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touring vs backpacking

Old 02-05-10, 12:15 AM
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touring vs backpacking

i was thinking of going backpacking around europe (i live in canada) then i started to think about bike touring but there is one thing i dont get.
where do you put your bike at night? i wouldnt want my bike to get stolen.
with a backpack you can carry your belongings inside with you.
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Old 02-05-10, 01:14 AM
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The bicycle gets locked to the picnic table, tree, fence or whatever is handy outside the tent.
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Old 02-05-10, 01:43 AM
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Just use common sense, keep your bike locked anytime it's out of your sight for more than a moment. If you decide to stay in larger cities, you could just store your bike somewhere safe such as a hostel/hotel room and stick to exploring the cities by foot or unloaded bike.

If you haven't bike toured before, try some overnight practice trips in your own area to prepare yourself for the main trip, and to make sure you don't hate cycle touring.

(though it's hard to imagine not liking cycle touring through Europe )
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Old 02-05-10, 05:39 AM
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Hotel owners will often provide a secluded or secure place to lock up you bike if you ask. I've stored my bike in storage rooms, underground garages, and behind the hotel hidden away from view. If you're camping you can simply lock it up near your tent.
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Old 02-05-10, 06:09 AM
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I generally book my accommodation in advance using B & Bs and small local hotels. I always ask in advance if they can accommodate a bike, if they cannot I just do not go there.

In Europe along the major routes there are bike hotels catering specifically to those bicycle touring, and most hotels, bed and breakfasts are used to cyclists and have a specific lock up room. I never lock my bike outside in a public area.

In North America (if I am not camping) I either put my bike in my room or in the hotel baggage room. Again I ask prior to arriving. I also live in Canada.

I have never had a problem in ten years of bicycle touring.
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Old 02-05-10, 03:59 PM
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Many hostels will have an indoor location where you can store your bike. Especially if you have a folding bike.

When I'm touring in urban areas I use my U-lock and have locking skewers for the wheels. Switching seat post allen bolts to torx bolts is also a good idea. I also tour with a backpacking pack instead of panniers so I just take my stuff with me on my back whenever I leave the bike alone in a city. I spent years commuting in an urban environment so it's all second nature.
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Old 02-06-10, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by chico1st
with a backpack you can carry your belongings inside with you.
Actually in the states, there are quite a few stores and restaurants that won't allow backpacks in them. Just search any Appalachian Trail forum about stolen backpacks and you'll see that they can get stolen also. I wouldn't use fear of something getting stolen as a criteria on backpacking vs bicycling decision. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Best wishes.
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Old 02-06-10, 04:28 AM
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On the Ap. trail those packs can be like another person, light packs are easily carried into most places, people just like their stuff. I wheel my bike into a lot of stores and people don't tend to object when going around the super market or the home depot. Many places I bike tour are not populated by people that want my bike. maybe if it was a tractor.
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Old 02-07-10, 02:18 PM
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Ditto to all of that. You can just lock your bike up at night. If you are staying in a hostel, you can remove panniers and other gear from the bike and take it inside with you. Sure, u-locks can be broken, and bikes can get stolen, on occasion. But you can also get mugged when backpacking. Neither mode of travel is entirely safe, and I don't think either is inherently safer than the other. It's just a matter of personal preference.
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Old 02-11-10, 07:14 AM
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Hi,

this isn't a problem. Either there is a secure storage room or your are in the countryside there nothing happened. Just take your bike into your room the receptionist will find a secure place for it :-). I could had also secure rooms in Vancouver (backpacker hostel) and Calgary (normal hotel). Only in Banff it has to stay outside in the courtyard of the backpacker hostel.

Gruß
Thomas
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