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-   -   Where do year round touring folks tour during the winter months? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1179285)

Bike Jedi 07-25-19 01:58 AM

Where do year round touring folks tour during the winter months?
 
Where do folks who tour year round consistently, ride during the winter months to avoid cold weather?

If you are in the U.S. where do you go during December, January, February, and March? Does everyone really go to places like Arizona? Are there places bike touring folks seem to migrate the most during winter months if you stay mainland without dealing with the cold at all? What does that look like exactly?

What about elsewhere in the world? I have been reading for a while about how you all function, live, get around, places you go, but I don't recall coming across in-depth conversations about survival in winter months, what the norm is, etc...

I am curious to hear from folks that specifically tour year round and not seasonal, but actually live on their bikes and it's their only way of life.

I am wondering if there is a fluid and consistent way of just staying in warm weather while still covering as much as possible without pigeon holing yourself to the same places for cold months if you want to tour year round.

staehpj1 07-25-19 05:00 AM

I doubt you will get many responses here from folks who "actually live on their bikes and it's their only way of life".

I have done a little touring in winter and it was limited to the southern US, but the only folks I have met who I'd actually consider as full time were more likely to be categorized as homeless folks who bounced around a little by bike. Most of them were on the Pacific Coast and it would be a bit of a stretch to call them tourists IMO. Some were more mobile than others. At least one said he went back to where he had family once in a while and worked for a month or two to make a few bucks to live off of for a while.

One guy was living on the road with his dog and stayed in the Southern US in the winter. I got the impression that while he had logged a lot of miles he tended to stay put a while pretty often. He seemed to have been in the campground where we met him for a few weeks.

Another guy who wasn't a cyclist was "walking across the US". While it wasn't bike touring there were similarities. He started out with a a goal of walking to the west coast, but somewhere along the way decided that getting there wasn't the goal. He had been on the road for quite a few years and was likely to be for quite a few more. His M.O. was to get stalled in one place for months (years?) at a time if he liked where he was. He was camped in a $10 a night campsite at an indian reservation casino in Arizona and had been for some time. That was 2012 and I wouldn't be shocked if he were still there. They had showers and good food for cheap. He had a double wide baby stroller to haul his gear (very nice gear by the way) and was living off of his social security checks via a debit card which his daughter saw to managing for him. I ate a couple meals with him while I was there and enjoyed his company. He was an interesting guy.

That is about the extent of my actual experience with folks "full time touring". Others that I have read about generally did not limit themselves to one country, but rather travelled more widely making seasons less of an issue or possibly a non issue if they wanted to.

indyfabz 07-25-19 05:22 AM


Originally Posted by staehpj1 (Post 21043710)
i doubt you will get many responses here from folks who "actually live on their bikes and it's their only way of life".

+1.

axolotl 07-25-19 05:40 AM


Originally Posted by Bike Jedi (Post 21043647)

What about elsewhere in the world? I have been reading for a while about how you all function, live, get around, places you go, but I don't recall coming across in-depth conversations about survival in winter months, what the norm is, etc...

I am curious to hear from folks that specifically tour year round and not seasonal, but actually live on their bikes and it's their only way of life.

There are lots of places in the world to tour when it's winter in the northern hemisphere. I toured in Colombia this past winter, for example, and I've toured many times elsewhere in Latin America, southeast Asia, south Asia, and in the southern hemisphere. I have no interest in living on my bike permanently, however. Also, each country has its own rules regarding visas and how long non-citizens can remain. Southeast Asia seemed to have a fair number of foreigners who are there for extended stays, in large part because it's inexpensive compared to the developed world. Some of these folks tour by bike at least part of the time.

andrewclaus 07-25-19 07:19 AM

One of my Warmshowers guests when I lived in AZ spent most of that winter in Quartzsite, camping on BLM land with the hordes of RVers. He was a true year-round cyclist, logging 8000 miles a year, spending $5000/yr doing it. In Quartzsite, he worked the fields and gleaned when he could for free food, embracing "freeganism." He had nicer equipment than I did, was mentally sound, and had all his teeth--not your typical homeless guy. I remember him talking about spending quite of bit of time in other years in Mexico. He's an interesting "off the grid" guy.

axolotl 07-25-19 08:16 AM

I hosted 2 separate Warmshowers guests who were each "touring" essentially permanently. One of them definitely had some serious mental health issues. I hosted him before Warmshowers had a feedback option. The other guest seemed pretty sane and had come up with a way to earn some money while he toured around the world.

Bike Jedi 07-25-19 08:55 AM

I guess I was meaning more so where to tour/live/stay and stay caught up with warmer weather. I don't want to ride in the winter in Utah, Colorado, Montana, or Wyoming. I also don't want to ride in the south or east coast during the swamp summer. I wasn't really thinking being on the bike 24/7 as much as bouncing from place to place, city to city, and keep moving on the bike while exploring an area until the heart is content, and then moving on to the next place, or right through a place until the next place. If I am camping, hostel, warm showers for a couple of months, and then want to hang out in a place for a couple of months because I never experience anything like it, then that is what I will do, or at least the hope.

saddlesores 07-25-19 11:53 AM

if over 50, you can get a "retirement" visa in thailand. minimal requirements, but not allowed to work. you'd need to have a source of income. digital nomading is possible if you keep a low profile. can work in a third country part-time, no tax paid to thailand or usa.

if collecting social security, no problems, can easily live off less than $500/month. you can get an efficiency apartment in bangkok for $75, healthcare 1/4 the price in the usa. health insurance under $1k/year and no obamacare.

set up as a base for traveling throughout the region with no winter. buses, trains and cheap flights to interesting places.

touring in the region should run $20-25/day staying in guesthouses, cheaper if you feel like camping.

also possible to set up in vietnam, cambodia or laos with various types of visas. malaysia and indonesia have real retirement visas, but with higher requirements.

i've heard Philippines is even easier if you're a us citizen.

axolotl 07-25-19 12:05 PM


Originally Posted by Bike Jedi (Post 21044080)

I can only hope God blesses and protects me,.....

Outside of the Lord saving me,....

So maybe I can use some prayers, blessings,.....

Please leave your religious beliefs out of this. This is a bike touring forum.

John N 07-25-19 01:08 PM

He is only asking for himself so no big deal. Fine so long as he is not proselytizing. Change God and Lord to "the government" and you probably would be ok. Get over it.

Bike Jedi 07-25-19 01:32 PM


Originally Posted by axolotl (Post 21044400)
Please leave your religious beliefs out of this. This is a bike touring forum.

Sorry...I won't post anymore Cheech and Chong videos. I thought they were funny. I can understand how some folks can be offended though. My bad.

axolotl 07-25-19 04:32 PM


Originally Posted by TulsaJohn (Post 21044510)
He is only asking for himself so no big deal. Fine so long as he is not proselytizing. Change God and Lord to "the government" and you probably would be ok. Get over it.

Change "God" and "Lord" to "Allah", "The Flying Spaghetti Monster" or, for that matter, "the government" and you probably wouldn't have been OK with it.

Saying "Get over it" is not helpful.

John N 07-25-19 08:26 PM


Originally Posted by axolotl (Post 21044823)
Change "God" and "Lord" to "Allah", "The Flying Spaghetti Monster" or, for that matter, "the government" and you probably wouldn't have been OK with it.

Saying "Get over it" is not helpful.

Actually, I would be perfectly fine. If the OP wants help from the TFSM, then more power to him or her. Actually, getting over something is usually very helpful in my experience. Sort of like how I used to get uptight when someone brought up religion or religion but now I just blow it off. That is between the person and their deity, not between them and me. So yeah, try to get over it.

Tailwinds, John

Machka 07-26-19 01:29 AM


Originally Posted by Bike Jedi (Post 21043647)
Where do folks who tour year round consistently, ride during the winter months to avoid cold weather?

If you are in the U.S. where do you go during December, January, February, and March? Does everyone really go to places like Arizona? Are there places bike touring folks seem to migrate the most during winter months if you stay mainland without dealing with the cold at all? What does that look like exactly?

What about elsewhere in the world? I have been reading for a while about how you all function, live, get around, places you go, but I don't recall coming across in-depth conversations about survival in winter months, what the norm is, etc...

I am curious to hear from folks that specifically tour year round and not seasonal, but actually live on their bikes and it's their only way of life.

I am wondering if there is a fluid and consistent way of just staying in warm weather while still covering as much as possible without pigeon holing yourself to the same places for cold months if you want to tour year round.

You know that when it is winter in northern places like the US it is summer in southern places like Australia ... right?

When we could travel we would head to Canada in June/ July for some mid-winter summer weather. This winter, we're in our little home gym and outside on weekends.


When Rowan and I travelled for 8 months a few years ago, we missed spring all together and ended up in a lot of autumn.

ricrunner 07-26-19 01:50 AM

Well, when I was living on the road here, I didn't care if it was cold or hot, but mostly when it was hot, I was in the south where it is a bit cooler. As we don't have much more then -10 C weather here. it is not really a problem in winter. Now that I am only doing it seasonally, I tour mostly in the north for winter, and my single nighters to 2 weeks or more local, here in the New England of NSW in winter. I actually prefer to tour in the cooler months, and don't tour late spring, summer or early Autumn, as that weather is usually temps. of average 40+ C.

3speed 07-26-19 06:04 PM

Honestly, just ride south. It would be fun and cool if you have time to start on the west coast and go from there, but either way just go south. Find your best route through Mexico, etc, and just keep going. I'm sure you'd have an amazing trip and meet lots of awesome people. You could practice your Spanish along the way. If you have a smartphone, something like the free duolingo app could teach you what you need to get by. By the time you've gotten through Central America, you'll know whether or not you want to continue. If you decide you do, that's so far in the future that you may know where you want to go next.

The religious stuff is certainly an eye roll, but I don't feel strongly enough about random "harmless" comments to hate on someone for it. I'm mentioning this simply because it was replied to as if Axolotl was in the wrong... I do think people should consider the things Axolotl is talking about. It's no different than someone praising Allah, Satan, or People's Temple. There's no need for any of that stuff on a bike forum... No immediate harm done, but something to consider.

chrisx 07-26-19 09:12 PM

Baja /?
https://bajadivide.com/
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1...-divide-6.html


Thanks, for something to think about,
Whats the best flight from Seattle or San diego or Los Angles?

Originally Posted by saddlesores (Post 21044377)
if over 50, you can get a "retirement" visa in thailand. minimal requirements, but not allowed to work. you'd need to have a source of income. digital nomading is possible if you keep a low profile. can work in a third country part-time, no tax paid to thailand or usa.

if collecting social security, no problems, can easily live off less than $500/month. you can get an efficiency apartment in bangkok for $75, healthcare 1/4 the price in the usa. health insurance under $1k/year and no obamacare.

set up as a base for traveling throughout the region with no winter. buses, trains and cheap flights to interesting places.

touring in the region should run $20-25/day staying in guesthouses, cheaper if you feel like camping.

also possible to set up in vietnam, cambodia or laos with various types of visas. malaysia and indonesia have real retirement visas, but with higher requirements.

i've heard Philippines is even easier if you're a us citizen.


Bike Jedi 07-27-19 11:30 PM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 21045350)
You know that when it is winter in northern places like the US it is summer in southern places like Australia ... right?

Kind of, but not exactly. Like I don't have a feel or good impression in my mind how that really works to be honest. That's kind of why I am asking. I don't want to limit myself to southern U.S. long term for winter months and trying to figure out other ideas, what is reasonable, doable, livable, ideal for me.

Bike Jedi 07-27-19 11:43 PM


Originally Posted by 3speed (Post 21046558)
The religious stuff is certainly an eye roll, but I don't feel strongly enough about random "harmless" comments to hate on someone for it.

I won't get into the rest, but isn't this theoretically an oxymoron?

Machka 07-28-19 01:36 AM


Originally Posted by Bike Jedi (Post 21048101)
Kind of, but not exactly. Like I don't have a feel or good impression in my mind how that really works to be honest. That's kind of why I am asking. I don't want to limit myself to southern U.S. long term for winter months and trying to figure out other ideas, what is reasonable, doable, livable, ideal for me.

Science.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/...lained/8858776

Today, for example, is nearly 2/3 of the way through winter in the southern portion of Australia.

3speed 07-28-19 05:26 AM


Originally Posted by Bike Jedi (Post 21048107)
I won't get into the rest, but isn't this theoretically an oxymoron?

The closest part of that sentence, to me, is the putting the word harmless in quotes. But I still don't think that qualifies. Is that the part you're referring to? I assume you're talking about something else?

Bike Jedi 07-28-19 08:59 AM


Originally Posted by 3speed (Post 21048206)
The closest part of that sentence, to me, is the putting the word harmless in quotes. But I still don't think that qualifies. Is that the part you're referring to? I assume you're talking about something else?

No, I am just joking. I really don't care all that much. There would be no point in having the conversation any further. Nothing good can come from it, and I will only be wrong in the end of it no matter what I say, so there is no logic in continuing it.. Hope you are having a good day.

3speed 07-28-19 03:51 PM


Originally Posted by Bike Jedi (Post 21048402)
No, I am just joking. I really don't care all that much. There would be no point in having the conversation any further. Nothing good can come from it, and I will only be wrong in the end of it no matter what I say, so there is no logic in continuing it.. Hope you are having a good day.

I hope you are too. And I hold no ill will toward you at all. That's why I mentioned before that I was only saying something because the previous person had been responded to as if they were in the wrong, which I didn't believe them to be. Please don't focus simply on the second half of that original post, but remember that it began with what I believe to be helpful information and encouragement. I'm envious of the trip that you're planing, and hope you have an amazing time. I'm sure you will. Bike touring is always an amazing experience. I'm excited for you and hope I get to have such an adventure someday.

Bike Jedi 07-28-19 05:33 PM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 21048136)
Science.


https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/...lained/8858776


Today, for example, is nearly 2/3 of the way through winter in the southern portion of Australia.


Yes I understand some things about the philosophy of science, and that allegedly, the sun does these things...what I really was hoping was for a more indepth insight from experts such as yourselves to say, "Oh...you want to cycle/tour year round, in warmer climate, and see most of the planet? OK...this is what you do..."


I am starting in Colorado, want to spend the rest of the summer exploring Colorado, Utah, Grand Canyon kind of stuff, then possible go up through Montana, head towards upper north west, take advantage of as much of the warm weather left at that point in time, and then continue on...


I can go south, but the south seems to be in quite a bit of disarray, not the safest, and tens of thousands of refuges on the run for their lives might be an indicator that isn't the most brilliant idea in the world. So I am probably going to run into a point where I am not going to want to cycle in the cold (I live in Colorado and have been doing that for years), and continue migrating somehow with warmer weather patterns. If that means at that point I am down in Arizona or upper north west because I stayed up there, then plane, train, automobile it to the next place, and continue on.


I would like to tap into all your experiences instead of recreating the wheel and figure out what is actually doable. I am not a wealthy man and prefer not to be in more expensive places/cities, and not even big cities anymore unless it's something oversea's that needs to be seen. I have read enough and know it's doable, and know I can tour through Asia just as well. So the goal is as much of the world as possible, avoiding cold as much as possible for a while. I have read enough of your journals, watched enough of your videos, and have been lurking this site for years, that I know how to do it (theoretically), that it can be done, that it can be done quite successfully for $27-$30 a day if done right. So if all these things are true, then I want to go do it.


I just did 50 miles, in 98 degree weather, at elevation, and will take a shower, and probably go do another 20-30 miles for fun. That's what I do all the time. So, how do I take that act on the road full time, based on all the things you all have said for years, and have a logical and doable lifelong path to start plotting along.


I know you mentioned Australia, but Australia is one of the more expensive countries in the world to visit. So I do want to see it at some point, but I would need to include it in a pass through rather than go spend a winter there because of the cost of living.


If we really only live once, and I will never get a chance to do this again because of age, health, commitments, tragedy, whatever...then I want to go do this. So what places should I be focused on, for what months, in a continuous path if possible, in the most affordable way?


For as much resources out there that there is, and for as long as I have read this stuff, I don't honestly recall coming across folks directly talking about, "this is how I year round tour and avoid weather..." kind of thing.


I don't have expectations, just trying to understand logically if that is doable, or do I need to start thinking about bike/flying more than just continuous touring?

Bike Jedi 07-28-19 05:57 PM


Originally Posted by 3speed (Post 21048826)
I'm envious of the trip that you're planing, and hope you have an amazing time.

I am envious of the trip I am planning too, and hope I have an amazing time too!


I'm excited for you and hope I get to have such an adventure someday.
Nope, not some day...very soon. It's now or never. The bike will be here Tuesday, and the build will be complete within two weeks I hope, or enough of a build to get on the road successfully. If I don't go now, I never will.

So right now, I am speaking out loud about it, to get myself to commit. Get the build done, finish rounding up the last components, and then camping gear still needed, and head west from Denver. That's if I want to stay in Colorado for a while. I could just go north now, head up towards Yellowstone, and then head north west from there seeing some northern midwest states I have never seen. I don't know why, but I really want to go out towards Oregon for a while. Even if I spend the rest of the summer/fall doing Colorado and head up that way, and then try to get a room to rent up there some where for a couple of weeks/months during the rougher weather months, use that as a central place for the winter, and then move on when the weather breaks. If I did something like that, then I would head up to Alaska for next spring, and do the entire west coast down to South America, and then over to Africa from there. That's kind of dream I picked up from reading these forums, but to be honest, I would be fine with touring around the U.S. continuously for a while, and checking out national parks too.

I don't have a plan and it's just a matter of going at this point. I can't shake it from my system. If the weather is warm, I am not worried about it...I am worried about running into a dead end with weather, money, etc...and getting stuck somewhere for a while I don't want to be. If I can continually do it for less than $1k a month, stay ahead of weather, and touring/trekking as much as possible, then that is what I would like to do.


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