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Whoa, wait, it shouldn't cost THAT much to do a bike tour, right?

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Whoa, wait, it shouldn't cost THAT much to do a bike tour, right?

Old 04-08-14, 08:46 AM
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RadfahrDavid281
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Whoa, wait, it shouldn't cost THAT much to do a bike tour, right?

Hello BikeForums, in my last post about Charleston, I mentioned pricing/budget. But come to think of it, it really shouldn't cost that much to tour on a bike, provided, as someone posted in that forum, I have "a decent bike that's well-maintained." I'm sure you touring cyclists have all heard the phrase, "The best things in life are free." And that includes touring on a bicycle! After all, it doesn't cost anything to just pedal on a bike and go on (public) roads, going by the roads that the ACA maps recommend.

As for gear, I already have most of that thanks to my tenure in Boy Scouts; I just need a few more things from Amazon. My bike has a rear rack (which I would attach panniers to, hence eliminating the need for a trailer like I mentioned in my Charleston post).

Just like hikers on the Appalachian Trail (AT), most money spent is on food, lodging, and replacement gear/parts. Unlike on the AT, as a touring cyclist, I would be passing through many towns and civilization, since I'd be riding on public roads. (Unless I end up biking through a state like Kansas; then I may not see a town for days!) That means there will be always be a supermarket nearby, and larger towns will have soup kitchens that serve free meals. I realize that especially in the South, there are poor people who really need that free food, but with no income, what choice do I have? Another option is, I have heard that even homeless vagrants can get food stamps (EBT cards). There is a process involved in getting those food stamps, so being a "touring cyclist who just wants to get out of his parents' house by seeing the country on bicycle" probably would NOT qualify me to get food stamps. I could be wrong though. I don't know till I try. For all you touring cyclists out there, have you or a cyclist you know ever gotten food stamps or other avenues of free food on tour? I do NOT want to resort to "dumpster diving," that's actually somewhat nasty, and anyway, many restaurants these days lock their dumpsters at night.

One such case I've heard of a touring cyclist getting free food was a former colleague's brother who crossed the country on bicycle for charity/a cause. Once enough people knew of his cause, establishments such as Subway gave him free food. But I'm sure cyclists like him are the exception, not the norm. Most touring cyclists pay their own way, I would think.

As for lodging, I would "rough it" most nights, setting up a tent in a private area, such as a forest. The one caveat is, depending on where you are in the country, there are not too many places you can set up a tent without being on someone else's/a business's property. If I set up tent in a public property like a park, then I'd be asking for police/vandals. Do most of you touring cyclists "rough it" whenever you can?

No, I do not have a job. But one reason for doing this trip is, you never know what contacts and potential employers I could meet by going around the country on bicycle! I HAVE TO get out of my parents' house. My Dad is recovering from cancer surgery and there's just not enough space. I'm tired of my neighbors as well. (At least on a bike tour, my "neighbors" would change every day.) 29 going on 30 is MUCH too old to be living at home. Many guys my age have a job, car, house or apartment, and oftentimes, a WIFE AND KIDS. Heck, my friend's daughter is almost two years old! I'm a guy who WANTS kids, but just can't find Ms. Right. Again, I just might find that Ms. Right on a bike tour! The point is, I can't take my parents' house anymore. I'm ridden in all types of weather (including downspours, snow, sleet, freezing cold, and boiling heat) on probably all types of terrain. I've taken day trips of 30-50 miles. So no naysayers please.

The point of this thread is to emphasize that the best things in life are indeed free, and that should hold true for a bike tour. If anyone agrees, feel free to post.
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Old 04-08-14, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by RadfahrDavid281 View Post
...The point of this thread is to emphasize that the best things in life are indeed free, and that should hold true for a bike tour. If anyone agrees, feel free to post.
Free for you has, in all likelihood, cost somebody else.

Brad
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Old 04-08-14, 09:20 AM
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Food you buy on tour doesn't have to cost significantly more than food you buy at home. It's different of course if you get free meals at home.

The thing you really have to budget for is accommodation, although roughing it and/or using warmshowers.org or such help. The problem with roughing it during bike tours is rain. There's no way to get anything dry in a tent overnight if it's raining all the time (or even most of the time). You'll need a shelter with a heat source every 3-4 days in rainy weather, otherwise all your gear will gradually get wet, including your shoes, tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad. If you plan on touring in dry and warm climate, this may not be a problem for you.

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Old 04-08-14, 09:21 AM
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I totally agree. You should absolutely RUN from those who have given you such ***** over the years, especially from your ailing father who is taking up so much space in your house. Employers will be falling over themselves trying to hire someone who has had the life experience of living on the dole homeless on a bike and the hot women you meet touring will be panting in hormone-fueled lust over the very idea that a rake such as yourself had the temerity to throw over his support system to strike out on his own.
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Old 04-08-14, 09:38 AM
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Bike touring can be done inexpensively. There have been many savvy resourceful people who have toured for long periods on very little but you have to have some money. Even 2-3 months at a minimum wage job would give you enough to do a long tour. With this money you'd be able to get a hotel now and then when having a rough day, eat well out of grocery stores, treat yourself to a nice meal now and then, fix your bike if it breaks.... You want to be able to enjoy yourself not have to scrounge by on a daily basis.

You might learn something about yourself while on the road, it could be an unforgettable and wonderful trip, but to think that it's going to solve major challenges in your life is a mistake. I am not dismissing the idea of the trip just suggesting that it would be good to have reasonable expectations.

Best of luck with whatever you decide and here's wishing a great trip. Let us know how it goes or give us a link if you do a journal.
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Old 04-08-14, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by RadfahrDavid281 View Post
Hello BikeForums, in my last post about Charleston
What pevious post about Charleston? I looked at your list of posts and I don't see such a post. I seem to recall a thread by someone your age who wanted to get out of their parents' house and ride from VA to Charleston, but I don't see that on your list of posts. Was that not you? Was it you and you simply deleted the thread?

Got to wonder if this is nothing but trolling or the ramblings of someone who really has no bona fide intention of taking a bike tour.
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Old 04-08-14, 09:44 AM
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I was going to point out the opportunity costs of lost wages while on a bike tour, but in this case that is not an issue.

Actually, the scenario you outlined sounds a lot like a vagrant with a bike using his dad's internet connection to post, or a troll.
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Old 04-08-14, 09:47 AM
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Don't be a leach. Get a job. Even a crappy job. You are too old to be a baby.
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Old 04-08-14, 10:21 AM
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save yourself the trouble of hitting the road.

(cycling can be HARD.)

there's nothing you'll learn that i can't teach you in three words.


you're......a......bum.


now quick! go sell yer dad's meds while he's still asleep.
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Old 04-08-14, 10:29 AM
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Since the Dead is no longer touring, you might consider joining the circus. With a bike, of course.
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Old 04-08-14, 10:37 AM
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I work from the bike. At age 30, I'm sure you have a skill. Work construction, work at digging ditches, work anywhere! Do it from the road.

Everyone else: cut the crap. Don't make this a witch-hunt. Everyone has an opinion, this forum isn't the place for life choice criticisms.
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Old 04-08-14, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
Everyone else: cut the crap. Don't make this a witch-hunt. Everyone has an opinion, this forum isn't the place for life choice criticisms.
Au contraire
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Old 04-08-14, 10:47 AM
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I don't know why everyone has to be so hard on the guy. If affording meals is difficult for him, why shouldn't he take advantage of soup kitchens? That's what they're there for. I've volunteered at a soup kitchen, and I never considered anyone coming in to be a freeloader. They're just people who happen to be hungry. That's no crime.
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Old 04-08-14, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I don't know why everyone has to be so hard on the guy. If affording meals is difficult for him, why shouldn't he take advantage of soup kitchens? That's what they're there for. I've volunteered at a soup kitchen, and I never considered anyone coming in to be a freeloader. They're just people who happen to be hungry. That's no crime.
You are a thoughtful guy, and I respect that. I think the problem is more with this guys massively skewed priorities and sense of responsibility than the fact that he might need a hand.
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Old 04-08-14, 10:58 AM
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Specifically, what choices does he make over others that you disapprove of? And who are we to approve or disapprove of his choices? As long as he doesn't hurt anyone, I think he should be the decider in chief for his life.
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Old 04-08-14, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I don't know why everyone has to be so hard on the guy. If affording meals is difficult for him, why shouldn't he take advantage of soup kitchens? That's what they're there for. I've volunteered at a soup kitchen, and I never considered anyone coming in to be a freeloader. They're just people who happen to be hungry. That's no crime.
I tend to agree. I would never turn anyone away from a meal who needed to eat. I would also not urge someone to leave a situation in which they were being taken care of by a loved one with the plan of having others take care of them simply because the free care they are receiving at home doesn't meet 100% of their criterea.
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Old 04-08-14, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Specifically, what choices does he make over others that you disapprove of? And who are we to approve or disapprove of his choices? As long as he doesn't hurt anyone, I think he should be the decider in chief for his life.
He is entitled to do whatever he wants with his life. And I know many people who live a life cobbling together jobs, housing, and the like that lets them pursue other interests. Paddle bums, ski bums, thru hikers, musicians etc. etc. There is nothing wrong with being a bike bum. But the people I know all work, however minimally to support their endeavors. If your father has cancer, why not get a job, contribute to the household and not worry about your neighbors. In other words be a man. A man who lives at home at 30, but still a man.
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Old 04-08-14, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
He is entitled to do whatever he wants with his life. And I know many people who live a life cobbling together jobs, housing, and the like that lets them pursue other interests. Paddle bums, ski bums, thru hikers, musicians etc. etc. There is nothing wrong with being a bike bum. But the people I know all work, however minimally to support their endeavors. If your father has cancer, why not get a job, contribute to the household and not worry about your neighbors. In other words be a man. A man who lives at home at 30, but still a man.
That's a decent plan. There are other decent plans. I wouldn't want to presume to know the best plan for anyone. Remember, he's hoping to make connections that lead to gainful employment, so he may even have a better plan than looking for employment without adequate connections.

I think the freeloading set you off. That's just a guess, but is it possible?
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Old 04-08-14, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
He is entitled to do whatever he wants with his life. And I know many people who live a life cobbling together jobs, housing, and the like that lets them pursue other interests. Paddle bums, ski bums, thru hikers, musicians etc. etc. There is nothing wrong with being a bike bum. But the people I know all work, however minimally to support their endeavors. If your father has cancer, why not get a job, contribute to the household and not worry about your neighbors. In other words be a man. A man who lives at home at 30, but still a man.
You act like his post has informed you of his life story. It hasn't. He gave you a snippet of information, and you're drawing conclusions from it that aren't supported.

I know people with cancer that were bad fathers or bad friends before and after. Being ill doesn't make you immediately obligated to deserve anything, and there's no indication from the OP's post that his father isn't being cared for adequately. It's entirely possible that his father is self-sufficient, or cared for by his wife, or cared for by a rich uncle- we don't know!

Let me repeat that: We don't know. We don't know anything about this guy.

This is a bike touring forum, not Oprah. Take your judgements to some other place where drama and conjecture is more appropriate. Keep this conversation focused on budget bike touring and advice.
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Old 04-08-14, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Specifically, what choices does he make over others that you disapprove of? And who are we to approve or disapprove of his choices? As long as he doesn't hurt anyone, I think he should be the decider in chief for his life.
As someone who pays a good deal in taxes very year, I disapprove of this. For the same reason, I believe I have very right to:

"There is a process involved in getting those food stamps, so being a 'touring cyclist who just wants to get out of his parents' house by seeing the country on bicycle' probably would NOT qualify me to get food stamps. I could be wrong though. I don't know till I try. For all you touring cyclists out there, have you or a cyclist you know ever gotten food stamps or other avenues of free food on tour?" (emphasis added.)

I cannot imagine that anyone would approve of one taking advantage of a tax payer funded program designed to provide supplemental assistance to those legitimately in need in order to fund a vacation.

In any event, it appears you cannot read his earlier thread because it appears to have been deleted. (Notice that his post total appearing with his profile information does not match with the number shown if you look at the itemized list of his posts.) If If you could, you might, like me, think he's doing nothing but trolling. If he is, he's doing a great job since he has managed to get people hot and bothered.
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Old 04-08-14, 11:25 AM
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OK, get angry if you want to. Lots of people take advantage of offerings when things are down. There's a good choice he'll eventually get a tax-paying job and replenish whatever he took, many times over. I have relatives who escaped the Soviet Union and were put up by charities and the welfare system when they arrived. They are extremely productive and high-earning now, thanks to the head start they got. I think the system works.

If you think most welfare recipients make a lifestyle out of it, you are mistaken.
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Old 04-08-14, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
That's a decent plan. There are other decent plans. I wouldn't want to presume to know the best plan for anyone. Remember, he's hoping to make connections that lead to gainful employment, so he may even have a better plan than looking for employment without adequate connections.

I think the freeloading set you off. That's just a guess, but is it possible?
I do have a hard time respecting grown men (and women) who live off of others without bringing anything to the table. Or freeloaders if you will. And I do not think bike touring is going to be a particularly fertile field for business networking. But my e-respect matter little in the bigger scheme of things. The OP is free to do what he wants, you are free to think it is an acceptable, if imperfect plan, and I am free to think it is a bad idea both morally and practically.
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Old 04-08-14, 11:30 AM
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Hey, what do we know about this guy's work history? What choices is he facing?

If one of my grown daughters asked if she can live with me and my wife, the answer would be no. I know them, and I know I wouldn't be doing them any favors by relieving them of the duty to work for a living.

But I don't know the OP, so I can't say what plan is best for him. Does anyone him better than I do?
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Old 04-08-14, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
That's a decent plan.
Speaking of decent plans, do you wanna huck off of the little falls in my raft this spring. I need a local partner. I can promise you nothing but glory.
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Old 04-08-14, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Hey, what do we know about this guy's work history? What choices is he facing?
We know that he is unemployed and contemplating trying to get "food stamps" so he can see the country on a bicycle. Are you good with that? As I have previously stated, I certainly am not.
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