The Experience of Touring

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by tompotter110, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. tompotter110

    tompotter110 New Member

    Dec 27, 2010
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    Hi Guys

    My name is Tom Potter, i am an undergraduate social research student based at Oxford Brookes University as well as a keen cyclist on and off the track. I am currently writing a thesis based on cycle touring as a modern form of mobility, and the ability of cycle touring to link locations, instead of mearly passing them by. I aim to try and understand the landscape experiences of the cycle tourist in contemporary Britain, through the sensory experiences of place noticed during rides of any kind in 2010.

    I ASK YOU. if there is any chance of any information from you lovely people, whether its on here via e-mail or in person it would be great to be able to talk to you about your personal experiences of cycle touring, and the landscape. as well as what makes you a cyclist and what makes a great tour.

    The grounding for the thesis is the geography of recreation and mobilities so i assume this is the best forum to post for information, if anyone else knows of any other areas or forums which would further my search i would love to hear about them.

    Many thanks to those of you who read this, i look forward to hearing from some of you i hope.

    Keep spinning, All the best

    Tom Potter

    Oxford Brookes University
    School of Social Sciences and Law

  2. vspa

    vspa Active Member

    Jan 11, 2009
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    you know while touring on a bike you don't get to know the passing cities and small towns that much, you spend the day pedaling so when you arrive to your daily destination all you want is a reasonably priced accommodation, a shower and a good meal. Before all that you need to unpack your panniers and store your bike. The day after the same thing in reverse, shower, load your bike and have a good breakfast and then off you go ! If you get to socialize with people, 80% of the times would be one-night friendship so to speak :)
    It is however very nice to bump into other cyclists touring, where you will do have a nice camaraderie instantly.

    So i would suggest backpacking for you instead as way to travel and get to know people and places better !
  3. noahhussin

    noahhussin New Member

    Dec 28, 2010
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    Different people have different approaches to touring. I am presently on a tour with my brother, producing a documentary about it, and we prefer to do it pretty raw. We go more slowly than some, but it allows us to meet more people and really connect to the landscape as we traverse it. Whenever we ride through a new town, we stop and have a look around, chatting with locals, taking in the dynamics that slowly change over the course of a day.

    We try to let each day happen naturally. We set distance goals, but not to the point where we can't take a beautiful detour if it presents itself or make a new friend here and there. I know a lot of people who try to blow through as many miles as they can as fast as they can, and it seems to often produce a much less intimate experience. When you're so exhausted that all you want to do is eat and sleep, it's hard to be too romantic about the experience, and even harder to make a lasting relationship with the geographic and cultural landscape.

    We have yet to pay for accommodation. We camp usually, and it's incredible how accommodating strangers have been, how many have invited us for food or sleep. Never before have I been offered so much help by people I don't even know. We also have some methods that some people consider more radical and undesirable like sleeping under bridges, dumpster diving and roadkill reclamation. To each their own of course, but we're absolutely blissful doing it like this, and spend less money than I ever thought possible.

    Here is a post on our website about the first leg of the tour with much more detailed reflections. It's a 7 minute film, a few pages of writing, and two photo slide shows.

    Let me know what you think, and good luck with your work!

  4. Jolijncycles

    Jolijncycles New Member

    Jan 12, 2011
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    Hi fellow cyclists!

    Anyone bored at work or feeling charitable? Please help me out by filling out my online survey. I am a Dutch Grad student studying the sustainability of cycle tourism. I would really appreciate your help! This is the link:〈=en

    Have a great cycle season!
  5. bilboburgler

    bilboburgler New Member

    Apr 28, 2011
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    British touring is cold and miserable most of the time and the food is not so great. So the experience is about keeping warm an surviving until the next meal. Sorry sounds a bit negative but riding in UK needs a leap in fatih compared to must of western europe on matters of
    1) road safety
    2) weather
    3) food available along bike routes
    4) pleasant cheap accomodation

    I've taken rides in Syria that make the C2C look like siberia!

    On another point about detours it depends on mileage still to be done, weather, physical condition and interest. Hence I've detoured to a spa in a field in Hungary because it was warm and the hotel I was aiming for was just over the next hill. If its another 4 hours to where you want to stay you don't detour.

    Hope this helps
  6. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2008
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    I'd heard that traffic had gotten worse over the past decade and that motorists are less likely to share the road with bikes... Shame really. Weather - it's Britain, what do you expect :p It's one of the reasons I'm happy to be in California rather than north west England. ;) Food... I miss the cafes out in the middle of nowhere with a good english breakfast or baked beans on toast with an egg on top and a monster pot o' tea. Youth Hostels were ace, dead cheap too...and good food if you were cooking for yourself. Carbisdale Castle is better than most good hotels in London ;) Then again, you've always got the ones in the middle of nowhere that dont even have electricity.