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Bus guilt...

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by friedel, 27 Oct 2007.

  1. friedel

    friedel New Member

    Location:
    On our bikes!
    A little psycho analysis needed here xx(

    This month we took the bus twice, for the first time in what is now nearly 17000km of pedalling. The huge size of Turkey (realising we will never see all we want to on bike and get to the Middle East as well before we need to reach Iran) and some rotten weather contributed to our decision to get a lift. I guess it was about 200km and we had thought about getting another bus for part of the way from where we are now to the Syrian border.

    But I feel guilty!

    Andrew has no such cyclist guilt but I guess I have been reading too many stories by expedition cyclists who talk about the 'purity of the journey' and the 'essence of the ride' and how it is all ruined the moment you get on a bus or train or whatever. That plays on my mind but then again I think heck, I have cycled a whole lot more than most people this past year and taken on a much bigger trip than many would even consider. Does it really matter if we hitch a lift for small parts?

    What do you think... does a bike tour have to be just on a bike to be 'valid' (whatever 'valid' is -- no one is paying us to do this after all).

    There does seem to be some kind of competition or pressure among really long distance cyclists to see who can do it the cheapest, cycle the most, etc... or at least I do sometimes sense the feeling that a touring cyclist is not really a touring cyclist if they sometimes take the bus or stay in nice hotels, eat out instead of eating cold beans out of a tin. Exaggerating here a bit but you get the idea.

    Okay, enough rambling from me..... :tongue:
     
  2. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    I think if you've set out with the stated intention of doing a certain ride with no help whatsoever, or a round the world expedition, then it's not on.

    Remember that ffiona woman who 'walked' around the world, it was a scandal when she was shown to be cheating.

    If you've just set out to do an epic journey, it's OK.

    eg: "I just got back from a 10.000 km ride, I crossed the continent. I did get a bus for 200km in Turkey, but it was the sensible option" sounds fine, whereas "I just got back from cycling accross Asia for charity all by my own, save for the bit where i got a lift cos I was knackered" sounds bad.....
     
  3. Brock

    Brock Senior Member

    Location:
    Kent
    Hi Friedel! I must admit, I did suck air through my teeth when I read about your bus adventures, and my girlfriend was delighted when I told her, 'Oh!' she said, 'Friedel is cheating?!?' but it did give rise to one of my favourite paragraphs of your adventure so far, if I may quote:

    I think I understand how you feel, the irrational need to be able to say 'we cycled from here......... to here' without the need to add in subdued tones 'oh err.. apart from this bit here, where we got a lift' is something that is bound to be hard to subdue, but with an adventure as epic as yours, I doubt there's many who could reasonably be snobby about your miniscule motorised misdeeds.
    Don't make a habit of it though eh?
    I loved the video of your mud caked tyres too, reminded me of riding my Raleigh Grifter along the tank track addled muddy farm tracks on Salisbury Plain.
     
  4. xilios

    xilios Über Member

    Location:
    Maastricht, NL
    I really don't see the problem, if for any reason it doesn't go anymore by all means take a bus or train. You shouldn't feel guilty for that. Besides who are doing the ride for?
    My wife and I have met other touring cyclists that (to our view) had totaly the wrong idea about touring. When we chated it was all about how many kms per day, how many mountain passes, bike types (who had the most expensive bike) and so on, like they were cycling to impress others and not enjoying it themselfs.
    I've read other journals were they stoped for several days took a flight back home for a wedding or birth and flew back to continue the tour would that be cheating?
    Enjoy the ride and take many pics we'll be following you.
    cheers xx(
     
  5. friedel

    friedel New Member

    Location:
    On our bikes!
    Well, here we are a few more kilometers down the road, all by bike. We sweated over a few steep hills so perhaps that is the punishment for our earlier cheating xx(

    I am still split on how I feel about it but somehow feeling like with the weather and the way things are going in Turkey at the moment with the PKK that more buses may be in our future. Hummmmm..... and then there is the issue of do we really want to spend our time doing 300km of boring holiday resorts and motorway when we could be somewhere else and there is an easy transport alternative?
     
  6. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Personally I would say it was a mistake to get the bus. You will always look back and feel slightly dissatisfied.
     
  7. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    It's a personal thing Friedel. I would be slightly uncomfortable personally but as Xilios says who are you doing the ride for? If it's for yourselves and it was the right thing to do at that moment then it's no problem; if you're doing it to impress other people ( which I'm sure is not the case) then it's more of a problem.
    Good luck to you . Rich
     
  8. Maggot

    Maggot Star of BBC 5Lives Ballot Box Brigade

    Location:
    Cheddar
    You have answered your own question by posting this. I guess from your tone that you already think you made a mistake, it'll be like domtyler says, you will have cycled all that way, but I guess whenever you tell people in the future about it you'll feel compelled to state "..but we got a bus in Turkey.."

    Personally, I would thing fuck it, and have got a bus the whole way accross Turkey, I would avoid Iran, maybe get a flight and wake up refreshed in Oz ready for some serious partying:biggrin:

    No seriously, last year I cycled from John O'Graots to just past Penzance when I had a crash and wound up in hospital overnight with 6 broken ribs and loads of other injuries. I was 11 miles from the end!!! Unfortunately, despite cycling from Wick to JOG to start and thereby covering more than the required distance consecutively, I kind of feel I haven't yet done an End to End:sad:

    My best advice is to move on and put it to the back of your mind. Maybe do a punishment ride of 200km to make up for it, but focus on whats ahead, it's done.
     
  9. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    There is nothing wrong at all in taking a bus, it was the right thinmg to do at the time foryou or you would not have done it...blimey...peeps get on the bus to go around the corner to the shop here...you have nothing to worry about!!

    ...keep going, keep enjoying. Bloody well done to you...that's what I say.
     
  10. friedel

    friedel New Member

    Location:
    On our bikes!
    Ha ha! You put a smile on my face there, your version sounds like fun too, I must admit :biggrin:

    Well, after making that last post we cycled up a blooming hard hill (two people stopped just to tell us it was impossible to do on a bicycle -- 30km straight up and lots of +10% grades) and by the top I had decided the following:

    --we are not superhuman
    --we didn't promise anything to anyone
    --sometimes a bus is a preferable option, to cycling motorways for example
    --taking a bus doesn't normally cut down on the kilometers we cycle, just allows us to see more of places we want to instead of slogging through spots we aren't interested in
    --our time and money is limited and our list of countries and places to see is long

    and (perhaps most importantly)

    -- if I debate this anymore Andrew will likely throw me over the next available cliff :blush:

    So, enough fretting about the bus. I am sure our trip will always be cycling for the vast majority of it but we will take the bus as and when it makes sense to do so. Which is why we're doing a sprint for the Syrian border by bus tomorrow. If our pleas for a visa fail, we'll be doing a commiseration lap by bike from southern Turkey to the Black Sea.

    Thanks for all your replies! I read them all and they did help me to sort out my thoughts on it. I think a lot of my guilt came from the fact that when we started I really thought we would do every single inch by bicycle and just recently have had to realise that maybe that doesn't make the best sense for what we want out of our trip.
     
  11. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    I think you have made the purpose of your trip much clearer now with this post. In this context there is no problem at, quite the reverse in fact if your remit is to cycle in as many spectacular places as you can in a certain amount of time.

    Lucky bastard! Hope you get a puncture!!! :biggrin:

    Only joking, have a great time and think of everyone you have left behind slogging it out behind our desks.


    Swine.