Author Topic: I wonder why...........  (Read 1547 times)

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Offline summerbee

I wonder why...........
« on: July 07, 2013, 07:33:19 pm »
I wonder why you solo touring cyclists are pulled to pedal miles and miles, keeping company with no one but the wind and the sun. I was pondering this over the July 4th holiday as I saw packs and packs of road cyclists out, all headed in one direction on their fast, lightweight bikes. I pedaled steadily the opposite direction, panniers loaded with jugs of water to simulate the weight of a fully loaded bike.  They flew by me and gave a quick nod before re-focusing on the tire in front of them. I noted the wildflowers seemed particularly abundant this year.  :)
What makes it work for you, I wonder..........

Offline SlowAndSlower

Re: I wonder why...........
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 06:11:10 pm »
Because they never toured with someone compatible in interests, ability, and the other things that make up something called companionship.

Offline indyfabz

Re: I wonder why...........
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2013, 07:31:55 am »
As some who tours and does fast road rides, I can tell you that just because you are going fast doesn't mean you cannot see and hear things around you. Not sure why some people think otherwise. I guess it's like lumping anyone riding fast on a light bike into the Lance Armstrong wanna be category. When I lead group rides I routinely point out people, places and things of interest and beauty.

I like touring alone because I like my alone time and I am comfortable with my own company, and going it alone affords more flexibility. That said, I also like touring with my partner because we get along on well in those conditions. Don't think I would ever spend a significant length of time touring with a group of strangers. I did that on ACA's Northern Tier group tour. It's not really for me.

Offline jamawani

Re: I wonder why...........
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2013, 04:33:48 pm »
I tour alone because I don't like people asking me why I tour alone.

Offline mmounties

Re: I wonder why...........
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 09:04:13 pm »
"I tour alone because I don't like people asking me why I tour alone."

Well, if you didn't tour alone they likely wouldn't ask, would they?  ;) 

For me it's the complete disconnection from my usually hectic life, the amazing slow-down of time, and total peace!  I love to stop and smell the roses/take pictures/breathe the salty sea breeze, etc, etc.  When I tour it doesn't matter if I take a rest day today or tomorrow.  All the distractions are eliminated and life becomes really simple.

I love meeting random other cyclists at night at the campgrounds.  And it's a really nice experience when I can help out the biker who rode in after I did and in return hear about some of their adventures and perhaps be invited to share some of their stuff in return.  But I'm also very comfortable spending the day with just me and a good book.

I like how the speed of bicycle travel allows me to soak up the landscape and impressions so much more and better than if I rushed through by car or train because I'm in the middle of it all and don't just watch it go by. 

I enjoy the physical challenge too.  It's very satisfying to be able to say:  "I DID this!!!" and then see my sons bragging about me with their friends.   8)  And - you can't start too early! - I'm working on my bucket list (See the Pacific Coast, do the TransAm, maybe enjoy a tour through Europe, and so forth).  So many places to see and so many people to meet. 

And finally, I haven't come across another cyclist in, or near, my neck of the woods who is as crazy and also looks to really, really load up his or her bike so it'll be that much harder to pedal up the hills for days, weeks, or even months at a time, just to experience all the above...  Besides, going on a tour is the best way to meet other crazies like you and me and SlowAndSlower!  :D
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 09:06:37 pm by mmounties »
-- Tina

Offline staehpj1

Re: I wonder why...........
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2013, 08:49:04 am »
They flew by me and gave a quick nod before re-focusing on the tire in front of them. I noted the wildflowers seemed particularly abundant this year.  :)
What makes it work for you, I wonder..........

I too do not get why folks think that anyone doing more miles than them is missing out and doesn't enjoy their surroundings.

I can well imagine the guys you met on the road saying, "We some poor guy out riding, all loaded down with water jugs on his heavy bike. We pedaled easily speeding along in the opposite direction unladen and happily rolling along.  He dragged by us and gave a quick nod before putting his head down to propel his immense burden. We noted the wildflowers seemed particularly abundant this year."

I am fairly often criticized for doing excessive mileage on some tours.  The funny thing is that when we compare notes on the route it usually seems that I met more interesting people and saw more interesting stuff than most of the folks who claim to be "smelling the roses" that supposedly I am missing.

Even on my longest days I meet interesting people, eat great food, and enjoy the sights.  Up to some pretty extreme point it seems to me that higher speed and longer daily mileage do not diminish the experience for me.  I am not sure at what point that would be a problem, but I know that on my longest day on tour (142 miles) I still had numerous interesting conversations with the locals, enjoyed the scenery, sampled the local cuisine,  took lots of pictures, and generally had a great time.

Offline summerbee

Re: I wonder why...........
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2013, 05:02:29 pm »
Thanks and mmounties, I completely relate.
There is something about solitude and a bicycle.  :)

Offline Elmo

Re: I wonder why...........
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2013, 03:57:14 pm »
Maybe its also the acheivement of traveling a certain distance that is a goal for some riders? Taking in the scenery and experiencing your surroundings and situations you find yourself in are inevitable while long distance cycling. But when cycling such a distance it may take twice as long if the cyclist is slowly cruising around, gazing at Every field and building they see, sometimes you just have to get your head down and clock some miles :) What do you think?

Elliot

Offline DoubleD

Re: I wonder why...........
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2013, 12:03:35 pm »
Sometimes I'm slow, sometimes I'm fast.  It only matters that I am riding.  The sights and smells are the same, enjoyed differently depending on my mood.  I love to ride in a driving rainstorm.