Do you like to tour alone?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
bikepacker
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby bikepacker » 25 Sep 2012, 2:03pm

Longest solo tour I have done is 4 weeks, because I knew my objective it didn't bother me about being away from home that long. Each year I usually do 2 or 3 cycle camping tours both solo or with friends of around 2 weeks (being retired I do have the time), also I do another 2 or 3 cycling or walking tours with my wife. This way I keep a nice balance

For the first time in ages this year I have felt my camping days will decrease from now on as I find the extra workload is taking it's toll. In a discussion in Ireland I said next year my 70th may be my last camping. From then I will cycle tour taking the advice of my late friend Neville Chanin and go B&B or hotel.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

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shane
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby shane » 25 Sep 2012, 4:19pm

gloomyandy wrote:Interesting... Personally I'm not sure I could cope with a long tour (though never tried it so can't really tell). I find that after a week or so I'm ready to head home. For me this is partially a "had enough of sleeping in a tent thing", partially a "I have other stuff I want to do now thing", partially "I'm missing friends/partner thing". For those of you that are made of sterner stuff and that tour for longer periods, how does it work for you? Is there a "away from home barrier" that you hit at some point, but if you push through it you get over it?


I wouldn't call it sterner stuff, just horses for courses.

For me I know that if and when I get home, I can enjoy the luxuries of home for about a week or so then the feet start getting itchy again. Right now I'm not home sick as such, just desperate to talk to someone that knows me longer than 2 beers, and ready for a change of scenery and a little anonymity. Being the rich white guy is getting tedious....

Long term sleeping in my tent isn't a problem either, thats my home and I often sleep better in my tent in the bush than in a hotel. :D Max I've slept in it so far is about 3 weeks straight .

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georgew
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby georgew » 25 Sep 2012, 4:30pm

bikepacker wrote:Longest solo tour I have done is 4 weeks, because I knew my objective it didn't bother me about being away from home that long. Each year I usually do 2 or 3 cycle camping tours both solo or with friends of around 2 weeks (being retired I do have the time), also I do another 2 or 3 cycling or walking tours with my wife. This way I keep a nice balance

For the first time in ages this year I have felt my camping days will decrease from now on as I find the extra workload is taking it's toll. In a discussion in Ireland I said next year my 70th may be my last camping. From then I will cycle tour taking the advice of my late friend Neville Chanin and go B&B or hotel.


I reached this point a few years ago at sixty-nine and it was and is a bitter pill to swallow. In the end I had to sell my camping gear in order to ensure that I wouldn't try again as my health was poor and unaccompanied camping tours of a few thousand miles in a foreign country were becoming distinctly dodgy. I still watch with envy those cycle-campers setting out for France at the beginning of summer. I had a fair go for thirty-odd years I suppose but still wish I had started sooner and finished later.
Last edited by georgew on 28 Sep 2012, 11:22am, edited 1 time in total.

Bogawski
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby Bogawski » 25 Sep 2012, 8:14pm

I set off on my 4th tour alone 20th Aug, booked the 1st 2 nights in hotels then took it as it came. The discipline of being alone in a country where you only have a basic knowledge of the language is very demanding even if everything is going to plan. I suppose if you are camping then the restrictions of finding a bed does not occur. I dread to think what it would have been like if I had a companion, what with riding speeds, conversation, getting 2 rooms rather than 1 when getting a room can be hassle anyway, etc. I was planning 2 weeks but after a week thought my time would be better spent at home decorating the kitchen.
A week away on my own is enough for me and that is the purpose of the tour, to have no one and nothing to think about other than reaching the destination every day.
This years will probably be the last in France, I will try England on a 3 or 4 dayer book up in pubs so can have a bit of a chat in the evening in the bar in English, but can't see traveling with a companion.
NB have done a few fixed based tours with CTC and they were all great. Haute Provence favourite, great hotel.

swscotland bentrider
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby swscotland bentrider » 25 Sep 2012, 8:14pm

I tour each year with a couple of mates. Slowly these extended to four weeks but two of the three of us found this too much -we missed our partners / families. So now we do 2/3 weeks but go twice :D

Slowroad
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby Slowroad » 25 Sep 2012, 9:12pm

Interested to read amongst the varied topics of this thread about lone female tourers - I've been touring by myself for a couple of weeks a year for 30 years this year and I've only met a very few others. I've not always made it clear on the forum that I'm female either - not because I think I'd be treated very differently, but because it's not necessarily relevant and it's nice that it's not one of the first things that is noticed about one.
I started touring alone because I didn't know anyone else who wanted to go cycle touring (it was the '80s when cycling was really unfashionable). By the end of the summer I was hooked, and a lot more self-reliant.
I go on other types of holidays very happily with other people, but cycle touring is solitary and special because of that. No-one to see how many times I really do go into cafes!
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
― Peter Golkin

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Tigger
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby Tigger » 25 Sep 2012, 10:24pm

Slowroad wrote:I started touring alone because I didn't know anyone else who wanted to go cycle touring (it was the '80s when cycling was really unfashionable). By the end of the summer I was hooked, and a lot more self-reliant.
I go on other types of holidays very happily with other people, but cycle touring is solitary and special because of that. No-one to see how many times I really do go into cafes!

Hi Slowroad, good to meet you :D

I doubt I'll manage 30 years of touring (just started, age 50) so I'm most impressed!

I laughed out loud at your cafes remark, tee hee, that was me last week trying to visit all the tea shops in the Outer Hebrides :lol:

Slowroad
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby Slowroad » 26 Sep 2012, 7:54pm

Hi Tigger, you never know, there are some people still touring in their 80s, most famously perhaps Dervla Murphy.
Tea shops and Outer Hebrides, now that's tempting... :D
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
― Peter Golkin

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Tigger
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby Tigger » 27 Sep 2012, 11:40am

Slowroad wrote:Hi Tigger, you never know, there are some people still touring in their 80s, most famously perhaps Dervla Murphy.
Tea shops and Outer Hebrides, now that's tempting... :D

Thank you Slowroad, I hadn't heard of her so I've ordered Dervla Murphy's Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle for my inspirational winter reading collection!

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horizon
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby horizon » 27 Sep 2012, 11:55am

AFAIK it was Dervla Murphy who said that it was impossible to travel properly with a companion. I'm not sure that that is absolutely true (if I remember correctly Eric Newby had a companion with him in the Hindu Kush) but there is an awful lot of truth in it. When I cycle with Mrs H it is a shared experience involving cycling rather than travelling as such. Cycle touring alone is an important experience IMV. It isn't the same as travelling on public transport or even by car (in rugged terrain) as it presents an almost unique combination of social, physical, cultural and practical challenges amongst which there is at least one that will unsettle the most confident individual. At the other extreme is supported riding in a group which, try as I might, I really, really cannot fathom as to its meaningfulness.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

Bogawski
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby Bogawski » 27 Sep 2012, 7:03pm

Well said Horizon.

jags
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby jags » 27 Sep 2012, 7:15pm

bikepacker wrote:Longest solo tour I have done is 4 weeks, because I knew my objective it didn't bother me about being away from home that long. Each year I usually do 2 or 3 cycle camping tours both solo or with friends of around 2 weeks (being retired I do have the time), also I do another 2 or 3 cycling or walking tours with my wife. This way I keep a nice balance

For the first time in ages this year I have felt my camping days will decrease from now on as I find the extra workload is taking it's toll. In a discussion in Ireland I said next year my 70th may be my last camping. From then I will cycle tour taking the advice of my late friend Neville Chanin and go B&B or hotel.

hah from what i seen of you in ireland you were as strong as a horse no danger of you slowing down thats for sure and you must be the fastest man to pitch a tent i've ever seen,no i can safly say if will be a long time before you have to take things easy regarding cycle touring.maybe sunnier climates with not to many hills. :wink:

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bigjim
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby bigjim » 27 Sep 2012, 8:19pm

I can relate very much to what Bogawski says. I was persuaded by a, new to me, companion not to take camping gear on my last tour. However we split up [lost each other, no mobile, long story] and I ended up cycling alone. This entailed sleeping rough a couple of times without camping gear and spending far too much money in much needed B&Bs. The distances in France between towns can create a lot of pressure in determing that you are in reach of a bed at the end of the day. I would not depend on anybody else again and would not travel in mainland Europe without some camping gear. A week under canvas is enough for me and more than ten days alone, away from loved ones, [yea, yea, I'm soft] becomes too much. Especially when you are not fluent in the local language. On my last trip I did not speak to another English person for 12 days. I was looking to try a three day break in the UK this year but could never find a weather forecast giving three continuous dry days.
Maybe next year. :)
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby bikepacker » 27 Sep 2012, 8:54pm

jags wrote:
bikepacker wrote:Longest solo tour I have done is 4 weeks, because I knew my objective it didn't bother me about being away from home that long. Each year I usually do 2 or 3 cycle camping tours both solo or with friends of around 2 weeks (being retired I do have the time), also I do another 2 or 3 cycling or walking tours with my wife. This way I keep a nice balance

For the first time in ages this year I have felt my camping days will decrease from now on as I find the extra workload is taking it's toll. In a discussion in Ireland I said next year my 70th may be my last camping. From then I will cycle tour taking the advice of my late friend Neville Chanin and go B&B or hotel.

hah from what i seen of you in ireland you were as strong as a horse no danger of you slowing down thats for sure and you must be the fastest man to pitch a tent i've ever seen,no i can safly say if will be a long time before you have to take things easy regarding cycle touring.maybe sunnier climates with not to many hills. :wink:


Thanks for those comments but there are times I feel my age. :wink:
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

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Velocio
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Re: Do you like to tour alone?

Postby Velocio » 28 Sep 2012, 10:55am

I prefer to cycle tour with my wife ...we understand and like each other's style of cycling ...and the routes we enjoy

I also like to cycle in groups ...but they tend to go faster ...which improves my speed and stamina ...but it's not the same ...!

:)
...ever cycle ...ever CTC