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My First Tours Were About

Old 02-21-19, 07:57 PM
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My First Tours Were About The Beer

One summer back in the 70's my buddy Pete and I took up touring. He on his Torpado, I on my Super Sport Schwinn. Together we mapped two 1 week routes in the spring and in the summer off we went. Stocked with canned food before leaving home we saved our paper route money for Stroh's beer at night (we looked much older than we were). The diet for a the week was canned ravioli and beer. Can only do that when one is young!
Now the food balance is more balanced. Beer is out of the question, but going cheap is still the way to do it.
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Old 02-22-19, 05:35 AM
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I don't try to spend as much money as possible, buy neither do I strive to go on the cheap.
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Old 02-22-19, 08:34 PM
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More time abroad. I wanted to ride a motorcycle through Europe but determined I could stay longer on the same amount of money if I rode a bike instead, although I would not get as far. Tradeoffs.
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Old 02-23-19, 08:16 AM
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I did pretty much the same thing in 1975 on a borrowed Continental, the best bike around town at the time. Took off with a high school buddy to circumnavigate Lake Michigan from Chicago, 1000 miles. I recall leaving with about $100 in my pocket, and I recall getting home with at least $20 left. We camped every night, mostly for free on or near the lake, Legal drinking age in the area was 18 or 19, so some funds were spent on beer. We got lots of meal donations from other campers--freshly caught fish, etc, cooked over a wood fire. Otherwise, there were cans of pasta and tuna, for sure.

Not much has changed in my style since then. When I was 55, I crossed the US on the Northern Tier route and spent about $25 a day, less than average for a middle-aged guy with a credit card. Most of that was spent on slightly better food, fresh veg every day. My best memories are meeting people in campsites, accepting the generosity of strangers, being invited to stay in homes and share meals, etc. And that high school buddy is still my best friend.
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Old 02-23-19, 11:01 PM
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My friends love taking exotic vacations.


I can quit work and stay gone on a bike tour in the USA for what they spend in 7 days. Imagine how long I could stay gone in some cheap country. The most I ever spent was $1000/month cycling for 7 months (basically from New Orleans to Maine and back). I inherited $7000 and splurged on motels a few times a week, camped the rest. It was wonderful. Normally I would take off for 6 months at a time and spend about $600/month if I went West where camping is much cheaper than going East and many more free places to camp.

I biked from New Orleans to Seattle, then down to Mexico for 5 months and spent $3500. Stopped to smell lots of roses along the way. I pity my friends and their exotic, rushed adventures.

Bottom line, I hate working. And I hate hanging around town. So.....I hit the road in the most cost efficient manner I know of. Bike touring! I don't even consider myself a "cyclist" really. If I want to get over there, a bike is what I have! Car Free since 1989.

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Old 02-24-19, 09:14 AM
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Yeah, tour costs are crazy! After spending $60 each for a 4-day trek to Machu Picchu, booked in the Cuzco town square, my wife and I saw US tours for the same trip for over $1200! Well, they probably got an guide that spoke English for that.

And don't get me going on new bike costs! I try to stay out of REI (Really Expensive Inside), but I killed some time in there the other day and saw price tags exceeding what I spent on my car, and pedals that cost more than my entire (salvaged) bike.

I retired from a short engineering career at age 40, with just enough money to get by in this modern US world--house and car, etc. Not car-free, but car-light for sure. I started touring a lot then, and had to choose between expensive gear/tours and not working. Easy choice. Dirtbagging rules!

But I am glad not everyone's like me. I enjoy seeing grocery stores, and places with modern plumbing once in a while, so it's good someone's still working. And I'll pay for that.
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Old 02-24-19, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus
But I am glad not everyone's like me. I enjoy seeing grocery stores, and places with modern plumbing once in a while, so it's good someone's still working. And I'll pay for that.
People like you and I, willing to do without and maybe suffer a little discomfort or inconvenience over long stretches of time, aren't the problem. Robots stealing people's jobs is the problem Whenever possible I refuse service from robot checkout counters, fast food chains, or other places like that.

That said, 40 years ago when I started dropping out of the rat race on a regular basis, there were always plenty of people who were willing and able to keep the world turning while I played. It's symbiotic, not parasitic. I still pay for things - with saved money - i just don't need much. And in times of trouble I can live on beans and rice for a long time. I don't know how people with families that are used to having tons of stuff are going to manage in the very near future. Sad to see so many little towns across the USA get Wal-Marted out of existence. My last bike tour through Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska was very depressing at times. Knowing how to "do without" is a great skill to have in our future. Knowing how few things we really need to be happy is valuable to my mental health for sure.
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Old 03-13-19, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus
Yeah, tour costs are crazy! After spending $60 each for a 4-day trek to Machu Picchu, booked in the Cuzco town square, my wife and I saw US tours for the same trip for over $1200! Well, they probably got an guide that spoke English for that.

And don't get me going on new bike costs! I try to stay out of REI (Really Expensive Inside), but I killed some time in there the other day and saw price tags exceeding what I spent on my car, and pedals that cost more than my entire (salvaged) bike.

I retired from a short engineering career at age 40, with just enough money to get by in this modern US world--house and car, etc. Not car-free, but car-light for sure. I started touring a lot then, and had to choose between expensive gear/tours and not working. Easy choice. Dirtbagging rules!

But I am glad not everyone's like me. I enjoy seeing grocery stores, and places with modern plumbing once in a while, so it's good someone's still working. And I'll pay for that.

Hi, I'm Peruvian/American and I thought I would give feedback. If you want good deals and are flexible with time; some times its better to book tours while you're there. Keep in the train ticket from Cusco to Aguas calientes is expensive especially to foreigners.
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Old 03-13-19, 06:32 AM
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It was always about the adventure, the excitement of the unknown that lies ahead and still is. I don't like spending too much time planning ahead and knowing every stop and/or destination. Having a general idea works for me. As for expenses, well I can sleep on the side of the road with the best of the hobos but clean sheets on a comfortable bed and a nice meal is hard to pass up.
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Old 03-13-19, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
I can quit work and stay gone on a bike tour in the USA for what they spend in 7 days. Imagine how long I could stay gone in some cheap country.
I could sell all my possessions and drastically downsize my home and live much cheaper too. I really have zero desire to do it that way. People enjoy spending their time off in different ways and at different budgets, I will begrudge none of them for enjoying life how they see fit.
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Old 03-13-19, 02:31 PM
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My First Tours Were About ...

Swimming.. a 12 mile day trip each way, to avoid the pee + chlorine of the public pool in town..

I was 12,

My trip at 44 was adventuring into eastern Europe a few months after the Warsaw pact dissolved
and the Berlin wall came down,

there, if not Beer it was Pivo.. the Slavic language name for it..

I enjoyed the Czech Pils in Prague, Not far from Pilsen,
and the original Budweis in the Bohemian Czech city of its origins..








....

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Old 03-13-19, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
I will begrudge none of them for enjoying life how they see fit.
I'm fairly judgemental. And Thoreauvian. Please don't begrudge me either.
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Old 03-14-19, 11:15 PM
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1 week trip up the Bruce Peninsula, to Manitoulin and back. Camped all except one night we wanted to eat in a restaurant and sleep in a bed. I got food poisoning and did not sleep a wink
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