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Why Won't Nobody Tour With Me?

Old 01-02-11, 11:02 AM
  #1  
BigBlueToe
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Why Won't Nobody Tour With Me?

Okay, this is probably going to be a pointless thread full of whining. I didn't want to hijack the "Are Tourers Dinosaurs" thread, so I'm starting a new one.

I've loved bike touring since the mid-70's. In all that time I've only once been able to convince anyone to try it and come on a tour with me. Why is that?

I remember when I was considering touring for the first time myself, I worried that carrying a bunch of gear on my bike would make it hard to keep upright and impossible to climb hills. I remember vividly how pleasantly surprised I was to discover that neither of these was true. Sure, you have to be careful when starting, to maintain stability with a load, but once you're moving it's not much of an issue.

I also remember thinking that riding with a load wasn't that big of a deal. What a wonderful revelation. Sure, it was hard climbing hills with my old 10-speed, but with a granny gear and low gearing it's usually not a big deal.

Probably the biggest reason my friends won't consider going on a bike tour with me is that most of them don't ride bikes. (Duh.... gee, that would matter, wouldn't it?) Those who do mostly think a bike ride is a couple of miles on a bike path (with no hills.) I hear people voice concerns about riding on roads with traffic, and about how horrible it is to ride up hills.

I try and tell them that with proper use of gears you can achieve an effort level that you can sustain all day without being some superstrong superathlete. I tell them that hills are no problem if you have lots of gears and know how to use them. I tell them that traffic isn't that big of an issue if you have defensive skills and choose good routes (and maybe use a mirror.)

They don't listen.

And then there are people who wouldn't consider touring with me because they wouldn't consider camping. Have you noticed how few people camp in tents these days? Nowadays a lot of people think camping means bring a motorhome with a queen-size bed, couch, dinette, oven, microwave, etc. I'm not saying I wouldn't enjoy that, but I still enjoy sleeping in a tent, in a sleeping bag, on a sleeping pad, on the ground! I especially enjoy knowing that I'm hauling everything I need under my own power.

Whine, whine, whine, right?
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Old 01-02-11, 11:19 AM
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Amen.
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Old 01-02-11, 11:23 AM
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I's say you're the only sane one among you and your friends.
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Old 01-02-11, 11:24 AM
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Find some retired riders. They like to tour.

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...League-City-TX
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Old 01-02-11, 11:41 AM
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But it's hard to tour on bike and show off for girls! I know groups of racers/hardcore roadies who race bikes... to show of for girls. And they crack off these monster 200 mile rides... with a support car driven by girls. It's all about the chicks, dude.

Once apon a time I was one of these guys. I actually wore my team jersey to Discos.

And I'm OK with this, really. It's was fun.

The saddest riders, IMHO, are the over the hill roadie guys. We don't stay 24 after all. Start riding mixed groups with women and different types of riders, Mr. Assos. And trade that silly carbon racer for a touring bike!
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Old 01-02-11, 11:47 AM
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I hear what you are saying. I have the same issue. Everyone I talked to about touring would love to go along. In most cases its not they dont want to its because they cant just pick up and go the way I can.

I set out on these adventures alone and meet people along the way.
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Old 01-02-11, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
I've loved bike touring since the mid-70's. In all that time I've only once been able to convince anyone to try it and come on a tour with me. Why is that?
Cycle touring is a strange hobby. Requires motivation that 99.9% of people just don't have. Sort of akin to sky diving or any other esoteric sport. If you just look among your neighbors for a touring companion, the odds of finding someone are near zero.

The 3 people I've toured with are close to my age and were found through CG and WS. I don't know or have heard of anybody else in NE Texas who tours. Everybody I do know thinks what I do is really strange. No argument there.

I don't know about you, but I have no clue as to why, at 64, I became adicted to touring. Hadn't been on a bicycle in 40 years. I can tell you all the reasons I enjoy touring, but I can't explain the sudden motivation to take it up.
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Old 01-02-11, 12:03 PM
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Hills, traffic, tents...
That isn`t why. Obviously you need to solve the REAL issue before you`ll get any company, BBT.
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Old 01-02-11, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
've loved bike touring since the mid-70's. In all that time I've only once been able to convince anyone to try it and come on a tour with me. Why is that?
Because, since you like to throw mountains of stuff on your bike and ride insanely long distances (more than 2 miles) up mountains and across deserts, by definition you

1. are nuts
2. are a daredevil
3. have a deathwish

It seems it is the rare person who actually thinks this is a good idea. Most people who hear about my tours respond immediately with something like, "I could never do that," and from there go into the myriad misadventures one could have on a bike (getting hit, heart attack, mugged, chased by drug cartels with automatic weapons through the jungle, being kidnapped and held for ransom, eventually being decapitated, etc.). And yes, those last two were actually mentioned to me just prior to my last tour.

Oh well. Their loss.

By the way, my new gf, who has never been a cyclist, is excited about doing a tour with me this spring (her idea). The rarity of something like that is not lost on me. I think she's a keeper.
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Old 01-02-11, 12:24 PM
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I stay away from beano, I need the extra propulsion to get up hills!
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Old 01-02-11, 12:25 PM
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I have given up trying to seek out touring partners (with the exception of my son). I would inevitably make all the plans and arrangements only to have eveyone back out of the trip. I enjoy the solo aspect of touring, having the flexibility to stop and go when you please and establish your own pace. At days end, I've often find other tourers to connect with for conversation and dinner.
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Old 01-02-11, 12:59 PM
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Big Blue Toe, do you wash your feet fairly often? Blues Frog

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Old 01-02-11, 01:00 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
Okay, this is probably going to be a pointless thread full of whining. I didn't want to hijack the "Are Tourers Dinosaurs" thread, so I'm starting a new one.

I've loved bike touring since the mid-70's. In all that time I've only once been able to convince anyone to try it and come on a tour with me. Why is that?

I remember when I was considering touring for the first time myself, I worried that carrying a bunch of gear on my bike would make it hard to keep upright and impossible to climb hills. I remember vividly how pleasantly surprised I was to discover that neither of these was true. Sure, you have to be careful when starting, to maintain stability with a load, but once you're moving it's not much of an issue.

I also remember thinking that riding with a load wasn't that big of a deal. What a wonderful revelation. Sure, it was hard climbing hills with my old 10-speed, but with a granny gear and low gearing it's usually not a big deal.

Probably the biggest reason my friends won't consider going on a bike tour with me is that most of them don't ride bikes. (Duh.... gee, that would matter, wouldn't it?) Those who do mostly think a bike ride is a couple of miles on a bike path (with no hills.) I hear people voice concerns about riding on roads with traffic, and about how horrible it is to ride up hills.

I try and tell them that with proper use of gears you can achieve an effort level that you can sustain all day without being some superstrong superathlete. I tell them that hills are no problem if you have lots of gears and know how to use them. I tell them that traffic isn't that big of an issue if you have defensive skills and choose good routes (and maybe use a mirror.)

They don't listen.

And then there are people who wouldn't consider touring with me because they wouldn't consider camping. Have you noticed how few people camp in tents these days? Nowadays a lot of people think camping means bring a motorhome with a queen-size bed, couch, dinette, oven, microwave, etc. I'm not saying I wouldn't enjoy that, but I still enjoy sleeping in a tent, in a sleeping bag, on a sleeping pad, on the ground! I especially enjoy knowing that I'm hauling everything I need under my own power.

Whine, whine, whine, right?
I am in No.Cal, and would like to tour with a like minded cyclist. My 'official' retirement is 1/4/2011, so I will be free to go just about any time the weather cooperates (I am not much on wet weather tours). PM me if you would like to see if we could do some short ones to test compatibility.
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Old 01-02-11, 01:03 PM
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I have toured with at least 6 different people who I met by going on rides with one of two local bike clubs. I have toured multiple times with most of these friends. In fact, with 2 different individuals, we have now traveled together on multiple continents during multiple tours. Only one of these cyclists had gone on a multi-day tour before, and all but one of them have gone on to do other tours, sometimes with me, sometimes with others or alone. Obviously, if you meet someone in a local bike club, it will be someone who already enjoys cycling, so your odds of finding a touring partner improve exponentially.
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Old 01-02-11, 01:05 PM
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bigbluetoe don't dis spare touring solo must be fantastic,
the guy i usually tour with is as much fun as a nest of fleas embedded in your armpit .
the road group i go with on weekends are all talking of buying new touring bikes, i asked would they also be buying tent's if looks could kill i would be dead.
so stick to what you know ,i know i would tour solo if only ii could read a map properly huh.
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Old 01-02-11, 01:33 PM
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You Don't have to tour with anyone .. Just Go.. I met all sorts of other folks along the way..

Go to another country, then you can tell them about where you came from.. and you get to
get away from the same franchise box stores in every town ..
to make the new place like the other one..
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Old 01-02-11, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
Hills, traffic, tents...
That isn`t why. Obviously you need to solve the REAL issue before you`ll get any company, BBT.
I was going to guess hygiene issue.

I have a friend who we had to stop sharing tents with on backpacking trips years ago. He has some aversion to bathing, or else uses an odd soap that is scented with something resembling 48 hr of BO development.

Had another friend whose family operated a dairy. Always smelled like the dairy. But I love milk, so I accept the smell.

BTW, Beano just doesn't work for me to any great extent. Cooking the kidney beans an extra couple hours does help some.
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Old 01-02-11, 02:10 PM
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I've had success putting together Boy Scout tours, and gotten some parents to go along. But these are people comfortable with the camping and "adventure" part. Other than that, my experiences have been the same. In NA anyway, cyclotouring is a fringe part of a fringe group.
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Old 01-02-11, 02:29 PM
  #19  
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Be Careful what you wish for! Over the last forty years of touring I have tried to find bike touring companions - only one persisted over time [20 years] until their move overseas ended that connection. Most thought touring sounded like a great idea but once on the road the reality of daily chores rapidly dissolved their love of the idea of touring. I basically wasted my time trying to train these diletantes one after the other. Of course the only common element in all of this problem is ME! It may be that my own limitations prevented more success in finding touring companions easily and keeping them.

Then I stopped looking and touring became more enjoyable again. Today I am content to tour alone but frequently meet others on tour and join them for a few days that suits both parties. That is a s close to having touring companions as I get these days.
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Old 01-02-11, 03:18 PM
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A friend of mine has been riding for years. He did a few tours. He was always after me to get a bike and ride with him and then do some tours. My response always was I like to relax on my vacations.

One day I jumped on the scale and I was at 210lbs. Pretty sad for being from 170-180 lbs most of my adult life (even lighter when I was younger, at 6'1" I was a bean pole). I realized I had to do something.

I bought a bike and the next thing I know I am out on a tour. I fell in love and it is the only way I want to spend my vacations now.


Come out east this September. We can ride the GAP. Maybe try to get a few other BF members along.
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Old 01-02-11, 04:01 PM
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When your in Western Mass. let me know. I'll tour with you
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Old 01-02-11, 04:31 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by tacomee View Post
The saddest riders, IMHO, are the over the hill roadie guys.
I'd say the saddest riders are the ones who actually wore their team jersey to Discos and look back on it with fondness.
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Old 01-02-11, 04:49 PM
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I'm lucky that I have a part of the marriage contract that states: "Thou shalt ride with thy partner bicycles of all sorts and in particular indulge frequently in the activities of randonneuring and bicycle touring".

Having said that, Machka is not the only person with whom I have toured. I was a member of a tourng club, and we would organised trips of up to five nights with groups of five or six.

And a couple of buddies of mine and I would go on various trips, too... although they already were cyclists. Then there was my randonneuring ride partner for some years, Tim, and we would do silly things like ride to or from events and camp along the way as bike tourists. We rode back from a national bicycling conferene from Canberra to Melbourne that will live long in my memory.

So, the advice perhaps might be to track down a touring-specific bicycle club in your area.

I have been on one tour with my kids, but they never decided to revisit the idea.

Compatibility is one very significant issue, as alluded to in various posts. There does need to be a fair tolerance to each other, otherwise the little things do mount up into major issues over time.
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Old 01-02-11, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by arctos View Post
Be Careful what you wish for! Over the last forty years of touring I have tried to find bike touring companions - only one persisted over time [20 years] until their move overseas ended that connection. Most thought touring sounded like a great idea but once on the road the reality of daily chores rapidly dissolved their love of the idea of touring. I basically wasted my time trying to train these diletantes one after the other. Of course the only common element in all of this problem is ME! It may be that my own limitations prevented more success in finding touring companions easily and keeping them.

Then I stopped looking and touring became more enjoyable again. Today I am content to tour alone but frequently meet others on tour and join them for a few days that suits both parties. That is a s close to having touring companions as I get these days.

training, time off, same desires, same speed and endurance.

A lot like finding a wife/husband.

I suggest you get on a ACA route you will meet many touring people. Or find a cycling tour club.

It can be rather comical.
I see one dispute on the Trans AM trail.
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Old 01-02-11, 05:03 PM
  #25  
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I've never toured, always wanted to but have no clue as to the whats, where, and when. Maybe some day I'll just jump on my bike and go, guess I'll learn the whats, where, and when as I go. =0)
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