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Have you ever just left without a destination?

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Have you ever just left without a destination?

Old 08-24-21, 08:23 PM
  #1  
Jasongrace313
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Have you ever just left without a destination?

Today I received some new panniers for a touring rig I’ve been “hodgepodging” together and once I cleaned them up and mounted them I thought “just go”. A little background I’ve traveled the country since 2007 for work, from edge to edge. Anyway, looking at my bike I felt an urge to just take off and figure it out once I’m there. Have you ever done this? What was it like?
No, I have never traveled by bicycle before. And don’t really have a destination or reason to go anywhere, (other than the obvious stir craziness this last year has brought) I didn’t take off. I have some tweaks to the bike left to do and some business that requires me to be home but, I’d really love to hear any stories of you may have of throwing it all to the wind and just hitting it.
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Old 08-24-21, 08:31 PM
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indyfabz
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No.
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Old 08-24-21, 08:39 PM
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So you want a bit of a coddiwompl? I've done it a couple times and just wandered but unfortunately now I'm constrained by the needs of wife and kids whereas I couple only wander a couple days as I was constrained by my lack of finances and the need to eat. Can hop on a rail trail or similar and just go ride for a couple days, just camp as you go.
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Old 08-24-21, 10:10 PM
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I tried it once. I rode much too far and was too exhausted to enjoy the evening.
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Old 08-25-21, 01:21 AM
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I did two international trips that were loops, I had to get back to my starting point by a certain time to make my flight home. One of those trips I meandered about for roughly three weeks and then used the remaining week to get back to the starting point. The other trip, I had a generalized route plan, but I frequently deviated from it. Thus, they had a final destination (starting point) but not much for intermediate destinations.

Those two trips were my only solo tours, my other tours were with a friend and former co-worker or with a tour group. Trips with others require more structure.

I met a gal that was on year seven of her long tour, she had already done Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia, and I met her in North America. She did not appear to have a planned destination. But she was headed towards South America when I met her. I assume she got there, but I have no clue where she was going to go after that.
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Old 08-25-21, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I did two international trips that were loops, I had to get back to my starting point by a certain time to make my flight home. One of those trips I meandered about for roughly three weeks and then used the remaining week to get back to the starting point. The other trip, I had a generalized route plan, but I frequently deviated from it. Thus, they had a final destination (starting point) but not much for intermediate destinations.

Those two trips were my only solo tours, my other tours were with a friend and former co-worker or with a tour group. Trips with others require more structure.

I met a gal that was on year seven of her long tour, she had already done Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia, and I met her in North America. She did not appear to have a planned destination. But she was headed towards South America when I met her. I assume she got there, but I have no clue where she was going to go after that.
Wow! thats awesome!
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Old 08-25-21, 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Jasongrace313 View Post
.....looking at my bike I felt an urge to just take off and figure it out once I’m there. Have you ever done this? What was it like?
No, I have never traveled by bicycle before. And don’t really have a destination or reason to go anywhere.....
have you considered taking up the melodeon?
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Old 08-25-21, 04:30 AM
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If I go on a multiday trip there is a final destination but the day to day destinations are not set in stone
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Old 08-25-21, 04:50 AM
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If we are talking about a tour rather than a day ride then no. I often head out for the day with no plan though. For tours I always have started somewhere relatively far from home and with at least a general destination. I don't always have a nailed down plan and don't always follow it if I do have one.

Any thoughts for how long you have for this ride?

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 08-25-21, 06:16 AM
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I have done several long tours without concrete destinations or any planning. Winging it day by day. Here is one example where I had 4 weeks

I flew into Auckland and rode to Rotura to see a volcano or something and then rode NE to the coast and rode the coast getting to Wellington where I took a ferry to the South Island and down that coast and over some mountains to Queenstown with the hope of making Te Anau but the 1 meter of rain washed the road out, so, I took a puddle jumper to see the Fiords. Then up over the Southern Alps (had to carry the bike thru several landslides) and then down to the West Coast and glacier sight seeing. I saw a golf course and decided to stay a day and play. I ran out of time and had to fly from Wellington back to Auckland, probably because too much fun in Queenstown and it rained every single day. An epic trip with no plan
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Old 08-25-21, 07:26 AM
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easy to throw out easy answers for this, but given that you have never bike toured before, I'd really suggest doing some short, planned trips, an overnight, or two nights or whatever, just to see if you even like being on a heavy bike all day and all that jazz.
As a beginner, you need to sort out all kinds of stuff before heading off willy nilly. Well, maybe not need, but the experience will be a lot more pleasant for you if you ease into it.

but hey, we aint your mom, so you'll do as you wish.
have fun, thats the main thing.
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Old 08-25-21, 09:10 AM
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Wow what kind of work allows you to travel the country by bicycle, and where do I apply?

[QUOTE=Jasongrace313;22199203]Today I received some new panniers for a touring rig I’ve been “hodgepodging” together and once I cleaned them up and mounted them I thought “just go”. A little background I’ve traveled the country since 2007 for work, from edge to edge. Anyway, looking at my bike I felt an urge to just take off and figure it out once I’m there. Have you ever done this? What was it like?
No, I have never traveled by bicycle before. And don’t really have a destination or reason to go anywhere, (other than the obvious stir craziness this last year has brought) I didn’t take off. I have some tweaks to the bike left to do and some business that requires me to be home but, I’d really love to hear any stories of you may have of throwing it all to the wind and just hitting it.
[/QUOTE
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Old 08-25-21, 10:13 AM
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I mentioned above that one of my trips I wandered about for three weeks, then used my last week to get back to starting point so I would not miss my flight. My goal at the start was to see some of the interior of Iceland, but that was accomplished during week one, so wandered about for the rest. My route in red, below.



I fully agree with DJB, start out with some overnights, then see how you like it. Then maybe a few week long trips.

A lot of people will buy a touring bike, buy panniers, etc., and then after a week long tour that they did not enjoy, then put everything up for sale when they get home.
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Old 08-25-21, 10:40 AM
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Short answer: No.
Longer description: The level of planning and knowledge typically matches the length of a trip.
  • If I go on a day trip or short overnight, I pretty much know where I am headed and likely where I will stay.
  • If I go on a months long trip, I i will have goals for the trip overall, e.g. to reach tip of South America or to reach an ocean on other side of a continent. However, I won't know where I end up each day - until that day. In some cases, I will set up for a day ride with several options under consideration i.e. depending on what is available in a town or the weather or mechanical issues - I might end in either town A or town B or campground C. However, those daily stopping points are often part of a larger plan i.e. a long as I am headed southbound I am getting closer to tip of South America - but if I don't ride part of that distance today, I will ride it the next day.
The completely open-ended trip I haven't done and don't expect to do this. On the longest trips, there are sometimes logistics like visa or vaccinations that I want to get in advance. On mid-level trips, I like to understand some suitability of the routes. On the short-segments, it is useful to know if there are services along the way or whether I might need to carry food/water for more than a single day.
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Old 08-25-21, 10:56 AM
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I used to do that every once in a while when I was young.
Took off on a cross-country car/bike trip after high school that lasted months longer’n I’d planned.
Then I did something similar in college when I just accepted an off the cuff job offer in Asia. Spent a year and a half exploring Singapore and Malaysia while being ridiculously overpaid, so that was pretty sweet.
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Old 08-25-21, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Jasongrace313 View Post
Anyway, looking at my bike I felt an urge to just take off and figure it out once I’m there. Have you ever done this? What was it like?
Depending on how you define what you're asking - absolutely.

Take the approach that "The journey is the destination".

Don't plan for everything to go "perfectly". Plan for contingencies. Have extra supplies - food, water especially. Have a decent understanding of the area you are going to be touring - location of towns, stores. Along with the previous point of understanding - think safety. Are there bad areas you should steer around?

Some of the above is actually best acquired en-route from other cycle tourers and locals. Consider that part of the journey and the adventure. You will meet a lot of great people out there and you'll learn what you need to enjoy your trip and stay safe.

I met a guy jogging one morning on a tour last year. I was camped on the side of a trail. He stopped intrigued with all my gear. As we got to talking - he has hiked the whole Appalachian Trail. Those of us that have traveled by human power tend to look out for others that travel by human power. He asked if I needed anything - food, fuel, etc. I told him I was planning on getting some fuel cannisters when I found a place down the trail. About an hour later he came back and gave me 3 fuel cannisters.

Don't discount your extra water. You may run in to someone that needs it more than you.

I got up one morning and made my way down the trail a ways before setting up for breakfast. Where I stopped were 2 hammocks strung up under a trailhead shelter. As I started making breakfast the guys in the hammocks got up. Come to find out - they were rollerblading the trail I was riding and didn't prepare well. Their only food was snack bars. No cooking gear. Mind you, this morning was barely above freezing. They got a whole pot of fresh brewed hot coffee that morning. Yeah, that took up some of my water - but I had a couple days' worth and could resupply easy enough. They needed it - hot and with ground beans - more than I did.
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Old 08-25-21, 11:23 AM
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I generally have an end destination, but the destination for any given night are usually not confirmed until after supper.
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Old 08-26-21, 01:24 PM
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I once flew to Paris and just started touring with no real destination after th first couple of days. I had plenty of time and enough money to just ramble and visit whatever I wanted to see. Everything was new to me.

Last edited by ironwood; 08-26-21 at 01:27 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-26-21, 06:41 PM
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I toured in Thailand that way. No destination for the day. It was wonderful.
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Old 08-26-21, 07:42 PM
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I did a completely unplanned, seven day October tour three years ago. I literally didn't know which direction I would be going until I rode out of my driveway: https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/impromptour/

I decided to do it a couple of days before I left. Unlike my previous tours, which I planned fairly carefully, I did zero planning for this one, and figured out the route on the road.

It all worked out, and was enjoyable (except for one long day of unceasing chilly rain.)
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Old 08-26-21, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffL View Post
It all worked out, and was enjoyable (except for one long day of unceasing chilly rain.)
I can relate. The first leg of my trip last November was 12 days and I had 4 days that had decent weather. The rest was all wet - misty and rainy most days. I had the gear for it, though so considering the conditions I did keep comfortable, all things considered. It wasn't my favorite weather to ride in but I kept on keepin' on and had a positive attitude
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Old 08-27-21, 10:58 AM
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This idea is a dream for me, but I'd need to be single again and with some more touring experience.
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Old 08-27-21, 12:22 PM
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I have done a version of the OP's question.


We live in the middle of "flyover country". We can ride for hundreds of miles in any directions without coming to a geographic barrier. (Like oceans, mountains and Metropolitan areas that are death to ride through.)

In my youth a number of us did a tail wind ride for 5 days straight. The rule was easy, every day we would ride about 100 miles but always with the wind. So if the wind was from the west in the morning we rode would pick a town 90 miles east and head that way. BUT if the wind shifted we had to find another goal. After 5 days we would rent a car and drive home.


It was great fun. We ended up spending the night in towns I would never have visited otherwise. The secret is good riding buddies, in a deal like this! Because the wind kept shifting around on us we only ended up about 200 miles from home after 5 days.
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Old 08-30-21, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Lambkin55 View Post
I have done a version of the OP's question.


We live in the middle of "flyover country". We can ride for hundreds of miles in any directions without coming to a geographic barrier. (Like oceans, mountains and Metropolitan areas that are death to ride through.)

In my youth a number of us did a tail wind ride for 5 days straight. The rule was easy, every day we would ride about 100 miles but always with the wind. So if the wind was from the west in the morning we rode would pick a town 90 miles east and head that way. BUT if the wind shifted we had to find another goal. After 5 days we would rent a car and drive home.


It was great fun. We ended up spending the night in towns I would never have visited otherwise. The secret is good riding buddies, in a deal like this! Because the wind kept shifting around on us we only ended up about 200 miles from home after 5 days.
That's awesome! Sounds like fun.
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Old 08-30-21, 03:55 PM
  #25  
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I'm pretty goal oriented so the idea of just meandering isn't too appealing but I have done two trips recently that sort of fit that bill.

The first was two weeks to get from Calgary to Jasper. I flew into Calgary and eventually took the train from Jasper back home to near Vancouver. For that trip I had no set itinerary and did day hikes etc... from Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper along the way.

The second was a one week trip to Moab for mountain biking. Flew into SLC, rented a mini van in which I slept and picked up a rental bike in Moab.

I plan (fingers crossed) to do the Moab thing again this Nov. but this time for two weeks driving from Vancouver. I will bring my road bike and again rent an mtb or also bring my fat bike.

Besides bike touring I also really enjoy road trips (8000kms in three weeks so far this summer). In a vehicle I am far more likely to make it up as I go.

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