Author Topic: Problem companion  (Read 5708 times)

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Offline RidersToTheSea

Problem companion
« on: July 27, 2007, 11:50:05 pm »
I'm a European who has recently completed my Northern Tier tour. I'm happy to say that the people I met along the entire route have been some of the friendliest, most helpful and charming people that I've ever met. With one unfortunate exception - the companion that I met through this website. These comments are in no way  aimed at ACA or the website - more a refletion, for what its worth,  of my own failure to sort out the problem.

Things started out reasonably well at first. But as miles went by I became more and more startled at my companions biggotted comments and opions of others. I tried with some difficulty to ignore these. Despite my own honesty my companion increasing failed to pay me back for joint expenses (i.e. campground/motel costs etc). Ultimately I was left with no option but to drop my companion and go my own way.

For what it's worth I would recommend people who meet via forums to agree some basic ground rules before the trip - these shold cover finances, routing, equipment etc. (Unfortunately I was mistaken when I took for granted that my companion would carry basic equipment like lights, lube, tire levers and a puncture repair kitt!!!!! - equipment that I would then have to lend him)

I now regret that I didnt have the bottle to drop my companion a lot sooner. It has left a bitter note on an otherwise exceptional life experience for which I'm very grateful to the ACA.

Ridertothesea


Offline pmspirito

Problem companion
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2007, 07:00:33 pm »
You get a Gold Star for being a person of patience and integrity. I am sorry you suffered with such a boorish companion.  Fortunately your trip appears to have been most gratifying. Welcome to the US of A

best wishes from the back of the pack,  Peter & Judy Spirito

This message was edited by pmspirito on 11-7-07 @ 11:23 AM
best wishes from the back of the pack,  Peter & Judy Spirito

Offline ptaylor

Problem companion
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2007, 10:34:26 pm »
A very interesting post Rider.

I agree it is hard to find companionable companions for self contained touring. There aren't many of us to choose from. And we must really cooperate and agree with the routing and lodging decisions. We also need to cooperate on the shopping, cooking  and cleaning chores. Money is always an issue - financial arrangements should be clearly agreed upon in advance. As a person looking for compatibility, there should be a checklist which all companions agree to before hand. I am hereby asking that the ACA develop such a checklist, and add it to the "How To" section in the ACA web site. [please respond webmaster]. Certainly, Rider, you should have known ahead of time that this guy wasn't even planning to bring along a tire patch kit!

As far as "bigoted comments and opinions of others", I'm at a loss. I don't know how to screen companions for those sorts of things...they don't seem to surface until you get to really know each other.

At any rate, it sounds like your coast to coast across North America was a happy journey, and I'm happy for you.

Paul
Paul

Offline RussellSeaton

Problem companion
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2007, 05:33:50 pm »
There is something to be said for riding alone.  Or with friends you bring from the start.  Your post is sort of an advertisement/endorsement for the ACA tours.  All of the financial issues are relegated to the ride leader.  Everyone pays up front and the funds are used during the ride.  Common gear such as cooking and major tools are split amongst everyone to carry.  And I suspect ACA has a list of gear everyone on the tour must bring and it is checked the night before the ride starts so some delays and problems can be eliminated up front.  But you do have to pay for this service offered by the ACA.  I'm guessing most cross country tourers can get by cheaper doing their own tour.

As for the personal problems.  I recall an article in ACA magazine discussing how the ride leader should handle these.  Basically it was ignore about everything.  Concentrate on getting everyone fed.  Let the personal stuff sort itself out.  Ride leader's day to day job was to make sure meals were good, and ready when they were supposed to be.  Being well fed is 80% of the battle.  Don't ignore the 80% to solve the 20% personal problems.  I think the group tours get their meals by assigning different people (2-3) each day to shop for food and cook the food.


Offline ptaylor

Problem companion
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2007, 05:00:44 pm »
Russell.

Your emphasis on food reminds me of a quote I read a few years ago when reading about military history. "An army travels on it's stomach". I don't remember who said it, or when, but I think it was in the US Civil War era.

Your comment "Your post is sort of an advertisement/endorsement for the ACA tours. " is well taken, and I agree with you.

Paul
Paul

Offline Webmaster

Problem companion
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2007, 09:42:56 am »
We don't currently maintain any check list of this sort and I don't know that we will in the future. It seems to be one of those topics that though one might think it would come up frequently, it really doesn't. We've found that this is a personal and often unique-to-the-situation issue; areas of concern will differ from person to person and the variables are too numerous to track.

Choosing a travel companion, whether from a group of friends or through an ad, is an important part of the planning process. In the end there is no guarantee that you are going to perfectly meld with these riding companion(s). Just like the equipment you choose, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. It can't be entirely known in advance. In both cases, I'd venture to guess that everything turns out mostly ok even if not entirely to plan.

All that being said, I think it would be terrific if this conversation was continued here on the forum about what makes a good traveling partner, what kinds of questions are important to *you* to ask in advance, and a sharing of strategies for determining compatibilities.

Thank you RidersToThe Sea for opening this discussion.

.Jennifer.

--

Jennifer Milyko

Adventure Cycling Association

This message was edited by Webmaster on 8-1-07 @ 5:43 AM
--

Jennifer H. Milyko
Adventure Cycling Association

Offline don quixote

Problem companion
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2007, 02:50:20 am »
Webmaster, that would be a great subject for an article in the magazine. Please pass this suggestion on.

George
San Diego
don quixote
San Diego

Offline DaveB

Problem companion
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2007, 08:52:33 pm »
This thread covers a subject I always wonder about when I see the "Companions Wanted" page in every issue of Adventure Cycling Magazine.  People there advertise for traveling companions sight unseen and personality unknown. This sounds like a recipe for both disappointment and possible danger.  

I would like to know how these things have worked out. Good, bad, terrible?  How do you screen the respondents for suitability and have you rejected someone based on what you discussed before the actual ride?  How do you part ways if, despite the initial screening, the companion isn't what you thought?    


Offline brad

Problem companion
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2007, 11:17:21 am »
well if you decide to launch on a multi-thousand mile tour without even a shorter shakedown cruise that is a recipe for disaster. just like in mountaineering i'm not going to launch onto a hard mountain with someone i have not at least been out to the local crag with or spent sometime in the backcountry getting to know.

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

Offline staehpj1

Problem companion
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2007, 01:02:57 pm »
The folks I knew that met online and planned to do the TA together wound up parting ways before the end of the trip.  I suspect that this common, but I am just guessing there.

I wouldn't hesitate to plan a trip with a stranger, but it would be said up front that I would go it alone if it didn't work out.


Offline roadrunner

Problem companion
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2007, 06:52:19 pm »
I've been fortunate obtaining companions for two tours through the "Companions Wanted" column.  About the only topics we discussed prior to the tours were the routes, daily milage, camping vs. motels,  sources of meals and gear we were planning to take.  In case the partnering didn't work out, I carried the gear I'd need to continue solo if we decided to split up.
More detailed discussions prior to starting off could certainly be beneficial.



Offline Houston

Problem companion
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2007, 08:49:05 am »
Interesting thread, thanks Ridertothesea.  I  too have considered this potential problem after reading the "Companions Wanted" section in the magazine and thoughts expressed here have reinforced my resolve to consider the association as I would any personal association.  Basically, be prepared to end it, quick.  

I realize that this solution would not work very well for some people and for those ending it would be a trip breaker. If that is the case, don't consider finding your companion in this fashion.

I second (third, fourth) the recommendation for ACA to consider this theme for an expansive article, if they haven't already done so.

On a similar note, my sister-in-law recently went on a trip with a workmate of 5 years only to find that the workmate was a raging alcoholic.  It ruined the trip.  An article on this subject would be very helpful.

Offline RidersToTheSea

Problem companion
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2008, 09:33:24 am »
Brad, I had numerous shakedown rides. The comparison with moutaineering is not really relevant. An incompetent second can kill you - but an incompetent travel companion is usually just a pain in the ass.

So did this topic ever make it to print? I dont get it this side of the pond.

Regards


Offline don quixote

Problem companion
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2008, 01:55:46 pm »
Riders, I don't recall seeing such an article in the mag. Did you know that you can find some articles on the website at http://www.adventurecycling.org/library/index.cfm

George
San Diego
don quixote
San Diego