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Where to find touring partners?

Old 03-19-14, 05:02 PM
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Where to find touring partners?

I am cyclist who is looking for a touring partner. This year I want to do GAP and C &O Canal. In the past I have done "credit card touring", but to do this I want to camp and prepare my own meals. It would be easier with someone else to help carry camping and cooking gear. My problem is that I have a hard time meeting sutible people. At my bike club I only seem to meet people who must do 100 miles a day with no stops for points of interest along the way. When I talk to my non-biking camping friends they get concerned about a 400 mile trip. Is there someplace on-line to meet other touring cyclists?
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Old 03-19-14, 05:12 PM
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Best place is friends or family and it is hard enough riding with them. Not sure If I would want to tour long term with strangers.

But I am always up for getting people started on the GAP. I could ride with you for a day or two if you wanted company. All assuming our schedules worked out.

Either way I am always happy to help out BF members when they come into town. Even if it is just a place to stay. Not sure where I will be between now and then as I am looking for a new home but I'll be around Pittsburgh somewhere.

Just PM me with details.

P.S. One thing I did do a while back was to organize a BF GAP / C&O tour. There were enough folks along that you could swap off an on riding with people. Seemed to work out fairly well, so putting together a group ride might be an idea.
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Old 03-19-14, 05:23 PM
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this question comes up sometimes, I would suggest trying a trip on your own partly to see if you like bike touring, plus then you can go at your own pace and not feel like you have to follow the pace or mood of someone else.
As for the idea of sharing equipment, I'd recommend not, this way you have your own setup if you ever ride with someone else and decide for whatever reason to be on your own, just makes things simpler.

Its not easy finding someone to bike tour with, try it on your own and see how it goes, plus then you will have a better idea of what works and doesnt for you (distances, places to eat, how much to spend on food, lodgings, whatever)
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Old 03-19-14, 05:28 PM
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Marry them ..
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Old 03-19-14, 07:06 PM
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Try: crazyguyonabike
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Old 03-19-14, 07:44 PM
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Make sure touring is your 'thing' with a loaded overnighter or two. If that works out ok, and you still think you want a riding partner, be aware that tolerance of the idiosyncrasies of others is paramount for a successful tour. BTW, you can post for a partner in the 'classified' section of CGOAB.

Forget the idea of sharing gear unless with a romantic interest. If your pack weighs more than 30 lbs, you're toting too much. Cooking duties can be often be negotiated and shared, if desired.

Consensus is the key to a successful tour with a partner.

Last edited by Cyclebum; 03-20-14 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 03-19-14, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum
Forget the idea of sharing gear unless with a romantic interest. If your pack weighs more than 30 lbs, you're toting too much. Cooking duties can be often be negotiated and shared, if desired.
+1. Unless your committed to riding hip-to-hip, there is always the potential that you'll be separated for a night.
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Old 03-19-14, 08:28 PM
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I have toured with friends and that generally works out great but trying to tour with folks you don't know is always hard. I would love to tour with other folks and meet new people but I would want to ride with them for a few test rides before going on a long adventure and really take a long time to plan things out.

If you don't gel online or in the test rides it won't work out on tour for sure and you don't want to split ways. You kind of need to know your partner well and they need to know you well before hand.
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Old 03-20-14, 03:44 PM
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One thing I forgot to mention. If you are riding along a popular route like the GAP or the Pacific Coast, you are pretty certain to run across someone you connect with and then have the option of riding together for as long as you desire.
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Old 03-20-14, 04:21 PM
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Likewise summer on the Oregon Coast route ..
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Old 03-20-14, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
If you are riding along a popular route like the GAP or the Pacific Coast, you are pretty certain to run across someone you connect with and then have the option of riding together for as long as you desire.
+1. This has happened to me several times. Usually ride together for a couple of days or so. There is no commitment so there can't be any hurt feelings.
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Old 03-21-14, 04:25 AM
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Place an ad on CGOAB, Warmshowers.org and Adventurecycling.org, for Companions Wanted with details of the ride (date, place, duration, style, etc) and your own info (age, experience, etc) and I am sure you will receive replies. CGOAB is the best online place for cycle touring.

I want to do some weekend, long weekend and longer touring this Summer and may be the PC in fall. I live in CNJ. However, I don't like bike trails - too monotonous. Another friend who did the GAP confirmed that, too.

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Old 03-21-14, 10:01 AM
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I've encountered the same difficulties. I ride with a group on the weekends, but have found virtually no interest in loaded touring among most recreational riders. A few of my friends are open to the idea of supported or credit-card touring, so I take what I can get. Several of my friends and I are planning to ride the GAP-C&O Canal trails from Pittsburgh to DC in June. We are staying in hotels and inns along the way. I would have been willing to camp but nobody else was interested in that.

I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that if I do any more loaded touring it will be solo. I like riding with others, but very few cyclists have the interest (or equipment needed) for loaded touring.

Another option for touring is to participate in various supported cross-state tours across the US. I have ridden in Cycle NC, Bike VA, GOBA (Ohio), BRAG (Georgia), TRIRI (Indiana) and POWWOW (Wisconsin). Most of these supported tours are relatively inexpensive, and you can choose between camping out or staying in hotels along the way. The tour organizers carry your gear, so you are free to just enjoy the riding. If you absolutely insist on carrying your own gear, there would be nothing stopping you from doing so, altho you would be paying for a benefit that you wouldn't be using.
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Old 03-21-14, 11:55 AM
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If you pick a relatively popular route, you'll find somebody to ride with. I won't worry about it too much, touring can be pretty social at times. I went alone down the Pacific Coast last year and road with somebody new just about every day.
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Old 03-21-14, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SparkyGA
If you pick a relatively popular route, you'll find somebody to ride with. I won't worry about it too much, touring can be pretty social at times. I went alone down the Pacific Coast last year and road with somebody new just about every day.
IMO that works way better than committing to riding with a stranger. I rode the southern tier with a guy I met online and made it clear that I wanted to be free to go it alone at any point. While not my first choice of touring styles, it was OK. I think that it helped and we parted ways for sections when he had mechanical problems and had to hitchhike to a bike shop or to wait for parts. We did wind up back together each time, sometimes after being separated for a few days. It was fine, but would have sucked if I were committed to waiting for him each time he had a mechanical issue. I enjoyed the time we were separated and the time we rode together.

On the Pacific Coast I camped with the same group a lot but rode alone each day. They were just folks that I met in camp, but we had a great time together. That worked out really well. Folks fell out of the group and others joined it. Much better than being stuck with having to be on someone else's schedule.

I also have toured with my daughter and on the Trans America with her and her college room mate. That was nice and way better than riding with a stranger.

I'd advise riding alone or if riding with a stranger on a longer tour to make it clear up front that either party is free to terminate the relationship at any time.
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Old 03-21-14, 04:25 PM
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I've actually had pretty good luck meeting strangers on tours and riding with them not only on that tour, but on subsequent tours. I also placed an ad twice (in a local bike club newsletter) and I embarked on a tour with someone who answered each time. Since we met through a local club, we were able to meet and ride together beforehand. I've biked with strangers I met on the road (or in hostels/backpackers/guesthouses) in at least 8 different countries and I can only recall one person who I found I disliked and stopped riding with. I've toured most often, however, with people I met while riding with local bike clubs and became friends with first.

Strangely, when a friend & I rode the GAP + C&O Canal a few years ago, I was surprised by how few cyclists we met, and we weren't out of season. We began at the end of June and ended about July 4. We were also surprised at the median age of the cyclists we encountered. It was probably over 55. The only young (under 30) riders we saw were kids riding with their parents.
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Old 03-21-14, 05:57 PM
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Hey Everybody:

Thanks for all the imput. I have decided to just plan my trip solo and if I meet someone on the trail and we "click" we can tour together. I have all of my camping equipment, I just need to get lighter stuff. For example I only cook on cast iron when I drive to a campground! Perhaps I need to do more credit card type tours.

Dear Spinnaker: thanks for the kind offer to stay at your place, you just may see me this summer! thnaks again.
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