Friday, January 2, 2009

Loaded or Self-Supported Bicycle Tour #2

Before you head off on a loaded bike tour with you and your family or with you and your new bride, neighbors, kids, or friends take a look at Darren Alff's blog. If you can imagine yourself in Darren's shoes and out on the open road "winging" it on your own, then go for it!

The Best Thing About Self-Supported Touring

The best thing about self-supported touring is that you're on your own, free to go where the road takes you, sleep where you want, when you want, and to ride as long or short as you want every day. There is nothing better than that feeling of freedom when you hit the road on a new tour in a new place. But. . .

The Problem with Self-Supported Touring

You're on your own. And if you like being on your own, enjoy the freedom! But the minute you take the family with you or the minute you decide to "organize" the trip for friends and relatives, you're in charge! Or at least someone's in charge.

I'll never forget when my 14 year-old asked, after four straight 80 mile days, "What happened to those 50 mile days we were going to do on this trip?" That was in north central Norway over fifteen years ago. We had the family there and we were developing a new tour. Well, to cover the territory we really needed to knock off a few longer days that I had expected. My credibility went down the tube.

When you are organizing a ride and you have one or ten other people, you need answers to questions like:
1) How long is today's ride?
2) How high is that mountain pass (or, from the engineer, "what's the total vertical today?"
3) Where are we sleeping tonight?
4) Where's the best lunch stop today?
. . . and on and on and on.

Resources for Planning a Self-Supported Bicycle Tour

(These are really better thought of as primers on whether I want to do this myself or not but have a look, that's part of the planning!)
Darren Alf's Blog: Bicycle Touring Pro
Adventure Cycling Association has a Bike Touring 101 also
REI has a Bike Touring Basics page (though it is pretty minimal)

No comments:

Post a Comment