BICYCLE TOURING: The How-To Movie by Bicycle Touring Pro

Published by Darron Toy on

you might think you need to be a cycling nut in order to ride your bike across an entire city state or country but the truth is most bicycle travelers are normal people like you and me with just a small amount of training and the right information you can complete your first bike trip with relative ease this video has been constructed to teach you the basics but bicycle touring 1 how to select the right bike and gear for your trip and 2 how to plan out your route pack up your bike and schedule out your days bicycle touring is a memorable and life-altering activity and it's not nearly as difficult as you might think so follow along as I share with you the basics of long-distance bicycle travel bicycle touring is a form of cycling where riders travel long distances prioritizing pleasure and endurance over utility and speed touring can vary from single day supported rides to multi-day trips where solo or group riders carry all necessary equipment tools food and clothing there are a number of different types of bicycle touring that you should be familiar with the long day trip this type of tour is usually conducted by an organization which brings bicycle riders together in a single location and these people ride their bikes for a relatively long distance in a single day typical rides of this type can range from 60 to 100 plus miles in a 24-hour period while a bicycle touring is typically considered an overnight activity these large events will oftentimes label themselves as bicycle tours the supported tour the supported bicycle tour is a tour where gear ie food clothing camping equipment etc is carried in a vehicle that meets you at various checkpoints along your route some of these tours require that you pay to be a part of them and in this case the tour leaders typically drive a band or truck of some kind while you get to ride your bike along a pre-established route other times groups of individuals will simply get together and take turns driving a chase vehicle while the others in the group ride their bikes the credit card tour credit card touring is when you travel by bike and pack almost nothing but the clothes on your back and a credit card or cash to buy things along the way instead of carrying a tent you pay to sleep in a hotel each night instead of cooking your own food you buy your meals along the way credit card tours are typically less than a week in length and are usually not supported by a tour company the guided self-supported tour the narrow tour is where you carry everything you need to survive on your bicycle food clothes tent stove etc but a guide from a touring company leads you on a specific route with these types of tours you usually ride with a small group of people and are then escorted on a daily basis by an experienced bicycle touring guide the fully self supported tour finally there's the self supported bicycle tour which requires you to travel alone without a guide in carrying all the clothes tools and gear you will need to survive for days weeks or months on end this is the type of bicycle touring many people are familiar with and even today it is one of the most popular ways to travel by bike bicycle travel this is the new breed of bicycle touring it goes beyond self supported touring because it's so much longer more technologically advanced than the bicycle tours of the past and most importantly lifestyle driven this new form of bicycle touring is not a short-term stint it is a new form of travel and a new way of living there are a few items you really need in order to pull off a successful bicycle tour some of the basic items needed for your travels include a bicycle some way of carrying your belongings whether it be in a trailer panniers or a backpack camping equipment such as a tent and sleeping bag a stove and the appropriate fuel bicycle tools clothing safety gear such as a helmet and light technological devices such as a cell phone camera or personal computer food and water in a variety of other small items and accessories the following is a brief overview of the different types of bicycles used for long-distance bike travel as you will see each bicycle type has its benefits and its drawbacks the mountain bike you've probably got an old mountain bike in the garage and you're wondering to yourself can I really do a long distance tour on this old thing well I'll be the first to tell you that crossing the country or even riding around the world on a mountain bike is entirely possible that said I'll also be the first person to tell you that riding a mountain bike for long distances is not the easiest thing in the world most mountain bikes are not made for extensive writing on paved roads so as you will see in a moment there are better options mountain bikes are great in some situations however if you plan to spend a significant amount of time writing on unpaved roads or trails then a mountain bike is an excellent vehicle for your bicycle tour many bicycle travelers riding around the world opt for a mountain bike because they want to be prepared for whatever conditions they might encounter on their journey a mountain bike is a good choice for shorter trips just a couple days off-road travels or long term adventures spanning the globe maybe you don't have a mountain bike in your garage but you might have a road bike a road bike is one of those fast little numbers you saw Lance Armstrong riding in the Tour de France rode bikes are great for long day rides and supported tours where your belongings are being carried in a wagon but for the long-distance self-supported tour road bikes typically won't cut it road bikes can work for shorter trips usually a week or less in length but if you plan to spend significant time in the saddle there are better choices a recumbent bicycle is a bike that you sit and lean back in as though you were sitting in a chair many people who ride recumbent bicycles have back or knee problems but some people like them just because they're fun to ride some recumbent bicycles are equipped for long distance bicycle travel while others are not do your research before buying a recumbent bicycle to make sure it can carry your gear and get you up the long hills you'll likely be climbing folding bikes are most commonly known as commuter bikes but thanks to the growing number of long-distance bicycle travelers folding bike companies have started to produce folding bicycles made specifically for long-distance touring the advantage of a folding bike is that you can pack it into a suitcase and put it on an airplane boat bus or train and travel with your bike and relative ease traveling with a full-size bicycle is not always so easy so folding bikes while they may look a little funny do have their advantages finally there is the touring bike this is the bike made specifically for long-distance touring what makes a touring bike different than all the bikes mentioned previously well there are a number of things but here are some of the features that almost all touring bikes have in common touring bikes have wider tires than road bikes enabling them to support more weight and write in rougher conditions most touring bikes can handle a fair amount of off-road riding touring bikes are usually made of heavy-duty steel because touring bikes need to carry more weight they need to be made of stronger metals and typically weigh more than lightweight road bikes many touring bikes have extremely low gears so you'll have an easier time climbing hills and mountains the gearing on a touring bike is very much like the gearing on a mountain bike most touring bikes have three main chain touring bike makers know that you're going to be spending a lot of time in the saddle so they designed the bikes to be more comfortable on your back but hands and neck with a touring bike you ride in a more upright position than you would with a traditional road bike touring bikes are built to support racks on the front and rear of your bicycle allowing you to carry up to four bags called panniers on your bike at a time most touring bikes are built to support the use of fenders and some even come with spare spokes just in case you break one while out on the road as you can see there are a number of different types of bicycles you can choose from picking the bike you'll need for your bike tour is going to depend on where you plan to go how long you plan to spend out on the road how much gear you plan to carry and what the road conditions are going to be like as you begin the process of shopping for a bike you will discover that there are several different wheel sizes to choose from traditional touring bicycles are built with 700c wheels which are the same size wheels you see on most road bikes except that they are designed to carry more weight and support a wider tire off road touring bikes however are usually built with 26 inch mountain bike type wheels and still others are built with 29 inch wheels which are becoming more and more popular deciding which wheel size to use for your specific tour is the key there are a number of different things to keep in mind but in the end the secret to selecting the right wheel size depends almost entirely on where you plan to go while on your travels while traditional touring bikes come with 700c wheels those traveling to remote areas of the world are usually better suited with a pair of 26 inch wheels there are two main reasons for this one 26 inch wheels are the kind you see on most mountain bikes because they are wider and built for more abuse using these types of wheels and tires is great for traveling on dirt roads rocky trails and in areas where the streets are less than perfect – 26 inch wheels are also best to use remote places of the world because the bike shops in these areas are unlikely to carry 700c wheels and tires the 26 inch wheel is standard just about everywhere in the world whereas 700c wheels are not so if you take your bike with 700c wheels on a trip around the world and then find yourself in need of a new tire in a place where they only carry 26 inch tires you're going to be stuck this alone is huge and this in my opinion at least is the number one reason you should go with 26 inch wheels if you're planning to travel to a place in the world where bike shops are few and far between that said most bicycle tourists don't travel around the world or go to especially remote places most people who travel by bike stick to pave roads in many of them cycle in areas where 700c wheels are easy to find at local bike shops and repair houses for cyclists in North America Western Europe Australia and a few other spots around the globe finding 700c wheels and tires won't be a problem so if you plan to ride in one of these areas then using a bike with 700c wheels is an excellent choice now if you know absolutely nothing about bicycle touring you might think the bicycle travellers carry their belongings in a backpack I know that's what I thought when I first started planning my first bicycle tour but carrying things in a backpack is not the typical approach for most traveling cyclists the reason you don't want to carry your gear in a backpack is because using a backpack is going to make you hot sweaty and sore when you spend up to 12 hours a day riding your bike the last thing you want is to have a big heavy bag on your back instead of a backpack there are two main ways to carry your gear on your bike and thus eliminate any excess pressure to your back neck or body the two main way is the bicycle tourists carry their gear is with the use of panniers and or a trailer panniers our backpack sized bags that attach to the front and rear racks of your bicycle a standard touring bicycle can hold up to four panniers and thus a whole lot of gear a trailer on the other hand is a one or two wheeled metal cart that you pull behind your bicycle inside the trailer you store your belongings and light panniers the weight of your equipment is placed off of your body you're probably wondering which is better panniers a backpack or a trailer well I've surveyed 2,500 experienced bicycle travellers and of those surveyed 90% said they'd use panniers on their previous bicycle expeditions only 9% said they'd used a trailer and a measly 1% admitted to heaven used a backpack when it comes to clothing there aren't really that many things that you actually need your typical bicycle traveler is carrying one to two pairs of clothing to ride in during the day one to two pairs of clothing to change into at night and then maybe another single pair of clothes they sleep in during the evening so depending on the length of your tour and the time of year at which you're traveling you're going to be carrying anywhere between two and five pairs of clothes and the closer that you can get two to three pairs the better a cycle tourist traveling in the summer might wear the following clothes went on his or her bicycle a helmet sunglasses a shirt or Jersey shorts socks and a pair of shoes cyclists traveling in the winter however might ride with the following pieces of clothing a helmet goggles a facemask a shirt or Jersey a warm jacket a waterproof jacket gloves waterproof pants warm socks in a thick waterproof set of shoes when it comes to selecting a shoe for your long distance bike tour you have to think not only about your time on the bike by your time off the bike as well if bicycle turn were like traditional road racing a road shoe would be ideal because a road shoe clips into the pedal on your bike and gives you that optimal performance while you're pedaling unfortunately Road shoes are extremely uncomfortable to walk in so a better option is to use a mountain bike type shoe with an SPD pedal or clip on the bottom these SPD clips allow you to clip into the pedal on your bike very much like road shoes allow you to do but they're much more comfortable when walking off your bike because the clip on SPD shoes are submerged into the bottom of the shoe so you can walk considerable distance in relative comfort another option for the long distance cyclist is to simply ride in a regular pair of tennis shoes with the assistance possibly of a tow clip or strap this would allow you obviously to walk in extreme comfort off the bike and the toe clips or straps would allow you to get a little extra performance out of your pedaling while on the bike if you plan to camp all on your bike tour you have some choices as for how exactly you can do that you can campaña tent you can sleep inside a bivy sack which is kind of like a combination between a tent and a sleeping bag you can sleep in a hammock providing that there are trees or other objects to hang the hammock on or you might just choose to sleep out under the stars depending on the time of year that you're traveling in the weather conditions of course all of these are fine options the most bicycle travelers carry either a tent or a bivy sack as these two options provide the best protection from the elements give you a private place in which to change your clothes and store your gear and separate you from the weather and the animals and they allow you to camp just about anywhere you please your tent is your home out on the road and you want to be comfortable inside your home and so for that reason you need to find a tent that you're going to be comfortable living in for the duration of your tour that said there are a number of things to keep in mind when selecting a tent first of all size before buying a tent make sure that the tent is small enough to fit on the back of your bike or inside one of your panniers the tent you select needs to be small enough to fit on your bicycle but large enough that you're able to fit comfortably inside of it secondly wait you need to select a tent that is lightweight as with every piece of gear that you bring with you on your long distance bike trip you need to find the lightest instruments possible in your tents no exception so be sure to look at the weight of each and every tent that you consider purchasing after selecting your tent the next most important piece of sleeping gear is your sleeping mat oftentimes called a sleeping pad the sole purpose of a sleeping pad is to one make it comfortable so that you can sleep at night and to lift you up off the cold hard ground therefore making you that much warmer at night something that's very important if you plan to camp in cooler conditions when selecting a sleeping bag you need to consider how cold the going to be well on your travels different sleeping bags are rated for different temperatures so pay attention to the temperature radians on your bag and compare that to what the temperatures are going to be like in the areas in which you plan to travel space is another issue with sleeping bags that you need to pay attention to as sleeping bags are the number one culprit in taking up a large amount of space on the back of a traveling cyclist bicycle what I recommend you do when you're picking out a sleeping bag is that you take one of your bicycle panniers with you to the local sporting goods store where you plan to get your sleeping bag and put the sleeping bag inside your Pan yer if the bag takes up too much space inside the pannier or doesn't fit at all the sleeping bag is off sometimes too large and you need to get a smaller one so that's a good way to find out whether or not your bag is too big for your bike the last thing to pay attention to when selecting a sleeping bag is the material that the bag is made of oftentimes warm sleeping bags are made of a Down material which is great because they're very warm and they compact down to a very small size the downside of down is that when down sleeping bags get wet they take a very long time to dry so you'll often times see that there are sleeping bags made of a synthetic material and these are great because they actually dry very very quickly although they don't come back down to quite the size of a down sleeping bag they're slightly larger so you have to decide between having a very small and light sleeping bag that doesn't dry very quickly if it gets wet or having a slightly larger heavier sleeping bag that dries very very quickly if it does get wet if you plan to cook your own food while on your travels your basic list of cooking gear might consist of the following a backpacking stove with a fuel bottle a cook pot with a lid utensils such as a spoon fork and knife insulated travel mug water filter a lighter and/or matches various herbs and spices soap and a rag for cleaning cooking gear is one of the areas where many people overdo it in most cases you can get away with packing just the following items one backpacking stove one fuel bottle one cook pot with lid one sharp knife one spork one lighter or a set of matches in one mini bottle of soap for cleaning if cooking for two or more people you might need to carry a larger pot and additional dishes or utensils but for the most part that's really all you need when picking out a camp stove your destination very much determines the type of stove you'll ultimately be using if you're planning a short bike trip and you live in an area with a dedicated outdoor store you might choose to travel with a stove that runs on white gas propane or a propane butane mix these types of camp stoves are typically very small lightweight clean-burning and easy to control however finding these types of fuels on the road can be difficult so while they may be perfect for shorter bike trips close to home they're not ideal for round-the-world travelers for those traveling in remote corners of the globe a stove that runs on unleaded gasoline is likely your best bet these types of stoves run on the same type of fuel that your car uses and some of these stoves can operate on numerous types of fuel which can come in handy if you're unable to find a gas station willing to let you fill up because I'm letting a saline can be found just about anywhere in the world this type of stove is ideal for the long term bicycle traveler your basic toolkit should consist of the following one multi-tool with screwdrivers Allen wrenches etc 2 to 3 tire levers a pump a patch kit one to three spare tubes chain lube one pedal wrench and three to four spare rack screws if you want to be overly prepared you might also carry two to three spare spokes a spoke wrench an extra tire an extra chain brake tables and spare derailleur parts free set out on your first bike tour it's important that you know how to make some basic repairs and adjustments to your bicycle now you don't need to be a certified bicycle mechanic to go on an extended bicycle adventure but having an overall understanding of your bike and some of the basic repairs that need to be made will make your life on the road that much easier by the start of your tour you should be able to repair a flat tire with a patch kit replace a tube adjust your front and rear derailleurs put on and remove your pedals adjust your seat and handlebars adjust your brakes adjust your pedals or toe clips clean your chain install and remove your chain install your racks and water bottle cages hitch up your trailer if you're using one and attach your panniers when it comes to packing your panniers there's seven things you need to keep in mind there shouldn't be too much weight in the front of your bike or too much weight in the back you want about 60% of the weight you're carrying to be on your bicycles rear rack and 40% on the front on the same note there shouldn't be more weight on one side of the bike than on the other you don't need to pack a scale to where you bags each day but you should use your arms to feel each pannier before putting it on your bike so as to make sure the bags on each side are relatively even when it comes to their weight keeping your weight centered will not only help you stay in control of your bicycle but it will help prevent mechanical breakdowns broken spokes and stress to your body's back neck shoulders and arms when you're packing for your trip be sure to leave some extra space in your pan use for items you might need or want to pick up along the way if you leave home and your Panos are already stuffed to the gills you've packed too much living out of your pan yers requires that you pack and unpack your gear on a daily basis to make sure you don't lose anything in the packing process and to save yourself huge amounts of time while out on the road make it a practice to put everything back in the same spot each time you pack up your bike this will prevent you from having to unpack every single pannier when you need to find a particular item because you'll know exactly where every item is located because you've always put things in the exact same spot each and every time you packed up your bike while you're riding your bicycle there are going to be a few items that you want to access regularly packing these items inside your handlebar bag or at the very least inside your front panels will make reaching them that much easier having your water map sunglasses camera and snacks for the day all within arm's reach we'll ensure that you don't have to get off your bike every time you want to check the map take a photo or get a quick bite to eat before you ever leave home practice packing your panniers practicing will help you figure out what items you really need for your tour and help you figure out how to distribute your weight evenly by the time you leave on your tour you should have practice packing and unpacking your panniers at least ten times more and more cyclists these days are traveling with high-end cameras GPS devices and pricy laptop computers to make sure these valuable items are secure I recommend packing them in your rear panniers and placing them on the non traffic side of your bicycle front panniers are often less stable than rear panniers and are more likely to bounce off their racks placing your expensive gear on the non traffic side of your bike will ensure that if for some horrible reason you're clipped by a passing vehicle the only bags affected by the accident are ones that contain dirty clothes and easy to replace food items finally consider the weather you might experience while on your travels waterproof or water-resistant panniers help to keep rain and snow from soaking your clothes food electronics and other personal items the Sun and heat also need to be taken into consideration especially if you're planning to travel with expensive electronics if you're carrying a computer or camera do what you can to place these items on the shady side of your bicycle and consider packing especially important items inside the additional padding covers or waterproof sacks if you purchase a set of panniers that are not 100% waterproof you still have some options for as to how to protect your belongings from the elements first of all you might consider purchasing a set of rain covers rain covers or inexpensive fabric covers made just for bicycle panniers that slip over the outside of the pannier and protect your belongings inside from rain snow and hail your other option is to purchase a set of waterproof bags like these shown here from a company called sea2summit when packing your panniers place your valuable belongings inside these waterproof bags and then place the bags inside your pan use during a rain or snow storm your panniers may get wet but your belongings inside will stay perfectly dry right in a fully loaded bicycle for the very first time to be extremely scary having a significant amount of weight on the front of your bike makes handling a touring bicycle much different than riding a normal unweighted bike and for this reason you need to practice writing your fully loaded touring bike in a parking lot or on a non busy street well before you take off on your first bike trip most first-time bicycle tourists riding fully loaded bicycles take about two to three days before they're totally comfortable steering their bikes but after a few days of practice you should be able to handle your turning bike in much the same way you would handle a non weighted bicycle practice practice practice the last thing you want is to get out on your bike trip and on the very first day realize you can't control your bicycle practicing before you leave home is extremely important to your safety and the overall success of your tour when it comes to the weight of your bicycle you want to keep it as low as humanly possible there is no correct answer for as to how much weight you should or should not be carrying cyclists on short multi-day credit-card tours might pack as little as five extra pounds of gear while a self supported bicycle tourists traveling for months on end might carry 60 or more pounds of additional gear and equipment a good rule of thumb when considering your bicycles weight is that your bicycle should be light enough that you're able to pick it up and carry it for a considerable distance if your bike is so heavy that you can't pick it up and carry it for a distance of at least 20 or 30 feet your bike probably weighs too much and you need to get rid of some of the gear that you've packed when you begin planning out the route for your bicycle tour you first need to consider your options for lodging along the way as your route may very well be decided by whether or not there are places to sleep along the way a traveling cyclist might consider the following options for accommodations along his or her tour hotels they give you access to a hot shower a warm bed and plenty of drinking water but they're out of the price range of many traveling by bike hostels cheaper than hotels but with many of the same luxuries be prepared to share your room with strangers campgrounds the most popular form of lodging for travelling cyclists cheap often times with showers and running water but if you plan to camp you'll need to be sure to pack a tent sleeping bag and sleeping mat staying with friends or family a great way to spend the night for free and catch up with those who are important to you stealth camping which is the act of quietly finding a place away from people where you can camp for the night and then quickly slip away in the morning without being detected the key to stealth camping is to remain hidden at all times and to leave no trace of your existence during or after your departure from the site stealth camping is perfectly legal in some parts of the world and completely illegal in others so do your research before attempting a night of secretly camping in the bushes staying with strangers by either knocking on their door and asking for a place to spend the night or by using a service such as couchsurfing calm warm showers org or global free letters calm when you begin planning your trip you need to know that most bicycle tourists travel between 40 and 60 miles in a single day they then spend the night at one of the aforementioned places and then continue on the next day for an additional day of cycling some people traveling by bike love to ride long and hard and these people may travel as many as a hundred or more miles in a single day others like to take it slow and enjoy the sights and sounds along their route these people might travel as little as five to thirty miles in a single day there is no rule here as to how many miles you need to cover when traveling by bike you get to decide how far you want to go each day and where you wish to stop along the way my suggestion however is that during the first few days of your trip you keep your mileage under 40 miles per day the first three days on the road are usually the hardest so keeping your mileage low will allow you to settle in to your new life on the road and comfortably get used to traveling by bike one of the best way is to prepare for your bike trip is to live off of your bicycle for one to two weeks prior to your tour by living off of your bicycle I mean that you should have the bike all packed up and ready to go pack it as though you're about to leave on your tour at this very moment once you've packed up your bike use it to run errands go to work and visit your friends at night when you need to take a shower and brush your teeth use the toiletry kit packed away on your bicycle to tend to your personal business and when night falls set up your tent sleeping mat and sleeping bag and go to sleep just like you would as if you were out there on the road at this very moment it sounds a little crazy but living in this Manor for a couple days or weeks before you leave on tour will not only get used to living off of your bicycle but it may very well teach you which items you've packed are 100% necessary and which ones are useless and can be left at home riding your bike is the best way to train for a long distance bike tour daily stretching is recommended and living off your bike for one to two weeks before you leave home will teach you exactly what it's going to be like to live off your bike for an extended period of time when it comes to mapping out your route there's several ways to approach the situation if you're planning to travel along a pre-established bicycle touring path there's probably a guidebook or set of maps that have already been created for that particular route if so planning out your trip will begin with purchasing that particular set of maps or guidebooks and then simply following their advice however if you wish to plan out your own customized bicycle touring route that's going to be a little bit more difficult there are a number of different ways to plan out a route by bike but here's the way that I do it first of all decide where you want to start your tour and where you want to finish for the purposes of this video I'm going to show you how I'd go about planning a short bike tour from my home in Park City Utah to Yellowstone National Monument in the state of Wyoming after deciding on the beginning and ending locations for the tour plot out all the points in between these two locations that you'd be interested in visiting and/or learning more about this is part of the planning process that may take some research I recommend using the web to find interesting destinations along your route after you've found a couple places you'd like to stop and visit along your tour plot out these destinations using a regular paper map or a piece of free software such as Google Earth after you've done that begin marking locations on the map where you can find lodging if you're planning the camp on your bike tour use your research from the internet to plot out all the locations along your route that have campgrounds if you wish to stay in hotels mark all the cities where hotels can be found after you finish plotting out all your interest points and the locations of possible nightly lodging stops you should begin to see some kind of natural paths forming between your starting location and your final destination the trick now is to connect the dots and forty to sixty mile chunks remember most traveling cyclists travel between 40 and 60 miles per day so for the sake of this video we're going to plan out a route that would require us to ride no further than six miles in a 24-hour period for the first day of this trip I'll be starting at home in Park City Utah and then according to my research the next best place to spend the evening would be Evanston Wyoming which according to Google Maps is sixty two point one miles perfect I then create a spreadsheet using software such as Microsoft Excel OpenOffice or Google Docs on that spreadsheet I create columns titled date from to distance lodging and notes in the second row I fill in the starting date for my tour July 21st 2010 the starting location Park City Utah the ending location Evanston Wyoming the distance 62.1 miles details on where I plan to spend the evening Philips RV park two to five bear River Drive Evanston Wyoming eight to nine three zero phone number 307 seven eight nine three 8:05 camping note cost fifteen dollars plus tax and any additional notes that I might want to make about that particular day of writing for now I'll just leave this base blank then you just do the exact same thing for the second day of your trip following the interest points and lodging locations we mapped out previously it looks like the next best place to go is Lake Towne Utah located on the edge of Bear Lake according to Google Maps it's a 50 mile trip from Evanston to Lake Towne a perfect distance for the day so I record that information on the itinerary we created in the third row of the itinerary I fill in the date July 22nd 2010 the starting location Evanston Wyoming the ending location Lake Towne Utah the distance 50 miles details on where I plan to spend the evening Bear Lake State Park rendezvous beach campground eight hundred three two two three seven seven zero camping note 13 – 17 dollars per site and any additional notes that I might want to make about that particular day of writing then you just continue mapping out your route in this manner day after day until you reach your final destination it's that easy and it's a whole lot of fun when it comes to determining which roads you can travel on with your bicycle and which roads you can that can be a little tricky you can use Google's bicycle directions to help you find a bicycle friendly route but even Google can't be trusted 100% of the time for the most part bicyclists can ride just about wherever they want but they can't write on freeways or interstates smaller highways large city thoroughfares small country back roads and tiny residential streets are all open game for traveling cyclists just stay away from any major interstates or freeways so there it is everything you need to know about going on your first long-distance bike tour to summarize this is all it takes to get ready and prepare for your first long-distance tour keep the location for your tour based on your area of interest decide between taking part in a guided tour or going off on your own get a bicycle design for travel in that part of the world if traveling off-road or in remote corners of the world use 26 inch wheels if traveling on paved streets and modern parts of the world use 700c wheels decide between carrying your deer and panniers or in the trailer if camping get yourself a tent sleeping bag and sleeping mat if you plan to cook for yourself all on your travels get yourself a stove cook pot utensils and other cooking paraphernalia be sure to pack the tools necessary to repair your bike out on the road and safety items like a helmet and light don't forget your clothing food water and various technological devices then learn how to repair and make adjustments to your bicycle before you leave home practice packing your gear in your pan your's or trailer and get used to riding a fully loaded bicycle then plan out your route decide where you'll be spending each of your evenings and make plans to turn your trip into a reality after that there's nothing left to do but get on your bike and start pedaling you're ready for your first bicycle terrain adventure you


Panos Bith · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

The time and effort that you must have spent to make this video makes it almost rude not to hit like and subscribe. Thank you for your video sir!

Tina C · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

Great video! But what about recumbent trikes for touring? I've watched a lot of great touring videos featuring recumbent trikes. 🙂

matomas225 gaming-hack · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

hybrid is the best choise

Brian Mitchell · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

This is an excellent and thorough guide to bike touring.

Ruben Bittermann · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

From going to the supermarket and back home I can say that there is a GIANT difference between carrying 6 kilograms and over on the bike and carrying 6 kilograms and over on a trailer. A trailer makes it easier a lot.

Raja Thiraviyam · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

Great video! One of the best video about bycycle touring I have ever seen… Thanks a lot!

Jim King · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

This is a wonderfully informative video. I have one question: What do you think of quality hybrid or cyclocross bikes as tourers?

Daniel Douville · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am


Tom Daly · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

Fanastic, all-encompassing guide…. I retire in four years and this post will be saved and reviewed for my retirement trip. Many thanks to you!

Nicolas Derudder · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

Great video, my main tip : don't overthink it. Just go & adapt during the trip.

Lucky Brian · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

Check this first Ugandan bicycle song by me….

Andy · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

I don’t like one-man or two man tents. There isn’t enough room for gear.

Andy · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

I’m not using spd clipless pedals anymore. They are uncomfortable, don’t allow my knees to pivot naturally, cause numbness in my toes, and are dangerous when locked in.

TSD TSD · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

How to not be run over is the one scary part. Happens all the time.

SLOW TRAVELLER · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

From india , we also conduct cycle tour ..Please see below

Dom · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

At 4:20 is that a folding bike? What kind?

FREE E-BIKE TOURS GAETA · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

GUZE` SPITERI · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am


QieBae TV · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

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Ivan Oriza Sativa · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

Now, mostly use 27.5 wheel size

João Paulo · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

I'd to suggest you to post a video giving us some tips of how you make these cool shots n astonishing videos!! Congrats

Matty · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

Great video, thnx! The planning part was really useful for me.

dart arkana · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

I've traveled all over the US and Europe. The single most important thing to go with is the knowledge of derailer adjustment or carry a spare derailer. I broken them in half.
Thanks for sharing. Hope your health is doing better

Kyle Carter · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

FYI: Quick heads up – I'm getting a "this website is not secure" message when I try to get to I don't know if it's my computer or your website or both, but I thought I should give you a heads up in case it's happening to other people as well. For reference, I'm getting the error on both Chrome and Edge. When I tried to email this to [email protected], I got the following: Your message couldn't be delivered to [email protected] because the remote server is misconfigured. Not sure how else to try to alert you to this.

Scot-Free · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

Nice Job!

Dave Adair · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

I'm mad at Google for not telling me about this video until today! It's going to get me on a bike for my first tour. Thanks for the great info. Well done.

Olly Burton · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

Darren, I started following your videos about two years ago when I began planning my own tour from London to India. Thanks to all your advice I’m on my way! 1000km in out of 15000, my route dependant on the people I meet. I’ve just released my first episode which explains what that means – .

I just wanted to say a big thank you for your awesome and informative videos! They really helped me in so many ways. If you ever fancy doing a stint together, please do let me know!

hobomnky · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

wish u gave more advice on food tho

Ian N · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

Great video. Glad to see the 'bent on the list… especially seeing I'm a bent rider. Just one thing for the audience though, the main reason I have heard for people using recumbents is for comfort. When you're on a DF (Diamond Frame) you put a lot of weight on your wrists and you're neck is in a less comfortable posture. With a bent, you're truly relaxed. It's a great way to travel. Not QUITE as able to 'come at all difficult situations' as some other bikes. Less off road capable etc, but still brilliant as an option. I love mine. BTW – mine is a folding recumbent 🙂

sam ben · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

hi guys , im planning on self supported tour and i am scared to camp out in the wilderness because of thieves or bandits or get mugged specially when i ll be asleep, any tips plz thank you

TheNomadicMonk · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

In the USA I have come to find camp grounds are as much as cheap hotels, most costing $25 or more per night, stealth camping is my new norm as there literally is no more affordable options left when you literally live on the road for years at a time.

TheNomadicMonk · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

I have a custom touring XC bike, it is purpose built for on and off road conditions, more upright sitting posture, carries 4 seasons worth of stuff, so it is right in the middle of the MTB and touring bike setup, worked out rather nicely. 6061 Aluminium 27.5 inch by 2 inch hybrid tires, bike weight before the kit is added was 35 pounds.

Alan Haddy · July 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

Great video, I thought I knew a lot about cycle touring but still found the video very interesting and informative and have watched it twice now

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