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Touring with yourself and others

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Touring with yourself and others

Old 02-19-15, 05:05 PM
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Touring with yourself and others

how many of you prefer to tour alone? how many of you have gone on a tour with someone else, and regretted it?

i've read that most cross country tour partners split up after a month. did you have a good time if you got a touring partner from the internet?
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Old 02-19-15, 05:11 PM
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I've done a little bit of touring solo ... or parts of tours. That was all right.

I've done some touring with a group. That was all right as well, but they were short tours and I'm not sure that I'd want to tour with a group for an extended period of time.

Most of my tours have been with a partner. I knew the person before we toured together. I had a reasonable idea of their abilities. And I had no regrets. In fact, I married one of them.
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Old 02-19-15, 05:19 PM
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I told a story on this forum recently about a weeklong bike tour that got ruined because I gave in to another cyclist who wanted to join me toward the end. This was someone I like very much in "real life," but knew I wouldn't be compatible with on a bike tour. As hard as I tried to make it work, it ended up really being a drag and I will never do that again.

In general, I prefer to tour alone. This is because the two people I usually enjoy riding with - my wife and my best friend - do not do long rides. Other than them, I don't know anyone who's a sure shot that I'll have fun with. And given that I only have time for one or two short tours each year, I ain't taking ANY CHANCES!!!!!

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Old 02-19-15, 05:28 PM
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I toured all by myself, after a brief stint as a Trip leader *.. well before the Internet ..

*I was replaced in Bern Switzerland , breaking up with My GF at Home just before the trip started was not a good start.
so I was not the right Guy to be the Jolly trip guide .. (did manage to sort out changing logistics . as they Popped Up. though )

so I turned North up the Rhine and Had Schnapps shots with the Germans along the levee on the east bank ..

and toured solo the next Tours I Took , again in Europe. raised without siblings ,(and having done my 4 years in US Navy Before then) ..

I kept my self Open to meeting the people along the way ..
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Old 02-19-15, 05:55 PM
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I think you can tour with others perfectly happily if you want to. I think the key is being on the exact same page and lots of communication. I recently did a tour with my best friend of many, many years. It was great, and I'm glad we did it together, but he's Terrible at communication and I'm not exactly a shining example of communication myself, so there were some frustrating times on that trip. That said, if we tour again, I'll know what to expect on his end, and hopefully there will be more communication on his part too, and everything would be just great the whole trip.

I haven't done any long solo tours, so I'm not sure exactly how things would go in the long run, but my shorter 3-4 day solo trips have been fun. As long as you don't mind the solitude in camp in the evenings, it's nice to be on your own schedule doing exactly what you feel like 100% of the time. I haven't minded that camp solitude on shorter tours, but I could see it getting a bit lonely at times on an extended trip of more than a couple weeks. It may not, though.

I don't think I'd ever go with a touring partner that I didn't know ahead of time unless there was a blunt, plainly spoken agreement that we may well split up if either of us decides and it's no big deal. I wouldn't want to get stuck in a frustrating situation putting up with someone that I didn't enjoy touring with, and an awkward conversation about splitting up.
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Old 02-19-15, 06:05 PM
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I tour with people but don't ride with them, everyone rides at their own speed. We agree to stop every 20 to 25KMs, sit around for 45-60 minutes and go again. Seems to work out well, 6 tours so far and everyone was happy...
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Old 02-19-15, 06:13 PM
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Most of my tours, including quite lengthy ones, have been solo. I have done 2 long tours
with a partner and they were very compatible and great rides. He was a workmate but hadn't
done any touring before. We both carried over from our working environment our mutual respect
for each other. I actually prefer to tour solo though as I then only have to be concerned with
my own pace, feelings, and agenda preferences. There are about 3 advantages with having a
partner though...sharing costs, safety (equipment and personal), and moral support for each other
when the going gets tough.
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Old 02-19-15, 09:28 PM
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I've done both and my preference depends on the situation. For example, I spent eight months doing one lap around Australia and did that tour solo. I also spent six months cycling from Amsterdam to Vladivostok and did that trip with another cyclist.

Cycling alone around Australia worked well since it was English speaking country and pretty easy to tour. The trip across Russia also worked well, since having only limited Russian speaking skills it was nice to have deeper conversations with someone. Also two of us were able to problem solve through some issues. What we did figure out pretty quickly were that our cycling speeds were mismatched, so we developed a rhythm that worked with me taking off earlier in morning - meeting up closer to lunch and then sync up at end of day before finding a place to camp. Except for a 10 day period after we missed each other on the road and thus traveled independently, worked well to cycle with two of us.

I've also done mixes close to one another:
- First was the Russia trip with one other person
- Followed immediately by two months of a TDA ride across China with ~50 people
- Followed by a month of solo cycling through Thailand
Each of those phases was fun in own way. All other things being equal - if I am fluent in local language, I tend to prefer solo - and where there are additional challenges (e.g. Russia, Africa, China) it is also nice to work through those with others.
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Old 02-19-15, 10:23 PM
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i've toured with a stranger I met on the internet, we went our separate ways after 3 weeks. it was his call, but I was really glad we split, we were not enjoying each others' company.

I've toured with a boyfriend, and we broke up the instant the trip was over.... touring was a relationship accelerator.

I've toured with a friend, and it was great most of the time, but sometimes our different eating/camping styles were a challenge.

I've toured alone and been pretty happy with that, but there are drawbacks to having to make every decision and deal with everything yourself. sometimes it's nice to have help. but you never get stuck on someone else's program, so if there's something not going the way you like there's no one to blame but yourself. i think i like alone the best. i would love to tour with my twin sister some time, that would be perfect. but she's not interested.

i haven't toured a non english speaking country yet - i think i would want a partner for that, or it would be too lonely and too challenging.
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Old 02-20-15, 04:09 AM
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I'm afraid I'm a loner not sure I would enjoy company.
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Old 02-20-15, 06:41 AM
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I have only done 2-4 days tours so far, usually alone because no touring buddy was available. That said, I believe I really prefer to tour alone, but appreciate riding with folks I meet along the way for an hour or two.
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Old 02-20-15, 07:00 AM
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A couple of the best friends I've ever made I met on long tours. If you meet someone on the road with a compatible or complementary traveling style, it can be an incredibly rewarding relationship.

I've toured with my spouse (or she's toured with me) on quite a few multi-month trips, and in some stressful foreign situations, and that has strengthened our 32-year marriage.

But I'm perfectly happy going alone for months at a time, too. I don't go looking for companionship, but when it happens, it can be wonderful.
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Old 02-20-15, 07:43 AM
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I would tour with my GF on several occasions and enjoyed it a lot. Alas, she tried it and it never really took. (At most she will do supported events.)

Outside of that, I don't think I would tour with anyone, much less a stranger I met on the Interwebs. My first tour was Adventure Cycling's unsupported Northern Tier group tour. Twelve people and a leader. Let's just say that there were a few people I could have seriously done without. And there were instances when being able to have more autonomy would have been nice. I also enjoy my alone time. I am not one of those people who needs to socialize a lot. My next two tours were each over a month long and both were solo, with one being in a foreign country. I am comfortable with my own company so I didn't mind being on my own.
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Old 02-20-15, 03:25 PM
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I'm in good company when alone.
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Old 02-20-15, 04:01 PM
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I enjoy mostly small groups, for the reason I can generally find somebody whose company I enjoy even if for only short periods at a time. I entertain myself with the diversity of other personalities. If I do tour with only one or two other individuals, I like to know what I'm in for. For years I was quite fortunate to have a "twin brother from a different mother" that I got along fabulously with, but unfortunately that ended much too soon. I generally only tour alone on shorter trips or if I have a secondary objective, such as, how many trout streams can I ride to and fish in how many days?
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Old 02-23-15, 09:31 AM
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Ha, your question reminds me of when I got out of the service and lined up a fella to meet me in France to tour there. I only knew the guy as an acquaintance really. Anyway, he showed up carrying a bunch of pot [or was it hasish, can't remember]...and like a fool, I went on and traveled with him [I was quite upset however]. Looking back, if 'he' had been caught, I imagine I would have been in trouble as well since we were traveling together. I learned then that selection of a traveling partner is not something to take lightly [if for extended time]; not just because of the pot, but it relates to a general personality conflict.
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