Author Topic: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?  (Read 562 times)

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Offline BikePacker

What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« on: November 07, 2020, 09:58:27 am »
I threatened to post this Question Topic inspired by an observation by Westinghouse under the "Min/Max Speed...." string that has been recently active.
He commented (I am paraphrasing here & hoping I got it right ! : )
on the 'importance of the many dimensions of weather awareness when on tour compared to the impact of weather when not on tour.' 
I appreciated his comment cause it reminded me of how much I love the alertness that weather demands of me when I am on tour....
So much so that it is one of my biggie reasons for lovin' tourin'.
Then it lead me to wondering what actually are those main 'things' I really, really like about touring? 
Over the years I may have gotten so close to touring that it has maybe become just one big wonderful undefined / amorphous attraction.....
thus, I would benefit from the specific insights of others.

Offline John Nettles

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2020, 10:28:42 am »
My overall reason I love touring is the sense of discovery.  I became hooked at age 15 when doing a tour.

My best example is that when I was 17, I was doing my first cross-country touring on the TransAm.  On July 4th, I was in Yellowstone and it started to snow.  Now being from Oklahoma, I could not fathom how ANY place in the continental USA could possibly snow in July.  Just seemed that since I was used to 90*-100*F temps in the summer that it was just not possible. I also was surprised how you could cross Oregon and go from the cool rainy ocean side (again, June cool temps were a surprise to me) and in a couple of weeks be sweating up a storm on what seemed a really long climb out of Richland in 104*F temps. 

There are just so many examples of my perceptions of places, people, attitudes, etc. being corrected over the years.  One thing that I now firmly believe is that people for some reason are always afraid of their semi-distant neighbors. 

For instance, most Americans are wary of traveling in Mexico except to an all-inclusive resort where you never have to leave until you return to the airport.  A lot of Mexicans are wary of Guatemalans. Northerners are wary of Southerners, blacks are wary of whites, etc.  And the reverse is true too.  Obviously, this is not universal or absolute but more like a general bias.  When you actually travel to those places and interact with those people, you realize they are mostly the same as you.  They just want a healthy life, not to be hassled, and to enjoy their family, friends, and neighbors.  Usually, with less government intervention.

Remember that Mark Twain said something like "Travel is the cure for prejudice".  So true.

Tailwinds, John

Edit:  Changed my weary to wary which made me weary.  Sort of like affect and effect.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2020, 12:05:04 pm by John Nettles »

Offline jwrushman

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2020, 11:37:17 am »
Gets me out of my "bubble".  Reaffirms my faith in the goodness of my fellow countryman.  A year ago, on a cross-country ride, I had a health issue in Palmyra, New York.  Having a cup of coffee at a canal-side cafe while waiting for nearby urgent care center to open, I was talking about my ride with the cafe owner.  She loaned me her car to drive myself to the center 4 miles away.  I don't think I would have loaned my car to a total stranger!

Offline TCS

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2020, 11:37:41 am »
For instance, most Americans are weary of traveling in Mexico except to an all-inclusive resort where you never have to leave until you return to the airport.  A lot of Mexicans are weary of Guatemalans.

Northerners are weary of Southerners, blacks are weary of whites, etc.  And the reverse is true too.

I've found bike touring makes me more weary - but less wary.   ;D
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline John Nelson

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2020, 06:17:36 pm »
Oh, I thought he really meant weary.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2020, 01:14:01 pm »
1. Interacting with and adjusting to the forces of nature.   2. It raises my awareness and improves my health.  3. It satisfies a sense of adventure.   4.It is physically, emotionally and mentally exhilerating.

Offline hikerjer

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2020, 12:34:29 am »
I can't argue with any of the above comments. They are all relevant. I guess the thing I like best is waking up in the morning with a sense of anticipation and not knowing what to expect and looking forward to new dsicoveries - both places and people

Offline BikePacker

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2020, 06:29:33 am »
(1) Being out there up front and in person with The Creation and all it's elements,
      e.g., weather, geology, critters, flora, water (or lack there of : ).
(2) Good feelings from various accomplishments,
      e.g., gaining a certain climb/elevation, getting from pt. a to b, dealing with various terrain conditions.
(3) What ever that sense of freedom is that I have always gotten from being on 2 wheels and self-propelled.

Offline PNWRider92

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2020, 01:35:45 pm »
In no particular order...

1. The people you meet along the way. There's just something about a loaded touring bike that makes people want to chat! I have friends/acquaintances all over the USA that I've met on one of my tours.

2. Everything you see along the way. You see so much when you're only going 10mph that you miss in a car.

3. The sense of accomplishment at the end of every day. Some days are really hard and reaching your destination is extremely satisfying. Nothing beats sitting at camp at the end of a long day having a beer :)
Instagram: tyjames0604

Wisconsin --> Washington ---> Colorado

Offline Westinghouse

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2020, 11:52:43 am »
All of the above.

Offline Twitch

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2020, 10:02:07 am »
I like the deliberately slow pace. In career, in life in generally, everything seems to be a race to an end. When I’m riding I’m never in a hurry, never trying to get somewhere, just enjoying the scenery.

Offline SwampYankee

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2020, 12:11:29 pm »
Simplicity
Rhythm to my days
People I meet
Travel well, kjr

Offline hikerjer

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2020, 08:33:22 pm »
"I’m never in a hurry, never trying to get somewhere"


This is interesting and I'm envious of you for it. My biggest problem is that even on tour I always feel like I have to get to the next place and I often don't even know where it's at. I don't know why I feel I have to continually push on even when I have all the time in the world with no deadlines but it just seems to be part of my psyche.  Left over habits from my days of employment and the stress of deadlines and getting things done, I suppose. I'm working on slowing down and smelling the roses, so to speak, but still struggle with the idea that I have to be in constant motion.  Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 03:58:55 pm by hikerjer »

Offline cyclist alan

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2020, 10:03:16 pm »
Agreed with all the comments above.

Touring is about escaping from difficult situations and sometimes the truly horrific side of being human

3 simple reasons for touring
"what I am doing today?"

Riding my 6ku urban track bike - https://bikesreviewed.com/fixed-gear/6ku-urban-track-fixed-gear-bike-review/

"Where am I going to sleep, tonight?"

Wherever I want

"Why are you doing this?"

For FUN

Offline froze

Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2020, 09:34:24 pm »
I didn't know what to expect when I first tried it, I bought all this gear and thought whawhot happens if I hate the whole thing?  So I took the plunge and went on a real short jaunt, I mean short, how short you scream? it was only 8 miles to a local campground in the city where I live!  LOL!!  So it worked out pretty good, although the campground was busy I still enjoyed sleeping outside.

So the next couple of ones were weekenders to a state park, and again found myself really liking sleeping outside, listening to critters, the wind, rain, whatever sound nature drummed up, do a little fishing, now that I have a lifetime fishing license for Indiana.  It was quieter at the state park to so there was peacefulness there.

Then I just kept going on more and more, so far no touring just to campgrounds, but it's a much slower pace to life, I'm not in a hurry, no one around me is in a hurry, everyone is actually quite nice and are inquisitive about someone camping off a bicycle, I've talked to all kinds of people, find a lot of them surprised that a guy in his 60's is camping off a bike when all the other guys in their 60's are in RV's...what I don't tell them is that I do have a camping trailer at home!  But that's for my wife more than it is for me.  I own a business plus work a job, so the bike camping thing de-stresses me, wish I could do it more often.

I'm am looking forward to next summer when I plan on doing a week and a half long trip, yeah I know, it's not as far as you guys all go but the Rolling Stones got it wrong, time is not on my side...but when I retire I will have more time, even then time is never on anyone's side, so I want to make the best of the time I have left and make it peaceful and enjoyable, which means I'll probably have to turn my business over to a management company so I don't have to be close to where I live whenever I want to go someplace.