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Casual bicycle tourist looking for ideas on finding travel companions

I am nearing the end of my first year of retirement. I m a 63-year-old casual cyclist who love bicycle touring. I spent 2 weeks cycling western Hungary as my retirement gift to myself. I now know I want to do much more in the coming years. My problem is finding cycling companions for my journey. My husband is not retired and most of my cycling friends are also not retired. I am looking for some help on how to find people interested in casual bicycle touring in the UDA and international. I was lucky on my Hungarian tour to join a group that welcomed me as a single (all other were couples). What suggestions do you have?

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I love the bike and barge concept. Economical and adventures. I would like to get your email and share adventure ideas. I know what you mean about travel companions. Sometimes the solo supplement sounds like a bargain versus travel partner. Look forward to hearing from you. J

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I was in Holland and did a bike and barge tour, think company was Van Gogh, very reasonable with down to earth fellow travelers, this is not an upscale river cruise (although some of the companies that are, will lend bicycles to their passengers when they stop at destinations)  google that, there are many, many bike tours all over the world, even in less developed countries in Asia, lots in Europe and North America, but not sure in Africa or South America, but in many cases they are more expensive  than bus ones as they have a van following for tired passengers and stay in upscale inns, there is  one for only women cyclists, google it.  Bike and barge tour has no followup van but you can just stay on the boat which I did a couple of times. Also in Denmark,  this guy has made a wonderful RV for bicyclists to tow, you probably won't do that but you should look at it, it's really neat and very reasonably priced but sigh, he never answers my emails, google widepath campers. I will also private email you to contact me, maybe we can go on a bike tour together and room, thus avoiding the single supplement. 

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I am currently on an 8-day van supported bicycle tour of the Czech Republic through southern Bohemia and the Wachau Valley of Austria. Last fall I did a similar bike tour from Vienna to Budapest through the Hungarian Countryside. Both were van supported and also quite reasonable. I have met many nice travel companions and found that traveling alone works very well. I am definitely looking into the bike and barge tours. I have found some in the Netherlands that look nice I have also found some from Belgium to Paris that look nice I'm surprised how reasonable the cost is. Thanks for your response. Tom

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Hello I too am 1 year retired looking to bike tour Europe.  Want to travel Europe summer early fall maybe holland?  Have done great allegheny passage and C&O to D.C. would like to cycle US late spring. Lou Dayton Ohio 

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Lou,

 

Congrats on the retirement. I did some amazing bike rides in my first year. I spent 2 weeks in Hungary. I cycled 10 days from Vienna to Budapest via Lake Balaton. Amazing, beautiful, and so reasonable to cycle Hungary. This year I am off to the Czech Republic for a week of cycling. Here is that tour: http://www.czech-bike-tours.com/tours/prague-vienna-odyssey

 

We are pretty cllose. I am in Mount Vernon. I am cycling the Ohio to Erie Trail this fall. I love the GAP. We should talk more. 

 

Tom

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@BearonaBicycle  So I saw your second post via email, and am gonna reply even though it isn't posted here. 🙂

 

DH and I are blessed with a pretty large and diverse (geographically and cycle-style wise) group of cycling compadres. We are still years from retirement (though we took this year off). Here's how we created this group:

 

Since we ourselves have a cycling specialty, we joined a forum focused on that type of bike. And we posted plenty. And we learned a lot. And we chatted and we set up easy-going group rides with locals and we migrated around to others' group rides and we ended up with a casual crew from there. (You can join any bike forum: they probably have a group ride section. Both of the ones I'm on do.)

 

We also train 2-3 days a week on local trails, so we got to know cyclists that are preparing for competition. First we waved and said hello, then we started to gear gab trailside. Soon we'd encounter these serious cyclists on the trail and ask to ride with them, they'd do the same. Now we gather socially, email each other stats, challenges or one liners and are fast friends.

 

Then there are the peeps we've encountered by traveling to Senior Games competitions in other states. A couple of years and 11 competitions later, we're at the point of planning trips and tours and even coordinate which events we are competing at.

 

So, my advice boiled down: go do what you love, be open to friendship, create opportunities to cultivate that friendship and have a grand old time. 🙂

 

Best wishes as always,

Epster

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Giving a lot of thought to your post. I need to build this community. I haves good start. I just need to broaden to those interested in more serious longer touring. I also need to encourage my current cycling pals to put themselves out there and tour. I already volunteered to lead my club on two 4 day long weekend tours to the Niagara region and Pennsylvania. Hopefully that incents folk to tour more.
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Just returned from 8 day 250 mile Venice to Florence with experienceplus tour group. 1st time I’ve done this and will do again everything went perfect food, bikes, tour guides. Travelling as single I met so many great people. Looking at 2019 bike barge along the Seine river

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@LouisC53 -- That sounds like an excellent trip. I will have to put that on a possibility list. I also looked at that company. I have done two European tours so far, both with local bicycle tourist companies. Both have turned out extremely well. I find that the local guides are very knowledgeable about the region and give an excellent level of service. They also tend to be a little more economical. The Hungarian and Czech Republic companies that I have cycled with are what I consider to be extremely outstanding organizations. I am sure Experience Plus delivers a hell of a good tour. Tom

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@BearonaBicycle  Maybe plan a shortish tour to ease them into it? Or howabout getting them out to a rally? Is there one in your area in the winter (seems a longshot). That might be a way to get them fully excited about being around a bunch of other cyclists for a few days. 🙂  

 

You'll get there. 🙂

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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I setup a private Facebook group, Tom's Cycling Tours, and invited my cycling friends. I tossed some ideas out for simple overnight tours. The response was bigger than I expected, almost 50 people joined. There has been good conversation. I just laid out that I would like to plan some friends cycling weekends. Some good ideas came up, the Niagara Falls tour is one. It's simple to easy to get to for most of my friends. This past summer I invited folks to my new home/farm in the country for a weekend of camping and cycling. 20 people came. Many want a repeat which I will do. I am seeing this takes time but I have a good start. The reality I see is that European travel is not cheap and takes time. As more of my friends retire or move to part-time work, they will most likely join me. Thanks. Tom
Honored Social Butterfly

 

 

Best idea yet! Facebook! Perfect. You're such a rockstar. 🙂

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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St Petersburg Florida is a great cycling area.

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Try the app Meetup. I joined a group upon my arrival in the Boston area; very friendly people and outings are rated according to strength, speed, and length. Meetup also has been recognized as one of the best social app by Apple. 

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I have been a Meetup user and organizer for the past 9 years. It is a super tool. I have met many cycling and other friends via the app and meetups. Unfortunately, bicycle touring is a smaller group of cyclists. A few of my cycling friends from Meetup are interested. The problem I mostly face are twofold: most friends are not retired with not enough free time to tour and most do not have the funds to tour. Thanks for your response.

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Not sure why my second post did not post? Anyway, those are great suggestions. I guess it's a case of keep on pushing. I am a pretty outgoing person and make friends easily. I have a super group of cycling friends. As I mentioned, unfortunately, they are not able to travel as much as I can. I actually found a super blog post that also offer good tips: http://milestonerides.com/2014/12/16/10-ways-find-bicycle-touring-companions/ .

 

Right now I am leaning on just joining another European group tour and hoping to find community. I had hoped that from my first one but the group was a set of close friends who were just trying a bike tour and most likely will not do another one. Super nice people.

 

Thanks for your response. Now I will try to post that "lost" entry. 

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Hi @BearonaBicycle  Good to see you here. Are you interested in joining rides? There's Ride the Rockies, Ride the Plains, et cetera, ad nauseum. Or are you looking to plan your own tour, but want folks to join you?

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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For many years I have cycled GOBA, Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, Ohio's state week-long bicycle tour. I have also cycled and organized weekend and weeklong tours with my bicycle club. This year I did the Bike Florida winter ride and Cycle North Carolina coastal ride. These were with friends and cyclists I have known for years.

 

Retired, now I find myself wanting to do more. I would love to do it with friends but unfortunately almost all do not have the funds or time. I find my retirement and financial situation is a benefit and problem at the same time. My spouse still works with little time off. My friends are in the same boat. I want to explore by bicycle now while my health is good. Who knows what the future will bring.

 

I am looking for a way to connect with people who want to do some exploring on a bike to interesting places. My European tour was with a nice group of people that welcomed me in. That may not be the case for a single person in a group. 

 

I am interested in trying an unguided tour internationally but am uncomfortable doing it solo. That is probably the thing I am looking for most, a person who shares my love of cycling and discovery who is willing to share it with someone else.