I built this site as a place to answer a lot of the questions I get while on the road. If you tour with a fully loaded bike you know that people will come up to you curious to find out more about your trip. The top 5 questions I get while touring are:
- Where did you come from?
- Where are you going?
- Are you nuts?
- How much does it cost to to this?
- Are you sure you're not nuts?
If someone is really interested and seems to want more info about it all then I give them one of my "business" cards so they can come here and read more. I also give them to folks who go out of their way to help me, either by offering lodging or camping, sharing a meal with me, showing me around their town or any one of the hundreds of ways strangers reach out with kindness.
To save some time the answers are : home, not sure, no, not much, no.
To travel by bicycle is a very rewarding experience and those rewards begin on your first day.
How great is that ?
OK that is the end of the sales pitch, because that is all it takes. One day. When people ask me about cross country trips and months on the road they expect to hear tales reminiscent of an Everest expedition. They ask about the months of planning, customized equipment, teams of logistic specialists, huge stock piles of cash and travel grants from National Geographic. I have to disappoint them. The reality is that anyone can bicycle tour with a minimum of equipment on a extremely modest budget and on any bicycle that fits you reasonably well.
I don't plan on creating a site dedicated to teaching folks how to tour, there are plenty of those out there already and none of them will equal what you will learn by yourself. The articles below are meant to be a general overview only. The rest of this site explains how I do it and goes into great detail about my experiences and my gear. It is intended to show how I approach touring and thats all. I like my equipment because I am a gear geek and a creature of comfort in my old age. I also am fortunate enough to have refined and aquired a pretty extensive kit over the years. Do I need all this to tour? Hell no.
If you have never toured before the best way to start is with a day trip. Pick a park or other picnic space that you can ride to and back easily. Think about what you need to spend the day out, water, a snack or two, some lunch and book should do nicely.
Once you decide that you want to do an overnight trip the only decision is where. Maybe you want to pick a nice B&B a days ride away and eat in a restaurant. Maybe you want to try camping for a weekend. The newest lingo for these is s24o "Sub 24 hour Overnights" or "Sub 48 hour Overnights". These let you test the waters a little deeper and are terrific fun !
I use four days as the benchmark to call anything longer an extended tour, and here's why. Most of the things you do on an extended tour occur in cycles. If you are carrying two jerseys and two pairs of riding shorts, and rotating them daily, then you will be on a daily cycle of washing and drying your kit for the next day.