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How do you guys afford the time and money and company to do long tours???

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How do you guys afford the time and money and company to do long tours???

Old 05-14-19, 07:59 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Moved my stuff into storage, so eliminated the apartment rent & utilities cost..

went solo , never married , no kids..
That's radical!
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Old 05-14-19, 08:00 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Jim246 View Post
I recently quit a highly paid and highly prestigious job in the USA to move back to Europe. Downsides? (at least) a $70,000 pay cut. Upsides? 10-weeks paid vacation in a country where companies routinely shut down for the whole of August.

I'm looking forward to taking my six year old princess for her first mini tour some time soon. I turned on my Garmin last week, and it had one ride from nearly two years in the USA...
No way!! What country is that?
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Old 05-14-19, 08:10 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
the key is to not have kids.

I have 3, so i haven't done an extended tour in more than 20 years.
lol
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Old 05-14-19, 08:13 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by revcp View Post
"I get 3 weeks in a year, and that needs to be distributed among all the vacations." I'm not meaning to be snarky here, but what you're saying is you could do a three week tour. You choose not do do it. I don't have a lot of money, and I have time irregularly, but getting out and doing things like bike touring and canoeing are things that I HAVE TO DO to stay human.

It can be tough to find good touring partners, but they're out there.

As for money, I can't afford to tour in exotic places, but that's fine, as I've chosen to do door to door tours in order to cut down on my carbon footprint.
Lol, thanks. I don't think family would be happy if I spent all 3 weeks on my own.

Btw, I used to live in Mpls over 8 years ago, and actually loved it. It's a good city for biking.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:16 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by raybo View Post
I started touring after I retired (at 48).

I tour solo.

I do month long trips because that seems to be the sweet spot between my desire to tour and my desire to see my wife and friends.

Touring is what I spend my money on.
Tell me the secret of retiring at 48 please.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:20 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
fuji owner, lets talk now about gear and gear choices and costs.

for someone starting from scratch, looking at the internets and what is in and cool and light and great, its pretty easy to come to the conclusion that for bikepacking anyway, you will tend to need the smallest, lightest stuff--which translates into "expensive".

yes, stuff has gotten lighter over the years, but one can still shop around and NOT spend 600 bucks on a tent, 250 on a campmat and 500 on a sleeping bag. Im in Canada, and prices are always a fair more expensive than in the states, but what Im getting at, is that if one shops and informs themselves well about what is on the market, there are perfectly good tents, sleeping mats, etc etc out there that wont be as light as the lightest, but you'll probably spend a third of the lightest and brightest.
There are also lots of pannier choices out there, if you go that route, reasonably priced panniers that will work well, and reasonably priced racks that will work well also.

bottom line, now as in the past, there is always a balance of finding material that is of good value and will work, but wont cost an arm and a leg, and this helps a lot for someone starting out and trying to budget for setting oneself up for a trip--which also may be an activity that you wont want to do again, so reasonably priced stuff, or heck, even finding used stuff, is a great way for an introduction to it.
Same goes for bikes, all kinds of prices, yet you can have a fun experience on a lot of diff bikes, new, used, etc, but of course there are all kinds of bikes and some are not really suited to carrying stuff.

the time thing, well, as others pointed out, doing some short trips is a good start, and then one has to look at bigger picture stuff if you decide you really would like to do longer trips, and hopefully find ways with work to create time--but again, short trips at first is the best way to go, to see how you like it, and go from there.
Thanks for all the info!
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Old 05-14-19, 08:22 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
I don't tour, but I have been known to blow ridiculous amount of money on bicycles & related paraphanelia.

What @andrewclause said is spot on.
Ditch the subscription services. Pandora, Spotify, that MMORPG, that dinner box delivery service...etc. All of it.

Ditch the cable company that charges you 3 times for the same data connection (cable, internet, voice). You only need 1 data connection. Internet alone is pretty cheap.

Ditch the redundant land line telephone. If you still have copper wires. You can do like I did & literally cut them off your house & coil them up by the power pole. It might take a year or 2, but the phone company will come get them. It is YOUR house afterall. They have no right & you have no obligation to keep them attached.

Television is free with an antenna & has been so since the 1930-something Worlds Fair.

Ditch the gym membership.

Eliminate the car payment. That helps in a bunch of ways. 1 being the insurance cost of full coverage. Another being the interest. Another being on going monthly overhead. The best way to turn a sensible $12,000 car into an $18,000 car is getting it financed at 6.5% or that same car into a $40,000 obligation is to fold it into a home equity line at 5.5% for 20 years.

Pay mortgage principal in addition to regular monthly payments. A $240,000 home is easily $450,000 in obligation over 30 years. Paying principal payments in greater amount & earlier on really eff's with the interest portion of the payment scheme. How's that extra $200,000 dollars and decade & a half of being tied to "the man" avoided sound? It's the same compounding mathematics for credit cards.

Start thinking of things in terms of obligation & total cost.

Credit cards cut your purchasing power in half. I've found the best way to think about any purchase with a card is to mentally double the price. Would you still buy it? This has allowed me to put all the cards to rest.

I have a ridiculously gutted retirement, to make some investors & day traders happy with my employer. I've also placed no dollars in my employers Voluntary Investment Plan. The reasons are simple. I honestly do not believe my employer or the plans will exist when it comes time for me to retire. The other is the 2% "management fee" compounds & eats 2/3rd's of the potential gain. Puting money there amounts to just learning how to live with debt, obligation & makes for a ripe customer for other E-Z-Credit opportunist.

Also, it doesn't hurt to know that the rate of growth of my employers plan, over 20 years, even convienently discounting the fee's effect is half as strong as the saved obligation of getting the mortgage paid 20 years early. The end result is 8x the net spendable cash than otherwise so & zero of the obligation...all by living thin for just the next 4 years.

TBH: After all is accounted for the total amount I would end up with under my employers plan is really no different than that of a maxing out annual IRA contributions or buying a good IRA CD, so that's where my money goes. It's not fancy but it allows my other monies to go where it is most effective at freeing me of obligation.

Really, as a direct answer to your question: People manage to do things like have time & money to go on tour by making life long choices, looking at "the big picture" & having habits that avoid obligation.

Also, as a side note: I got tired of my debit card being skimmed at gas pumps, hotel congierges, etc...& being fraudulently used on the other side of the country for things like Uber/Lyft or Atm's. So when the bank offered to replace it, (again!) I opted to not. I am now 100% cash based in my personal economics. That choice alone saves about $30,000-$35,000 dollars per year of concenience spending that used to happen. Yeah, it means a weekly trip to the bank to talk to a human teller person. But if it saved you $35,000 a year, would you? Besides the teller at my credit union is a nice person, so it's a win.

I still live on $200 a week for coffee, burgers, movies, & beer, That's plenty to cover everything I need for recreational spending...Even in pricy Seattle.
Wow, thanks for your detailed suggestions. Good points!
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Old 05-14-19, 08:22 PM
  #58  
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Time - retired
Money - careful planning for said retirement
Partner - wise/lucky choice of wife plus an encouraging generous attitude towards her riding. Plus occasionally get lucky with children or friends who can join the ride.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:34 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Mr Fuji, you havent piped in, are you in your 20s in North America, or are you in yours 60s in India?

Going from the bikes you own, you probably aren't a starving student, but then again, even if you are, be assured that with some proper and realistic planning and purchasing, you too can try out bike touring.

the recommendation of borrowing stuff is a great one, and combining this with a long weekend could make a trial trip something that wouldnt too hard to organize at very little expense, and if the weather is nice, a perfect way to find out if you like this sort of thing.
Haha, I'm in my 30s in North America, thanks for asking. At one point in my late 20s, I got really into bikes and biking, and I did some semi-serious racing, sportives, charity rides, etc. As you noticed, I did splurge once on a really nice bike that I will never part with. However, I've always liked the idea of touring, but I've never felt confident enough to actually do it.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:57 PM
  #60  
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Many folks have job/career/family etc obligations that put long tours out of the picture esp with increasing cost of living. 3 weeks vacation is more than a lot of folks get...should allow for a couple nice week-long trips per year. Maybe one domestic & one overseas? One blessing is that air travel is now relatively cheap...if one is creative with accommodations (stealth camping, Warmshowers etc) tour costs can be limited a lot.
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Old 05-15-19, 07:03 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
Is one of your companies Intel?
AMD

Like some other companies, AMD has a leave policy. Some type of leave have job guarantees, e.g. maternity or medical. Others do not including "personal leave" of up to six months.

Three years in advance, I mentioned to my manager that I wanted to do a ride across Africa (TDA). As time got closer, things got more specific and when time came it became a request for a six month leave.

Not long before I left AMD had a layoff. It would have been possible for my manager to put my name on the list (actually independent of the leave request). In that case I would have gotten a severance and found a new job on return.

As it was, I was fortunate to not be affected by the layoff and take my leave as planned.
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Old 05-15-19, 09:02 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
Lol, thanks. I don't think family would be happy if I spent all 3 weeks on my own.

Btw, I used to live in Mpls over 8 years ago, and actually loved it. It's a good city for biking.
Yes, family comes first.

I married late--35--and in my years before "settling down" I did a summer as a backpack guide and five summers as a canoe guide. In addition, I did a number of trips on my own time. Because I was young and was on an academic calendar into my early 30s and before that had, ahem, flexible employment, I had a lot of time, even if I had very little money (but because I was for a time employed by an outdoor specialty shop, I acquired good gear at 15% to 20% below wholesale). My tripping experiences "infected" me.

I'm a pastor, and seven years ago I took a sabbatical and was able to do a trip longer than a week for the first time since 1990. I started the time off with a three week solo canoe trip in the BWCA, and then my "adventuring partner," Bill, joined me for two more weeks in the Quetico. After that it was six weeks with the family, starting in Santa Fe, ending in Homer, AK (with Bill and his wife joining us for the final 10 days). There was much negotiating and no small strife leading up to the first half of the sabbatical. In the end, it worked out.

Our two boys are now 19 and 22, I am 60, and I'm preparing for another sabbatical starting in two weeks (the 19 yo is finishing up his first year in college and will be guiding at the Y camp in the BWCA where I guided in the 80s, the 22 yo is working with the Conservation Corps out of Grand Rapids, MN, so they have both been "infected"). I will be doing the kind of trip I've never done and will probably not repeat, a Twin Cities to St Louis to Santa Fe to Yellowstone to Twin Cities tour. My wife and Bill's wife (this will be our 15th or 16th trip together paddling, canoeing or winter camping) are concerned for our welfare, a bit nonplussed that they are being left with dogs (we both have Alaskan Malamutes), houses and yards to take care of alone, but they understand that we are who we are, and the four of us are looking forward to a Hawaii trip next March, a place none of us have ever visited.

A long story, but, yes, family determines a lot. When our boys were younger it didn't work to take a trip on my own or with Bill for longer than a week. Life is different now. With where you are in life, it might be well to take what you can, be grateful for it, and dream about and plan for future adventures.
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Old 05-15-19, 09:36 AM
  #63  
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re family
to the 30 something fellow asking the question--if intending to maybe or for sure have kids, do some trips if possible now, because lets face it, starting a family is a big, full time committment and it wont be a while before you can get away again (most likely anyway) and yes, being a dad or a mom is the most important thing, so yes, family comes first.

Im glad I did a bunch of trips before kids, and then as the years went by, slowly began to be able to do some little ones and then some big ones when family committments were no longer the same.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:03 AM
  #64  
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1. take a week off during the summer/warm months
2. buy gear one piece at a time over the cold/winter months
3. leave alone from your doorstep
bonus tip: work at a school and have summers off
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Old 05-15-19, 10:08 AM
  #65  
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Kids shouldn't mess with touring. That's what summer camp's for, lol. 😁😉
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Old 05-15-19, 10:15 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
Haha, I'm in my 30s in North America, thanks for asking. At one point in my late 20s, I got really into bikes and biking, and I did some semi-serious racing, sportives, charity rides, etc. As you noticed, I did splurge once on a really nice bike that I will never part with. However, I've always liked the idea of touring, but I've never felt confident enough to actually do it.
Then you need to try a short tour. Maybe an overnight on a weekend like Alan S suggested. Is there a state park close by where you could do an overnight?

Two years ago a friend of mine was getting his equipment ready for his third cross-USA trip. And he wanted to do a short five day local tour to check everything out. He asked others that he knew (we are both retired) if anyone wanted to go along, I had just finished building up a new touring bike that needed a test ride, so I offered to join him. He mapped out a five day, four night route from our homes back to our homes, partly on little used rural roads and partly on state bike trails. Three of the four nights were at state parks, one night was at a commercial park that had tenting. Was a good trip and all of his and my new gear worked as expected.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:17 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
re family
to the 30 something fellow asking the question--if intending to maybe or for sure have kids, do some trips if possible now, because lets face it, starting a family is a big, full time committment and it wont be a while before you can get away again (most likely anyway) and yes, being a dad or a mom is the most important thing, so yes, family comes first.

Im glad I did a bunch of trips before kids, and then as the years went by, slowly began to be able to do some little ones and then some big ones when family committments were no longer the same.
Yes, families take commitment but that doesn't mean you have to stop living. Drag the kids along. You might not be able to do weeks or months of touring and you might have to recalibrate what "touring" is but your kids will (mostly) thank you for it when they get to be adults. Part of that "commitment" of a family is to raise adults that aren't afraid to do something other than work all their lives.

My kids have experienced or observed a dead bison in a pond on top above Norris Geyser Basin, a calf being born, a pronghorn being born, the Great Pig Stampede, beating into winds in the Columbia Gorge, dinner watching a barge pass a lock in Iowa, the closest thing to the Bates Motel I ever want to experience in Pomeroy, WA., cheese curds, the Ertl toy factory, and more boring museums than you can shake a stick at. We've even poached a parade or two. In fact, we used to gauge the quality of a vacation by the comments of "I'm bored". That is how you judge a great vacation vs just a good one.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:37 AM
  #68  
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absolutely Mr Perkins, I agree.
I grew up doing canoe trips and stuff like that, and we did some with our kids, and camped and hopefully gave them a good outlook on how proper planning can mean one can do all kinds of things.
And yes, the whole "work your whole life" thing is something Ive always gone against, and hopefully by fostering a spirit of adventure, ours will have an open mind to doing things that go against a 9 to 5 life mindset.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:46 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Yes, families take commitment but that doesn't mean you have to stop living. Drag the kids along. You might not be able to do weeks or months of touring and you might have to recalibrate what "touring" is but your kids will (mostly) thank you for it when they get to be adults. Part of that "commitment" of a family is to raise adults that aren't afraid to do something other than work all their lives.
+1. I saw LOTS of families touring when I was in France and the Netherlands. No, you're probably not going to be pounding out centuries every day, and there may be more sightseeing stops and MUPs than climbing ridiculous mountains and soloing through barren landscape, but there is no reason it can't be done enjoyably with a family.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:54 AM
  #70  
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Bringing a family along would run contrary to the whole point of touring. No thanks.
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Old 05-15-19, 11:27 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Bringing a family along would run contrary to the whole point of touring. No thanks.
Define your terms before using them. The touring issue for many does NOT mean (nor imply) SOLO.
However, YMMV and we all have our points of view.....
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Old 05-15-19, 11:38 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Bringing a family along would run contrary to the whole point of touring. No thanks.
Likewise, wouldn't leaving your family at home to do things on your own run contrary to the whole point of having a family? I'm perfectly fine solo touring, but I enjoy it far more when my wife is with me.

I think the point here is that if you are incorporating your family on vacation, there is no reason to automatically discount touring, there are many ways to do it that children can enjoy it.
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Old 05-15-19, 11:44 AM
  #73  
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Funny, I always thought I was doing the right thing and that my example of having an adventurist spirit would rub off on my kids. Nope. None of them like the outdoors and are all computer games - smart phone types.

It was actually quite a hard thing to work through as I feel that probably the best/strongest part of who I am is of no value in a familial sense and have had to accept that my children do not need to be carbon copies of me. If it were up to them I would have made a bigger impact by working more and buying better computers.

So touring is my thing, not theirs. All it does for them is give them a happy dad which is better than a miserable one.
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Old 05-15-19, 12:12 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by tmac100 View Post
Define your terms before using them. The touring issue for many does NOT mean (nor imply) SOLO.
However, YMMV and we all have our points of view.....
Of course. That is my point of view. Not speaking for anyone else.
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Old 05-15-19, 12:20 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Likewise, wouldn't leaving your family at home to do things on your own run contrary to the whole point of having a family? I'm perfectly fine solo touring, but I enjoy it far more when my wife is with me.

I think the point here is that if you are incorporating your family on vacation, there is no reason to automatically discount touring, there are many ways to do it that children can enjoy it.
Not in my world. A family is made up of individuals who have their own interests. Iím not going to play video games because a kid thinks they are fun. Iím not going to bore anyone with details of my work day, although I think it is fascinating. OK, maybe Iíll try, but if it becomes apparent the details are uninteresting, Iíll immediately stop. People know I ride bikes to work and on vacation. 99.9% of the details are completely uninteresting to others. Thatís why I post here. At least there is a tiny audience that may care a little.
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