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Am I the youngest on here?/How old is everyone who tours?

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Am I the youngest on here?/How old is everyone who tours?

Old 04-06-09, 11:48 AM
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Am I the youngest on here?/How old is everyone who tours?

Hello all, I am 20 years old and have spent a lot of time reading on bf and get the sense that everyone on here is forty or older sometimes. Just completed a week long tour and didnt run into anyone other rider younger than 30. Just curious as to how old the tourists are on this forum.
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Old 04-06-09, 12:03 PM
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I'm 45. I've been an avid cycle tourist for about 10 years. I wish I'd been more into it when I was in my 20's and early 30's, instead of the lesser healthy lifestyle that I lived during that time.
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Old 04-06-09, 12:08 PM
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I'm older than Methuselah.

Unfortunately, you have a point there.
Bike touring just may not have the "radness" for the younger generation.

I have noticed a similar pattern out on Clear Creek here in Wyoming.
This creek has hundreds of acres of open public land - trees, trails, etc.
When I was a kid, I would have been out there with all my friends.
Now I rarely see anyone - and when I do they are 40+.

Hey, I'm on my computer right now and am just as addicted as the next person -
But something really has changed.
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Old 04-06-09, 12:14 PM
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Jamawani is right, and it's been noticed and documented. National Park visitation is aging quickly. I'm 52. Growing up, we used our brand new drivers' licenses to camp and hike all over the place. Backpacking was a religion for us, and we worshipped at the Church of the Whirling Spokes every Sunday morning at 7 a.m. -- hangovers or no.

We've talked about it around the park service, and it's still a source of discussion. How do we get people away from their sedentary lives and out getting sweaty and doing something real?
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Old 04-06-09, 12:16 PM
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I am 28, and have been into touring for about 2 years. If only I had gotten more into it when I was younger and still in college, I would have had a lot more time to tour (but unfortunately less money to do so). Most of the people I meet at campgrounds are a little older, some retired, but I've also met quite a few people around my age.
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Old 04-06-09, 12:18 PM
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I'm also 20 and I've definately noticed the same thing. Even with the cycle touring club day rides at weekends, the leader is usually pushing 50 and the youngest person I've ever seen on one- me aside- was 32.

My friends are great- they humour me with my excessive bicycle-excitement- but they sure as heck wouldn't go touring as a holiday.

I'm not sure why- one friend in particular who I've done multiple day hiking trips with just isn't interested in touring, even though from my point of view, it seems right up his street.
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Old 04-06-09, 12:28 PM
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I'm 40m, and started touring when I was 38.
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Old 04-06-09, 12:30 PM
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Just an observation based on no scientific data. There are many, many exceptions, but it seems to me that many bike tourists fall into one of two categories: (1) The just-out-of-college kid who tours because he isn't tied down by numerous life's commitments yet, and (2) The past-middle-age tourist who has just now outgrown his commitments (i.e., kids are now grown) and has accumulted some disposable income. You see fewer tourists in their 30s and early 40s because so many of those people have young children at home.
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Old 04-06-09, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson
Just an observation based on no scientific data. There are many, many exceptions, but it seems to me that many bike tourists fall into one of two categories: (1) The just-out-of-college kid who tours because he isn't tied down by numerous life's commitments yet, and (2) The past-middle-age tourist who has just now outgrown his commitments (i.e., kids are now grown) and has accumulted some disposable income. You see fewer tourists in their 30s and early 40s because so many of those people have young children at home.
You have struck a cord with me. At age 28 I was about to take my first tour. This was soon out of college in 1978. My wife was pregnant and we decided baby classes was more important.

Now, in 2009 I am 59, retired and leaving on my first short tour in a few weeks.
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Old 04-06-09, 01:06 PM
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I am 21, soon to be the fresh-outta-college type. I've done one larger tour (down the NC Outter Banks) last year but am planning some even larger ones (West Coast in September) for when I am totally plan-less. cool.
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Old 04-06-09, 01:19 PM
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hey, I'm 21, still in school. I finished my first solo tour(boston-ny) last month as my spring break activity. Most people our age here in Boston range from class commuters to fixsters to roadies. I don't know anyone else my age here into cycling who solo tours. Everyone thought I was nuts, or doing it just to impress (how telling of our generation), even my roadie friends (older than I) have only ever done supported tours. The only other friend I knew who toured did a fully supported summer group tour when he was 14 from NY to Toronto. I've always been a huge indoors computer nerd but since I've got into cycling, and especially now touring, I felt like I have been freed from my allegorical cave. Which begs the question, with today's state of internet and explosion of mass information, to what extent are we narrowing/expanding our minds?

edit: I just remembered a few weeks ago I met a friend's high school friend who was visiting here in Boston-He was 20 and taking a year off from school to bum around. He was about to embark on his first solo tour from Missouri to Utah (where he will work as a counsulor for an outdoors summer camp). One day I noticed Cannondale T800 hanging out in the living room of my friend's apartment that he was staying at and knew I had to find out whose it was. In fact, he should be leaving sometime this week. That makes one other person I've met so far as young as I am who tours.

jfry, whered you tour from/to?

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Old 04-06-09, 01:23 PM
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I am 43 now but started riding centuries and doubles when I was 15 and just starting high school. I was typically the youngest guy by far on our rides...
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Old 04-06-09, 01:35 PM
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You might be young here on the board but not for touring in general. I'm 42 now but have been bike touring off and on for 23 years. I did my first couple of tours from Seattle to Portland, OR and Astoria, OR to Seattle and back when I was 19. Back in high school several of my friends did the STP event every year.

Ten years ago I started to do a small tour every year. In the last five years I've gotten more serious and now go on one longer and one shorter tour yearly. This year I'm planing on multiple tours throughout the summer and hope to tour across the country all of next summer. Maybe at some point I'll be on tour so much that going home will the once a year activity ;-)
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Old 04-06-09, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by twodeadpoets
You might be young here on the board but not for touring in general. I'm 42 now but have been bike touring off and on for 23 years. I did my first couple of tours from Seattle to Portland, OR and Astoria, OR to Seattle and back when I was 19. Back in high school several of my friends did the STP event every year.
Maybe so, but what about today? Are less young people now touring than 20 years ago?
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Old 04-06-09, 01:44 PM
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I'm 28 but I'm not sure if I count as a tourist yet since I've only been on weekend trips. I think the reason people in their 20s tend to avoid touring is that it takes up a lot of your time at a point in life when most people are trying to "make their fortune". I met one guy who rode his bike all across Southeast Asia in his early twenties though. And I've heard many accounts of people touring when they get out of college in order to take a break from school.
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Old 04-06-09, 01:48 PM
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I'm just like a colt - 45, that is.
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Old 04-06-09, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by paxtonm
discussion. How do we get people away from their sedentary lives and out getting sweaty and doing something real?
Start by having the NPS stop treating their resources as if they're meant to be looked at from behind glass. Geocaching would be a prime example to use.

-R
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Old 04-06-09, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by thehum
Maybe so, but what about today? Are less young people now touring than 20 years ago?
I think this would be hard to gauge as my guess is that most younger tourers don't spend as much time on a discussion board such as BikeForums as older tourers do making it seem like an older biker's activity... but that's just an assumption.
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Old 04-06-09, 02:06 PM
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Typically younger people don't have desk jobs that they sit at all day allowing them to cruise forums.
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Old 04-06-09, 02:24 PM
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I am 21 and am new to touring, but am looking for a touring partner for the summer for long trips... I want to dive in and go for as long as i can please let me know if anyone is interested. I live in Columbus, Ohio
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Old 04-06-09, 02:24 PM
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I am 57. Lots of twenty somethings tour, especially the ones who want an after college adventure. My two companions on the TA were fresh out of college and we met a fair number of others in a similar situation crossing the US. We also met quite a few mother-daughter or father-son teams with high school aged kids.

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Old 04-06-09, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by megam
I am 21 and am new to touring, but am looking for a touring partner for the summer for long trips... I want to dive in and go for as long as i can please let me know if anyone is interested. I live in Columbus, Ohio
I'm 23 from IL and I'm doing a tour to LA in mid June if you're interested in going that far
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Old 04-06-09, 03:06 PM
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I'm 24 and I've done a couple of tours. I rarely came across bike tourers my age, however when I stayed in hostel's the majority of backpacker's were usually younger than me.

Touring is preventing me from getting a 'real' job for the time being. My current employer doesn't bat an eyelid when I ask for 3 months off every summer.
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Old 04-06-09, 03:48 PM
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Im 20 as well, Ive only gone on short tours, but as soon as I get backfrom Iraq, i have ambitions for a few trips. A couple solo, simply because my other touring friends are busy throughout the year.
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Old 04-06-09, 04:05 PM
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it's an illusion. there are just as many young tourers now as there ever was, if not more. it's just that so many more older folks are taking it up or continuing to do it that we've skewed the perception

i did my first tour at 17. i still do a tour now and then in my mid-50s. if you to look past all the old geezers like me to realize there are a lot of young folks acquiring the taste for the subtle agony/pleasure of a bike tour.
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