Author Topic: Fighting off boredom?  (Read 10337 times)

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Offline RandomGuyOnABike

Fighting off boredom?
« on: June 23, 2014, 11:09:10 pm »
So I am in the makings of planning my first cross country trip here "soon" (in the next year or 2, maybe 3 depending on the job). While at home, I can normally occupy my time with the great and almight internets; however, on the road, with little to no access to electronic equipment, how do you guys fight off the boredom?

I am a solo traveler, and during my weekend trips, its not a huge deal, as I can usually just "watch the fire" and listen to the sounds of nature; however, I have a feeling that 6+ months of camping out will get fairly boring at some point.

Now that I am typing this, I am thinking perhaps that taking a tablet with a metric !@#% ton of books might do the trick. What do you fine folks think, or what are your experiences with the psychology of riding cross country solo?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2014, 11:42:13 pm »
It turns out you have less time than you think. Of course, that depends on how far you ride in a day. I ride about 70-75 miles a day and camp. I stop a lot to take pictures, talk to people, look around and move a few turtles off the road. My day is pretty much consumed by the time I get up, eat breakfast, talk to my camp neighbors, break camp, ride for 6 hours or more, stop for food and water, talk to locals and fellow riders, visit some interesting sites along the way, get lost a time or two, recharge my phone, find some place to camp, get clean, set up camp, eat dinner, go for a swim in the lake, do a bit of laundry, write in my journal, talk to my camp neighbors, explore the area, clean my water bottles, review the maps for the next day, pump up my tires, lube my chain, read a little and brush my teeth. Then I do it all over again the next day. I can't say I'm ever bored on a tour.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2014, 11:56:35 pm »
I can't say I'm ever bored on a tour.

Agreed. There's not a heck of a lot of time for boredom to set in. And if it does, it might be saying something about your tour.

I generally bring a book with me on tour, one that I intend to read, yet rarely do I ever open the cover. Yeah, I probably shouldn't bring with me next time...

Even on my off days, I find little time to be bored. I'm usually consumed with restocking needed supplies, finding out information, getting bike repairs, etc. If I have time left over to do nothing, it's just nice to "do nothing" for a bit.

Offline RandomGuyOnABike

Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 12:01:16 am »
I think perhaps "boredom" was the wrong term. Instead, I think I should have instead said, "what do you guys do during downtime / relaxation time"

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2014, 12:07:42 am »
I think perhaps "boredom" was the wrong term. Instead, I think I should have instead said, "what do you guys do during downtime / relaxation time"

I think John nailed that one as well. For me, the downtime, which is after I get into camp and set up tent, etc, is occupied by making dinner, listening to the radio, checking the maps/info for the next day(s), maybe writing a post card or two, and if I can, write something on teh Internetz/share a few photos. And maybe (maybe!) open that book...

Offline John Nelson

Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2014, 12:10:53 am »
I agree with adventurepdx that it's nice to have at least some time each day when you do absolutely nothing at all, except perhaps sit and think about your day. That said, there's always something to explore. Once camp is set up and dinner is finished, go exploring. Most of the time, you'll find somebody to talk with too.

Offline JDFlood

Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2014, 01:04:43 pm »
I don't think I every remember getting bored on a long trip. I remember crossing Montana and North Dakota and being shocked at how beautiful it was, comparing when I had driven across it. Migrating birds, all the lakes, in the mountains, your going up a pass... down is a flash. Planning the next day. Meeting people.

Now of course there is the iPad mini... plenty to read, watch movies, talk to friends, process your pictures.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2014, 01:43:21 pm »
"what do you guys do during downtime / relaxation time"
I generally find there is precious little downtime and it is best spent doing nothing much when that is possible.  There never seems to be enough downtime for it to be a problem.  I usually don't even much/any find time to read unless I do it by listening to audio books while riding.

I stop a lot to take pictures, talk to people, look around and move a few turtles off the road. My day is pretty much consumed by the time I get up, eat breakfast, talk to my camp neighbors, break camp, ride for 6 hours or more, stop for food and water, talk to locals and fellow riders, visit some interesting sites along the way, get lost a time or two, recharge my phone, find some place to camp, get clean, set up camp, eat dinner, go for a swim in the lake, do a bit of laundry, write in my journal, talk to my camp neighbors, explore the area, clean my water bottles, review the maps for the next day, pump up my tires, lube my chain, read a little and brush my teeth.

John's list above demonstrates why there is so little downtime to worry about what to do with, so I won't bother to post my own list.  It is hard to find enough time to even do those things.

indyfabz

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Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2014, 03:56:19 pm »
I just got back from 9 days of riding in MT. (I am about to post a trip report in the "Routes" sub-forum.)

Others have pretty much covered it, but I want to offer something from my recent experience. I had a lot of hill most days. Between but breaks, photos, stopping for snacks, grocery shopping, etc. I could usually count on 10 mph on average. Sometimes it was less. Sometimes more. If you do about the same, a 60 mile day=6 hrs. on the road. If you hit the road at 8 a.m., you get done at 3 p.m. barring any delays. Throw in time for relaxing a bit once the biking is done, setting up camp, changing out of your riding clothes, taking a shower if one is available, exploring a town if you stay in one and things like grocery shopping, and its going to be 5 or 6 before you know it. Dinner and dishes and it's now 7. Cleaning your bike/lubing the chain if it has rained a lot. Answering questions from curious campers. There is a lot that will take up time. And when it's time to relax, you relax. I like to build a fire and read. Took "Flowers for Algernon" on my recent trip. Loved it. I did use the computer at a local library twice. Didn't really have the patience for it. I spend the work day in front of a computer and I don't feel the need to be "connected" when I am on the road. I have a sumb phone which I use to check in with the GF every night and that's about it.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 10:15:17 pm »
Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life. George Bernard Shaw

Offline Galloper

Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2014, 09:50:35 am »
I love, love, love my ebook reader.   It means that I can carry in a light and small package, enough books to keep me happy for months.   

Offline geegee

Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2014, 01:42:00 pm »
I've rarely gotten bored on a tour either. One thing I find I have to make time for is bike maintenance, and I literally have to force some downtime to do it. There will always be something to do, and in many ways you'll feel like you don't have enough time.

Personally, I can't read a long novel while I'm on an adventure. Somehow, I find it hard to immerse myself in someone else's story in bits and pieces whenever I have time. Even the incidental things I read along the way (magazines, brochures, panels, etc.) already tend to color my experiences, and adding a non-conextual story just confuses my imagination :) .

Offline yumadons

Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2014, 12:48:48 pm »
Keep a journal on crazyguyonabike. It will suck up any free time you have and keep us entertained at the same time   ;D

Offline bogiesan

Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2014, 09:18:59 am »
Now that I am typing this, I am thinking perhaps that taking a tablet with a metric !@#% ton of books might do the trick. What do you fine folks think, or what are your experiences with the psychology of riding cross country solo?

Not to push the point too far and be accused of retrogrouchery but tens of thousands of folks road much further and longer than you're planning without any electronics (or disk brakes) at all. A paperback and a notebook/pencil can keep you company for a long time and you can trade the book with another adventurer along the way.

Modern contrivances are luxuries; fun and interesting and stimulating and reassuring but unnecessary in the bigger scheme of what you want and need on a crosscountry solo ride.

Enjoy your trip and take whatever you think will make it more enjoyable or safe.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

indyfabz

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Re: Fighting off boredom?
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2014, 02:20:42 pm »
Not to push the point too far and be accused of retrogrouchery but tens of thousands of folks road much further and longer than you're planning without any electronics (or disk brakes) at all. A paperback and a notebook/pencil can keep you company for a long time and you can trade the book with another adventurer along the way.[/quote]

+1. I read "Flowers for Algernon" while touring for 9 days last month--something I had wanted to read for a whole. Nice to have relaxation time to do so. I also found that checking and sending email using the computer at a town library seemed like a chore. When touring, I like to leave behind as many routine things as I can.