Montreal there is a section of the St Lawrence river with rapids, and often when we bike along a bike path that follows the river, we pass a bit where surfers play in the rollers. We have often seen surfers bike past going to the put in area with small surfboards hooked up to the sides of thier bikes, obviously the plans for a fore and aft mounting system for their boards has gotten arounds, as it works well. Boards are mounted out enough that they have room to pedal, it looks pretty neat.
These arent long surfboards, they are maybe 4-5ft long, I dunno, but it still looks pretty cool.
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Old 11-26-15, 08:18 AM
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Everyone has their own style from a CC tour that is more like a randonee to a round the world tour with 100lbs of gear.

https://wheelsofchance.wordpress.com...ring-taxonomy/
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Old 11-26-15, 01:00 PM
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I have three styles.

Four Bag
Two Bag
No Camping Gear.
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Old 11-26-15, 01:17 PM
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Check out the latest issue of Adventure Cycling Magazine. Four guys did a combination bike/ski trip in Oregon. They hauled all their gear. The combination of the 4 riders, their bikes and gear was 1400 lb. They were not stupid.

Most people carry excess or inadequate gear out of ignorance or lack of experience not out of stupidity!

Squeezebox, when you started the tour where you mailed half of the things you brought with you home, was it ignorance or just stupidity?

A lot of posts in the UL thread and some here remind me of a quote from John Wooden, UCLA BB Coach:
" It is what you learn after you know it all that counts."

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Old 11-26-15, 04:27 PM
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Nothing like getting complaint notifications while I'm trying to enjoy Thanksgiving.

I deleted the offending post and am asking the poster (you know who you are) to remember the forum guidelines that you agreed to when you signed up here.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-27-15, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I'd venture a guess that is relatively rare.
Probably, but several years ago I helped a local couple plan part of a cross country tour. One day I took a look at the CGOAB journal and saw that they were carrying a full-size Park Tool floor pump. They were also carrying a large, cast iron pot. The wife sounded like she had at least a half dozen books with her. Every day they whined about the slightest incline. No surprise there. I told them to ditch the pump for a Road Morph. They wouldn't because they didn't trust it. "We're o.k." they claimed. And the whining continued. They gave up somewhere in OK or TX.
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Old 11-27-15, 09:26 AM
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Touring styles

Met a guy who cooked in a huge pot. His stew had everything in it you can imagine, and reheated, kept him going for three days or so, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

My Trangia Mini cracked him up!
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Old 11-27-15, 09:31 AM
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Touring styles

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Old 11-27-15, 12:17 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_touring
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Old 11-27-15, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I'd venture a guess that is relatively rare.

I hope so.
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