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How do you guys afford the time and money and company to do long tours???

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How do you guys afford the time and money and company to do long tours???

Old 05-15-19, 12:36 PM
  #76  
indyfabz
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
People know I ride bikes to work and on vacation. 99.9% of the details are completely uninteresting to others. Thatís why I post here. At least there is a tiny audience that may care a little.
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but most of find your details uninteresting.

Seriously...I know what you mean. I can tell pretty quickly when I someone has 0 interest when I am recounting the details of a trip I took. When they asked "How was it?" they were expecting "Fun!", not an entire saga. When that happens, I let that conversation die.
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Old 05-15-19, 01:26 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Not in my world. A family is made up of individuals who have their own interests. Iím not going to play video games because a kid thinks they are fun. Iím not going to bore anyone with details of my work day, although I think it is fascinating. OK, maybe Iíll try, but if it becomes apparent the details are uninteresting, Iíll immediately stop. People know I ride bikes to work and on vacation. 99.9% of the details are completely uninteresting to others. Thatís why I post here. At least there is a tiny audience that may care a little.
Eh, understandable if they're uninterested in it and have no problem with you doing it. That was the case with my wife when I went to Iceland. I just read it (maybe incorrectly) the first time as you were uninterested in having them with you and wouldn't allow them to come!
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Old 05-15-19, 01:31 PM
  #78  
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Do You get weekends off from work? If Yes - why aren't You touring?




Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
I've been dreaming of doing a bikepacking tour for many years now. But I can't figure out how to get started. I mean, I see all these posts and photos about bike touring and camping in all kinds of places.

I wonder what kind of jobs you guys have, that you can afford to take several weeks or months off. I get 3 weeks in a year, and that needs to be distributed among all the vacations. Traveling to all these exotic places means it's not going to be just a Saturday day trip.

I wonder how you came to save up so much money. Don't you have mortgages, bills and other expenses?

I wonder how so many of you have willing and enthusiastic friends or partners who go with you.

Please answer these above 3 questions. Much appreciated!
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Old 05-15-19, 01:37 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
Do You get weekends off from work? If Yes - why aren't You touring?
That's it, in a nutshell. Don't just think about it, DO it. 👍
Then you'll know if it's for you or not. 🤔
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Old 05-15-19, 02:09 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Funny, I always thought I was doing the right thing and that my example of having an adventurist spirit would rub off on my kids. Nope. None of them like the outdoors and are all computer games - smart phone types.

It was actually quite a hard thing to work through as I feel that probably the best/strongest part of who I am is of no value in a familial sense and have had to accept that my children do not need to be carbon copies of me. If it were up to them I would have made a bigger impact by working more and buying better computers.

So touring is my thing, not theirs. All it does for them is give them a happy dad which is better than a miserable one.
Sometimes the apples do fall far from the tree.
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Old 05-15-19, 04:06 PM
  #81  
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I suppose at this point I am a groupee and a dreamer. I guess RAGBRAI counts as a tour, and I have done a few short credit card tours. Excepting that I just dream. I much prefer to ride in the wide open spaces of the west, though I'd probably enjoy some touring here in the Southeast. I hope I have enough gas left in the tank to do what I tell everyone I am going to do when I retire. Get on a bike and disappear. I am just over 5 years from retirement. 56 years old and in pretty good shape.

I love this sub-forum. I read a lot more than I post. I am living through some of y'all. I am going to get a bit of a short tour in this summer in CO and possibly NM. Good group here. Keep it up!

Last edited by Paul Barnard; 05-16-19 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 05-15-19, 04:13 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Funny, I always thought I was doing the right thing and that my example of having an adventurist spirit would rub off on my kids. Nope. None of them like the outdoors and are all computer games - smart phone types.

It was actually quite a hard thing to work through as I feel that probably the best/strongest part of who I am is of no value in a familial sense and have had to accept that my children do not need to be carbon copies of me. If it were up to them I would have made a bigger impact by working more and buying better computers.

So touring is my thing, not theirs. All it does for them is give them a happy dad which is better than a miserable one.
well written there Mr Hap, thanks
especially the part about having to accept things with our children

and the last line, thats a real important one.
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Old 05-15-19, 04:15 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
That's it, in a nutshell. Don't just think about it, DO it. 👍
Then you'll know if it's for you or not. 🤔
Yes... but also two days off following each during the week can be even better because there is less imposition by car-based tourers. The tour buses can be a bit of a hassle, but generally, I find the drivers of those to be true professionals.
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Old 05-15-19, 04:20 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
People know I ride bikes to work and on vacation. 99.9% of the details are completely uninteresting to others. Thatís why I post here. At least there is a tiny audience that may care a little.
heck, Indy was being polite, I was going to say that I dont give a rats ass, but that would be rude wouldnt it ;-) ?

really though, for me too coming on here is for the same reason. I would add though that here in Quebec, Canada, the biking culture and bicycle touring thing has been popular for even before I started in the late 80s, and I would say that biking in general, and even bike touring is more popular today than when I started--so all that to say that at least in my world, there are regular people who do it and appreciate the adventure aspect of it, not to mention just the biking aspect of it.

Its one of the things that i love about Quebec and the French culture here and I consider myself lucky being here.
Also part of why I love visiting France, again the whole ingrained bike culture thing.
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Old 05-15-19, 05:07 PM
  #85  
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Fuji,

When it is time to tour...you won't have to ask how to do it. You won't need to. The how will already be there and you will go irregardless of anything else. I believe right now you are too much in the asking questions stage and not enough in the stage of making it happen no matter what.

Where there is the will, there will also always be the way. The will hasn't fallen upon you yet so making it happen seems like a daunting challenge. To others on the forum they are the exact opposite.
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Old 05-16-19, 04:54 AM
  #86  
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How do you guys afford the time and money and company to do long tours???
Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
I've been dreaming of doing a bikepacking tour for many years now. But I can't figure out how to get started...

I wonder what kind of jobs you guys have, that you can afford to take several weeks or months off. I get 3 weeks in a year, and that needs to be distributed among all the vacations. Traveling to all these exotic places means it's not going to be just a Saturday day trip.

I wonder how you came to save up so much money. Don't you have mortgages, bills and other expenses?

I wonder how so many of you have willing and enthusiastic friends or partners who go with you.

Please answer these above 3 questions. Much appreciated!
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...In Ann Arbor MI in the 70’s I really realized the utility of bicycles for commuting, and began touring on a five-speed Schwinn Suburban, but soon bought a Mercier as did my girlfriend, later my wife. We toured in Michigan and Ontario.

In 1977 we moved to Boston on our bikes, as a bicycling honeymoon from Los Angeles to Washington, DC and then took the train up to Boston. We have toured in New England and the Maritime Provinces, and one trip to the DelMarVa peninsula....

After the birth of our son in 1988, I have pretty much been a year–round commuter only, but in the past few years I have done a century or two a year ...
For me, Metro Boston and New England are such great places to cycle and visit that my touring wanderlust is pretty well satisfied. Longer touring would require major lifestyle changes and even short rides are satisfactory, and adventures in their own right.
Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Best thing to do is go on a Sub 24 hour trip. Shorter trips like that get you started and then you can move onto bigger and better things.

Me personally I don't really have time for long tours but shorter trips I can do say leaving on a Friday evening and getting back Sunday evening is doable for average M-F office type workers and still can allow for a fun tour. I know I have done plenty of 2-4 day tours without spending a whole ton of money or having to take off or take off much
Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Married, mortgage, three kids and 18 days holiday a year. On the plus side I don't drink, smoke or buy expensive clothes/cars/gadgets. Like some said, I take time around stat days to extend time off and try for both a one week and two week trip with some shorter multi day trips in between. Even a long weekend gives you time for a three day trip.

My kids are older now and don't really want to vacation with dad and my wife has been singing competitively for years so she uses her holidays for international competitions. We make it work. During the young years with the kids I did scouting and day trips diving for myself, forgoing extended personal tours for a bit.

I camp for the most part and tour a lot in my own region so travel is basically by van, domestic flight or train. Fairly cheap. I rebuild older bikes and use what I have, upgrading along the way so it's not a big hit to the pocket book...My last little trip cost $120 train and campsites + food... say $150 all in.

If you wanna do it you just do it.

Grant Peterson coined a phrase S24O which means sub 24 hour outing; basically just loading up the bike and going camping overnight somewhere https://www.rivbike.com/pages/camping-vs-touring

It's a great place to start.

Alastair Humphreys also talks about Micro Adventures, which is the same concept https://www.alastairhumphreys.com/microadventures-3/
Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
3 weeks and a week of sick days, plus holidays. My tours are long weekends, sometimes a S 240.

One long trip a year, 5 or 6 days usually. I roll solo. Much easier that way. My schedule, my time, always subject to change.

All my tours have been in New England where I live, drive a bit sometimes too. Once you roll down thedriveway you're on vacay. I work from home and have some flexible hours sometimes.
In particular I liked this previous post on the Touring Forum, describing a pleasant and easy weekend experience, especially to involve the family, especially the wife : "I'm taking off on another 2 day trip tomorrow"
Originally Posted by jeff400650 View Post
I've been doing these fun rides lately... Pick a cool town about 50 or 60 scenic miles away. Book a nice room near town. Ride there (in my case, with my dog along). And then have my wife drive there to meet for a nice, romantic night on the town. It takes her an hour or two, to drive to where it takes me and my 20LB dog to get in a leisurely 6 hours or so.

Some fine dining. A hike. Shopping. Maybe live music.
Next morning, charming breakfast, etc... Then I ride home, usually a different route.

It has been great. I get two days of serious riding, and she gets fun little get-a-ways close to home. We are exploring towns near us that we would otherwise never spend a night in, except that for a cyclist, it is a day's journey.

Healdsburg, CA. a few weeks ago
Halfmoon Bay, CA. a couple weeks ago
Tomorrow, Guerneville, CA. Staying at a place built in 1905. Cabins on the Russian River.

I guess you could call it short range, luxury touring with a spousal inclusion component.

Anyone else into this kind of thing? Or lucky enough to have a girl that will do the rides with you?
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...I have thought about such rides for a long time. My own personal last tour was in 1986 for three days.

A couple years ago I thought about making up such list for weekend getaways, as you described, and posting to the local Metro Boston thread. We live in downtown Boston, and can go out in all directions (except eastward into the Atlantic Ocean).

So for here on the Right Coast, counterclockwise around Boston, such destinations would be:

  • Newburyport, MA (did a mutual cycle trip there once)
  • Portsmouth, NH
  • Nashua, NH
  • Lowell, MA
  • Worcester, MA
  • Providence, RI (did a car weekend trip there)
  • Plymouth, MA (one mutual cycle trip there)...

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-17-19 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 05-16-19, 08:41 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
+1. I saw LOTS of families touring when I was in France and the Netherlands. No, you're probably not going to be pounding out centuries every day, and there may be more sightseeing stops and MUPs than climbing ridiculous mountains and soloing through barren landscape, but there is no reason it can't be done enjoyably with a family.

That's good to hear. In America kids used to casually ride bikes, play baseball/football etc for fun but now it seems like anything other than Phone is just some horrible distraction. OTOH with parents who encourage physical activity & such, perhaps the kids might be motivated to do some bike touring.
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Old 05-16-19, 10:20 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
That's good to hear. In America kids used to casually ride bikes, play baseball/football etc for fun but now it seems like anything other than Phone is just some horrible distraction. OTOH with parents who encourage physical activity & such, perhaps the kids might be motivated to do some bike touring.


To be brutally fair? The kids I see today are getting far more exercise than I ever did. Its not a run around and play how you see fit style like me, but rather structured sports and rigirous activities. Yes, there's a lot of iPhones (like there was a lot of SNES and SEGA in my day), but they're hardly sitting around doing nothing.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:41 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
To be brutally fair? The kids I see today are getting far more exercise than I ever did. Its not a run around and play how you see fit style like me, but rather structured sports and rigirous activities. Yes, there's a lot of iPhones (like there was a lot of SNES and SEGA in my day), but they're hardly sitting around doing nothing.
Participation in youth organized sports has been dropping over past few years, participation in "calorie-burning" sports like cycling esp so. Many kids do school sports at a younger age & drop out in high school...strangely the article below doesn't even mention phones as a cause...phones seem to be even more addicting than video games. Many kids do spend all their spare time shut in their rooms looking at their phones. Just the other day I learned that a friend's niece got a phone at age 6, wow.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sport...=.aa0fb81fe0ab
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Old 05-18-19, 03:38 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
However, I've always liked the idea of touring, but I've never felt confident enough to actually do it.

If this is the reality then my advice, like lots of those above, is to get out there and try it with whatever you can beg borrow or steal (not really!).


From my own observations, I have seen many, many people with perfectly adequate gear who always have a reason not to tour - despite saying how much they want to do it.

I have also witnessed folks on tour with gear far superior to my own just give up and go home for (to me) the strangest reasons - such as rain!


My conclusion is that the grey matter between our ears is the most important factor in undertaking and enjoying a tour.


I'd suggest you're asking the wrong questions, or at least putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. Don't worry about how to take time off or money until you have at least figured out if you enjoy touring on a bike. That should be priority number 1 - figure out what you like to do. The best way to do that is to actually do it!


There is such a wide variety of touring styles to choose from: You can bikepack in the wilderness. Do a Tour De France Route with a group and support, pootle along a riverbank guided or not, supported or not, head off from Alaska to South America carrying everything you need to survive for a couple of years. And lots more.


Getting on a bike and pushing that pedal with the intention of doing a tour is the first step. Do that, figure out what you like and suits you, then you can strategise for the future.

You'd be amazed what opportunities are available in your local area if you look around with a refreshed set of eyes.


For inspiration have a look on crazyguyonabike.com: Bicycle Touring: A place for bicycle tourists and their journals There's thousands of journals from people who have done it.


Good Luck!
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Old 05-20-19, 07:13 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Participation in youth organized sports has been dropping over past few years, participation in "calorie-burning" sports like cycling esp so. Many kids do school sports at a younger age & drop out in high school...strangely the article below doesn't even mention phones as a cause...phones seem to be even more addicting than video games. Many kids do spend all their spare time shut in their rooms looking at their phones. Just the other day I learned that a friend's niece got a phone at age 6, wow.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sport...=.aa0fb81fe0ab
Meh, even going back in the times of the Icelandic sagas, adults have been lamenting the laziness and sloth of the youth, how they'd rather sit around gorging themselves on mead and living off their inheritance than going out and raiding and building up their own wealth. Somehow, we've survived.
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Old 05-20-19, 12:18 PM
  #92  
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Sold my car at the age of forty and put my monthly payment in savings. Had a seven-mile commute. Some days I rode my bike, some days I ran. Retired at 62. Now I have plenty of time for touring.
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Old 05-20-19, 12:37 PM
  #93  
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Don't pay rent except for camping facilities while on tour, and avoid that most days. Bikes vanish easily, and can be lifted over fences. Sublet, or store your gear. Eat rice and macaroni, not freeze-dried - you can probably shop regularly. Avoid prepared food, let alone restaurants. Do some test rides to check your reliability loaded, but pack tools and spokes. To save weight, take less, not expensive, super-light stuff. Part of the joy of touring is in the simplicity. One guy takes three socks - two to wear, and one to be drying on his panniers.
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Old 05-20-19, 01:33 PM
  #94  
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I didn't know squat about unsupported touring. Didn't even get my racks and panniers until about 3 weeks before I hopped the train to Seattle. I knew even less about camping. Set up my tent once in my mom's living room, nearly knocking over a lamp in the process. I was so worried that there was no way those pole would bend to fit into the grommets that I put on my cycling glasses so I didn't lose an eye when one of them snapped. That's why I decided to cross the country with Adventure Cycling Association. 13 of us, including the leader. Unsupported. Learned enough to give me the confidence to do it on my own. So much so that I went to Andalucia for 7 weeks the following winter/spring.
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Old 05-20-19, 06:42 PM
  #95  
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If I hadn't gotten married and had kids I would have bought the gear I need and saved money enough to last 2 years of income, quit my job at the end of my apartment lease and gone touring for a year maybe a year and half, come back find another apartment and another job. That sounds odd to some of you to do but I actually know a couple, yeah, a husband and wife, who did exactly that, and they were nowhere near the first to ever do that, I've read about singles and couples doing that stuff for years in magazines and books. There are some independently wealthy younger people that either inherited a lot of money, had some sort of tech thing go boom and they either sold out or had others take over so they could leave, I've ran into some that simply bought their gear, quit their jobs but never saved a dime and go out and panhandle! Some earn money by writing blogs of their journey, others had their way paid by donations for charity by riding with sponsors by the mile. Today a lot of people retire at the age of 65 or so and are a lot more active then the previous generation was, so it only makes sense for those to go touring.

I'm married and have kids, though all my kids are now grown and have flown from the nest, my wife is in no condition to ride a bike at her age but I still can with no problem. I have to wait however till I retire at age 68 due to the fact I'm still working, I have a pension plan where I work that won't begin till I'm 68, that combined with the higher level of social security payout at 68 vs 63, plus 403b and my rental investments will allow me to tour across the US several times before I get too old to do it comfortably. I could retire now because my other investments are doing good and I have no debt, but I would have to give up my pension, which I could do, but I would rather have it just in case something goes bad later in retirement.
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Old 05-20-19, 08:11 PM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
I've been dreaming of doing a bikepacking tour for many years now. But I can't figure out how to get started. I mean, I see all these posts and photos about bike touring and camping in all kinds of places.

I wonder what kind of jobs you guys have, that you can afford to take several weeks or months off. I get 3 weeks in a year, and that needs to be distributed among all the vacations. Traveling to all these exotic places means it's not going to be just a Saturday day trip.

I wonder how you came to save up so much money. Don't you have mortgages, bills and other expenses?

I wonder how so many of you have willing and enthusiastic friends or partners who go with you.

Please answer these above 3 questions. Much appreciated!
short version
Low expenses, high savings, bicycling is dirt cheap, irregular work schedule, tour alone.

My bicycling is largely transportation, so I already have bicycles with decent tires, fenders, racks, and plenty of experience riding and repairing bikes. Most of it was inexpensive, used or on sale. I did a few weekend trips and a little camping at some weekend festivals.

When I found myself in Oregon with no job and a family member in LA, it seemed like the obvious time for a bike tour; lots of bicyclists on OR mentioned all the hike and bike campsites. Low cost, no reservations needed, and guaranteed sites. (Bikes are much easier to park than 50' RVs).
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Old 05-21-19, 07:03 AM
  #97  
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Time off - It is something you need to prioritize in your selection when choosing career and employer if you want to take long trips while still working. You may also need to save up leave if allowed. You may even need to negotiate leave without pay. Being indispensable or at least very hard to replace helps immensely in any such negotiations. I think it got easier after my Trans America when they realized how much I did and how much they missed me. I thought it might possibly be a career ending trip at least with that job, but I think it actually helped and I think promotions and raises were better if anything after that trip and subsequent trips were easy to negotiate as long as I was insistent.

All of that may be harder for some jobs/professions than others. I know that I met a few folks that quit jobs and sold everything to do long tours.

Enough money - Touring can and should be cheap IMO. So you just need to be able to continue to pay your bills while away. I have actually found that I might spend less when on tour due to the fact that I am not putting gas in my car. Waiting until retirement solves both the time and the money issues, but you will never get there unless you learn to live within your means. Live a lifestyle well within your means and you won't be crushed with bills, you will be able to tour, you will be able to save for retirement, and at retirement you will be used to living on less. Live a lifestyle that you either can't afford or can barely afford and you won't tour and will never retire.

Willing and enthusiastic friends or partners who go with you - It is great if a family member wants to share one or more of your tours, but really touring is fine as a solo activity. I enjoyed a couple tours with my adult daughter, but touring alone is great. I also did a tour with a stranger i met online who kind of latched on. It was okay, but I don't especially recommend it. My wife is supportive but has no interest in going along and that is fine. Meeting other riders and or local folks along the way is fun and some solitude at times can even be nice.
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Old 05-21-19, 07:30 AM
  #98  
djb
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Very thoughtful takes on the various aspects stae.
Don't see your name here much lately. Have a good riding season.
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Old 05-21-19, 07:55 AM
  #99  
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Another point on the time issue: I used to work with a lot of foreign workers. Many of them would go back to India or China for extended periods of time, how they would make it work is to basically use two years worth of vacation up at once over the December-January timeframe: all of the previous year's vacation in December and all of the next years vacation in January. If you're lucky enough to have the week of holiday time off as well, you could easily stack five to seven weeks of contiguous time together depending on your allocated leave.

Doesn't help much if you want to bike tour in Montana, you've gotta go somewhere where the weather cooperates, and you lose two years vacation in one go, but for a month and a half to two month trip, not a bad way of doing it.
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Old 05-21-19, 08:34 AM
  #100  
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+3 on kids. 2 are married now and the last one is 15 so we can get out a bit more now. Otherwise time and finances go toward family over hobbies.
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