Choosing the right bicycle touring companion is not a cakewalk
If you are someone who is tired of travelling alone on bicycle tours, you may be looking for a touring companion. But wait! This is not a matter that is unimportant, in fact choosing a touring companion may make or break your tour. There are things you should consider while making a decision. One thing that my experience of bicycle tours has taught me is: it is not enough to just like your touring companion! A bicycle tour is an intense experience and it involves you being on the road for a huge part of the day, physically exerting yourself all the time. You have to be compatible with your companion and not just on friendly terms.
The following are some points to consider:
* Are you compatible with the person? Are you sure you wouldn’t want to avoid him/her after going a short distance together? You have to understand that you will be spending close to about 24 hours together with the person during the tour.
* Does the person have conversational attitudes which are complementary to yours? This is very important because if both of you talk a lot instead of listening, there is bound to be problems after a couple of biking days.
* Do you trust the person?
The above few points focused on the attitudinal compatibility. But sharing the same touring goals with each other is also important. Following are some points for you to consider in this regard:
* Will the two of you be biking independently or will you be travelling together constantly throughout the day? This is an important point to consider because in case both your speeds are not the same, one of you will have to exert himself in speeding up as much as possible and one of you will have to deliberately slow down to help the other person keep up.
* Do the two of you have similar thoughts on what the right time to hit the road every morning is?
* Do both of you have similar ideas on meeting people you are going to encounter on your tour? It won’t help if one of you thinks it’s all a part of the tour while the other thinks that it’s simply a waste of time.
* How are you guys going to handle rest days? Discuss this with your companion beforehand. You can choose from taking a rest day after a vote, a rest day after every 5 days or not having any rest days at all.
* Will you be doing stealth camping?
* Regarding the matter of camp site chores, will you have fixed chores or will they be on a rotating basis?
* Will you be eating in restaurants on the way or will you be cooking on a portable stove?
* Will you be staying on camp grounds or at motels along the way?
* Will you guys have a set tour planned all out or will you just have a general direction you will be going to? This is very important because if one person likes being spontaneous and the other likes blueprinted ideas, then there are going to be problems.
* Do you agree on the average daily distance you will be travelling?
* Do you have bicycle tour goals that match? For instance, your companion may want to reach a fixed destination as fast as possible while you may want to look at the sights while travelling.
* How frequently will you be taking showers? This may seem insignificant, but it will be an important point to consider when you are on a long bicycle tour.