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Has Bicycle Touring Become Boring?

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Has Bicycle Touring Become Boring?

Old 03-23-09, 10:49 AM
  #51  
ChrisH120
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Some of the articles and videos on the Bicycle Touring Pro website are very useful for learning about bike touring. Mostly I liked the ones which discuss planning or equipment (not gear selection, mainly packing).

However, there are a few articles/videos - such as the one in the op - which are just bizarre. The writer seems a bit too obsessed with public perception of bike touring and how to make it seem cool. Why? Who cares? To each his own. Some people might enjoy backpacking by rail, some like skiing, others enjoy ocean cruises - everybody's different and I don't think it's that important for everybody else to see bike touring as a really cool thing to do.

If you really want to promote bike touring, share your experiences with anybody who actually wants to hear about it. If it's their thing, they might give it a go.
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Old 03-23-09, 10:54 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I don't get it. Bicycle touring is about doing it not about being impressive to others or raising money. I always thought the notion of touring for charity was kind of hokey any way.
Great quote!!!
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Old 03-23-09, 10:55 AM
  #53  
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Oh, BTW -

Methinks that the vast majority of people who choose to bike tour don't give a rat's patootie about what others think about their appearance. I know that I rather lack in the GQ look or even the "Outside Magazine" look when I am on tour. And, most likely, I lack in the smell department, too.
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Old 03-23-09, 11:22 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by twodeadpoets View Post
I admit that some of the fun for me is in the planing and details of a trip; dreaming, training, and getting ready for the next big adventure, but once I get on the road all that junk drops away and I remember where the real fun is, why I keep doing it, and why my tours keep getting longer and longer while being spaced shorter and shorter apart.
I too enjoy planning for my big tour! I'm a bit of a history buff, and looking forward to visiting old historical places, buildings, lighthouses, etc.

Photogarphy is one of my more avid hobbies, along with birding .... So I'll be taking lots of pictures, and trying to identify as many bird species as I can, and keeping an accurate record of the variety of birds I can identify.

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Old 03-23-09, 11:29 AM
  #55  
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Training for Touring ....

Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Have you done your practice weekend tour yet?

And as for learning mechanical skills, check your local REI, LBS, University/College, or Touring club ... many of them offer courses.

And ignore whatshisname ... he'll wake up with a very bad headache tomorrow, will be grouchy all day at work, and won't remember posting here at all.
Thanks for your suggestions. I greatly appreciate all the support from so many bicycle enthusiasts! When I pick up my LHT in a couple of weeks, I will start riding out to Caswell Memorial State Park, which will be about 40 miles round trip. I plan on making that my practice run at least a couple times a month.

Also, I will be hitting the Dry Creek Trail a couple times a week, with my LHT fully loaded. Plus riding around town a few extra miles, I can easily get in 30 miles each trip to Dry Creek.

I've found some good hills for training (short though) near Dry Creek. There just aren't many hills around here, so these will have to do.

I recently joined our local bicycle club (Stanislaus County Bicycle Club), and plan on going on longer day rides. I hope that I will soon be able to make the day ride up to Knights Ferry, which is about 64 miles round trip from where I live! That will be quite a ride for me, but I'm up to the challenge!

I will have a cadence monitor and a separate heart monitor on my new LHT, so I can work on that too ....
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Old 03-23-09, 12:11 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
Oh, BTW -

Methinks that the vast majority of people who choose to bike tour don't give a rat's patootie about what others think about their appearance. I know that I rather lack in the GQ look or even the "Outside Magazine" look when I am on tour. And, most likely, I lack in the smell department, too.
Since I discovered Rapha clothing I've become a bit of a bike dandy. I don't do their racer stuff, but their fixed shorts and touring shorts are fantastic, and look damn good too. Here's a really indulgent series of
articles, a bit much, but the stuff is very nice.

http://www.velodramatic.com/archives/727
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Old 03-23-09, 01:11 PM
  #57  
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Kind of like climbing Mount Everest anymore.... unless a bunch of people die the media is getting tired of it. I tour for me. I post a little about my trip on crazyguyonabike(very little). I do it for family and friends more than anything. If someone gets something from it great but if not.... oh well.

I don't ride to raise money or write a book. I'm not breaking any new frontier that would be worth writing about anyways....

I ride for the experience and the memories........ yep....


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Old 03-23-09, 02:15 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
Oh, BTW -

Methinks that the vast majority of people who choose to bike tour don't give a rat's patootie about what others think about their appearance. I know that I rather lack in the GQ look or even the "Outside Magazine" look when I am on tour. And, most likely, I lack in the smell department, too.
+1

And I know I lack in the smell department ... especially after going 4 or 5 days in a row without a shower.


As for my stories on my website and photos in my gallery ... I write/post them for me, for my own memories; and I write/post them for my family and friends who are interested in where I've gone, and what I've seen and done -- they make a great communication tool when my family is scattered around the world; and if anyone else happens to read or view them that's fine too.

Last edited by Machka; 03-23-09 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 03-23-09, 03:03 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
+1

And I know I lack in the smell department ... especially after going 4 or 5 days in a row without a shower.
The solution to pong is merino wool. I wear merino socks and tops and don't have much problem with odour
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Old 03-23-09, 03:58 PM
  #60  
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I haven't read all the replies.
I don't care if anyone thinks it is boring, I don't. I enjoy it, so I will continue to do it. It's that simple.
One doesn't necessarily have to write about what they do to enjoy it. Some might even argue that it is even more enjoyable if it is kept to yourself.

I hiked the AT two years ago. I tried to keep a journal at first, but I realized that I wanted to keep the things I saw and felt on that trip for me alone. That was the point of doing it for me.....being alone.

Anyhoo, I just thought of something....
Anyone ever read 'blue highways'?
He wasn't biking but it is still a really good read.

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Highways-.../dp/0316353299
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Old 03-23-09, 04:10 PM
  #61  
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"birding."
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Old 03-23-09, 04:38 PM
  #62  
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Boring? Never...

Bicycle touring is not boring to me - it's an adventure, a way of moving through an area with an eye tuned to seeing the things around me, a way of meeting people who live in the areas I'm wandering through, a way to blend my addictions to riding and photography. I also enjoy writing about my tours, and some people enjoy reading my journals. Other people aren't interested, and that's fine with me. I also enjoy reading about the adventures of other people out wandering on their bikes. I am a bit picky though, well-written journals pull me in, others do not. To me, touring has to do with desires, living dreams, exploring life.

That video hit one of my hot buttons. I have very little patience with people using an activity like touring as a means to raise money for their favorite cause.

Touring to me has nothing to do with raising money. Using rides and walks and tours as a means of pushing money to a charity? That's a problem to me. If someone is riding for a cause and asks me to donate, I will give money if the charity is one that I already planned to support, and in no case will I donate to a tour where any amount of the donation goes to the organization running the ride (or walk, or whatever) in support of the activity. And that usually means that I don't donate to the rider. I have no intention of paying someone to ride their bike. Is that short-sighted? Is it a bad attitude? Maybe, but...

--- Denise

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Old 03-23-09, 04:39 PM
  #63  
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Funny, I get asked sometimes if theres a website for the trip I'm on, or if its for a charity. Some folks seem dissapointed, and one or two seemed to think it kind of selfish.
I have found that it just takes to much time away from the moment to try to capture it in a journal. Thats one of the reasons there are very few pictures of my trips.



Tried for the "outside magazine" look. But when one guy told me where the local charity was I gave that up as a bad job.
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Old 03-23-09, 04:41 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
The solution to pong is merino wool. I wear merino socks and tops and don't have much problem with odour
I wear merino wool socks and tops too ... it's the shorts that start to smell after several days of use.
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Old 03-23-09, 05:38 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by delver View Post
I get asked sometimes if theres a website for the trip I'm on, or if its for a charity. Some folks seem disappointed, and one or two seemed to think it kind of selfish.
I've gotten the sense that the [cycling == charity] association is stronger in the US than Europe. It amuses me that for a few folks I meet, they can understand why someone would ride across a continent if they were raising money but don't understand if one is cycle touring simply because you enjoy touring.

While those folks are in the minority, I try as best I can to relate what I enjoy about touring, why I do it as well as answer the curiosity type questions... I don't have anything against those who tour to raise money, but that isn't a motivating factor for me.
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Old 03-23-09, 06:02 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by delver View Post
Funny, I get asked sometimes if theres a website for the trip I'm on, or if its for a charity. Some folks seem dissapointed, and one or two seemed to think it kind of selfish.
Originally Posted by mev View Post
I've gotten the sense that the [cycling == charity] association is stronger in the US than Europe. It amuses me that for a few folks I meet, they can understand why someone would ride across a continent if they were raising money but don't understand if one is cycle touring simply because you enjoy touring.

While those folks are in the minority, I try as best I can to relate what I enjoy about touring, why I do it as well as answer the curiosity type questions... I don't have anything against those who tour to raise money, but that isn't a motivating factor for me.

I've encountered those who think touring for touring's sake is selfish too ... I think it's actually a North American thing, or maybe one of those things Canadians have picked up from the US.

A number of people think that their lives (and everyone's lives) should be bound by duty. It is their duty to marry, have children, buy the house with the white picket fence, limit their holiday time to 2-3 weeks a year, go to college then immediately get the job which they will work at till they are 65 ... etc. etc. etc. Anyone breaking out of that mold and doing things that they enjoy for themselves must therefore be selfish.

I've gotten that reaction for a number of things I've chosen to do throughout my life.


Originally Posted by delver View Post
Tried for the "outside magazine" look. But when one guy told me where the local charity was I gave that up as a bad job.
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Old 03-23-09, 09:41 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I don't get it. Bicycle touring is about doing it not about being impressive to others or raising money. I always thought the notion of touring for charity was kind of hokey any way.
+1. I'm only beginning to get into touring and these are my thoughts exactly. I tour for myself. Not to impress, and not for charity.

Originally Posted by ChrisH120 View Post
Some of the articles and videos on the Bicycle Touring Pro website are very useful for learning about bike touring. Mostly I liked the ones which discuss planning or equipment (not gear selection, mainly packing).

However, there are a few articles/videos - such as the one in the op - which are just bizarre. The writer seems a bit too obsessed with public perception of bike touring and how to make it seem cool. Why? Who cares? To each his own. Some people might enjoy backpacking by rail, some like skiing, others enjoy ocean cruises - everybody's different and I don't think it's that important for everybody else to see bike touring as a really cool thing to do.

If you really want to promote bike touring, share your experiences with anybody who actually wants to hear about it. If it's their thing, they might give it a go.
I found his videos on equipment pretty informative, but hard to watch as they were dreadfully long and unenthusiastic. The site was started by Darren Alff (the dude in the OP video), who (according to his professional website) is a web designer/marketer-No wonder he's concerned with making touring look cool and the bizzare articles on bicycletouringpro.

I'm almost certain i've seen someone here on BF with the Silver Mountain Marketing Logo as his avatar, presumably Darren Alff himself.
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Old 03-23-09, 10:54 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by denisegoldberg View Post
Bicycle touring is not boring to me - it's an adventure, a way of moving through an area with an eye tuned to seeing the things around me, a way of meeting people who live in the areas I'm wandering through, a way to blend my addictions to riding and photography. I also enjoy writing about my tours, and some people enjoy reading my journals. Other people aren't interested, and that's fine with me. I also enjoy reading about the adventures of other people out wandering on their bikes. I am a bit picky though, well-written journals pull me in, others do not. To me, touring has to do with desires, living dreams, exploring life.

That video hit one of my hot buttons. I have very little patience with people using an activity like touring as a means to raise money for their favorite cause.

Touring to me has nothing to do with raising money. Using rides and walks and tours as a means of pushing money to a charity? That's a problem to me. If someone is riding for a cause and asks me to donate, I will give money if the charity is one that I already planned to support, and in no case will I donate to a tour where any amount of the donation goes to the organization running the ride (or walk, or whatever) in support of the activity. And that usually means that I don't donate to the rider. I have no intention of paying someone to ride their bike. Is that short-sighted? Is it a bad attitude? Maybe, but...

--- Denise
When Denise replies to one of my threads, it's a successfull thread.
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Old 03-24-09, 06:09 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by denisegoldberg View Post
Bicycle touring is not boring to me - it's an adventure, a way of moving through an area with an eye tuned to seeing the things around me, a way of meeting people who live in the areas I'm wandering through, (snip) Other people aren't interested, and that's fine with me.

(snip,snip)

I have no intention of paying someone to ride their bike. Is that short-sighted? Is it a bad attitude? Maybe, but...

--- Denise

+2 The only point is to see what you can see, meet folks and ride your bike.
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Old 03-24-09, 07:13 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by jagraham View Post
Only one - Neil's - was tied to a tour. I didn't think the tour was dependent on the fund-raising, nor do I think it was "hokey" in any way. It was a nice way to bring attention to a cause Neil F. feels passionate about, and brings attention to issues he deals with on a day-to-day basis. I gave because Neil asked... not because he was touring.
The tour wasn't dependent on fund-raising at all, and it had been planned before I suggested Neil F. turn it into a fund raiser.
 
Old 03-24-09, 08:13 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
Did anyone visit the website of the "Bike Touring Pro" in the video? It's hard to find content on it that's not a pitch for some product or service.
I know! The scoundrel! (Why didn't I think of it?)

Evidently, the guy, Darren Alff, has figured out a way to use his hobby to pay for his tours. He's presently touring Switzerland, I think. (Am I jealous?) In my case I have to work for a living all year to pay for my summer tours.

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Old 03-24-09, 01:30 PM
  #72  
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Touring become boring? Not for me!

You know my wife thinks I'm crazy for riding in general, touring and bike camping especially. She makes fun of my lacra and loud jerseys and my riding friends. It doesn't appeal to her. That's OK! I can't watch hours of QVC and reruns of House, NCIS etc. etc.. This is boring to me! Don't think we have nothing in common, we do. I have riding buddies that have NO plans or desire to get on a touring bike and do a tour, that's OK.

Like others have said, "to each his own", have fun!
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Old 03-24-09, 01:47 PM
  #73  
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I think it's viewed as boring because it's the least trendy thing you can do with a bicycle, and as a result there's less public excitement over it.

I think the reading aspect is why I stopped reading these forums on a regular basis and looking up touring stuff all the time, because if you spend a lot of time thinking/reading about the activity you're much more likely to stop focusing on what currently makes you happy.
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Old 03-24-09, 03:40 PM
  #74  
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Do any of the cross-US people go at an angle? Maybe from Seattle to Miami?
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Old 03-24-09, 04:25 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Do any of the cross-US people go at an angle? Maybe from Seattle to Miami?
Yes. I've run into a few people who have done that .... I'll see if I can find some information on the route they followed ...
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