Author Topic: Touring Question  (Read 5830 times)

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Offline 22hornet

Touring Question
« on: March 12, 2013, 05:48:26 pm »
My question is how do most of you find the time to ride across the U.S. with full time jobs and mortgages and the rest of the responsibilities of everyday life. I have a dream to cycle across the country but don't have 3 months to take off. Thanks Jim

Offline John Nelson

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2013, 06:07:01 pm »
There are lots of possibilities. One is to do one segment a year using whatever vacation you get. Or make a deal with your employer to carry over your vacation until you have enough to do it all at once. Or, if you can save up enough money to pay the bills, ask for time off without pay.

You mentioned finances. There's no substitute for saving up. It might take some time to save what you need, but it's worth it. It's possible to tour on limited funds, anywhere from $10 to $50 a day.

Family is typically the main responsibility you might have. Maybe you have kids or are taking care of an aging parent or your spouse can't live without you. One thing you can do with kids and spouses is to take them along, either on bikes if they are old enough, or in a support vehicle.

I see three main categories of people riding across the country: (1) young people between school and employment, (2) empty nesters who don't have kid responsibilities any more, some retired, some not, and (3) unemployed people between jobs.

One thing you can do now is to start a touring fund and put as much money into it each month as you can afford.

Keep dreaming. Set a goal and set a date to achieve it.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2013, 08:41:57 pm »




I see three main categories of people riding across the country: (1) young people between school and employment, (2) empty nesters who don't have kid responsibilities any more, some retired, some not, and (3) unemployed people between jobs.


And teachers with summers off.  I love teaching HS math and an additional bonus was that I got summers off (after masters degree, certificates, etc).   was able to live in the mountains and go hiking, biking and climbing with my kids. 

John"s comments are good ones for those who are not teachers. 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline John Nelson

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2013, 09:49:39 pm »
And teachers with summers off.
Yes indeed, there are a lot of teachers out there in the summer. And a lot of people I meet ask me if I'm a teacher.

Offline 22hornet

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2013, 10:46:59 pm »
That is great advice, I don't qualify for any of the 3 , my wife teaches  I work for a city water department have over 24 yrs ,I could wait 6 yrs then I'm retired, but I have the itch to do it soon, maybe I could do  something smaller until then

Offline John Nelson

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2013, 10:52:22 pm »
Surely if you've worked somewhere for 24 years, they'd give you a summer off if you asked. You've earned it.

But your idea of starting with shorter trips is good. You'd want to do that anyway. But keep dreaming. You may not need to postpone your dream for six years. I take my long tours by taking time off without pay from my job.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013, 11:14:32 pm »
I know the itch. Maybe you only get to go for a couple of weeks, but hey, that is better than nothing.
I took 6 weeks 6 years ago but 3 were without pay. I won't be able to do that again until I retire which is exactly 5 years and 18 days from now. Until then it is one week (two weekends makes it 10 days) and two weeks every other year.
Don't scratch the itch; soothe it on the road!

Offline indyfabz

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2013, 11:05:18 am »
I see three main categories of people riding across the country: (1) young people between school and employment, (2) empty nesters who don't have kid responsibilities any more, some retired, some not, and (3) unemployed people between jobs.

Tha describes the people on my ACA group Northern Tier tour almost to a tee. Three of the four "kids," as some of us affectionately referred to them, were between school and work. The fourth was ready to start her senior year of college. Myself and another guy, who were both in our mid-30s, were between jobs. One woman was a 50-something empty nest teacher. The remaining five were retired.

I was able to afford to take the time off because I had no kids, no mortgage and a month-month apartment lease. I knew I would likely lose my job almost two years before I did, so I could save up money, and I knew I would get a decent severance package when I got axed. I also had the luxury of flopping at my mom's house during the two years I dropped out of the working world, rode my bike and pursued other hobbies.

As noted, look into a leave of absence and try to create a fund. Or is there any chance that you can accelerate your mortgage payoff?

Offline staehpj1

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2013, 11:50:52 am »
I see three main categories of people riding across the country: (1) young people between school and employment, (2) empty nesters who don't have kid responsibilities any more, some retired, some not, and (3) unemployed people between jobs.
I'd add:
(4) People who live well within their means and can therefore afford to take time off and go.  They either saved up leave, negotiated leave without pay, or quit their job and found another after the trip.  Some of them have jobs with flexibility built in.  That might include self employed folks and contract workers.

In my case, for the TA I had a lot of leave saved.  I told my employer I was taking a bit of leave without pay if I ran out of leave and asked if I would have a job when I got back.  I have done something similar for some trips since then.  Now I am retired.

Offline 2riders

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2013, 08:19:44 pm »
My question is how do most of you find the time to ride across the U.S. with full time jobs and mortgages and the rest of the responsibilities of everyday life. I have a dream to cycle across the country but don't have 3 months to take off. Thanks Jim

I wonder the same.  My wife & I are new to all this and this year we will start on lite tours.  One week of vacation will be a 6 night and another week will be a 3 night "Inn to Inn" tour.  Simple.  But a good way to go if we can't travel far or long.
Just a thought....

Offline John Nelson

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 09:12:41 pm »
Another popular thing to wonder about is how those couples who have been traveling for the last 10 years finance it. It's a mystery.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2013, 10:09:14 pm »
Another popular thing to wonder about is how those couples who have been traveling for the last 10 years finance it. It's a mystery.

Not really much of a mystery.  Assume a person or couple works for ten years.  Lives cheap.  Saves half their money.  Then tours SE Asia, India, China, Africa, eastern Europe, South America for ten years.  They have no rent, mortgage, utilities in the US.  Zero costs in the US.  Their touring costs consist solely of food to cook, cooking fuel, and that is it.  You don't pay to camp in the above places.  You can easily live on $1-3 per day in the above locations.  $1000 a year.  They saved for ten years.  They started with $50,000-100,000 in cash.  They could easily bike tour in the above locations for ten to twenty years.  They have to spend a little to get to the countries.  You can live really cheap in most of the world outside of US, Canada, western Europe.

Offline DaveB

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 09:44:33 am »
Another inhibitor is a non-riding spouse that isn't real happy with the idea that you will be gone for a month or more, perhaps much more.  A one week tour?  Fine but not all summer.

"One thing you can do with kids and spouses is to take them along, either on bikes if they are old enough, or in a support vehicle."

I think this is very impractical advice for tours of more than a few days, along a very well defined daily route with prior agreed upon overnight locations.  It gives the touring rider no opportunity to improvise.  How many non-riding faimily members are willing to spend every day trying to find something to do while you are off riding?   


 
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 06:03:42 pm by DaveB »

Offline 22hornet

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2013, 12:46:46 pm »
I can see saving money for a few years then going on an extended tour, but what happens when you get sick or injured and have no medical benefits this could wipe out a lot of money in a hurry. Maybe I am just conditioned the the American way. It always amazes me the people that live fancy free going from job to job and never really putting down roots , maybe I'm a little envious must be the adventurist part of me.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Touring Question
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2013, 02:17:15 pm »
If you've saved up leave, and worked it out with your employer, your insurance carries over during an extended vacation.  Otherwise, sign up for COBRA -- it adds to the cost of the trip, so plan for it!