Author Topic: boredom on cross-country?  (Read 20615 times)

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Offline tonythomson

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2009, 12:00:50 pm »
I vote solo touring every time - never sure if it's me becoming xenophobic but also had awful experiences with other riders, like one guy I found out was into shop lifting to keep his costs down.  I was just horrified especially as I would be in the shop at the same time, took me a while to figure it out but hate to think of the consequences for me if he got caught, didn't much care what happened to him at this point.  I split straight away - he probably still thinks I'm weird.  So how come there are so many odd people touring? Have to say most of the people you meet along the tour seem great, but then time with them is minimal.

Indy please put our most innocent friend Westy out of his misery, but did make me smile. 

Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Turk

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2009, 10:33:18 pm »
I've never done a cross-country trip but a friend tried to basically do the Northern Tier with a group of friends many years ago. They got bored in Montana and opted for Amtrack. He said they'd work like dogs all day, often into the wind, and look at a map of Montana in the evening and it didn't hardly look that they moved at all.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2009, 11:37:03 pm »
and look at a map of Montana in the evening and it didn't hardly look that they moved at all.

I've never had that experience.  Everyone has the bad day, or maybe a few consecutive days, but even in the wind, you can plug along and get 50 miles or so.  Those miles add up, and soon you realize you really have covered some ground.  To me, every day's a new adventure, and it's an internal adventure as much as a bike one. 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline Westinghouse

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2009, 02:45:12 pm »
I am with Johnsondasw on that. Every new day is a new adventure. And I would certainly get shed of a shop lifter, or anyone else doing anything illegal along the way. What I was telling the beer drinker was this. I don't mind having a beer at night along with a meal, maybe two beers, but to stop and swill beer three or four times a day is unacceptable. The idea is to get away from the bock and adopt a different lifestyle.

I have experienced days of frustration, head winds, not enough sleep, loneliness, and convenience stores loaded with non nutritional junk food. At times I asked myself what in the hell I was doing out there. At other times I felt like keeping going all arond the land portion of the planet. It's not the same all the time, but nothing in this life is.

Offline ericactive

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #34 on: November 07, 2009, 11:26:06 am »
While I can't vouch for the Southern Tier, if you take the Trans Am during peak season you never really are alone. Meeting other riders will keep you from getting bored.  You'll catch up to other riders and they will catch up to you.  Eventually you'll meet people coming from the other direction.  One night in Chanute Kansas I shared the town park with 9 other cyclists. 5 of them coming from the other direction.  Most of us went out to dinner and had a great time sharing stories and giving tips on what lie ahead.  I rode with many people on and off during most of the trip.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #35 on: November 07, 2009, 10:52:03 pm »
I think one of these times I will do the TA, but not now. I am doing the ST this winter; not ACA's route, but some of it. Five state DOTs have sent me free maps, and I bought two more for 10 cents each at a thrift store. I may get bored once in a while. I am not worried about it. I tried to find a female cyclist who would go. Actually, I was not expecting to have a companion on this trip. Those who might have thought about going would have been insufferable on such a journey. That I know. I did want to help this one person I know to a more active lifestyle and some adventure travel, but one cannot expect someone to do something like this, no matter what. It is just too much for most people to even consider, much less do. But that's ok. I like it just fine. I will go it alone. Except for the absence of female companionship, I like it just fine. I have a sort of passion for it. Why? I am not sure. I got two new wheels, tubes, and continental tires, one a Contact and the other a Contact Traveler. I believe they will go the full distance. New chain, freewheel, bottom bracket cartridge, cables and such, and I am on my way. This time I plan to do a lot more of my own cooking. I want to avoid contracting dysentery / diarrhea that seems to come with eating in too many restaurants. Boredom? Yeah. Sometimes. But it does not rule the days. I do.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2009, 11:05:43 pm »
Wow!  It sounds like fun.  I might have to retire so I can take a long winter tour.  I'm a school HS math teacher with 30 years and I get summers off, which is great.  But to older I get, the more I want to get to a warm place in the winter!

How many miles per day average do you expect to get on the ST?
May the wind be at your back!

Offline psemler

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2009, 12:45:49 am »
I only ride alone -- 2 times cc country. 10 times SF to SD, many trips in Or, Ut, NM, and AZ.
I am never bored. I suspect I would be bored with others since they might talk too much about something else. I prefer to live in the moment. And I do like to meet the locals. It's better single.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2009, 08:06:41 pm »
For me the ST takes about two months, 56 days, something like that. That is with quite a few zero mileage rest days. You know how mileage goes:  67, 43, 81, 36, 74, 54, 90, 80, 110, etc. It depends on wind, rain, cold, heat, road surfaces, towns and stop lights, hills, and how lazy or enthusiastic I feel.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #39 on: November 21, 2009, 03:08:13 am »
I had one touring partner who I was unhappy with, but he was never boring. The idea was to cycle to Key West and back, about 500 miles total. First, he had needed maintenence to do on his bike, which he had plenty of time to do, which he did not do. Whatever I advised him to bring he left behind. That which I told him to leave behind he took.  Then, when we got caught out in some nasty weather he bummed part of my gear leaving me at a disadvantage over the weather because I  had brought the minimum. He packed more weight of gear on his bike than I would carry on an around-the-world expedition. All this against my simple advice for maximizing the enjoyment of the trip. All along the way he ignored the voice of experience. I tried my best to listen to the guy and go along with his suggestions, but he get getting us off track. We stopped at  Dunkin Donuts. I had an iced coffee. He had a hankering for some kind of sandwich which just had to come from one certain fast food chain restaurant, so he asked the young woman behind the counter where he might find said restaurant. Of course, she gave him detailed directions, and it was only four blocks away? Outside I tried telling him the directions were off or possibly even bogus. We had quite a heated discussion, but I ended up taking a 90 degree, four block, four very long blocks, turn off our path, and no such restaurant. You could stand in the middle of the road, and for as far as you could see, no such restaurant. . He became so crazy  he claimed it was there anyway, seriously. He kept lagging far behind, the weight, yet he did not carry a patch kit and pump. He kept jumping curbs, again against my advice, and broke his rear rack requiring time to stop and buy another one.

We were south of Miami at night when we came to some sort of wildlife conservation area. It was fenced, but knowing it would probably be gated with one of those easy to get through / over, metal bar Z gates, I took us around the perimeter looking for it. It was dark. We were looking for a safe place to sleep for the night. But no, he insisted on camping near a path in the woods. Out of kindness I agreed. We hefted out bikes and gear over a low white fence. The next thing we knew some deranged sounding homeless man came charging out of the bushes, threatening us with serious bodily harm and even death. We reasoned with him and calmed him down. At the end of a 10-15 minute talk  I asked him where the gate was. He said. We went there and had a good night's sleep.

We got into the Keys. He was complaining about the road and the traffic. Well, yes me too. We got to a convenience store where he saw egg salad sandwiches for sale. The cashier told him they cost two dollars less at the deli in Publix three miles back down the road. He wanted to back track, and did, to save two dollars because he packed too much into his panniers with no room for food.

One day, while camp was set and I was about a mile and  a half away reading a book at Barnes and Noble, he got into some kind of a row with a group of teenagers with paintball guns. This was at the campsite. He chased them through a bushy area, with a shovel. One of the kids dropped a cell phone. He picked it up, and dialed 911 in a hale of paint balls. The police showed up. Jack wanted to press charges againt the teens. The officer said he would press charges against Jack for use of a weapon, the shovel. Okay, so I got back later and found out what had happened. Later, some guy from the   sheriff's department walked into our camp. He said---Jack! You have two hours to clear your camp and leave. I will be back here in two hours. If you are still here, I will arrest you. The officer did not say anything to me. We left.

I split from this fellow the night before we got into Key West. The next morning I went into KW, toured the island, then turned north for the 250 mile trip back in 2 1/4 days. He took the old grey dog, along with a three foot in diameter roll of rubber-foam mattress he found in the woods, wrapped in a plastic garbage bag. He arrived by bus in Fort Pierce, 18 miles from town because the bus doesn't stop here anymore. He called his buddy Mark to come and get him. Mark told him to ride his bike. So, he did.

There were quite a few other matters. I think you can get the idea. No one single act of ignorance or neglect amounted to much, but the many taken together and what that seemed to suggest could not be ignored. It was a steady line of things which told me it would probably be the same in KW, and likewise on the trip back. I had cycled over 32,000 miles by that time. I cannot remember having had any such problems on any tour after having learned what was what for cycling and free camping. I had an excellent grasp of what to do and what to avoid; however, it was all for nought because of the other guy's willful ignorance.


It was kind of disgusting, but it was not boring.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #40 on: November 21, 2009, 12:29:11 pm »
You've got a lot more patience than I do. I would have ditched that guy way early. 

I've ridden with lots of partners, abut always ones I knew before the ride.  Only once did I end up saying I would not tour with the guy again, and that was for problems way more minor than those given above.

I tour with reasonable people I like, not strangers or weirdos.  On tour we are a flexible and enjoy the ride and each other's company.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline Westinghouse

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #41 on: November 22, 2009, 12:31:08 am »
I did the ST in the winter of 1984-85 with a lady friend. It took 66 days total with 54 actual cycling days. It was about 3,650 miles the way we went.
We did a 650 mile loop around south Florida before setting out from the east coast. We got highway 90 in north Florida and followed it to New Orleans and Morgan City entering Texas at Bon Weir. We took several different roadways to Midland and Odessa. We went through Guadalupe Park and down into El Paso. Then, we entered Mexico at Ciudad Juarez, cycled whatever roadways we could get, and crossed the border back into the US at Agua Prieta, Mexico--Douglas Arizona. We took the interstate to San Diego.

I was never bored in the least bit on that one. I was really loving it.

Offline dstory

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2010, 10:45:19 pm »
Never bored!!!

I did the NT / Lewis and Clark / TransAm during the summer of 2010.  I rode solo, but my wife met me at the end of each day with our teeny Toyota motorhome.  So I had the best of both worlds.  I was alone on the road to go as fast or slow as I wanted, stop at whatever sight touched my interest, and chat with whomever I wanted for as long as I wanted.  But then at the end of the day I was with my beautiful wife and 4 kiddos.

Through all this, I cannot even conceive the thought of being bored.  I can't wait to go again in the summer of 2011 when I will do the TransAm as far as Kansas and then jam down through TX and finish out the ST eastward.

Offline dubovsmj

Re: boredom on cross-country?
« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2010, 08:09:35 am »
dang, time really does fly.
last i checked it was january 2010....didn't realize summer had already come and gone.
just goes to show....