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Frustrated Tourist.

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Frustrated Tourist.

Old 08-09-23, 09:49 AM
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I'm not the OP, but these are good suggestions.
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Old 08-09-23, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mams99
I'm not the OP, but these are good suggestions.
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Old 08-09-23, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Lots of advantages and disadvantages of both options.
In my experience, I've done a wider set of subtle choices that have resulted in more variations than just a tightly-coupled group vs. a solo ride. This has also let me have other advantages/disadvantages. These include:

1. Tightly coupled group. Good example is touring I've done with my brother. We've split up some gear, e.g. taking only one tent. This means we pretty much stay in the same place every night. We're making choices together. We've done rides together in Colombia/Ecuador, Ukraine/Russia, Guyana/Suriname and Timor Leste and also in the US. These trips were not necessarily completely determined in advance e.g. we didn't always know where we might stay - so we also tended to be not too far from each other when cycling. A lot of joint decisions, shared adventure, etc.

2. Looser coupled group. Good examples are touring I've done with people I met online on the internet. We didn't know each other prior to the trip and the general approach/assumption I've had going into things was "able to travel independently but choosing to travel together". Good examples would be rides across Russia and starting from Prudhoe Bay across the Americas. In the Russia case, we discussed things via internet for an extended period but met for the first time when I landed in Amsterdam. We independently cycled to St Petersburg (since I had a language school) and then started riding together from there - and ended up riding together for five months. It took some growing pains to figure out how to best make this work. We ended up with a situation where (a) I would take off earliest in the morning (b) she would pass me and stop somewhere mid-morning (c) eventually we would synchronize together at end of the day - get water and camp in the same place with tents next to each other. That went wrong once or twice and on one occasion we lost each other for 11 days crossing the Urals and happenstance connecting together after that.

In the Prudhoe Bay case, we agreed to meet and depart from Prudhoe Bay together but figure things out. As it turned out our paces were mis-matched and we lost each other even on the first day. I was slightly faster this time and rather than wait in snow and freezing temperatures I continued to our target first night location. He was slow enough he never made it and we didn't come together until four days later. In this case we figured out early and independently traveled from there - with occasional contacts (even still after the trip).

3. Looser coupled group, meeting along the way. Good example is riding I did in a bunch of Argentina. I met some riders who were following the same routes at roughly similar paces. As it turned out, we agreed to meet overnight at a few of the towns and even ended up taking a rest day or two in the same places. We would cycle mostly independently but enjoyed camping in similar places. It wasn't real formal but more a case that for a week or two we stayed in similar places and separated again after that.

4. Solo. Even in a solo cycling situation, I've overlapped a few times with the same cyclists. At the time I was cycling Australia there was mostly one sealed route along parts of the coast and hence I had some cyclists that we kept track of each other via the "bush telegraph" of hearsay. As it turned out, I showed up at their finish day of riding around Australia and they showed up at mine.

So there is definitely a tightly coupled group where you know each other in advance, split up gear and are coupled enough that unless something big happens you are together.

It is also possible to set up a less coupled situation where you may not know each other as much prior to the ride. You have intentions of cycling together but also have set things up that you could travel independently it it turns out that way. Sometimes that mostly works (my Russia example) and sometimes it may not (my Prudhoe Bay example). It is also possible to ride along a popular route and meet people along the way, camp in some of the same places and end up riding together for a while as your trips overlap. I'm sure there are other variations as well...
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Old 08-09-23, 10:17 PM
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Perhaps it would be wise to start small, i. e., some weekend rides with a local club. The stakes are low there. Or maybe a local charity ride just to be around people. I've done those things and scarcely met anyone but even then the tiny exchanges with folks on the road or while stopped is nice.

It can be terribly lonely out there. Best of luck.
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