July 2009, supported group tour camping

West Texas somewhere

Here is a look at one day of my last tour. That’s my tent and old bike. Touring in an organized group was fun because I had my own space but I was with a group of people all doing the same thing. I did not have any say in our route or our riding schedule, but I didn’t have to pay for camp sites or hotel rooms either. I should say that this was less than your average supported group tour because we were hired as “endurance cyclist” and compensated to wear branded jerseys and participate in promotional events in certain markets. All for a vodka company owned by Bacardi.

We had hotel rooms on most nights, camping only sometimes. On the next trip I take it’ll be nearly all camping. And I’ll likely be riding solo. And I’ll rarely visit private campgrounds like this one. I prefer State Park camping or free camping in quiet places. It’s mostly because of the money. Why would I want to pay $10 – $20 just to set up a tent for a few hours? Now I look at this photo and I picture everything behind my bike and tent gone, the eight tents and two passenger vans replaced by trees and grass. That’s what my next tour will look like.

I really wish I could have the company of so many good people as I travel again, and having a big company foot the bill in exchange for wearing a free jersey is a dream come true. But that’s not gonna happen again. Much more likely is saving some money, collecting the gear and finding the time to just go.