Thinking of Cycle touring?
From my first trip as a teenager on a 10-speed, I’ve developed a love of independent cycle touring. Travelling under my own steam on back country routes, state highways and anything in between is therapeutic. I love it, be it a couple of days getting or a multi-week epic.
Summer is a great time to give it a try. Build up in stages, getting used to full day rides, then try a short or overnight trip as a shakedown for yourself, your bike and your gear.
Get a feel for how the loaded bike handles. Start with checklists of things you might pack for tours of different lengths.
You need to think about clothes for riding — in all weathers — and when not riding, how you carry gear on the bike, and being self sufficient for sleeping, cooking, bike repairs and food.
Every trip is different. Is it back-country or on roads? Will there be shops, cafés, campgrounds, or hostels on the way? Is there cell phone coverage? What’s the best and the worst weather you can expect? The more remote the area, the more you should be prepared for bad weather and emergencies — let someone know what you’re doing or consider having an emergency beacon.
A great thing about a longer trip with camping gear is that you can adapt it as you go. If the weather is bad or your legs or bike aren’t working well, you can shorten days to suit. Know where you can camp and where commercial campgrounds are. Upgrade if you need a dry place and a shower.
On a longer trip you might take a a rest day.
BY: Stephen Wood