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Has Bicycle Touring Become Boring?

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Has Bicycle Touring Become Boring?

Old 03-22-09, 09:25 PM
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Airwick
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Has Bicycle Touring Become Boring?

Saw this link on youtube: Has Bicycle Touring Become Boring?

I thought BF's could offer a better discussion than his short video allowed.

I don't think bicycle touring will ever become boring for a participant, but what about for the public and readers as exampled in the video?

1) standard routes are becoming over publicized with site after site telling the same story.

2) The internet has taken away the freshness and uniqueness of a cross country bicycle trip.

I don't know that I agree but I do think that finding your own way has a certain appeal no longer obtainable with some of the routes.

An example from the world of hiking. Hiking the Appalachian Trail is still a remarkable accomplishment and exciting for a hiker. Reading their stories has become boring (somewhat) unless the hiker is a good writer and can really draw in his audience and share a fresh perspective.

The Pacific Crest is still more unknown and so the stories dealing with hiking the PCT still make for good reading,....... ..
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Old 03-22-09, 09:28 PM
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That's why people should get out and do it,instead of reading about it.
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Old 03-22-09, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by alanthealan View Post
That's why people should get out and do it,instead of reading about it.

but many are, and then writing and sharing their stories. Here is a comment lifted from the comment section from the video.

Boondockflyfish

"Every year, 2000 people (on average) jump on the Appalachian trail with in intention of thru hiking all 2100 miles, 30 years ago it was a big deal, but now it's "old hat". The same is true with bike touring except there is not an organization that tracks the total number of bike tourers like the AT has. And trying to raise money performing some act of physical endurance test is getting old. People who give to a specific charity will always make a donation. But in today's economy, good luck."


Not exactly the feedback I'm looking for but the point about the numbers reducing the uniqueness is applicable.
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Old 03-22-09, 09:39 PM
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Aside from events, and the occasional short tour, I don't deliberately follow standard routes.

On many of my tours, I pick a destination I want to see ... and cycle off in that general direction. Sometimes, I make a decision about a destination before the tour, sometimes it is in the middle of the tour. I usually start a tour with some sort of general road map, but I'll pick up other more specific maps along the way as I decide where I'm going to go.

I don't think I could do one of these "Northern Tier" or "Southern Tier" cross-US type of tours ... I'd feel too tied into a route and would want to head off in different directions every few days.
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Old 03-22-09, 09:41 PM
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I hiked the AT and I didn't do it to be entertaining. It may be old hat if 9,000 thru hikers is old hat [estimated total of all thruhikers, but they (ATC) do not have an official count], but that is not the point. A good writer can make anything interesting... too many people think that their trip merits a book or blog or whatever, but they have nothing to say.
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Old 03-22-09, 09:43 PM
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People have been being born, having their first day of school, falling in love, having weddings, having children, having funerals for thousands of years. Each one is it's own unique story.

The sun rises every morning and sets every night. It's been doing it every day I've been on the planet. I'm not bored yet. It's all a matter of perspective. Anyone who finds bike touring boring might find life itself boring- maybe it's why so many people are on prescription drugs for their mood- they've lost the capacity to imagine each day being remade anew.


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Old 03-22-09, 09:48 PM
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^ case in point buzzman is a great writer with something to say.
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Old 03-22-09, 09:51 PM
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i agree with the op's statement. whats wrong with you people? who would want to read about some trip from some wannabe hack of a writer?
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Old 03-22-09, 09:52 PM
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I agree with all the statements above,.......

but we are the choir. (beautiful picture buzzman)

Originally Posted by chrishg View Post
i agree with the op's statement. whats wrong with you people? who would want to read about some trip from some wannabe hack of a writer?
Not what I said, please. I asked for opinions on the youtube video's premise.

All stories have worth telling. Just getting more difficult with the sheer volume of outlets trying to write about the same general story.
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Old 03-22-09, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by chrishg View Post
i agree with the op's statement. whats wrong with you people? who would want to read about some trip from some wannabe hack of a writer?

In the Victorian era in England every Tom, Dick and Harry wrote a kind of "Gentleman's Diary". They were published accounts of the day to day lives of British "gentleman" of little note. Finally, they were lampooned so successfully in "Punch" magazine in a series called "The Diary of A Nobody" that they fell out of popular favor. Had each of these British gentlemen hopped on a bicycle and cycled the breadth and/or length of Great Britain and reported it I'm sure their diaries would have been far more interesting and worth reading today than the lives of quiet desperation each of them were chronicling.

The accounts of cyclists riding across the US today may not necessarily have wide appeal depending on the sophistication and style of each author but over time they could provide invaluable information and perspectives on a place and time that will have changed immeasurably. The accounts of merchant seamen, Civil War soldiers, participants in the Great Gold Rush had limited appeal in their time but have proven extraordinarily powerful historical documentation.

I wouldn't discredit the value of anyone's story, no matter how poorly penned.
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Old 03-22-09, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
In the Victorian era in England every Tom, Dick and Harry wrote a kind of "Gentleman's Diary". They were published accounts of the day to day lives of British "gentleman" of little note. Finally, they were lampooned so successfully in "Punch" magazine in a series called "The Diary of A Nobody" that they fell out of popular favor. Had each of these British gentlemen hopped on a bicycle and cycled the breadth and/or length of Great Britain and reported it I'm sure their diaries would have been far more interesting and worth reading today than the lives of quiet desperation each of them were chronicling.

The accounts of cyclists riding across the US today may not necessarily have wide appeal depending on the sophistication and style of each author but over time they could provide invaluable information and perspectives on a place and time that will have changed immeasurably. The accounts of merchant seamen, Civil War soldiers, participants in the Great Gold Rush had limited appeal in their time but have proven extraordinarily powerful historical documentation.

I wouldn't discredit the value of anyone's story, no matter how poorly penned.
Excellent points.

I really enjoy the old accounts of the early touring cyclists and digging to try to find info on people like James T. ***g Jr., etc.

Hard to envision a time when all the gluttony available today is scarce but possible I guess.
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Old 03-22-09, 11:16 PM
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for emphasis:

Originally Posted by chrishg View Post
who would want to read about some trip from some wannabe hack of a writer?
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Old 03-22-09, 11:17 PM
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Bicycling Stories ...

I really enjoy reading stories of people riding their bicycles around different places. I cannot ride around the world for various reasons, and so I will never be able to experience the various journeys myself.

I am planning on a short tour, from Astoria, Oregon, to the Bay Area in California. That's probably about the longest tour I will be able to do.

One thing about reading stories of other people's travels, is that their stories are inspiring! And get others excited about taking on the challenge of going out for a journey somewhere in the world, whether it be hiking, or bicycling, or even traveling by bus/train.

What really got me interested in bicycle touring was reading Down The Road. At first I never seriously thought that I could do bicycle touring, but I dreamed of what it would be like to get out there on the road, riding my bicycle to strange, far away places, meeting people, camping in the wilderness, jungles, on the beaches, riding over mountains, in the rain .....

Originally, my research about bicycles started with the idea of motorizing my Mongoose Switchback, with a cheap, small (49cc) gas-powered engine. Then I started reading more threads about installing electric motors on bicycles, and seriously considered installing an electric motor on my Electra Townie.

I was already looking at spending around $3,000.00 or more just to motorize my Townie. In the meantime, I continued riding my bicycle(s), reading thousands of messages on over a dozen bicycle forums, and guess what? All this time I've been getting into much better shape, able to ride just a little farther, a little longer, and a little harder ....

When I first entertained the idea of actually using a bicycle for transportation to work, running errands, shopping, I was a bit discouraged, and still drove sometimes, or rode the bus. I even took my mountain bike with me on the bus sometimes, but as time went on, I would often ride my bike home all the way after work.

I began to realized that I could get around better on my bicycle, now that I'm getting into good shape. All this time, I've been reading dozens of stories of people riding their bicycles around the world, enduring hardships, fixing their bikes way out in the middle of nowhere! Boxing their bicycles up, and shipping them to distant lands, then putting their bikes back together, and riding off into the unknown distance .....

And still I'm getting into better shape, enjoying so many real-life, way-cool stories, and finally, I realize, that hey, I don't need to drive anymore! I can actually get around on my bike, haul over $150 worth of groceries, ride to work all the way across town.

So, I'm now car free, able to ride almost 30 miles in about 4-5 hours. I rode over 430 miles last month, and will most likely ride over 500 miles this month, which is a major accomplishment for me, with multiple medical and physical complications, including several life-threatening medical issues.

And I'm still reading the stories, and now plan to actually do a bicycle tour all by myself!! Am I crazy, or is this my destiny? Can I really do this? Should I even attempt a bold feat, like riding the entire Oregon Coast, and another 300-400 miles into California?

I believe that I can make the ride! I've ordered the Surly Long Haul Trucker, and am working on setting goals now. I'm working on training, gathering the necessary gear. Next on my list of goals is to learn how to work on my bike, which seems a bit scary for me! I'm not a mechanic, but maybe, just maybe, I can do this ....

So, as for all the stories .... Keep writing your stories ... The stories are inspiring, and I believe that without the stories I've read, of people, just average people, even some people who like me, didn't know squat about bicycling, or how to fix their own bike. Didn't even know how to properly ride their bike! I may not have started dreaming about travelling myself, on a bicycle! I may not have given up driving. I just might have given up cycling altogether, and still be out of shape, depressed ....

I feel so much better now, sleeping better, eating better, and looking forward to the day that I set out to ride the Pacific Coast .... !!! Thanks to all who have written their story, and have yet to write their story!

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Old 03-22-09, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Airwick View Post
An example from the world of hiking. Hiking the Appalachian Trail is still a remarkable accomplishment and exciting for a hiker. Reading their stories has become boring (somewhat) unless the hiker is a good writer and can really draw in his audience and share a fresh perspective.
eh... vacation pix/stories are like kid pix/stories, everybody's got'em
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Old 03-22-09, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
I really enjoy reading stories of people riding their bicycles around different places. I cannot ride around the world for various reasons, and so I will never be able to experience the various journeys myself.

I am planning on a short tour, from Astoria, Oregon, to the Bay Area in California. That's probably about the longest tour I will be able to do.

One thing about reading stories of other people's travels, is that their stories are inspiring! And get others excited about taking on the challenge of going out for a journey somewhere in the world, whether it be hiking, or bicycling, or even traveling by bus/train.

What really got me interested in bicycle touring was reading Down The Road. At first I never seriously thought that I could do bicycle touring, but I dreamed of what it would be like to get out there on the road, riding my bicycle to strange, far away places, meeting people, camping in the wilderness, jungles, on the beaches, riding over mountains, in the rain .....

Originally, my research about bicycles started with the idea of motorizing my Mongoose Switchback, with a cheap, small (49cc) gas-powered engine. Then I started reading more threads about installing electric motors on bicycles, and seriously considered installing an electric motor on my Electra Townie.

I was already looking at spending around $3,000.00 or more just to motorize my Townie. In the meantime, I continued riding my bicycle(s), reading thousands of messages on over a dozen bicycle forums, and guess what? All this time I've been getting into much better shape, able to ride just a little farther, a little longer, and a little harder ....

When I first entertained the idea of actually using a bicycle for transportation to work, running errands, shopping, I was a bit discouraged, and still drove sometimes, or rode the bus. I even took my mountain bike with me on the bus sometimes, but as time went on, I would often ride my bike home all the way after work.

I began to realized that I could get around better on my bicycle, now that I'm getting into good shape. All this time, I've been reading dozens of stories of people riding their bicycles around the world, enduring hardships, fixing their bikes way out in the middle of nowhere! Boxing their bicycles up, and shipping them to distant lands, then putting their bikes back together, and riding off into the unknown distance .....

And still I'm getting into better shape, enjoying so many real-life, way-cool stories, and finally, I realize, that hey, I don't need to drive anymore! I can actually get around on my bike, haul over $150 worth of groceries, ride to work all the way across town.

So, I'm now car free, able to ride almost 30 miles in about 4-5 hours. I rode over 430 miles last month, and will most likely ride over 500 miles this month, which is a major accomplishment for me, with multiple medical and physical complications, including several life-threatening medical issues.

And I'm still reading the stories, and now plan to actually do a bicycle tour all by myself!! Am I crazy, or is this my destiny? Can I really do this? Should I even attempt a bold feat, like riding the entire Oregon Coast, and another 300-400 miles into California?

I believe that I can make the ride! I've ordered the Surly Long Haul Trucker, and am working on setting goals now. I'm working on training, gathering the necessary gear. Next on my list of goals is to learn how to work on my bike, which seems a bit scary for me! I'm not a mechanic, but maybe, just maybe, I can do this ....

So, as for all the stories .... Keep writing your stories ... The stories are inspiring, and I believe that without the stories I've read, of people, just average people, even some people who like me, didn't know squat about bicycling, or how to fix their own bike. Didn't even know how to properly ride their bike! I may not have started dreaming about travelling myself, on a bicycle! I may not have given up driving. I just might have given up cycling altogether, and still be out of shape, depressed ....

I feel so much better now, sleeping better, eating better, and looking forward to the day that I set out to ride the Pacific Coast .... !!! Thanks to all who have written their story, and have yet to write their story!
see, your problem is, you're too naive. or romantic. it's dumb. biking the oregon coast is no feat. touring most anywhere unsupported is no feat (omg blasphemy.) the last time i did the oregon coast, i was super lazy and woke up at 1, did 30miles or less a day, and smoked weed the whole damn time. perhaps you'd just rather live vicariously through someone else. you need to realize, that anyone can do this ****. and the people that do, they aren't special. it isn't hard. the attention is mostly undeserved. just knock it off, and go ride your bike.


oh, and ps. youre from modesto. do you know kelley from thought riot fame? tell her, she sucks.
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Old 03-22-09, 11:37 PM
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who would want to read about some trip from some wannabe hack of a writer?
I do. I read journals because I like touring, not because I like reading. Good writers don't have anything more to say, they're just better at writing.
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Old 03-22-09, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Erick L View Post
I do. I read journals because I like touring, not because I like reading. Good writers don't have anything more to say, they're just better at writing.
man. that sounds boring as hell. do you also collect stamps?
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Old 03-22-09, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by chrishg View Post
see, your problem is, you're too naive. or romantic. it's dumb. biking the oregon coast is no feat. touring most anywhere unsupported is no feat (omg blasphemy.) the last time i did the oregon coast, i was super lazy and woke up at 1, did 30miles or less a day, and smoked weed the whole damn time. perhaps you'd just rather live vicariously through someone else. you need to realize, that anyone can do this ****. and the people that do, they aren't special. it isn't hard. the attention is mostly undeserved. just knock it off, and go ride your bike.


oh, and ps. youre from modesto. do you know kelley from thought riot fame? tell her, she sucks.
You must be young and naive yourself ... !!! You realy don't even know what you are talking about. Probably smoking too much of that funny stuff ... Which has clouded your mind from reality ....

I take your comment, "It's dumb," as higly offensive ... You seem to be making fun of me. Oh well, I'll try and hold back any further sarcastic comments .... I think everyone can see where you are coming from .....

I know what I'm talking about. I've lived in this world for over half a century. I know that riding the Pacific Coast from Astoria, Oregon, to the Bay Area in California IS A MAJOR ACCOMPLISH FOR ME ... !!! Sure, there are people who can do that kind of cycling with no problem.

Count your blessings ... !!! Feel lucky, and enjoy your youth and vigor while you can, because IT WON'T LAST FOREVER ... !!! That is a 100% gurantee !!!!

You have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER what I have suffered in my life, and what I'm going through every single day of my life. And I don't need to explain myself to you or anyone else. There are plenty of people who understand, and realize that what I'm planning on doing is a great challenge, and something to look forward to. This could very well be my once-in-a lifetime event, and I'm going for the gusto baby!!!

No thanks to you .... !!! That's for sure ....

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Old 03-22-09, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
You must be young and naive yourself ... !!! You realy don't even know what you are talking about. Probably smoking too much of that funny stuff ... Which has cloudy reality ....

I know what I'm talking about. Live in this world for over half a century. I know that riding the Pacific Coast from Astoria, Oregon, to the Bay Area in California IS A MAJOR ACCOMPLISH FOR ME ... !!! Sure, there are people who can do that kind of cycling with no problem.

Count your blessings ... !!! Feel lucky, and enjoy your youth and vigor while you can, because IT WON'T LAST FOREVER ... !!! That is a 100% gurantee !!!!

You have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER what I have suffered in my life, and what I'm going through every single day of my life. And I don't need to explain myself to you or anyone else. There are plenty of people who understand, and realize that what I'm planning on doing is a great challenge, and something to look forward to. This could very well be my once-in-a lifetime event, and I'm going for the gusto baby!!!


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Old 03-23-09, 12:09 AM
  #20  
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You have a good perspective on life ... Life doesn't have to be boring. There are so many distractions nowdays, with tv, video games, computers, etc. Just get out there and do life ... Enjoy the sunsets! My youngest boy called me outside to check out the awesome sunset tonight. It was a very strange sunset, like I've never seen before! I'm glad that I listened to my boy, and went outside quickly, so we could enjoy that moment together.

Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
People have been being born, having their first day of school, falling in love, having weddings, having children, having funerals for thousands of years. Each one is it's own unique story.

The sun rises every morning and sets every night. It's been doing it every day I've been on the planet. I'm not bored yet. It's all a matter of perspective. Anyone who finds bike touring boring might find life itself boring- maybe it's why so many people are on prescription drugs for their mood- they've lost the capacity to imagine each day being remade anew.


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Old 03-23-09, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by chrishg View Post
do you also collect stamps?
Not yet, but I visit the stamp forum daily. Makes my mouth water.
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Old 03-23-09, 12:15 AM
  #22  
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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.
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Old 03-23-09, 12:21 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
And I'm still reading the stories, and now plan to actually do a bicycle tour all by myself!! Am I crazy, or is this my destiny? Can I really do this? Should I even attempt a bold feat, like riding the entire Oregon Coast, and another 300-400 miles into California?

I believe that I can make the ride! I've ordered the Surly Long Haul Trucker, and am working on setting goals now. I'm working on training, gathering the necessary gear. Next on my list of goals is to learn how to work on my bike, which seems a bit scary for me! I'm not a mechanic, but maybe, just maybe, I can do this ....
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.
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Old 03-23-09, 01:12 AM
  #24  
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i don't work. im retired.
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Old 03-23-09, 01:32 AM
  #25  
ultimatekiwi
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@vja4Him
Some advice: Don't feed the trolls.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

I am hoping to make it out to the Coast soon (schoolwork permitting). I have heard that it is absolutely beautiful, and I wish you only the best of luck on your tour!
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