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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Running into other Bike Tourists

One of the things that I loved about my former job at the Hostel was meeting interesting and cool folk. Sure, there was a large percentage of people that didn't register, and then a few who I didn't really want to deal with, but dealing with the cool folk was the plus. And obviously to me some of the coolest folk were those coming through on a bike tour. As a fellow touron I loved talking to them, giving them tips/advice, hearing their stories. I knew that once I left the job I wouldn't be running into them as frequently as I would at the hostel.

But the last week has seen three separate encounters with fellow tourists! Two of them were meetings that were pre-arranged, one not.

First let's talk about the random encounter. Last Tuesday I stopped by Velo Cult in Hollywood and met two young cyclotourists from Germany. (Didn't catch their names.) I found out they were touring the Pacific Coast "the wrong way" from San Francisco to Vancouver. I also found out they were from (somewhere near) Frankfurt.
"Oh, isn't that in the north-central part of Germany?"
"No, it's more north-west."
"Ah, my geography is a bit off, as I was taught in school where towns were when there was a West and an East."
"Oh, the country re-unified when we were two."

Ugh, I felt so old. I remember watching "The Wall" fall down on TV when I was a freshman in high school. (In fact, I did possess a piece of said wall, at least they told me it was a piece.) And who can forget the inspirational anthem that came out in those heady times?

Anyways, after the chance encounter, the next one was pre-arranged. A friend of the Raving Bike Fiend, Malcolm, came to town on Thursday and was on his way to riding down the Pacific Coast towards LA. April and I met up for pizza on Thursday night, and we talked about good routes out to the coast and things to stop for along the way. He left town on Saturday and is making his way down the coast. Check out his blog, Never Get Off The Bike, to read!

And Monday I met up with Henrik and Vicky of Wooly Pigs. They've done a lot of touring over the past few years. This year they are touring the Americas, and have just spent a few months biking Chile and Argentina. Now they are in Portland for a little bit, resting and resupplying, getting ready to head down the coast to LA. From there they'll get transport to around Albuquerque where they'll travel the Great Divide route north to Glacier Park and then head eastward towards the East Coast. I met up with them over beverages and we talked about touring and tips for touring the U.S. (Hint: methyl alcohol ("meths") used for Trangia stoves can be found in gas stations in a yellow bottle labeled "HEET".)

All this talk of touring is making me itching to get out on the road. Thankfully I'll have an opportunity soon...


  1. It's always a pleasure to meet other bike tourists. And yes, it keeps the fire alive!

  2. I remember when living at the old place before it burned,my "home trails" were in the Breaks Interstate Park,and this time of year it was a common site to see touring cyclists on the road to and from,anf often in the park taking a breather or campnig out-I always loved chattingwith them about their travels,learning where they were from :)

    We set up our new budget priced camp gear over the weekend and gave it all a good testing out over the weekend. Not very heavy,but none of it packs really small (for kicks,I loaded it all on the bike yesterday),Ill have a post about it soon. While budget was the main concern (as we had very little),and knowing these mini-tours will be with the kids,after you read it,suggestions very welcome,my friend.

    The DC

    (I can't remember the route #,certainly not the bicycle route designation-having never "toured it myself" just drove it to/from the trails to mtn bike,but I do know that route is one of the ACA's designated cross country touring routes from what I'd read/learned,if that helps figure it out)

  3. Thanks for the info, map and good natter it was good to see you yesterday. We will stay around for a week more before we head south. We really like your pamphlets!


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