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  #1  
Old 20 Feb 2007
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Question Assessing Intended Travel Companions

1. Are there any pointers to help me decide whether my intended travel companions will in fact turn out to be compatible with me, me with them and each other during a long and possibly stressful trip.

2. How do we keep the group functioning when times are tough?

Thanks, Chris
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  #2  
Old 20 Feb 2007
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Group travel

There is no way to tell if intended travel companions will in fact turn out to be compatible with me, me with them and each other during a long and possibly stressful trip. You have to go willing to change plans and willing to travel by your self if you are not compatible. I think it is impossable to find a group that gets along on a long trip. unless you have knowen each other before hand
Norm
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  #3  
Old 21 Feb 2007
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Shake down trips

We go on a much shorter trip, say leave Friday afternoon and return Sunday night. This gives you time to assess their riding ability and that they don't turn into a fighting machine after a few drinks.
It that is successful, then we normally agree that at any time during a trip and we need space, we can part company for a day or several days and meet up again at a predetermined location.
Go with the flow and be prepared to change plans as the need arises. Works for me.
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  #4  
Old 21 Feb 2007
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I have found that most disagreements are over how much riding versus sightseeing you want to do and how much money you want to spend. If you want to spend time doing things off the bike, and your partner wants to twist the throttle sunup to sundown, there's going to be trouble. Same if you want to camp or hostel it, and your buddy wants an air conditioned private room every night. Iron that stuff out beforehand.
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  #5  
Old 21 Feb 2007
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Just came back from a month ridding round N/W Africa . 5 of us set off & then there was 4 then 2 sets of 2 in the end we all ended up going our own way . We met online it wasnt anyones fault we were just diferent types of people. I think we all had a great time & would we have went on our own in the 1st place ? my point is dont be afriad to split up if you want to do diferent things (you must be self sufficient enough to do this ) the idea of a test run over a weekend is what i would do if i was going on a real long trip . But dont let it stop you going in the 1st place.
Good luck
Kev

ps i still think of them all as friends
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  #6  
Old 22 Feb 2007
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No way to predict this type of thing.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 04:17.
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  #7  
Old 22 Feb 2007
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I think that it is essential to go for a drink with your intended travelling companions . If they drink silly cocktails with fruit and umbrellas stuck in the glass ,then avoid them like the plague .
If however they drink scotch and/or ale then you should be ok .
Lager drinkers are borderline but might be acceptable if they are mechanically inclined .
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  #8  
Old 22 Feb 2007
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Its not a given that the guys you enjoy a day ride with are going to see eye to eye on an extended trip.
I enjoy the luxury of my own pace and stopping whenever something needs looking at.
Last year on a trip to Alaska my starter self enguaged in Alberta destoying itself. From then on I had to be ready to go first so one of them could give a push,sometimes they left me sitting, then one would notice and come back.Its frustrating to be needy.
Then there's traveling at someone else's speed. To paraphrase Mark Tiger Edmunds grandfather [ I'd rather flog a hobby horse than ride at another man's pace ]
Teamwork setting up camp is a good thing and having people to talk to is too,unless its bickering. Then you will wish to be on your own and that's the solution.
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Old 22 Feb 2007
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What a character. Definitley a solo act.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 04:18.
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  #10  
Old 23 Feb 2007
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I usually do a couple of "trip pre-planning" meetings before heading out with new riders, just to get an idea of their personalities and what they expect from the trip. Some folks you can just tell from their background and age, as well as general temperment.

Don't necessarily be afraid of an "opposite". My favorite riding partner is an easy going artist, while I'm an anal-retentive lawyer.....we work great together because he causes me to chill out a bit, while I reel in a bit of his wild/fancy free style!

....I do like the lager/ale v. boat drinks method though!

As has been mentioned...don't be afraid to break up the group and go separate ways...even if this leaves you solo! It's a whole different experience being a lone rider than being with a group....many times it's more enjoyable!

-H-
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  #11  
Old 24 Feb 2007
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Yes well ,I made a half serious remark about drinking with your intended travelling buddies but on reflection I think it's a good indicator .
Alcohol reduces the inhibitions and shows a person's character .
Also the type of poison they consume can be quite revealing .

You know ,in the case of a knackered starter , I would be more than pissed off if my travelling companions buggered off without making sure that I had my bike started .

If going in a group make sure you have someone who likes to cook and who is reasonably proficient at it .
Also have someone along who is a good bullshitter and can "talk" the group out of trouble with the police/customs officials/bar owners/campsite owners/irate fathers etc etc etc .

Avoid people whose riding gear is too clean .
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Old 24 Feb 2007
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Four of us were planning to ride to Senegal in January and after a pre-trip planning meeting where we tried to cover some of the points raised above, the consensus was that we would travel at the speed of the slowest rider.

After disembarking at Bilbao, one of the group was being cautious on bends so I kept at his speed. Not so the other two, who disappeared into the distance and despite text messages we didn't see them again until we reached the Middle Atlas Mountains, 900 miles and two days later! And then no apology.

After some more mishaps I decided that the disadvantages of travelling with this particular group outweighed the advantages; in fact I was hard pressed to recognise any advantages. So I was not too unhappy when they decided not to include me in their onward plans. I didn't hear any more from them during the trip.

Fortunately I have lots of experience of Morocco and am quite happy travelling solo. But as ukKev points out, the complete group ended up splitting, and two of them hadn't been to Africa before.

Unlike ukKev, I don't think of them all as friends

Tim
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  #13  
Old 26 Feb 2007
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One BIG problem I've found with travelling with "unknown's" is that if they've not done much in the past or not been on an independant basis you find yourself as their NANNY ... and it gets a bit tiresome after a while

Check their background in travel in depth over a few drinks!

Kira
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  #14  
Old 5 Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
Four of us were planning to ride to Senegal in January and after a pre-trip planning meeting where we tried to cover some of the points raised above, the consensus was that we would travel at the speed of the slowest rider.



After disembarking at Bilbao, one of the group was being cautious on bends so I kept at his speed. Not so the other two, who disappeared into the distance and despite text messages we didn't see them again until we reached the Middle Atlas Mountains, 900 miles and two days later! And then no apology.

After some more mishaps I decided that the disadvantages of travelling with this particular group outweighed the advantages; in fact I was hard pressed to recognise any advantages. So I was not too unhappy when they decided not to include me in their onward plans. I didn't hear any more from them during the trip.

Fortunately I have lots of experience of Morocco and am quite happy travelling solo. But as ukKev points out, the complete group ended up splitting, and two of them hadn't been to Africa before.

Unlike ukKev, I don't think of them all as friends

Tim
Tim your are so full of BULL, you had no intention of going to Dakar from the word go, all you wanted to do was stay in YOUR comfort zone of Northern Morocco and drink coffee all day, yes we did get split up coming off the ferry but as YOU so rightly pointed out the text messages confirmed that no'one was on their own and we would meet at the hotel in Morocco

The only mishaps were you falling over the minute you went offroad, as for not including you in the plans, you knew all the plans seeing as you made most of them!!!!! I seem to remember you telling a STORY about losing your passport etc offroading the day before, untill kev pointed out that it was at the hotel reception desk, at which you mumbled some other excuse, when we met you at the bikers hotel two days later, after you had gone to get new documents (mind you I did see your post on UKGSER saying that you had been in a business meeting!!!!). All you were interested in was cuddling the baby, drinking more coffee and sleeping but it's funny that you never said anything at the time about your trip being ruined. Still a man of your "experience" would go off to dakar on his own!!!!! As for the rest of the trip you chose to be involved for one week out of six, I don't see how you can comment on what did or did not happen. Apologies, I think you should make one for joining this trip at the start and having NO INTENTION of going all the way,basically you did the same dissapearing act that you did two years earlier when I met you in the alps on the euroADV rider meet

A few things went wrong on this trip and I learnt loads, but as well as that i/we(delete as applicable ) had some fantastic experiences, met loads of really nice people, amazing riding off and on road, crossing borders, new countries, new food, new , sunshine in January and DHL.

Back to the original question, I think NAMRON hit the nail on the head and I wish I had read it before this trip

cheers....lozza

Last edited by lozza; 5 Mar 2007 at 20:00.
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  #15  
Old 7 Mar 2007
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I laid out £50 for the necessary injections, another £90 for malaria tablets, plus spent quite a few hours inputting GPS routes for Mauri and Senegal, so to say I had no intention of going to Dakar is clearly rubbish. To quote verbatim from my email before the trip,

My primary goals are
- spend a few days in the Azrou area (I'm looking for property)
- explore pistes near Azrou and elsewhere in Morocco
- see two or three Dakar stages in Morocco

Secondary goals
- make it to Dakar
- happy to chill at Zebrabar


We didn't get split up 'leaving the ferry', it was some 30 miles down the road when you and Andy zoomed off. Yes, we did eventually get text messages that you were heading for Granada, so Kev and I did the same, only to find out you had changed your minds and decided instead to go via Cordoba. But didn't bother telling us.

The next morning Andy was supposed to phone. But didn't and wasn't answering his phone. Nor did he reply to texts suggesting meeting up at Algeciras. The only text from you was a panicky message when you became separated from Andy in southern Spain.

As for getting new documents?? In Morocco?? No way.

I had a business meeting with the Centre for Regional Investment in Meknes which I had organised in advance and told everyone about. Yes, I was worried when I thought I had lost my travel docs, but jubilant when I realised the hotel still had the passport and then found the travel doc bag under a pile of clothes in my room (you obviously were preoccupied when I told you).

Because it was a busy time with the Dakar, the group had committed to staying two nights at Bikershome at Ouarzazate yet you all reneged on that, and even sneaked off without having the decency to tell me you were leaving. It was at that stage, and only that stage, that I made the decision not to go to Dakar.

After reading your post on UKGSer (since removed by the moderators) about one of your other erstwhile companions, it looks like it was a good decision.
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Last edited by Tim Cullis; 7 Mar 2007 at 03:26.
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