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The Growth Area in Touring

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The Growth Area in Touring

Old 06-19-11, 04:22 PM
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gerv 
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The Growth Area in Touring

Just saw this interview with Alex Phillips, the Oregon Bicycle and Water Recreation Coordinator, who make some nice observations about how to grow bicycle touring in her state.

Interesting that she sees the big growth in touring in weekend activity, Saturday and Sunday traffic.

Of course, I come from a state where the parks don't even have a hiker-biker policy for camping. I've even biked 50 miles to a state park and been turned away... which usually means having to find a ditch somewhere for an overnight.

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Old 06-19-11, 06:05 PM
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A hiker / biker policy should be a no brainer for all parks offering camping. A small area should be set aside for just that purpose. They really don't need to have all that much space set aside. It takes a cold park ranger to send someone away.


As for the topic, I have been wanting to get into the tour business for some time. I wish I had the guts to pull the trigger.
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Old 06-20-11, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
As for the topic, I have been wanting to get into the tour business for some time.
I hope if you do, you will have a rainy day refund policy ;-)
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Old 06-20-11, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR View Post
I hope if you do, you will have a rainy day refund policy ;-)
Of course! You get a full refund of 0% for all rainy days.
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Old 06-20-11, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post


As for the topic, I have been wanting to get into the tour business for some time. I wish I had the guts to pull the trigger.
I say "go for it". But be warned, if you have whiney clients like VT and me, you might not last long.

Actually after touring this spring with this one fine fellow who used to put on large commercial tours out east and listening to his stories, I'm not sure I would want to risk doing something I enjoy in order to make a business out of it.
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Old 06-20-11, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post

Of course, I come from a state where the parks don't even have a hiker-biker policy for camping. I've even biked 50 miles to a state park and been turned away... which usually means having to find a ditch somewhere for an overnight.
Ride north to Minnesota or east to WI.
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Old 06-20-11, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
I say "go for it". But be warned, if you have whiney clients like VT and me, you might not last long.

Actually after touring this spring with this one fine fellow who used to put on large commercial tours out east and listening to his stories, I'm not sure I would want to risk doing something I enjoy in order to make a business out of it.
Yeah I also wanted to take up sailing professionally but after talking to a few yacht captains, I kind of changed my mind.

But I would think touring is a bit different. I would think most bicycle tourers know what they are getting into as opposed to pampering a passenger on a sailboat that has more money than sense.
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Old 06-20-11, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
But I would think touring is a bit different. I would think most bicycle tourers know what they are getting into as opposed to pampering a passenger on a sailboat that has more money than sense.
Think again, my town is a big bike touring spot in the summer & fall, I see the trucks of VBT, Sojourn, Backroads in the park and the historic buildings all summer, with big fancy spreads for food, picking up folks along the road because they are tired (I stopped, and the tourers will say they are tired and waiting for a ride). I laugh, Because they talk about the mountains the roads are going over, and geez, they aren't even in the mountains yet! It's great entertainment, but you would need to carefully market your tours and be clear on expectations. My wife wanted to open a B&B when we moved here, but she tried working at one for a short time and decided dealing with the public at large is not worth it. Much better to have a Warmshower visitor!
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Old 06-20-11, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by kuan View Post
Ride north to Minnesota or east to WI.
I've done some of the Root River and wanted to head into WI this year... however, things aren't working out.

Iowa could also solve this problem and develop some more bicycle touring with some imagination and a little planning... as spinnaker point out.
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Old 06-21-11, 01:03 AM
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I just had to laugh at the Oregon Scenic Bikeways bit. They are generally unconnected and unreachable without driving. The system is also set up to miss the best places to ride in the state. It's primary focus is about trying to get people to spend some money, not on identifying and connecting pleasant places to ride, which would likely cause even more people to spend even more money. Criminy, this state just gave several million dollars to the Coos County Port so they could repair an abandoned rail in order to ship logs rather than create a safe rails-to-trails route from the southern Willamette Valley to the coast and along the coast. The state should have at least made the money conditional on permitting a rails-with-trails along the right-of-way. If Alex Phillips was worth her salt, she would have been involved in that fiasco.
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Old 06-21-11, 08:52 AM
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The video is from PathLessPedaled and Laura and Russ are doing a lot out there on biking and touring. Both for the short and longer tours.
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Old 06-21-11, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR View Post
Think again, my town is a big bike touring spot in the summer & fall, I see the trucks of VBT, Sojourn, Backroads in the park and the historic buildings all summer, with big fancy spreads for food, picking up folks along the road because they are tired (I stopped, and the tourers will say they are tired and waiting for a ride). I laugh, Because they talk about the mountains the roads are going over, and geez, they aren't even in the mountains yet! It's great entertainment, but you would need to carefully market your tours and be clear on expectations. My wife wanted to open a B&B when we moved here, but she tried working at one for a short time and decided dealing with the public at large is not worth it. Much better to have a Warmshower visitor!
Reminds me of the time I ran into a Backroads tour at the beginning of the climb east to Togwotee Pass in Wyoming, which is close to 10,000' in elevation. The participants were coming down the west slope and amassing at a cafe/store complex. I wanted to get some info. about the climb I was about to do but no one would talk to me. I finally got someone to say that they had just "come down some big hill." Later I was able to ascertain that they had been shuttled in the van and the entire ride that day was down hill. The participants hung around relaxing while the leaders put the bikes on the roofs of the vans in preparation for shuttling to Jackson. Some of them looked exhausted.
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