Is COVID19 affecting your cycle touring plans? - CycleBlaze

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Is COVID19 affecting your cycle touring plans?

Graham Smith

Here in Australia, like many countries, the COVID19 is having major affects on tourism. In my own workplace for example we’ve cancelled programs which were set to go to Vietnam.  

Other than the real and obvious health risks, there are also the financial risks because of uncertainty about travel insurance, travel bans, quarantine lockdowns and so on. Friends have already cancelled planned trips to Europe for a summer of cycling. 

More by good luck than good management, my own immediate cycle touring plans haven’t been affected so far, as my next ride will be a long one into rural and regional Australia without the need for air travel. I’ll simply ride out my front gate and keep going for several weeks into sparsely inhabited areas. 

How about you? Has your cycle touring  been affected by the COVID19 epidemic/pandemic? 

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4 months ago
John SaxbyTo Graham Smith

Graham, so far, no:  We leave tomorrow for 'Straya's Gold Coast to see our family there for six weeks, and I'm taking my Eclipse (with trick new non-malfunctioning XT rear derailleur) to renew acquaintances with the hills of the NSW border ranges.

I'm still anticipating a tour in Atlantic Canada this July/August, dates t.b.c.  My there-and-back will be by rail.  If COVID-19 becomes more serious in Eastern Canada and pre-empts that, then I'll do a shorter tour in the hills of Eastern Ontario and Western Québec.  Hardly exotic, but demanding, beautiful, full of lakes and rivers, and lightly populated.

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4 months ago
Graham SmithTo John Saxby

Safe travels John. If there was a choice of anywhere in the world to be delayed by quarantine precautions at this time of year, then SE Qld would surely be in the Top Ten.

It’ll be interesting to hear your first hand observations about if and how the Gold Coast is being affected by the downturn in international tourism, especially the cruise ship sector.

We have heard reports that Broome is getting an influx of domestic tourists now that people are cancelling there overseas trips. These global situations often generate  winners as well as losers in the tourism sector. 

The lakes and rivers of Ontario sound very exotic to this Australian who is more used to dust, smoke and heat haze. I hasten to add that we are having a superb autumn here in Canberra with mostly clear skies, cooler temperatures and regenerating bushland following good rains. It’s ideal cycling weather here now.

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4 months ago
Mike AylingTo Graham Smith

Mary and I booked a barge and bike trip from Amsterdam to Bruges in September  this year before the Corona virus got going.

No idea what will happen.

Mike

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4 months ago
Graham SmithTo Mike Ayling

Mike let’s hope that by September the COVID-19 situation has either calmed down, or at least is better understood as more reliable medical and epidemiology information becomes available. We’ve postponed some work programs which involve OS travel to seriously affected areas. 

For your barge-bike trip, did you take out any travel insurance or check out what different insurance companies are offering in the current travel environment? 

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3 months ago
Victa CalvoTo Graham Smith

Yep Graham, it certainly is having an impact on cycle touring plans... 

We were planning to cycle Europe this northern summer but are having second thoughts now. The aud today is trading at .58 euro and our carefully hoarded  retirement nest egg is swan diving into the abyss. 

At this point we can't get travel insurance either. I'm quietly hoping this will all turn around in the coming months. If it doesn't, then like you I'll probably ride somewhere in OZ. 

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3 months ago
Brent IrvineTo Graham Smith

My original plan was to head to France with my son for his first-ever tour. With concerns growing, I decided to postpone this tour for the time being. Not for fear of the illness, but if I were quarantined even for a slight cough, what would happen to Alex and how much more school would he miss? Postponed France.

The next idea was to go solo to Portugal to ride the N2. How things changed. Italy closed. Where next? Airlines cancelling flights. Some people looking at foreigners with some fear 'in case they bring in the virus'. Along with this is my concern with the unknown. Do I want to risk carrying the virus from one locale to the next? No. Postponed Portugal.

If things aren't too bad, I will tour in my own country. I can drive to PEI or Gaspé or BC, or somewhere here in Ontario. If things are bad, I won't, or will ride around the block. 

All of this to say, I have given this issue a lot of thought. As passionate as I am about touring, I want to enjoy it. If this is over-reacting, then maybe this summer I'll sip a craft beer and laugh and laugh and laugh at myself as I plan a fall tour in Europe. If this was a wise move, I will happily sip a craft beer and be grateful my loved ones are safe.

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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Graham Smith

None of our plans have changed yet, but we’re starting to have discussions.  I like to think I’m in generally great health ‘for my age’, but my age lands me squat in a supposedly high risk band.  We’re due to fly to Austin in 2 weeks and I’m trying to decide how uncomfortable I am with the idea of a short domestic flight.  We’re going on tour somewhere because our current Airbnb reservation is up then so we have to move on in any case.  A few contingency plans are under consideration but we’re waiting as long as possible before committing ourselves.

Also, we’ve already bought our flight for a European tour this fall.   Hopefully things will have stabilized by then, but that could be at risk too.

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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Graham Smith

None of our plans have changed yet, but we’re starting to have discussions.  I like to think I’m in generally great health ‘for my age’, but my age lands me squat in a supposedly high risk band.  We’re due to fly to Austin in 2 weeks and I’m trying to decide how uncomfortable I am with the idea of a short domestic flight.  We’re going on tour somewhere because our current Airbnb reservation is up then so we have to move on in any case.  A few contingency plans are under consideration but we’re waiting as long as possible before committing ourselves.

Also, we’ve already bought our flight for a European tour this fall.   Hopefully things will have stabilized by then, but that could be at risk too.

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3 months ago
Graham SmithTo Victa Calvo

We live in interesting times Victa. It sounds like you and I are in a similar situation with retirement savings peering over the edge into the black hole of recession. I’m fairly philosophical about money or lack of it. I started cycle touring about 40 years ago and made it across Europe on the smell of an oily rag, so if I need to relearn extremely frugal cycle touring I think I could.

However this pandemic situation is a bit different to the good old days. Mass travel, panic buying, the Internet, lockdowns of provinces, closed borders, quarantine camps and so on weren’t part of the cycle touring scene when I were a lad. Thankfully we have a big country on our doorstep which offers lots of different places to cycle tour until the northern hemisphere sorts itself out. 

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3 months ago