« on: October 27, 2008, 02:09:23 pm »
Good luck. Cycling alone on a long tour is just fine. I have done it many times and have not regretted it. In fact, if you do find someone else to go, you might possibly wind up with a cycling partner who is a set back and problem for you. Let me give you an example of what I mean. In my town I am known as the bicycle dude who goes out around the world on his bicycle. People know my name. There was this one fellow who will remain nameless. He wanted to cycle down to Key west with me, so we got set up and left. It is about 5-6 days to there from here on a bicycle.
He had no experience in bicycle touring, but had done quite a bit of camping. To begin with, he took more weight and gear than I would carry on an around-the-world expedition. He left behind what I told him to take, and took what I told him to leave at home. Then, when serious weather hit us and he did not have what I had told him to bring, he bummed the gear off me leaving me at a disadvantage. After that he got us involved in a long wild goose chase, against my advice, and all for nothing, and we were set back quite a while from that. Two days later he almost got us attacked by some deranged homeless man living in a tent down a narrow footpath in the woods. Later his rack broke off because of all the weight, so we had to stop and look around for one. We did find one. He was jumping curbs with his bike and broke a wheel. Remember too that I was telling him what to do and what not to do, and he was ignoring whatever it was I was saying. In the keys he wanted to backtrack three miles to save $3.00 on buying a sandwich. It was $3.00 cheaper in a store back down the road than the sandwich at a convenience store. After that he missed a point where we were supposed to meet.
Of course, this was a camping tour. One day when we were set up in camp I left on my own and went to a book store to drink coffee and read. I came back a few hours later to a mess. It turned out he had managed to get in some fracas with a group of young teenage kids with paintball guns. He chased them down a trail holding a shovel or something. One of the kids dropped a cell phone on the trail. He picked it up and of all things called 911. The police officer sided with the kids, and said he had committed assault by chasing them with a weapon in his hand. All this happened when I was gone.
Later, a plainclothes officer came back to our camp in the woods when I was there. He told this fellow he had to decamp within an hour or be arrested. The officer did not say anything to me at all. He addressed the other guy by his first name. I loaded my bike and took off. I left that guy in Key West, and cycled back to my town alone.
This person may have finally gotten the hang of bicycle touring over the long run, but on that trip he was one problem after another, and these were all preventable problems if he had only listened and taken the advice I was giving him. I realized that the return trip was going to be more of the same, so I just split.
Once you begin a tour with someone it is not all that easy to dump that person if he turns out to be a willful dolt. I did not want to tell him to take a flying leap, but I realized he might just get himself or both of us into some sort of difficulty either in Key West or during the trip back. I had agreed to meet him somewhere, and when he was out of my sight I took off north out of Key West, and let him do for himself.
He came back on the Greyhound bus none the worse for wear. However, he had managed to get himself into another scrape with the law in Key West. I cycled the 260 miles in 2 1/2 or 3 days. There was a great deal of city taffic.
I have traveled long distances by bicycle with partners, and those partners were always women. In my opinion, a woman is the best partner on a long bicycling tour.
This message was edited by Westinghouse on 11-5-08 @ 1:15 PM