Location: Sacramento, California

I am a retired lawyer and administrative law judge, aged but active, with a variety of interests.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Leapfrog Bicycle Touring

Three Easy Riders Leapfrog Touring Procedure


This procedure assumes the participation of three congenial cyclists who are evenly matched in terms of ability and who wish 1) to tour by riding from one town or point to another, rather than return to the point of beginning each day, 2) to ride together for companionship and mutual support, 3) to ride without the encumbrance of the baggage associated with ordinary "self-contained" touring, 4) to have quick access to the comfort, convenience, and security of an automobile and a telephone while riding, and 5) to stay in motels (engaging one room with twin beds and a rollaway) rather than camping.


From the point of beginning, Rider One drives the vehicle containing the baggage of all three riders and his own bike an agreed-upon distance (say, 10 miles) along an agreed-upon route, where the car can be safely parked, and there waits for Riders Two and Three. Upon the arrival of both, Rider Two becomes the driver and Rider One, having unloaded his bike, begins cycling with Rider Three. After loading his bike, Rider Two drives on to the next rendezvous point and there waits for the arrival of his fellows. Upon their arrival, Rider Three becomes the driver and Rider Two resumes cycling, this time with Rider One. This alternation of driving and riding continues as the three riders may agree, with modifications (the vehicle carrying two or all three bikes) to accommodate meals, snacks, gasoline purchases, motels, or any other contingency which may occur.

This procedure permits varying the distances covered by the three riders, to recognize their individual wishes and peculiarities in topography and traffic congestion along the route, and enables them to avoid riding altogether in unsafe conditions. It also has a built-in capability for getting to the point of beginning of the tour without relying on an airline or the charity of others, admits of aborting a trip which has become unpleasant because of inclement weather or illness, or other reason, and can be followed for a single day, or for several days. Most important, it ensures that friends and assistance are always close at hand, even in the course of an otherwise venturesome undertaking.

Although the procedure can be utilized by four riders (or more), I believe that three is the optimal number. Four riders will almost certainly require a larger vehicle than three, and it is far easier for three to reach consensus or agreement on any question than four - and issues requiring decision will arise constantly.


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