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Frustrated Tourist.

Old 07-08-23, 06:38 PM
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Frustrated Tourist.

Background: 1st bike tours 1985 California coast
1986 SFO to Atlanta.
Bicycle store owner from 1992 -2005
Basically retired since 2006 due to an accident.
I miss all of the interaction with people in my bicycle stores.
Lack of family/ friends serious Isolation has left me depressed/ anxious.
I believe that doing self supported tour(s) with good supportive company (someone who is capable a 50%/ 50% dialog/ conversation would be really good for me/ my mental health), versus the self imposed house prison that I am currently serving.
I have posted on Crazy Guy on A Bike and Adventure Cycling website with no luck.
I have looked at other people's postings, with no luck.
I have looked at warm showers posting ... zero luck.
"Facebook" no luck.
Any other ideas on how to find the ever elusive self sufficient bike tourist?
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Old 07-08-23, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by headwind15
Background: 1st bike tours 1985 California coast
1986 SFO to Atlanta.
Bicycle store owner from 1992 -2005
Basically retired since 2006 due to an accident.
I miss all of the interaction with people in my bicycle stores.
Lack of family/ friends serious Isolation has left me depressed/ anxious.
I believe that doing self supported tour(s) with good supportive company (someone who is capable a 50%/ 50% dialog/ conversation would be really good for me/ my mental health), versus the self imposed house prison that I am currently serving.
I have posted on Crazy Guy on A Bike and Adventure Cycling website with no luck.
I have looked at other people's postings, with no luck.
I have looked at warm showers posting ... zero luck.
"Facebook" no luck.
Any other ideas on how to find the ever elusive self sufficient bike tourist?
Perhaps join a Adventure Cycling camping tour to get back out there. A very supportive environment and camaraderie assured.
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Old 07-08-23, 07:07 PM
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The Adventure Cycling tours are way over my budget. I thrive on self sufficient tours, I don't need an expensive babysitter.
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Old 07-09-23, 04:39 AM
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Have you run an ad asking about a companion on specific tours? I met folks who have had success with that on the Trans America. It is not easy to find a good match who is interested.

Maybe you could do some rides where you meet up with other riders along the way. I know that the Pacific Coast was like that for me. Much of the way I wound up camping with a nice group of friends that I met in the hiker bike campsites. The group gained and shed folks as we went, but some of the group remained as long as I was with them. We got along great and had a good time. Some folks rode together in pairs of small groups and some rode alone, but we all planned where we would be staying and met up in camp. I preferred to ride alone, but enjoyed company in camp.

Barring either of those how about chatting up the locals when/where there aren't other cyclists. I have met a lot of interesting folks on my tours. I say chatting up, but in reality it is probably more a matter of listening to them.
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Old 07-09-23, 08:59 AM
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Touring the Pacific Coast might be the best viable option. Thanks.
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Old 07-09-23, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by headwind15
Touring the Pacific Coast might be the best viable option. Thanks.
For the times when you're not going to be out on a tour, perhaps look around for bike co-ops in your area. You could volunteer your services, and you might enjoy having some of the kinds of interactions you miss from your bike shop ownership days. Anyway, it's human companionship.
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Old 07-10-23, 09:59 PM
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Are you sure you checked out FB?. I started with 'Bicycle Travellers', and between links and such, I have found numerous groups for touring, mechanics and so on. I suggest you give it another try.
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Old 07-10-23, 10:26 PM
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I don't have an answer to the bike touring, but to deal with the isolation and depression, have you considered volunteering? Are there any bike co-ops or bicycle advocacy groups in your area? Or an organization outside of bicycling in which you'd be interested? I can say I've gotten a lot out of volunteering with a large humanitarian organization (mainly known for disaster relief and blood services). There's also an opportunity for travel, but I haven't been able to put other commitments on hold for a two-week deployment to a disaster area.

How about charity gran fondos? You may meet people at one who would be interested in a tour, especially after meeting and riding with you a bit rather than answering a post.
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Old 07-11-23, 04:20 AM
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Good luck with that. The Oregon portion of the coast is especially nice.

Are you at all interested in riding MTB trails? If so is there an IMBA chapter where you are? I am not sure how typical it is, but here where I am there is a TIMBA (Tallahassee branch of IMBA). I don't ride with them, but it looks like they have a full schedule of rides and work parties for maintaining the trails. If there is something like that where you are it could be a nice place to meet, ride with, and interact with other folks.
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Old 07-11-23, 06:33 AM
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I am unsure of your location, but if Meetup is available, you can look for biking groups in your area to meet like minded people. Even if you don't find people who want to tour, you can still get together for rides for social interaction.
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Old 07-11-23, 06:54 AM
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Respond to this:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/clas...ed_id=6984&v=D
(Or a similar post)
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Old 07-11-23, 07:53 AM
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I hope you find the situation and person/people that suits you and I look forward to reading about it.
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Old 07-11-23, 08:22 AM
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Likewise, I'm not sure where you hail from, but in the past I have contacted several state cycling organizations and in some cases they have been able to refer me to various known touring groups within their state. From those contacts, I have made a lot of friends in numerous states that I still tour with today, including a few individuals that I will be joining, in less than a week for 12 days touring Wisconsin/Michigan (It's a lot cooler up there at the present)
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Old 07-11-23, 02:07 PM
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I would try the local bike clubs and find member who are interested in multi-day rides.

There are also charity organizations who provide logistics and support for multi-day rides and all you need are sponsors. One advantage of riding in a group is that being more visible to motorists there is less chance of getting clipped by someone busy monitoring their cell phone messages and ignoring the road. And there are the U.S. tours like the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure in June for example. Other states have their own tours as a way to boost tourism.

I will also mention that on my last 3 travels with a group there was one person who came despite having a cold infection and they spread it to everyone in the group.

Having started touring in 1968 and making my first trip the length of the California coast in 1971 and creating the first bike map for the route that was published by the CA Division of Highways, Once I could afford to do so I quickly switched to staying at motels and eating in cafes as much as possible. I could travel lighter without camping equipment and a cook stove and fuel and staples and it is a treat to have a comfy bed and a hot shower available at the end of the day.
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Old 07-12-23, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by headwind15
Background: 1st bike tours 1985 California coast
1986 SFO to Atlanta.
Bicycle store owner from 1992 -2005
Basically retired since 2006 due to an accident.
I miss all of the interaction with people in my bicycle stores.
Lack of family/ friends serious Isolation has left me depressed/ anxious.
I believe that doing self supported tour(s) with good supportive company (someone who is capable a 50%/ 50% dialog/ conversation would be really good for me/ my mental health), versus the self imposed house prison that I am currently serving.
I have posted on Crazy Guy on A Bike and Adventure Cycling website with no luck.
I have looked at other people's postings, with no luck.
I have looked at warm showers posting ... zero luck.
"Facebook" no luck.
Any other ideas on how to find the ever elusive self sufficient bike tourist?
Just being realistic here - I read this and think, wow they sound like a bummer. Why no friends? Why would this unicorn tourist want to hang out with you? I don't want to be mean but you have to sell yourself better than this. Examine why no one wants to hang with you first and you might end up with a buddy. Sounds like a therapist is required (I recommend therapy it's great).
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Old 07-16-23, 12:34 PM
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First, I am sure you are not alone, so there are people out there who are looking for you. Classified sections of this website, CGOAB, and the Adventure Cycling magazine have all had classified ads asking/offering companions for a variety of rides.
The club idea seems good one as well.
One sort of hybrid idea is the SAG supported ride. I have seen ads for such a ride with rotating SAG driver.
Good luck.
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Old 08-04-23, 11:11 PM
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Cycle America

Cycle America is great for those on a budget. They carry your gear and you camp and eat at high schools and other budget places.

Feeling isolated sucks. Best of luck.
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Old 08-05-23, 02:16 AM
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I second the co-op suggestion. Every time I stop by the co-op to hunt for parts I end up spending half the time helping people and just talking about bikes.
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Old 08-05-23, 04:23 AM
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Locate the nearest popular cycle-touring route in your area.
Pack your bike, ride out there, set up camp.
Wait for unsuspecting rider(s) to set up camp near you.
Just so happen to pack up and leave when they do.
Join their tour for a few days.

Will we need new terminology for this?
Biketouring, bikepacking, and now.............bikestalking?
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Old 08-05-23, 06:22 AM
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In the interim - -
Find someone to go on a local walk/ hike once or twice a week.
That's much easier to do and does wonders for your outlook.

But, yes, it is really, really difficult to find like-minded touring buddies.
(Especially at our age, but let's not mention that.)
I can't tell you the number of time people have bailed a few days before the start of a tour.
I could usually see the telltale signs weeks before, so it was never that much of a surprise.

I tour self-sustained and low-budget.
A few years ago, I did tour with a friend who was a roadie and had never done a big tour.
We rarely got 10 or 15 miles in before noon - then rode past sundown to reach our destination.
I love the early morning time for riding - best time of the day.
So, even then it was not a great fit.

I think it is the nature of the beast.
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Old 08-05-23, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by headwind15
Any other ideas on how to find the ever elusive self sufficient bike tourist?
This may be a somewhat strange suggestion, but you could try finding a tour on AdventureCycling and don't sign up for it, but be out there on your own.

For example, local to me is an Ohio To Erie Trail supported tour from September 17-24th. You could set out on it with a similar itinerary and see who you meet along the way - maybe there are some like-minded touring veterans, or perhaps it's a new person who is in the process of getting bit by the touring bug.
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Old 08-05-23, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by a_d_a_m
This may be a somewhat strange suggestion, but you could try finding a tour on AdventureCycling and don't sign up for it, but be out there on your own.

For example, local to me is an Ohio To Erie Trail supported tour from September 17-24th. You could set out on it with a similar itinerary and see who you meet along the way - maybe there are some like-minded touring veterans, or perhaps it's a new person who is in the process of getting bit by the touring bug.
IDK. I spent one night each with 2 different ACA tours that I crossed paths with. Another stopped for lunch at a place I was camping. There wasn’t much mixing. The people seemed wary of strangers, especially because I was alone.

My first encounter was with ACA’s North Star tour, from Missoula to Alaska. Sprague Creek Campground in Glacier NP. I had done Logan Pass the year before, so the leader invited me to dinner and to talk about what they were going to face the next day. As I was wailing in line to fill my bowl I heard one tour participant ask the leader “What? Did that guy just bum dinner off of us?” (I had bought groceries before entering the park and had been fully prepared to cook my own meal of penne and broccoli.)

The second overnight encounter was with their Cycle Montana supported tour. We all camped at the same place. Again, there was little interest in what I was doing, although one woman told me I reminded her of Andre the Giant walking around in my black bibs with my jersey off. (It was warm out and I wanted to pitch my tent before showering so I could get a good spot.) The leader invited me to breakfast the next morning. Sitting at a communal table, I was largely ignored. I have to wonder if being self contained made some people insecure about being on a fully supported trip.
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Old 08-05-23, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
...one woman told me I reminded her of Andre the Giant walking around in my black bibs with my jersey off...
count your blessings.
she could'a said you reminded her of haystack calhoun.
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Old 08-05-23, 12:45 PM
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I have found that the hiker biker campsites on the Pacific Coast route had plenty of other bikers in them, talked to several of them. If you do a solo bike tour on a popular ACA route, you will see plenty of others.




This was a restaurant on Pacific Coast, this does not represent a group, it was just odd chance that so many different bikers were hungry for a breakfast at the same time.




And sometimes I have had some good conversations with RV campers when I am camping in an RV park while on a bike tour.

But of course, sometimes nobody is around. On this tour, there were several times I was the only person in the tent area. But this was not a common bike tour route, I was just wandering about on PEI.



Maybe this was why that campground was so deserted?




I have not stayed at a hostel since covid started, but before covid I found plenty of people in hostels to talk to. On my solo trips, I often stayed at hostels. You find out quickly who wants to chat and who does not. Nice thing about hostels is that you can be as social or anti-social as you want. But, I do not know if hostels are back to their pre-covid norm or not?

I usually try to schedule my tours in late spring or early summer, before the summer vacation period, thus the roads and campsites are a lot less crowded. If you went at peak season, you might find that there are too many people.
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Old 08-05-23, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
count your blessings.
she could'a said you reminded her of haystack calhoun.
I remember him.


I’d settle for Chief Jay Strongbow.
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