Solo bikers touring

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ChasF
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Solo bikers touring

Post by ChasF » Fri May 20, 2011 8:15 am

We run a little B&B here in France. It's very much a part time business which we run alongside our holiday lets and other business committments. The B&B is open all year but we do insist upon pre-booking. Most of our guests are holidaymakers or people coming to visit family locally who haven't got space for them but we adverise the B&B and cottages on our bike site and get quite a lot of stopover business in the B&B with those who want to stay in the area preferring to book the self catering. We do get a surprising number of (usually) solo middle-aged tourers who just turn up on spec. (although we clearly state pre-booking is required) who seem disappointed that it's not some biker lifestyle hangout. One recent arrival wanted to use the pool which doesn't open until the end of the month - excepted,the weather has been exceptional but we again, clearly state that the pool is open from...to - boring and a bit rigid, I agree, but on the other hand I'm not opening the pool for a 1 night €35 euro guest who didn't even have the manners to tell us he was coming. To cap it all he asked if we would make an exception to our no smoking rule because he didn't want to have to go outside everytime he wanted a smoke. This sad, lonely person was probably the worst we've had but there do seem to be quite a few out there who ride around France, keeping their helmet on at all times for fear that someone might talk to them and then when they get fed up with just riding, turn up here (and other places) expecting to find half a dozen like minded types sitting around the clubhouse table happilly supping beer and smoking.

Am I right in guessing that there are people out there who buy a bike and then just don't seem to know what to use it for?

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Norm De Plume
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Re: Solo bikers touring

Post by Norm De Plume » Fri May 20, 2011 9:32 am

Don't take this the wrong way, I understand where you are coming from, but at the same time I would now feel uncomfortable staying with you.

It's not that these questions shouldn't be asked, but the way that you ask them on a forum for bikers says to me that you should review why you run a B&B and what you want to get out of it.

backofbeyond
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Re: Solo bikers touring

Post by backofbeyond » Fri May 20, 2011 9:36 am

I do a fair amount of solo biking in France and I usually either camp (summer) or use the cheap hotels (F1, Etap etc) as in both cases I know what I'm getting. I usually run a mile from "biker" establishments but presumably others are attracted by it and hope to find like minded English speakers that they can talk to. I speak reasonable French these days but it wasn't always the case and know that the stress of trying to communicate in sign language all day can make you seek out English speaking havens for a break. If there's two or more of you at least you can talk to each other, but solo, you're stuck. Maybe your sad and lonely individual was just seeking some corner of a foreign field that is forever England :huh:

Presumably it's not just a case of hauling the cover off the pool and you need to do all sorts of prep work before it can be open to the guests, because otherwise it would seem silly not to go with the weather and change your dates. Why would you risk upsetting people because of an arbitrary decision you made six months ago? Re smoking, presumably it's banned so you don't have any leeway, it's either outside or nowhere. As a non smoker I can smell it in a room for days afterwards so I'm happy with the current situation but I do have some sympathy with smokers having to stand outside in winter wind / rain, just not enough to join them!




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Harty
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Re: Solo bikers touring

Post by Harty » Fri May 20, 2011 10:14 am

I can see both sides to this arguement, but me personally would have gone somewhere else that would have been pleased for my business.
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2 wheeled tourist
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Re: Solo bikers touring

Post by 2 wheeled tourist » Fri May 20, 2011 10:44 am

Can you please tell me where exactly your establishment is.
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ChasF
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Re: Solo bikers touring

Post by ChasF » Fri May 20, 2011 10:44 am

Norm De Plume wrote:Don't take this the wrong way, I understand where you are coming from, but at the same time I would now feel uncomfortable staying with you.

It's not that these questions shouldn't be asked, but the way that you ask them on a forum for bikers says to me that you should review why you run a B&B and what you want to get out of it.
Fair enough. I posted this up to get different points of view but would be interested to know specifically why you would be uncomfortable?

No smoking is pretty much universal in B&Bs and hotels these days and it's like that for the benefit of non smokers who in the main dislike the smell which lingers. The guest referred to was undoubtedly looking for an English speaking have and that is fine - a lot of people stay with us come because we are English. When we've been touring if we want to meet up with other bikers we go to a campsite. There are times in the year when we're full with bikes - next week we have two groups of 8 but most of the time it is just 2 & 3's.

And, yes opening the pool is a fairly major operation each year. I've been working on it all this week and it should be ready tomorrow but it's still a bit cloudy at the moment

2 wheeled tourist
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Re: Solo bikers touring

Post by 2 wheeled tourist » Fri May 20, 2011 10:52 am

I've been working on it all this week and it should be ready tomorrow but it's still a bit cloudy at the moment
Now I know you're taking the pi$$!! :pinch:
"See ya later babe, goin' for a ride, I'll be back in a while".



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Quote: "You know you will buy, because boredom creates hunger".

900Fantrider
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Re: Solo bikers touring

Post by 900Fantrider » Fri May 20, 2011 11:56 am

We spend 49.9% of our year in France and pretty much have an open house to bike friends etc
We also have a banned list which for a couple of years included my own Mum cos she was a pain in the arse when she stopped (I love her dearly!!) ;) ;) ;)
Some guests just gel and others get right on your tits and just take the piss!
I dont really see what he did so wrong to be labeled what you called him, but you had him there so you where the one who had to gel with him.
Many of my friends in France do the Gite/b&b etc and yes they have the same problem gelling with guests who are getting charged as we have taking a contribution to food or out for a meal etc. (that is just how it is) You must have found the same?
I am mainly a solo biker, especially in France as I just love the place. I camp whenever possible but sometimes go with a b&b and just turn up, if they want the business they can have it (they are not forced into it) & I dont mind been turned away!
Ive been in plenty where they have said real nice to have you, please come back, when all I was thinking was "beam me up scotty" I`m not coming back here.
Also I dont have a natural smile on my face (my maker chose to put the ends of my mouth down :( ) even though inside 99% of the time I`m smiling inside my face :) & my glass is nearly always 99% full!
I like to think of it as mean and moody :laugh:
Ive even overheard someone in a car sat next to my bike at the ferry port say "god he looks a miserable bastard"
So could it of just been a clash of character?
Sorry to waffle but I can`t remember what I set out to say now!

As for your last line, surely he`s doing what HE is supposed to be doing with his bike!
This is just how I see it ;)

cheers Marc
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ChasF
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Re: Solo bikers touring

Post by ChasF » Fri May 20, 2011 12:03 pm

2 wheeled tourist wrote:
I've been working on it all this week and it should be ready tomorrow but it's still a bit cloudy at the moment
Now I know you're taking the pi$$!! :pinch:
Why's that then?

Norm De Plume
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Re: Solo bikers touring

Post by Norm De Plume » Fri May 20, 2011 12:25 pm

ChasF wrote:
2 wheeled tourist wrote:
I've been working on it all this week and it should be ready tomorrow but it's still a bit cloudy at the moment
Now I know you're taking the pi$$!! :pinch:
Why's that then?
Erm, because the pool's cloudy and you're working on it :P

I'll reply about the other question later, just tied up at the moment.

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