how did you get into touring?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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stephenjubb
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Joined: 20 Jan 2008, 12:23pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: how did you get into touring?

Postby stephenjubb » 28 Apr 2012, 11:32am

dionherbike wrote:There is a brilliant post on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree website in the On Your Bike forum. It's written (with tongue firmly planted in cheek) from the perspective of a wife who gradually finds out that her husband has been seduced by cycle touring. She discovers his secret activities on the internet, how the internet community of cycle tourists grow and feed his addiction and how his addiction affects their marriage, his personal hygiene, eating and sleeping habits. The thread is called 'The height of irresponsibility'. It's really funny and well worth a look.


http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/t ... ID=2132450

glad its a joke, if it were serious it would be so far from the truth to be staggering. If it were true and that were my wife well who could blame the husband getting on his bike :mrgreen:

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foxyrider
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Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: how did you get into touring?

Postby foxyrider » 28 Apr 2012, 8:44pm

To be honest the tales of my parents and grand parents of touring in the mid twentieth century rather put me off touring - all that Hebden cord, YHA accomodation and long hours in the saddle on lumpy touring bikes. Wasn't i more of a racing whippet?

So for twenty five years my riding consisted of whizzing up and down dual carriageways, hurtling around wooden bowls and chasing around the countryside in a bunch of likewise deranged individuals. Of course there were long day rides and even centred bike based holidays but it wasn't until after such a trip to Germany that the seeds of an actual tour were sewn. I'd been working selling touring bikes for a few years and it only seemed right that i should experience what it was all about.

No little loop around the wolds or the awful prospect of the End to End, no i was going to cycle camp from Bonn to Innsbruck over three weeks using the Romantic Strasse as the basis for the longest stretch down through Bavaria. Talk about in at the deep end, too much kit, too long days, too little money but an experience that had me hooked! I ended up doing 1800km plus, going an extra 300km all the way to Salzburg when my return travel arrangements were changed while i was away.

Since then i've done a two week plus trip each year covering a good chunk of Germany, Denmark, Austria and bits of Switzerland. The kit has been refined, the bike upgraded, the planning extensive (its half the fun) and whilst tame by some peoples standards, it suits me. This year its mid-east Germany, next year, a significant birthday year, its Switzerland, i want to go back to Denmark, there's more of Germany to explore and, and....

Whilst i started out racing about, and i still do the odd sportive, these days the annual tour is the main focus of my bike riding.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

Slowroad
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Joined: 28 Jun 2008, 9:58pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: how did you get into touring?

Postby Slowroad » 29 Apr 2012, 10:07pm

Sometime around 1981 or 82 I bought a copy of Nicholas Crane's Route Guide to Cycling in Britain - I have a clear memory of buying it on a wet day in the Lake District. That whetted my appetite, then as the end of my first year at uni approached I expected to be invited to go interrailing with everyone else, but somehow this didn't happen... so I decide to sod the lot of them and headed off by myself on a 5-speed 18 1/2 frame kid's Raleigh Winner, my camping kit all shoved into some cheap panniers. My cycling wear was stretch 'Geordie jeans' and polyveldts! By the end of the long summer holidays I'd done East Anglia, the Cotswolds and Wiltshire and the South-west Highlands. I'd got lost once or twice, had to fix my bike half way up some mountain in the rain more than once, and had all sorts of minor adventures, and was totally hooked.
“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

T other Dave
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Joined: 7 Apr 2011, 8:38pm

Re: how did you get into touring?

Postby T other Dave » 3 May 2012, 9:02pm

A offspring of motorcycling, My first trip to Scotland on the m/c I thought it was awsesome but I ride like a t**t so don't see the countryside, so went back a year later and 4 days off work (not enough time to walk the west highland way) so mountain biked off road Glasgow to Ft Bill. A few years later after many Alps trips I was spending more on fuel than hotels and not really taking in the veiws and so on, so after a beer fueled conversation with mates I awoke with the idea I was going to cycle to Spain, they backed out when sober I booked the ferry.... And the rest they say !!!!

Big T
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Re: how did you get into touring?

Postby Big T » 4 May 2012, 12:56pm

In 1979, I did a week long tour of the Yorkshire dales and Lake District with 4 friends. I was 20 and the oldest, the others were 17-19. The following year 1980, 3 of us did a tour of mid-Wales and in 81, 2 of us did a 2 week Tour of Scotland. In 1983, 4 of us did a Tour of the french alps from Geneva. Around this time we also used to do 4 day tours at Easter. I stopped after getting married and having a family, though we did fixed centre holidays and took our bikes. My wife has recently become a a much keener cyclist and 3 years ago we did JOGLE. We now do weekends away and have done a Tour of Norfolk. This year we are going to the French Alps.
My JOGLE blog:
http://www.jogler2009.blogspot.com
twitter: @bikingtrev

RichardPH
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Joined: 12 Aug 2011, 4:34pm

Re: how did you get into touring?

Postby RichardPH » 6 May 2012, 10:36pm

At 17 and a bit my faithful Viking was consigned to the garage and the next 17years adventures were fueled by 5-star and a succession of interesting ways to burn it.

Then Channel 4 started showing the battles between LeMond, Hinault and Roche, and of course the star of the show, the French countryside. A chance trip to the park on a friends bike, index gears, wow, what a difference, this is fun. Borrowed my brothers bike to ride around the Cotswolds, amazing how much better this was than 'before'.

Two years later with many miles under the belt the London to Brighton bike ride was a chance to ride in a crowd, dangerous, but good fun. The year after I decided that turning up with the bike in the back of the car wasn't good enough, rode the 140 miles to the start and back again from Brighton via friends and family, 70 miles a day for 6 days. Hooked, but it took a further 9 years before I did a foreign tour, the Bordeaux to Barcelona, still one of the best, but one amongst many now.

Still like the fast cars though... :shock:

MarkF
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Joined: 4 Apr 2011, 10:20am

Re: how did you get into touring?

Postby MarkF » 7 May 2012, 4:18pm

Started (again) at about 42 years old, loved it, soon left behind my middle aged pals (still stuck on 4/5 mile towpath rides) and just wanted to ride, keep riding, for longer............"longer" ended up as touring.

I toured the Dales first over weekends, then week long tours, then tours in Spain and now at 50 am doing C2C Spain next month. By the time I am 60 I reckon I'll be ready for a RTW.

rosyandjim
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Joined: 28 Feb 2012, 4:49pm

Re: how did you get into touring?

Postby rosyandjim » 7 May 2012, 6:00pm

Last summer 2 South Korean tourers came to stay for the weekend and when they left they took me with them. We wild camped our way to Edinburgh and had a fantastic time. I only had a single speed bike and some other shoddy kit but it was still a fantastic week.

So this summer my girlfriend and I are embarking on a round the world tour- with better bikes.

Thank you Joo and Soo for inspiring us.

rosyandjim
Posts: 6
Joined: 28 Feb 2012, 4:49pm

Re: how did you get into touring?

Postby rosyandjim » 7 May 2012, 6:00pm

Last summer 2 South Korean tourers came to stay for the weekend and when they left they took me with them. We wild camped our way to Edinburgh and had a fantastic time. I only had a single speed bike and some other shoddy kit but it was still a fantastic week.

So this summer my girlfriend and I are embarking on a round the world tour- with better bikes.

Thank you Joo and Soo for inspiring us.

willem jongman
Posts: 1989
Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: how did you get into touring?

Postby willem jongman » 9 May 2012, 7:49am

More than fourty years ago when still at school and later at university it was backpacking. So over the years I collected light gear, and it was nice. The drawback was that you did not get very far without public transportation. So in reality I was mostly waiting for buses. My first job was in the UK, and I decided that cycle touring would be a faster and nicer way to travel while camping. Cambridge was also a pretty nice area for cycling during the weekends. So I bought a bike. This continued for a number of years, with tours in Europe and the UK, though less and less frequently. Car camping seemed to take over, until we wrecked our car and did not have the money for a new one after we had just bought a too expensive house. Since we had also started a family, cycle touring was the only option for a holiday, starting with some old and some borrowed gear. Gradually as and when we had the money we rebuilt our gear collection for the new circumstances (a Hilleberg Keron 4GT was an expensive but great purchase for a family tent), but still using Dutch commuter bikes. We stayed in Holland until the kids were 3 and 5, when we bought a Thorn Voyager Childback tandem for more ambitious tours abroad. We sold the tandem a couplke of years ago, and now we all ride nice solo bikes. But as often happens, the elder child (our 16 year old daughter) does not want to tour anymore. She likes to mountainbike in e.g. Italy, but cycle touring 'is for losers'. My 13 year old son still likes it, so he and I sometimes do a trip together. I expect that in the near future it will be once again my wife and myself...

Paul-S
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Joined: 19 Dec 2010, 11:49am

Re: how did you get into touring?

Postby Paul-S » 15 May 2012, 11:51am

It's odd really, I have never been able to drive so have had a bike for as long as I can remember. I have always been an outdoor sort of person.

Call me slow if you like but it took me 40 years to connect Outdoor, Camp and Cycle. :oops:

In 2000 I was sat in the Camp Site at Wasdale Head having just Plodded across from Boot with me kit & 5 days worth of rations on me back :roll:

When in breezes 3 guys on bikes with 4 panniers each :shock: something in my mind said...... now there is an :idea: :!:

The rest is as they say history :lol:

Cheers,

Paul.

Mattie
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Joined: 23 Feb 2009, 9:19pm

Re: how did you get into touring?

Postby Mattie » 30 May 2012, 8:41am

Riding a motorcycle at a speed dangerous to the public - license suspended for one year. That was in 2008. Had planed to do a tour on my motorcycle. I had booked the time off work and so decided to do a tour on a bicycle instead. That was the Spain in August tour ! I should have been doing it on a Yammy XT !

Since then carried on cycle touring, and kept a Yamaha maxi scooter for transport only. Returning from the last trip down to Athens I bought myself a new motorcycle again so will be back touring on a motorcycle for a while.

It took me about 3 years to get over it really, and wasn't really sure weather to post it here, but it is the truth.

Gearoidmuar
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Joined: 29 Sep 2007, 7:35pm
Location: Cork, Ireland. Corcaigh, Éire má tá Gaeilge agat.

Re: how did you get into touring?

Postby Gearoidmuar » 30 May 2012, 7:29pm

I was cycling for fitness and was training with triathletes and racing cyclists but I wasn't naturally athletic enough for either. I just bought a touring bike in 1988 and did a week long tour in West Cork and Kerry by myself, staying in B&Bs and hotels. I was hooked. I had to learn to slow down to enjoy it as I'd been used to hammering it. I've done nearly seventy. I think the next one will be number 70.
Was there any one I hated?

The one that stands out was a 9 day tour from Bordeaux into Spain and back to Toulouse via Andorra. The weather was apolcalyptic. It absolutely walloped down rain all day long for 6 of the nine days and when you're high up that's really cold, even in June.
One of my seven or so tours in Scotland was very wet.

My favourite?
1996, Barcelona, France, Santiago. The Camino is really interesting.