What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
willem jongman
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby willem jongman » 25 Aug 2018, 10:36am

Cultural tradition plays a big role, I think. I am Dutch, and in my country cycle touring is quite common. To understand this it may be useful to look into the two constituent components: cycling and camping.
As you will appreciate, cycling is something that everyone in Holland does or has done. We ride to school on our bikes, and many adults also ride to work on their bikes. So almost everyone has a half serviceable bike, and for a first tour in Holland that will do. For tour abroad few of these bikes are good enough, because they will not normally have derailleur gears, but for a first tour they are fine. So in summer you wil see many 16-18 year olds on their city bikes, doing their first tour without their parents. Similarly, quite a few families with your children will do a cycle touring holiday in Holland (we did too, with our young children). For older people, cycling is also quite a normal thing to do (though increasingly on ebikes), and you will see many pensioners cycling the countryside on a nice summer day.
Similarly, camping is also far more common than in the UK, and not just because it is cheap. In fact, I would not be surprised if people with higher education and higher incomes do more camping holidays than those with lower incomes. They have pretty nice camping gear, either big tents etc. for long vacations in one place, or fancy lightweight stuff.
So in more recent years these things have tended to come together, with many people leaving their caravans etc. behind, and turning to cycle touring. This has been immensely helped by the availability of Dutch route guide books for long distance tours such as Holland to Rome, Santiago de Compostella, etc (and now al with gps tracks). Each year there is a big fair in the very early spring for cycle touring and walking holidays, drawing about 20,000 visitors over two days. There will be stands by bicycle manufacturers, foreign tourist boards, outdoor gear sellers, etc., and there will be a host of presentations by volunteers on ultralight camping, cycling with children, touring in the third world, travel photography, gps use, and what not. My own presentation is on how to go on your first cycle touring trip with a low budget (even if many in the audience want to spend in a pretty big way - and do just that).
So there is quite a culture behind the cycle touring, and people see many examples of others doing this as well. Of my immediate neighbours, one couple are currently cycling to Santiago de Compostella, another have just walked there over their last few summer holidays, and two others do fast and light trips like Rome or Spain in two weeks on road bikes, staying in hotels rather than camping.
Admittedly these are quite prosperous people (doctors, professors, senior public service managers etc), but compared to years ago it has become a lot easier to put together affordable kit. Second hand bikes can be very cheap (in Holland a few hundred euros will buy you a Koga Miyata 27 speed bike in good shape), and many families will already have some camping gear, though not necessarily lightweight. New tents do not need to cost much either: I recently bought a, 89 euro Decathlon Quickhiker 2 for my son, to use at music festivals instead of his nice Helsport tent, and is perfectly fine as a solo touring tent. The 109 euro Quickhiker 3 is fine for two, not to mention their new ultralight series. I recently tried that Quickhiker 2 for a week long solo trip and there was nothing wrong with it. So the practical barrier is low - persuading people that cycle touring is cool will have to build on a more general acceptance of cycling as a healthy and elegant way to move around for short distances, and a message that tent camping as a classy sporting way to enjoy the outdoors, and not just a rock bottom cheap way for young lager louts.

PH
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby PH » 25 Aug 2018, 11:44am

willem jongman wrote:Each year there is a big fair in the very early spring for cycle touring and walking holidays, drawing about 20,000 visitors over two days. There will be stands by bicycle manufacturers, foreign tourist boards, outdoor gear sellers, etc., and there will be a host of presentations by volunteers on ultralight camping, cycling with children, touring in the third world, travel photography, gps use, and what not. My own presentation is on how to go on your first cycle touring trip with a low budget (even if many in the audience want to spend in a pretty big way - and do just that).

OT - Do you have any details of that?

willem jongman
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby willem jongman » 25 Aug 2018, 12:02pm

http://fietsenwandelbeurs.nl/index.php/nl/

I have published a rather extended version of my own presentations on the site of the Dutch cycle touring club de Wereldfietser: https://www.wereldfietser.nl/docs/de-ee ... kantie.pdf
This is last Spring's version. I try to expand and update it each year, to cover changes in the market. One day, after I retire, I may write an English version as well, but that would not be just a linguistic exercise, of course.
Last edited by willem jongman on 25 Aug 2018, 12:07pm, edited 1 time in total.

PH
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby PH » 25 Aug 2018, 12:07pm

willem jongman wrote:http://fietsenwandelbeurs.nl/index.php/nl/

Thanks, that might fit in with a Spring tour.

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matt2matt2002
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby matt2matt2002 » 26 Aug 2018, 9:19pm

For me it's 50/50.
Getting away from the 9-5 job/ routine.
Seeing new cultures as cheaply as possible.

So easy to interact with folk while bike riding. No threat etc.

Where next? No idea. I'll be flipping a coin next year.
2014 Scottish End2End 1 month
2015 Pamir Highway Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan for 2 months
2016 Sri Lanka for 1 month.
2017 Herbrides Lewis Harris 2 weeks
2018 Ethiopia.5 weeks.
2018 Marrakech 2 weeks.
On a Thorn Raven/Rohloff hub.

Vorpal
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby Vorpal » 26 Aug 2018, 9:36pm

Lots of people in Norway take cycling holidays, but that mostly means either going to another country, hiring bikes, and doing day trips every day, or doing an organised tour.

It doesn't seem to be so common to do cycle touring by just packing stuff up on a bike and going round a country; not even as common as in the UK. I know lots of regular cyclists, and more people who cycle to work than in the UK. But none of them do cycle touring.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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willem jongman
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby willem jongman » 27 Aug 2018, 8:16am

Interesting, because they do camp in tents.

tatanab
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby tatanab » 27 Aug 2018, 8:21am

willem jongman wrote:This has been immensely helped by the availability of Dutch route guide books for long distance tours such as Holland to Rome, Santiago de Compostella, etc (and now al with gps tracks).
Over the years I have met several groups using these guide books. The books have an impressive amount of detail about lodging, sights to see etc. Most of the groups i see are of retirement age or older and tend to be out for between one and two months on their German style trekking bikes. Excellent!

Vorpal
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby Vorpal » 27 Aug 2018, 8:31am

willem jongman wrote:Interesting, because they do camp in tents.

Yes. Everyone I know here goes camping. They mostly drive there. They sometimes ride their bikes, but then, it's because they are going into the forest someplace that they can't get by car. They don't 'tour'. They ride mountain bikes 25 kilometers into the forest and camp there for a week. Or take the train, then ride, then camp. Or they load bikes and camping gear up on a car or van, and drive somewhere to camp, then take day rides from where they camp.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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nirakaro
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby nirakaro » 27 Aug 2018, 11:31am

Vorpal wrote:
willem jongman wrote:Interesting, because they do camp in tents.

Yes. Everyone I know here goes camping. They mostly drive there. They sometimes ride their bikes, but then, it's because they are going into the forest someplace that they can't get by car. They don't 'tour'. They ride mountain bikes 25 kilometers into the forest and camp there for a week. Or take the train, then ride, then camp. Or they load bikes and camping gear up on a car or van, and drive somewhere to camp, then take day rides from where they camp.

My limited recollection of Norwegian roads is that they're quiet, but long and winding and very hilly, so pretty uninviting for long distance cycling. If I lived in Norway, I don't think it would occur to me that a long bike tour could be enjoyable.

Vorpal
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby Vorpal » 27 Aug 2018, 11:45am

nirakaro wrote:
Vorpal wrote:
willem jongman wrote:Interesting, because they do camp in tents.

Yes. Everyone I know here goes camping. They mostly drive there. They sometimes ride their bikes, but then, it's because they are going into the forest someplace that they can't get by car. They don't 'tour'. They ride mountain bikes 25 kilometers into the forest and camp there for a week. Or take the train, then ride, then camp. Or they load bikes and camping gear up on a car or van, and drive somewhere to camp, then take day rides from where they camp.

My limited recollection of Norwegian roads is that they're quiet, but long and winding and very hilly, so pretty uninviting for long distance cycling. If I lived in Norway, I don't think it would occur to me that a long bike tour could be enjoyable.

Low gears is the way to do it ;)
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

PH
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby PH » 27 Aug 2018, 12:01pm

To answer the question as originally posted, I've done one non UK tour and even that started from home - Derby to Barcelona.
I've done at least two 5+ day UK tours a year for the last 17 years or so - Most of the long distance NCN routes, some more than once - half a dozen Scottish Island hoping routes - to and from the touring rallies many times - BCQ routes - coastal routes - the long way from A to B and any other excuse to spend a few days cycling. Also countless shorter trips, from one night to four, I spent five years working a four day week and was away nearly every weekend in the summer months. I also Audax tour - riding there and back on the days either side of the event.
In the future - I'd like to visit some of the places I've lived and worked before I cycled, particularly some areas of Asia. The idea of going for a couple of weeks doesn't really appeal, so it'll be when longer tours become possible. I might venture more into Europe, though there's still loads of the UK on the to do list.

I'd also like to answer this
I'm posting this because I joined the CTC, and I want to keep the wings alive. I proudly wear my CTC shirt on tour. For me the club embodied a spirit of adventure, of riding to the horizon and beyond, seeing new places, experiencing different cultures, stepping out of your comfort zone, meeting new people, trying new foods, getting lost and finding a new perspective....and yes it's risky

Some years ago, I posted on a thread which was trying to define touring, my comment was based on my opinion that touring involved being away and going somewhere different. I was criticised (By CJ I think) for having such a narrow definition, I didn't agree at the time but the more I cycle the more I'm coming round to accepting it. If I go for a ride where the purpose is what I see and where it goes, rather than the need to be somewhere or some physical goal, then I don't know how to describe it other than touring. This is how I think of the CTC rides I do, being back by teatime (Usually) doesn't make them any less touring rides and IMO this is the spirit that keeps the winged wheels alive.

mnichols
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby mnichols » 28 Aug 2018, 11:00pm

Vorpal wrote:
willem jongman wrote:Interesting, because they do camp in tents.

Yes. Everyone I know here goes camping. They mostly drive there. They sometimes ride their bikes, but then, it's because they are going into the forest someplace that they can't get by car. They don't 'tour'. They ride mountain bikes 25 kilometers into the forest and camp there for a week. Or take the train, then ride, then camp. Or they load bikes and camping gear up on a car or van, and drive somewhere to camp, then take day rides from where they camp.


I'd like to do an end to end of Norway next year, maybe Shetland if time allows

I've still got one more tour this year in September, then I'll probably plan next year's trips over winter. So, I'll probably put up a thread about that before xmas

mnichols
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby mnichols » 28 Aug 2018, 11:12pm

PH wrote:
I'd also like to answer this
I'm posting this because I joined the CTC, and I want to keep the wings alive. I proudly wear my CTC shirt on tour. For me the club embodied a spirit of adventure, of riding to the horizon and beyond, seeing new places, experiencing different cultures, stepping out of your comfort zone, meeting new people, trying new foods, getting lost and finding a new perspective....and yes it's risky


Some years ago, I posted on a thread which was trying to define touring, my comment was based on my opinion that touring involved being away and going somewhere different. I was criticised (By CJ I think) for having such a narrow definition, I didn't agree at the time but the more I cycle the more I'm coming round to accepting it. If I go for a ride where the purpose is what I see and where it goes, rather than the need to be somewhere or some physical goal, then I don't know how to describe it other than touring. This is how I think of the CTC rides I do, being back by teatime (Usually) doesn't make them any less touring rides and IMO this is the spirit that keeps the winged wheels alive.


The only thing that I would add to that is that for me there has to be an element of exploration, and seeing something new. If I was cycling to cafe that I'd cycled to 50 times before on the same route, for me that's not touring. It's cycling and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. I do those routes, but that's not touring...for me

Psamathe
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Re: What tours have you done? What do you want to do?

Postby Psamathe » 29 Aug 2018, 1:01am

Just the one tour, 8 weeks (France->Belgium->Netherlands->Germany->Netherlands) "loaded" (camping). Got back a few days ago so still sorting things out.

Ian