Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: ColoradoKid on August 20, 2010, 07:32:10 pm

 
Title: Hard times
Post by: ColoradoKid on August 20, 2010, 07:32:10 pm
With the recession on and seeming never to end, I gotta ask, how is it affecting your touring? Has the economic downturn forced you to cut back in any way, trips that you have planned?
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: whittierider on August 20, 2010, 07:47:53 pm
(http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/camper-bike-600x466.png)
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: Ben2.0 on August 20, 2010, 11:59:50 pm
The $$ spent on the new touring rig for an upcoming trip is killing me, plus I'm currently unemployed..some may say thats being irresponsible but it keeps me sane :)
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: tonythomson on August 27, 2010, 01:03:12 pm
Hey Hard Times - go for it and I'll bet after your tour you'll find employment.  I always seemed to get a better job each time I finished a tour.
Good luck on all fronts.
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: johnsondasw on August 27, 2010, 02:39:18 pm
With the recession on and seeming never to end, I gotta ask, how is it affecting your touring? Has the economic downturn forced you to cut back in any way, trips that you have planned?

No effect.  If you do it right, touring cost little more than staying at home.
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: DwarvenChef on September 01, 2010, 05:08:49 am
Our trip is getting planned and equiped with extream tighness :( gear is being looked for in thrift shops as well as some of my old backpacking gear from 30 years ago. It's going to blow our budget just flying out to Hawaii, once there we have next to no $$ so every penny will be watched... But we will get there and we will have a great ride :)
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: markinsprings on September 01, 2010, 09:40:12 am
Actually the current "hard times" is what got me started touring. Although I invested a good deal of money in my bike and gear its way cheaper then a car. I'm currently unemployed and am going to spend the next year or so touring the country.
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: whittierider on September 01, 2010, 02:11:16 pm
Quote
It's going to blow our budget just flying out to Hawaii, once there we have next to no $$ so every penny will be watched...
You do know, I hope, that food and other things are extremely expensive in Hawaii compared to on the mainland.  I worked there for five months in 1981, and it was 20  more years (2001) before the price of a lot of things on the mainland caught up to what they were in Hawaii in 1981.
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: DwarvenChef on September 02, 2010, 03:50:45 am
Quote
It's going to blow our budget just flying out to Hawaii, once there we have next to no $$ so every penny will be watched...
You do know, I hope, that food and other things are extremely expensive in Hawaii compared to on the mainland.  I worked there for five months in 1981, and it was 20  more years (2001) before the price of a lot of things on the mainland caught up to what they were in Hawaii in 1981.

Yes we are watching food costs, we tend to only buy basic ingredients and make our own food to avoid more mark up. It may also be cheaper for us to rent bikes there than shipping our own in the long run, for only a weeks stay. We have a year to iron it all out :)
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: bicyclerider on September 06, 2010, 01:39:50 pm
Actually the current "hard times" is what got me started touring. Although I invested a good deal of money in my bike and gear its way cheaper then a car. I'm currently unemployed and am going to spend the next year or so touring the country.
I'm currently living on the road since May 1, 2010 and finding work difficult. My plans are to pedal and find work where ever possible. However I refuse to visit large cities where there is thousands of unemployed. I'm strictly pedaling through the rural parts of the states I travel through.. Currently leaving the Lousiana Texas area around September 15th or 20th heading towards the VA Beach area. After Thanksgiving I will pedal towards the Homestead Florida area and then decide weather to hit the western side of Florida near Marco Island area or towards the lower Keys on the east.
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: bogiesan on September 07, 2010, 10:19:43 am
With the recession on and seeming never to end, I gotta ask, how is it affecting your touring? Has the economic downturn forced you to cut back in any way, trips that you have planned?

Might not be the answer you were looking for but Ride Idaho (rideidaho.org) sold out our 300 seats in less than 6 weeks this year after selling only 120 of 200 seats last year. Ride idaho's leaders have tried to explain this  many ways but those of us who worked the ride and rode with our guests have arrived at no conclusions.

david boise ID
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: John Nettles on September 07, 2010, 11:57:01 am
Only way it is helping us is positively (not trying to sound crass).  We keep getting great deals on travel (plane ticket to Europe for $600 RT ;D this past June), I am trying to come up with the specs for a custom frame/bike and the low Pound/Euro is only helping me, and less wait times for stuff we do order.

We tend to be financially conservative though (very little debt, pay cash for everything, 6-month emergency fund, "don't buy if we don't have the money" (something Congress really needs to understand), etc.) so this has not really effected/affected (never can understand that!) us that much.  We have solid jobs in solid industries but it would definitely curtain our spending if we lost our job(s) due to our conservative financial spending practices.  If either of us lost our jobs, luxury items such as travel would come to an abrupt halt until we were stabilized.

That said, as others have said, if you don't have committed expenses such as a mortgage, it is most likely cheaper to tour on a bike than it is to live in the rat race in a "typical life".  I can easily tour in the US for $15 per person/day ($450/person/month) if I cook my food.  Add a generous $300/month for other expenses such as equipment replacement, low-income health insurance (at least in OKLA), etc. and we could travel nicely for $1,500/month for the both of us.  While I would seriously consider touring until our job prospects improved if we both lost our jobs and did not have a mortgage, my better half would probably not enjoy camping for more than a few weeks :( so who knows what we would do.

John

John
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: MrBent on September 09, 2010, 09:05:42 am
I have a pretty secure job, and my wife and I have, surprisingly, ended up financially solid at this point in our lives--50-ish.  So, if anything, we are freer to tour and do whatever.  As a community college teacher with tenure, I've pretty much got it made so long as I don't beat any students with a rock--and sometimes I'm tempted! :-\  And, to be honest in this discussion, MOST Americans--by a very wide margin--are employed and doing ok.  It's just that we have a larger percentage of unemployed and underemployed than we've had in a long time.  Keep in mind that the news agencies/media have a keen motivation to tell us all is in ruins: It sells.

Scott
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: crawdadslim on September 21, 2010, 04:45:03 pm
I have not had a chance at anything longer than a couple days ride, because my sales are up and its hard to keep up with the demand.  I am a potter/artist, so go figure.
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: DwarvenChef on September 21, 2010, 06:05:15 pm
I have not had a chance at anything longer than a couple days ride, because my sales are up and its hard to keep up with the demand.  I am a potter/artist, so go figure.


I've noticed Artisans seem to be hanging in there better than the mass market cheapie stuff lately. Glad to see it personally.
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: roslynrhonda on September 21, 2010, 11:13:09 pm
We are also being very frugal.  It is amazing the great used gear that you can find at the Goodwill, St. Vinnies or on Craigslist and garage sales.  Plan early, and allow time to shop for the bargain and it really helps. Our bikes are great investments to physical and mental health, and worth every penny we spend to maintain them. We even have studded snow tires for our bikes and can enjoy them all winter (pretty harsh in the mountains of WA state!) Being able to take a trip to Hawaii and depend our bikes for transportation sure beats renting a car and will be much less expensive and a great way to get around the island rain or shine!
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: crawdadslim on September 22, 2010, 12:05:15 am


[/quote]

I've noticed Artisans seem to be hanging in there better than the mass market cheapie stuff lately. Glad to see it personally.
[/quote]

To be fair, I am working my butt off to stay ahead.  A lot of people are not making it, and i am buying equipment at pennies on the dollar from those who are giving up.   Used to have made in usa stickers on my work, but stopped when I realized that what was selling my work is sentiment, rather than the quality.   

Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: indyfabz on September 22, 2010, 10:08:55 am
I have a pretty secure job, and my wife and I have, surprisingly, ended up financially solid at this point in our lives--50-ish.  So, if anything, we are freer to tour and do whatever.  As a community college teacher with tenure, I've pretty much got it made so long as I don't beat any students with a rock--and sometimes I'm tempted! :-\  And, to be honest in this discussion, MOST Americans--by a very wide margin--are employed and doing ok.  It's just that we have a larger percentage of unemployed and underemployed than we've had in a long time.  Keep in mind that the news agencies/media have a keen motivation to tell us all is in ruins: It sells.

Scott

We are starting from 14.3% living at or below the poverty line.  Add on top of that the poor and those just above that category and that "very wide margin" doesn't look so wide.
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: DwarvenChef on September 22, 2010, 03:40:05 pm
I'm a cook, the ammount od kitchens closing every month has sky rocketed compared to regular ecconomic times. And we get paid less, work harder, and have less options than just a couple years ago...

I'm looking everywhere and anywhere for deals on gear. I splurged and got my Jendd Expidition rack from their "Seconds" offerings. They assured me it was structurally sound but with scuffs and such. When I got it and checked all the welds, I was impressed by thier "Seconds" selection cause this rach looks great :) So far Creigs list has been a bust in my area, but I keep looking :)
Title: Re: Hard times
Post by: litespeed on September 23, 2010, 12:07:51 pm
"No effect.  If you do it right, touring cost little more than staying at home."

Bicycle touring is certainly one of the cheapest ways to travel. If you have superb personal skills and/or are willing to camp in the wild it can even be cheaper than staying at home. Personally, bicycle touring costs me a bit more than staying home. I stay in campgrounds with the occasional cheap motel. Also I'm not a gregarious person so I rarely get invited to stay with people. Still, I am more at home on my bicycle than anywhere else. I'm off for a month in a few weeks. I can't wait. I've never regretted the money I spent on my touring bike and gear.