Solo touring vs. group touring vs. touring with a spouse/girlfriend

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by berzins, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. berzins

    berzins New Member

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    Opinion requested: Which mode is better for long tours: Solo, with a spouse/significant other, group tours (in which you don't know the other participants before hand), or going with friends and acquaintances?

    Reading journals of participants, it appears that there is a lot of incompatibility risk with just a single partner or a group. What are your views?
     
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  2. doug california

    doug california New Member

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    Last year I did what I consider the best of all worlds tour. I went from Cape Alava WA to West Quoddy Head ME. (western to eastern most points in coterminous U.S.). My wife who does not ride drove the car and was my sag. It allowed her to see a part of the U.S. that she had not seen before and visit all the cultural and other sites that she wanted, and I got to ride at the pace that I wanted. When we would leave in the morning I would decide where we would end up depending on how I was feeling and the weather and terrain conditions. If I made better time than expected I could go further and she could pick me up and bring me back to that spot in the morning. (We had cell phones) The advantage IMHO is that I didn't have to worry about other riders being slower or faster, or compatiblity issues, The other BIG advantages were that I could ride to a point that was not where we planned to stay that night becuse my wife could pick me up and return me to that spot the next day. I did not have to carry all the camping equipment on the bike, We were able to stay in campgrounds but mainly we stayed in motels by choice.On rest days we could take side trips to Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore and Wounded Knee, Niagra Falls, NYC etc. On days when I finished early we could go to places like Devil's Tower
     
  3. Chris_L

    Chris_L New Member

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    I really think it depends a lot on the type of person you are. Personally I like the freedom and the self-sufficiency of solo touring. I like being able to stop and camp wherever I feel like, take whatever detours suit me, and indulge in my penchant for getting up early.

    As I also read on another forum, one of the main reasons we go touring is to listen, and one of the things we don't listen to often enough is ourselves. Think about it, we spend such a large percentage of our lives being bombared with television, radio, the Internet, the (mostly innane) conversations that surround us. When does one get the opportunity to get in touch with their own feelings?
     
  4. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Group tours have some inherent risks. First a group is always slower in getting started/making decisions than a single person. The more people you are the more time will be spent waiting for each other. (unless you are all former Marines or by some other reason very disciplined people...) Secondly people are generally very poorly calibrated, even if the whole group states that they are very fit there will still be some that are left wheezing after only a short ride.

    Spouse/significant other usually isn't as cumbersome as groups, and can offer great rewards through the shared experiences. The biggest pitfall lies in if your abilities/expectations for the ride are too different. Unless you can find a pace and a program that you're both satisfied with you will need a great deal of tolerance to get through the trip.

    Going solo can be very rewarding and probably offers the greatest sense of freedom. But you have to realize that you're putting yourself in a rather exposed position and you need to be able to tackle anything you can encounter by yourself. Not to be recommended if you're heading off the beaten path.

    I've done a couple of trips with my brother and some of his friends, and to me that's the perfect compromise. With 4 people to split the burden between we can carry a decent sets of tools and spare parts without being overburdened by the weight, and we're still reasonably efficient in getting started after each break.

    The fact that we've done a lot of single-day rides beforehand also ensure that we have about the same opinion of how hard to push and for how long and so on, which has proven to be a great help.
     
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