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How can you tour?

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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.
View Poll Results: What is your touring status?
I am single so I can do whatever I want.
37
57.81%
I am married/invloved and my signifigant other tours with me.
11
17.19%
I am married/involved and my signifigant other loves it when I leave for extended periods of time.
8
12.50%
I am married/involved so I cannot tour because my signifigant other thinks it's stupid.
2
3.13%
OTHER....Please post your situation.
6
9.38%
Voters: 64. You may not vote on this poll

How can you tour?

Old 12-25-05, 01:58 PM
  #1  
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You like to tour on your bike. So you do. How?

I was just wondering what everyone's personal life is like that tours. It seems to me that for anyone to go on any kind of extended tour by themselves, they would have to be single. I could very well be wrong though.

Personally, I have a girlfriend who is very good to me, but I don't think she would take to well to me using all my vacation days on a month long tour in some foreign land. 2 weeks.... most likely not either.

Anyone else experiencing this? Have a good remedy (becoming single is not a "good" remedy) for this?

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Last edited by BLM; 12-25-05 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 12-25-05, 02:12 PM
  #2  
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Originally Posted by BLM
You like to tour on your bike. So you do. How?
Alot of people i meet touring are in the education field and have summers off. Some are between jobs and touring during that time. I imagine it must be tough and frustrating to tour if ya have a family and a 24-7 job.

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Old 12-25-05, 02:52 PM
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I was married to a man who did not cycle, and in fact who hated any sort of exercise. I did ONE, very short 4-day tour while we were married. He drove the van and I cycled down the Icefield Parkway from Jasper to Banff ... and he complained non-stop about how boring and tedious the whole thing was.

4 years later he and I separated (and were subsequently divorced), and in the past 6 years I've done all sorts of travelling and touring!! So "becoming single" is definitely an option!!

However, here's another option:

I'm a Randonneur and I travel to other countries for my events, and I usually combine those trips with touring ... which works great for me. But I am friends with many other Randonneurs, most of whom have spouses and families. The biggest Randonneuring event is the Paris-Brest-Paris in France the runs every 4 years. In talking to my Randonneuring friends, they tell me their spouses and families are just as excited and supportive of them qualifying for the PBP and going to France as they are ...... because the spouses and families get a trip to Europe out of the deal!!

While the Randonneurs are off cycling, the spouses and families are touring Paris, or taking a train around France. One guy's wife and son headed up to Scotland to look at castles and things, and he joined them there when the event was done.

So, it might be an option if you wanted to cycle for a few weeks through Europe, or wherever, to bring your girlfriend along, give her the Eurorail pass that allows her to board and disembark wherever she likes. Provide her with tourist information stuff and maps and things ... and let her tour by train (or other method of transportation) while you tour by bicycle.

You could meet up in the evenings, or some of the evenings, and you'll take rest days now and then, so on those evenings and days you can tour by foot, or train, or whatever, with her.
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Old 12-25-05, 04:31 PM
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MY sporting interests and volunteer work helping others have ALWAYS become an issue in ALL of my relationships- still looking for a person that shares my joy of the wonderous world of the outdoors. Where do I like to spend New Year's Eve? Ski camping on some mountain somewhere. And where do I like to spend 4th of July? Well, out of town doing something woodsy, of course!

Really, just looking for another dirtbag of the opposite sex, who doesn't need a lot of money and likes sleeping outside on vacations and most weekends out in the wilderness.

Of course, this is an unrealistic expectation, all the women I've dated in the last 15 years have all tried to pull me back from my outdoor pursuits, even the 'serious' outdoorsy types.

This is why I'm still single. When the question comes up (and it always does), "what's more important, me, or the skis, bikes, kayaks, etc?" I have to be honest with them....its my love for the outdoors first and foremost. I've resigned myself to flying single unless I find a similar minded buddy.
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Old 12-25-05, 05:40 PM
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I often make a humorous reference to a note that a girlfriend once left pinned to my front door that said " I hope your f---ing bicycle keeps you warm at night".
A couple years later the signifigance of that goodbye note dawned on me . I figured out that for a relationship to endure there had to be balance. It took a few more years , a few more dear john notes, emails, and a rock through my windshield to find someone who shared or at least accepted that view point.
My wife and I have been together 17 years There was a period of several years where being a dad superceded my desires to wander around at will on my bicycle. But during that time my wife and I recognized that we both needed some space to ourselves occasionally so I got a week or two to go touring while she stayed home and in return she got to do "girl" trips with her girlfriends while I stayed home.
Kid is in college now and I have the opportunity to tour more, but I am pretty content with taking a couple of two week tours every year now instead of month long or longer tours. It isn't the quanity, it is the quality
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Old 12-25-05, 05:50 PM
  #6  
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Single. Not really looking to get hitched.

I guess bike touring could be seen as an extension of my selfishness, but it's so good for my soul that it exposes some of the shades of gray in being selfish as a derogatory trait.

I'm not even sure I'd want a lady traveling partner because I value being able to make all the decisions on a tour about what I'm going to do, eat, drink, and at what pace, including literally pounding down a few on occasion in the deep wilderness and chortling back at the deer.



Originally Posted by velonomad
I often make a humorous reference to a note that a girlfriend once left pinned to my front door that said " I hope your f---ing bicycle keeps you warm at night".
This is wonderful, btw.
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Old 12-25-05, 07:53 PM
  #7  
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It's my job that keeps me from touring more not my spouse - we did an extended 9 day tour on a tandem last year and I bought even a better touring tandem for this year's adventure and we did backpacking together over the summer . I head to Alaska for fly fishing she heads to Europe for her adventures. It works to have time away from each other at least for us. It probably helped to have one of my kids be a bike racer for a awhile. Our disagreement are more about a new bike I am always dreaming about or shopping for. As a fyi, almost 28 years ago our honeymoon was two weeks camping on the ground in various parts of Montana. We both agree how can you stay young without a little adventure and dreams in your lives. The secret is how much time to spend together and apart.
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Old 12-25-05, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
MY sporting interests and volunteer work helping others have ALWAYS become an issue in ALL of my relationships- still looking for a person that shares my joy of the wonderous world of the outdoors. Where do I like to spend New Year's Eve? Ski camping on some mountain somewhere. And where do I like to spend 4th of July? Well, out of town doing something woodsy, of course!

Really, just looking for another dirtbag of the opposite sex, who doesn't need a lot of money and likes sleeping outside on vacations and most weekends out in the wilderness.

Of course, this is an unrealistic expectation, all the women I've dated in the last 15 years have all tried to pull me back from my outdoor pursuits, even the 'serious' outdoorsy types.

This is why I'm still single. When the question comes up (and it always does), "what's more important, me, or the skis, bikes, kayaks, etc?" I have to be honest with them....its my love for the outdoors first and foremost. I've resigned myself to flying single unless I find a similar minded buddy.
Trust me buddy, she's out there someplace. I went through 2 wives and countless girlfriends before I found my current GF this year. We share so many of the same interests and passions that we could be two sides of the same coin. You'll find her (or she'll find you, as in my case), most likely when you least expect it and ain't even looking.
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Old 12-25-05, 08:24 PM
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My situation is clossest to married but she likes it when I leave. In reality she thought it would be a good thing for me, and didn't mind that I went off for a month, and left her with the kids. She had toured on her own, so she thinks it's great fun. Saint basically. I missed the family, but there is so much to do while touring, one doesn't have a lot of time to think about it.
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Old 12-25-05, 08:57 PM
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Past few years I haven't been able to tour as much as I want. The "problem" is basically we have pre-teen kids and the wife is a physician so it is difficult for her to take off to be with the kids and/or travel. Additionally, health problems (had a liver transplant last March) have limited the amount of time I can tour especially since I have blood work done once or twice a week.

Plan to go on a month or so tour next summer where it is a series of loops that the kids join me on. Idea is to have a base camp and do loops out of there. After a few days, drive the RV and move down the road to the next camp/region and repeat. The wife would take off a couple of weeks, not necessarily in a row, and fly out to join us.

Not ideal, but until the kids want to actually ride with the old man, it is the best.
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Old 12-26-05, 06:13 AM
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It may be a question of meeting one's own needs in order to maintain the relationship. I think it's about balance in life and if you don't get the things that you need in order for you to feel fulfilled the it's unlikely that you will be in a position to meet the needs of your partner. This is not about being selfish but just about understanding what you require to function properly and in my case that's touring and all that this entails.
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Old 12-26-05, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by onbike 1939
It may be a question of meeting one's own needs in order to maintain the relationship. I think it's about balance in life and if you don't get the things that you need in order for you to feel fulfilled the it's unlikely that you will be in a position to meet the needs of your partner. This is not about being selfish but just about understanding what you require to function properly and in my case that's touring and all that this entails.

Did you rehearse before telling her this one?

I think I tried something similar before getting fired by my, now ex-wife.

No disrespect meant, I completely agree with what you said!
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Old 12-26-05, 08:12 AM
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No kidding. Can I use flash cards? Was there a tele-prompter that you read that off of?

That is the way I feel about things too. But, I am not so sure she would feel the same way. I would say exactly that, and I am sure she would hear:

I need to go to fulfill my needs (I need to get away from you. You are unfulfilling.)

I am not being selfish, but I need to be happy in order to make you happy. (Me, Me, Me, Me. I will buy you a souvenir if I can stop thinking of myself for 30 seconds.)

The thing is, I would rather she go with me. It is just getting here to accept the fact that it would be an adventure, and therefore fun.
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Old 12-27-05, 01:12 PM
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livin the free and single life, to do what i want when i want on a whim its truly the life. relationships are overrated.

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Old 12-27-05, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by velonomad
I often make a humorous reference to a note that a girlfriend once left pinned to my front door that said " I hope your f---ing bicycle keeps you warm at night".
I would have told her that a $3 blanket will keep me warm at night. Her purpose was completely different.
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Old 12-27-05, 01:33 PM
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guess i am quite lucky

i have a job that gives me plenty of time off ... 2 days 2 nights 4 off shiftwork pattern, plus 20 days rostered leave every 5 months or so [often not at the best times for touring but you can try to swap them]
wife likes me going off touring, then she can have some peace and i always bring back jewellery ... on the flip side, she is into crafts and i agreed to let her have a craft store, a craft room and trips to crafting things ... so i guess it evens out, except that she buys jewellery for herself on these crafting things ...
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Old 12-27-05, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
I would have told her that a $3 blanket will keep me warm at night. Her purpose was completely different.
SNAP! XD

Fortunately, I got single again prior to getting married to any of my past ex's. I'm still holding out for someone who has a life of their own but would be open to going touring with me. Happily single!

C.
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Old 12-27-05, 02:07 PM
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I'm single, again...

Was married for seven years. My wife was allergic to any source of exercise. I did travel a lot to Asia (mostly Nepal, India and Tibet) for trekking and climbing, usually for 2-3 months. My third trip was a final straw and we decided to separate. It was a hurtful decision, at the time, but in hindsight the only possible one. The funniest thing she ever told me then was that at least I should have been unfaithful to her with another woman, rather than mountains, because none of her friends believed her that I was going there for climbing only... So much for mutual trust and understanding... ... But I guess, if your partner doesn't understand the 'pull' of outdoors, nature, exercise and independent travel, it'll be always hard to trust...

Now, I have no qualms and worries to plan my journeys. Actually, I'm in the middle of preparation for a biking trip of my life (with some climbing/trekking involved too ). I call it: "Adventure in the Himalayas: Solo MTB-ing on the Roof of the World" (India, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal). It will be more or less a self-supported partial circumnavigation of the Himalayas, connecting many places I have visited before (though not on a bike)... In short, I'm planing to start in New Delhi, up to Ladakh, down through Kashmir, back up the KKH to Kashgar, then through Tibet via Kailash & Everest North BC, down to Nepal and back to Delhi...

Can't wait to hit the road... I know it'll be an experience of a 'lifetime', with its ups and downs. At least, until I come up with another, even 'crazier' (how some of my friends like to call it), trips to regions less travelled, after I come back from this one.
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Old 12-27-05, 10:51 PM
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I read my spouse some of you "guys" responses and she laughed! I am retireing in two years at the ripe old age of 53 and my first retirement goal is solo across America with the full support of my spouse of 28 years. Relationships take work and comittment and compromise - and I won't say it's easy. It seems like alot of you just give up to easily. All this dribble about needing to be single to tour is horse pucky. I for one love to tour with my spouse if I am lucky enough - sharing the moment of a sunset or a cold night in a tent is much better with two in my opinion. I have two new friends who as a couple went from the Artic Circle to Key West Florida last year and I know they share my opinion as well.
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Old 12-27-05, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by vosyer
......my first retirement goal is solo across America with the full support of my spouse of 28 years..... .
28 years is that how long you been married? or is that her age? I mean if she is 28 and you are already two years into your AARP card I can understand why you might need the excercise
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Old 12-28-05, 10:32 AM
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I'm a professional musician and I tour with a band (in a van or bus) around six months out of the year. As soon as I get home I'm ready to get on my bike and go out and REALLY see the countryside.

Maybe I should convince them that it's time to tour on bikes...
That will never happen. Musicians are lazy.
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Old 12-28-05, 12:40 PM
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I am an alien from the planet Glybxtz and bicycle to communicate with the home galaxy.
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Old 12-28-05, 03:56 PM
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My wife and I have that strange sort of relationship where we give each other heaps of space to do what we want (within reason!). So when I suggested going off for 2 months to cycle across the US after years of being stuck in the corporate ratrace she was supportive.... although I am still paying back the favors...
Of course I tried to encourage her to come along as well....
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Old 12-29-05, 02:33 AM
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VeloNomad,

She is my wife of 28 years and 50 - we wil do a double Century together this year and 3000 miles together not bad for an old lady who didn't do much riding until she was 47.
And yes I will get by AARP card this - even old farts can take on young snots on a tour that is the beauty of touring, old experienced legs crank out miles just like young ones.
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Old 12-29-05, 09:58 AM
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Single. Work keeps me from doing long tours. We're often short-staffed so I can't leave too long but also because the bills keep coming in so if I leave, I'm not working to pay them! Since I tour in the fall when other have already taken their vacation, I can manage to take 3 weeks off. Maybe I could take 1 month with good planning (not my specialty) and a bit of luck. I have two 2-month tour in mind and I'm working on being less dependant on my current job. Good side is I have many 4 day breaks to do short trips.
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