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What's your current situation?

Old 09-21-16, 10:24 AM
  #1  
bulevardi
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What's your current situation?

Hello there !


I'm actually wondering what type of people are touring the most.
Or in which situation.


For example, I'm currently dreaming of touring, however, there's a wife and 2 little children (2y 4y) I can't just leave home for a couple of months touring.
And they don't want to travel along (with the bike).
Technically I could leave, but it would be quite selfish to let her alone with our 2 children to take care for. I don't want that as I love my family, so that won't be an option.
(I maybe do later on in my life when they're older, so than I have now lots of time to plan journeys in advance)


I know a few other people touring around, but they all are single or couples or friends who are kind of free to travel without strings attached.
They easily can leave their job, home or family for a long time.
But once you're settled, mortgages, children, things get more difficult.


So, tell me what's your situation?
And if you're in a more difficult situation, how did you get out? (without much damage)


Last edited by bulevardi; 09-21-16 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 09-21-16, 10:57 AM
  #2  
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Although I have done extended trips in the past my *current* situation is I'm self employed (have been for almost 40 yrs) and I can only leave for single, over night trips. Therefore, I now regularly bikepack or backpack to off road trail camps in the local mountains.
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Old 09-21-16, 11:17 AM
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Empty nester but still fully employed and my vacation time is usually pretty booked up with other obligations. This summer I talked a friend into biking the Mississippi River Trail through Minnesota with a short stint in Wisconsin and ending on the Iowa border. We did weekends and stayed in hotels, a cabin, or stayed at his place when we were closer to the cities. Not full out touring but credit card touring isn't a bad option. Plan a long trip over multiple weekends. Your wife can drop you off and meet you at a hotel with a pool for the kids on Saturday night and pick you up at your end point on Sunday. We had a lot of fun on our trip and gained some valuable knowledge for when we decide to stay out on some extended touring to finish the MRT.
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Old 09-21-16, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by bulevardi View Post
For example, I'm currently dreaming of touring, however, there's a wife and 2 little children (2y 4y) I can't just leave home for a couple of months touring.

It doesn't have to be a choice between a couple of months or nothing. I just got back from a nice, week-long tour in New England, NY, NJ and PA. Rode the bike to the Philly Amtrak station, caught the train to VT and rode home. In June I spent 11 days touring in Montana. And I usually take a few three-day weekend trips from my house every year. I have already taken one three-day this year. If this fall is anything like last fall, I should be able to get in another one. We had a 70+ degree weekend back in early December so I did a three day down towards the NJ shore. It was quite odd stopping for breakfast and seeing Santa entertaining kids at the eatery across the street while I was enjoying an omelet al fresco in shorts and a short sleeve jersey.


I have a full-time job so I can't simply take off for months. Having no wife or kids certainly helps, but maybe tour wife would be supportive of you taking short trips. In return, she could get away "with the girls" while you stay home.



Back in '99 I was downsized at my request and took nearly two years off from the working world. During that time, I took three extended trips, with the longest being nearly four months. I am not in the position to do that now, but if I get lucky I might be able to retire in four years (at age 55) and take some longer trips. Unless and until that happens, I am content with hitting the road when I can for as long as I can.
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Old 09-21-16, 11:28 AM
  #5  
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49 year old. Recent empty nester but the kids are still in college. Getting antsy... ;-) The groundwork for long distance touring trips has been set. In 4 years I'll be completely free.
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Old 09-21-16, 11:31 AM
  #6  
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Almost all tourism, and leisure activities including cycling, sailing, scuba diving, etc. are seeing a material shift in their demographics to older folks, usually retirees.

In the USA the most limited commodity is time, and most adults have little to spare until children are grown college tuitions are paid, and they're either retired or at least have enough seniority to get more vacation time than they did before.

If you travel, the people you meet are older, or ex-military, police or fire, or teachers, all of which have more time off and/or can retire relatively young.

To tho OP, try not to hold out for longer tours when retired. Instead talk to the wife and see if you can open up some time for short trips of a few days to a week or so now. It doesn't have to a regular thing, and hopefully things can be worked out so she gets equal consideration for what she wants.

Or consider family vacations someplace where everybody can be happy, you do day rides in the area, dividing time so the family is together but nobody loses anything. I scuba dive, and meet plenty of younger divers who bring the family to an all-inclusive resort in Cozumel. Some of these resorts offer very nice child care and activities so both parents can dive together.

Likewise, from the beginning the Cozumel triathlon was popular with many doing it as their only event because they could combine it with a family vacation and everybody was happy.

My point --- don't wait find ways that you can tour and the entire family can be happy at the same time. Also, though your children are probably too young now, father and child bike trips can be an amazing bonding and growth experience.
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Old 09-21-16, 12:22 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by bulevardi View Post
[LEFT]So, tell me what's your situation?
Im 35 and have a 9yo and 5yo...so in the same general boat as you. I mostly do short overnight or weekend trips.
Tomorrow I am doing a 3 day trip with a relative and thatll be about the longest(time wise) trip I take at this point in life.

As mentioned already, involve your family if possible. Be that the whole family or just one of your kids, it can get your touring itch scratched while also being a great experience for your kids.

I have done a few s24o trips with my family and a handful with just my kids.

We have left from home and ridden to campgrounds in town and also driven to a spot then ridden to the destination camp spot.
My 9yo can carry some stuff on her bike at this point, but I have done a couple trips with my youngest and the first was when she was 4. It was just 15mi to a campground, but she rode in the WeeHoo attached to my bike and we packed up gear and food and went.

With the right approach(low expectations and high patience) the trips are a lot of fun and the shorter trips help for planning longer trips. For example, I have changed how I pack and what I pack in panniers vs toss into a dry bag on top of the rack.

Kids typically love the idea of camping and have this idyllic view of it, so capitalize on that willingness if you can!





I doubt I will ever take 2 months away from my every day life to tour. Wanderlust is a driving force for most people who bike tour(or hope to), but I have accepted and am happy to keep the bike touring to a limited geographic region(my state and the surrounding states) and timeframe. Perhaps its me convincing myself, or perhaps its legitimate, but I love exploring close to home. There is so much detail to whats around you when you look for it.
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Old 09-21-16, 12:22 PM
  #8  
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Don't think of it as all or nothing. Married, 2 kids both out of college, one @ home. All my tours have been 3-5 days. Do an over nighter on a weekend. The kids are young enough, got a trailer? Try camping hub and spoke tour. Go some where and set up camp. Do a family day trip, go back to camp, repeat. Get a trail a bike for when they are older. Start there.
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Old 09-21-16, 12:33 PM
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work part time for last 17 years. I'm on call with my job. Little money but lots of happiness. No kids, no wife (so maybe not super happy).
time trumps money any day.
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Old 09-21-16, 01:00 PM
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I toured in my late 20's. I started a business, married, and had kids in my 30s. So for 25 years touring was not part of my life. Touring wasn't a priority for me at the time, so I didn't miss it, I had plenty to do! When my kids had grown and I was an empty-nest bachelor, by way of divorce, I thought I'd try touring again. Now at 63 I have done 9 late-life tours (17,500 miles) and still expect to do more.

Last edited by BigAura; 09-21-16 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 09-21-16, 01:25 PM
  #11  
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Keep dreaming. You're screwed. You ain't going nowhere for the next 20 years.
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Old 09-21-16, 01:40 PM
  #12  
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I'm a life-long Mustachian. I retired when I was 40 (59 now) and have spent much of my retirement on long hikes and bike tours. My wife and I put more miles on our bikes every year (5,000+) than we do on the car we share. A few years ago I made my first cross-USA tour and loved it, and will probably do that again soon. I commuted to work by bike, so I always stayed in shape, and am still in good shape. I see no slowing down yet, and I feel more suited mentally for long rides than I ever have been.
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Old 09-21-16, 01:41 PM
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Student loans, new in a professional job, new GF, not going anywhere... except for some week/ weekend trips. One bonus is actually having vacation time and a living wage that affords me some opportunity to travel. before that i had time and was prepared to just go and live of the land if i had to rather than sit there doing nothing and not making any money.

Was half hopping my probationary review would go bad and i could go back to being a troubled miscreant except this time with a savings account. Another year or two and i'll have 2-3 years experience most people want and can either 1) move, travel get another job elsewhere and 2) maybe do some extended traveling in between.

Approaching 40 and just starting to work for more than minimum wage. My generation got shafted, the boomers didn't retire and now their kids wont hire us.
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Old 09-21-16, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Keep dreaming. You're screwed. You ain't going nowhere for the next 20 years.
Sadly I have to agree with this. Unless you're able to rally the entire family to focus their lives on-and-around touring your circumstance ain't gonna work.

Back-To-Me: During my 25 year hiatus I never had a vacation longer than a week and that was always devoted to kids & family.

The-Positive-Side: 20 years will pass faster than you're feeling it will right now
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Old 09-21-16, 03:04 PM
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Ahhh... I did just notice that you (OP) are in Europe that means you'll probably have a few more vacation days than we in The States. BUT wife & kids are still the same so, you'll more than likely be spending your longer vacations with them.
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Old 09-21-16, 05:45 PM
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I don't know how folks do any significant touring when they still have to work. I would suggest finding a more accessible way to enjoy riding. Charity rides and supported centuries are a quick and easy way to ride in different places w/o having to plan routes.
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Old 09-21-16, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I don't know how folks do any significant touring when they still have to work. I would suggest finding a more accessible way to enjoy riding. Charity rides and supported centuries are a quick and easy way to ride in different places w/o having to plan routes.
We save our money.
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Old 09-21-16, 08:43 PM
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Currently, Rowan and I are focussing on randonneuring/audax events ... and thus doing short hub-and-spoke style tours as a part of it.

I am hoping that as spring and summer come we'll be able to do a few overnight or long weekend tours. Partly to train for randonneuring/audax events and partly to see more of Tasmania.


See other short tours here.
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/10...ort-tours.html
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Old 09-21-16, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
...... Charity rides and supported centuries are a quick and easy way to ride in different places w/o having to plan routes.
I suspect that for most people the opposite is true. They can squeeze out some time on a computer or checking areas out via the net, easier than scraping up the dough for charity rides (unless they work for large corps. that make funds available for things like that).
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Old 09-21-16, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bulevardi View Post
[LEFT] there's a wife and 2 little children (2y 4y) I can't just leave home for a couple of months touring.
And they don't want to travel along (with the bike).
Line of action #1 - you find common grounds. My wife has no particular interest in cycling, but found value in touring on a bike. Kids were not into cycling, but the younger (5yo) wanted to see Legoland. The older (11yo) wanted to see Amsterdam. So we spent the summer vacations biking across (part of) Europe. This past summer "might" have been it, but we have agreed in principle to another summer-long tour in two years. I should underline the fact that our pre-teen fell to the ground in tears at one point (long, steep hill on a hot day. We were covering 60kms+/day). Asked if she could call it quits and wait for us at her grand parents' place. We said yes, but that she should probably stay a few more days with us. She did. And is now very proud of her achievement. Has been a life lesson. Perseverance. She can now climb the steepest hill while smiling when she overtakes me.

Line of action #2 - you take a few weekends on your own. (most likely your kids will want to tag along, eventually). Probably healthy to agree on activities that do not always involve everyone. Obviously, expect that your wife will also take some time for herself.

Line of action #3 - Two months -- I assume that you are a teacher. if your wife is also in that kind of business, see #1. If you are not free to take 2 months off (i.e. a long tour means quitting your job) you may want to start talking about something really out of the ordinary (I raise, from time to time, the idea of riding the Silk Road. One of my students, this semester, comes from Urumqi. Might be the trigger that we needed.) By taking the idea of bike touring to the next level, it could become the trip of a lifetime. I mean, riding from Nantes to Berlin made for a great summer vacation. But riding the Silk Road is something entirely different. Something that I would not consider with a 3yo. But this (or another outrageous plan) may motivate your family to take steps in that direction.

---

I don't know... here we pin a map on the wall and start dreaming...
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Old 09-21-16, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bulevardi View Post
I'm currently dreaming of touring, however, there's a wife and 2 little children (2y 4y) I can't just leave home for a couple of months touring.
And they don't want to travel along (with the bike).
I grew up in a cycling family. We cycled around our local neighbourhood, and also did hub-and-spoke tours.

For example ...

From the time I was 10-ish until I was about 17, my family would rent a cabin in the Canadian Rockies, mostly in Banff, for about a week.

On a few days we would go hiking together and on a few other days we'd cycle.

When we hiked, we would all go together, but when we would cycle we would do it something like this ...

My father, the strongest and fastest cyclist would head out early in the morning and cycle past the destination my mother, younger brother, and I were aiming for. Meanwhile my mother, younger brother and I would sleep in a little bit then get going ourselves. We got pretty good at the timing so that we would meet my father, on his way back, at our destination or near to it. Then, because he'd had a good, hard ride ... we would all ride together on the way back to the cabin.


The thing is, even if your family isn't up to a tour yet or isn't all that keen on cycling, maybe you can pick a location with things everyone would like doing. Spend a day doing something with the kids. Spend a day with your wife. Spend a day out cycling while they go off and do something else. Or be creative and if your wife and kids are going to drive out to a tourist destination, you leave early and cycle there and meet them ... then cycle back.

That way you all get to enjoy somewhere different.
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Old 09-21-16, 10:21 PM
  #22  
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My girlfriend and I are both in grad school. We like our simple life; small apartment, single car, four bicycles.

We get a month off in the summer to tour. If we save all year and choose our destination wisely, and camp the entire way, we can spend a lot of time on the bike. This year, we spent a month in Iceland.
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Old 09-22-16, 12:45 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by bulevardi View Post
Hello there !


I'm actually wondering what type of people are touring the most.
Or in which situation.


For example, I'm currently dreaming of touring, however, there's a wife and 2 little children (2y 4y) I can't just leave home for a couple of months touring.
And they don't want to travel along (with the bike).
Technically I could leave, but it would be quite selfish to let her alone with our 2 children to take care for. I don't want that as I love my family, so that won't be an option.
(I maybe do later on in my life when they're older, so than I have now lots of time to plan journeys in advance)


I know a few other people touring around, but they all are single or couples or friends who are kind of free to travel without strings attached.
They easily can leave their job, home or family for a long time.
But once you're settled, mortgages, children, things get more difficult.


So, tell me what's your situation?
And if you're in a more difficult situation, how did you get out? (without much damage)

living dreams is not selfish, go for short tours, 10 days, 4 weeks, thats what I do, my wife is happy when I am happy. family (we have three children) is not everything, one should still have time to do own things.
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Old 09-22-16, 05:31 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Keep dreaming. You're screwed. You ain't going nowhere for the next 20 years.
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Old 09-22-16, 06:16 AM
  #25  
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What's your current situation?

Originally Posted by bulevardi View Post
I'm actually wondering what type of people are touring the most.
Or in which situation.

For example, I'm currently dreaming of touring, however, there's a wife and 2 little children (2y 4y) I can't just leave home for a couple of months touring.
And they don't want to travel along (with the bike).
(I maybe do later on in my life when they're older, so than I have now lots of time to plan journeys in advance)

I know a few other people touring around, but they all are single or couples or friends who are kind of free to travel without strings attached.
They easily can leave their job, home or family for a long time.
But once you're settled, mortgages, children, things get more difficult.

So, tell me what's your situation?
And if you're in a more difficult situation, how did you get out? (without much damage)
During college and postgraduate education, my girlfriend-now-my-wife did week-long tours in Michigan and Ontario, a cross-country cycle tour honeymoon of the US in 1977, and weeklong tours in New England, until our son was born in 1988. Fortunately, Metro Boston is a great place to cycle, and exploring it the first few years was a form of touring. Even now, cycling here is satisfactory, though I do miss the novelty of touring. I have posted about my fantasy of riding the perimeter of the country.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
When I win the big lottery, I want to buy a luxury RV as my sag wagon and cycle the perimeter of the country,so I’ll need a driver [my wife].

I have daydreamed about it to the extent of defining the perimeter as riding within 50 miles of the border all around the country. The only other definition I know of is in the motorcycle community,where I have read the definition as traveling from the cornermost towns in the country..

In the course of my fantasizing, I have discovered The Perimeter Bicycling Association of America Inc.which maintains perimeter cycling records for various political and geographic entities. For the USA, the record is 12,092 miles in180 days held by Richard DeBernardis (date not specified).
FYA, on the Fifty-Plus Forum is a current great series of posts by recently retired @jppe with day-by-day descriptions of his cross-country ride from Oregon to Boston, with his wife driving a support van.

Finally, for a contrarian point of view, see this thread, “What do you find hardest about cycle touring now we aint spring chickens any more?

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 09-22-16 at 06:50 AM.
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