Welcome To The Wonderful World Of Bike Touring!
Hello and welcome to Bicycle Touring Pro, the world’s most popular how-to bicycle touring blog/website and information source… with more than 575,000+ people from all around the world visiting the site each and ever year! You’ve come to the right place if want to learn how to conduct your own guided, self-guided or self-supported bicycle touring adventures.
Click here to get my free bicycle touring newsletter and join over 15,000+ other people who have already learned about my best tips, tricks and resources for conducting an incredible bicycle tour – close to home or anywhere in the world.
What is Bicycle Touring?
“Bicycle touring” is the act of riding a bicycle for days, weeks, months or even years on end as you travel long distances across cities, states and countries. Thousands of people of all ages, incomes and demographics are traveling by bike… and you can be one of them!
In fact, my goal here at Bicycle Touring Pro is to not only inspire you with my own bicycle touring adventures, but to teach YOU how to travel by bike, remain comfortable while out on the road and have fun along the way! In other words, Bicycle Touring Pro is here to give you the inspiration, confidence and resources you need, so that you too can conduct the bicycle tour of your dreams!
Step 1: Decide Where You Want To Go
- Go bicycle touring in your own backyard.
One of the best places to go bicycle touring is where you are right now. There's no need to travel long distances or fly to the other side of the world to conduct a bike tour. You can start where you live and then branch out from there. Conducting a cycling-specific microadventure near your home is a great way to build up to longer bicycle touring adventures.
- Pick a place in the world you’ve always wanted to visit.
Don't pick a destination for your bike tour based on where other people have gone before you. Go bicycle touring in a part of the world that YOU are passionate about and you'll be sure to have a memorable bicycle touring experience. The only question you should be asking yourself now is, "Where in the world do I most want to go?"
- Get inspired by reading about other people's bike tours.
Visit the website at www.bicycletouringbooks.com to find hundreds of books that people have written about their own bicycle touring adventures. Read a few and you'll be sure to get inspired!
- Find a guided or self-guided bike tour you could join.
Visit the website at www.gobicycletouring.com and use the world map you find on that page to search through more than 700 guided and self-guided bicycle tours in some of the world's most popular bicycle touring locations. Participating in a guided or self-guided bike tour is a great introduction to other, more demanding, types of bicycle touring.
- Learn what it takes to cycle around the world!
Riding a bicycle around the world (or in a foreign country of any kind) is not as difficult as you might think. Especially when you know how to plan, pack and prepare for such an epic journey. Click here to find out what it takes.
Step 2: Determine How You Wish To Travel
- What kind of bike tour do you want to conduct?
There are 3 main types of bike tours and 12 or more different sub-types. The type of bike tour you conduct will ultimately determine the type of bike you ride, the gear you carry, how far you cycle each day, and a whole host of other factors. Therefore, understanding the different types of bike tours is terribly important in the overall planning and preparation process!
- Do you want to travel alone or with a partner?
There are benefits and disadvantages to going on a bike tour alone or with another person/group. Make sure you understand the risks and rewards before you leave home... and follow these tips for finding a good travel partner.
- How far should you plan to cycle each day?
The average bicycle tourist covers between 40 and 60 miles (64 - 96 kilometers) each day. However, distances both shorter and longer than this are quite common. The distance you should plan to cover will depend on the goals you have for your bicycle tour.
Do you want to cycle as far as you can in as short a period as possible? Do you want to try and impress your friends and family back home with your bicycle touring adventures? Or do you want to enjoy yourself, learn something new about the areas you are passing through, and meet new people along the way?
Your answers to these questions will determine how far you cycle on a daily basis.
- What’s the best time of year for bicycle touring?
Bicycle touring is traditionally a summer activity, although spring and autumn bike tours are extremely common and wintertime tours are not unheard of.
Summer is the most popular time for bicycle touring because summer means that the days are long and you can travel quickly with minimal equipment. If you want to go bicycle touring just about anywhere in the world, you will likely want to plan your bicycle tour during the spring, summer or fall.
Step 3: Announce Your Bike Tour To The World
- The benefits of announcing your bike touring plans to the world.
There's no faster, more sure-fire, way to set your bicycle touring plans into motion than to announce your plans to the world. Tell you friends and family members, post your plans on Facebook or Twitter, or build a website around your your intended travels by bike.
- How to convince your parents that bike touring is a safe thing to do.
No matter what your age, telling your parents that you want to go off on a short or long-distance bike tour can be a little scary. You're parents will be concerned about you... and that's understandable. That's why I recommend you do these five things before telling your parents about your plans.
- Create a blog or website to share your bicycle touring adventures.
Creating a blog or website is a great way to: Document your travels by bike, share your photos from the road, post videos, publish an online journal, keep track of how many miles / kilometers you have cycled, raise money for a charity or cause, and let your friends and family to know where you are. Click here to download your free bike tour blog & website starter guide and discover how simple it is to create your own bicycle touring website.
Step 4: Plan A Safe & Enjoyable Cycling Route
- Map out a safe & enjoyable bicycle touring route.
Follow the step-by-step instructions in this article and learn how to map out a safe, scenic, and enjoyable bicycle touring holiday anywhere in the world.
- Ride a bike across the United States.
- Ride a bike across Europe.
There are 14 long-distance bicycle touring routes in Europe, forming what is known as the European Cycle Route Network. The EuroVelo website details these 14 routes and provides you with detailed maps you can follow. It should be noted that there are tons of additional country-specific bike routes in Europe as well.
- Figure out how to get your bicycle and your body to the start of your tour.
Getting your bicycle, your body and the rest of your equipment to the start of your bike tour is one of the most difficult aspects of traveling in a foreign state or country with a bicycle. In this article you will learn how to easily get to the start of your bike tour with all the gear and equipment you are going to need.
- Come up with a budget for your bike tour.
Bicycle touring budgets can range from as little as $3.00 USD per day to as much as $300.00 USD per day, depending on the type of bike tour you are conducting, the way in which you choose to travel, where you wish to sleep each night, the foods you eat, and a whole host of other factors. Click here to learn more about coming up with an estimated cost for your next bike tour.
Step 5: Prepare Your Bicycle & Your Body
- Find your ideal touring bicycle.
The bicycle you select for your travels is the most important piece of bicycle touring gear you’ll ever need to purchase. Make sure you don't waste your money... and be sure to purchase the correct type of touring bicycle for the type of bike tour you wish to conduct. There are 5 main types of touring bicycles (each of which is built for a specific type of bicycle touring). Learn more here.
- Decide if you want to carry your gear in panniers or a trailer.
- Put together a tool kit and learn to repair/maintain your bicycle.
There are only a few basic tools you need for most bicycle touring adventures: 1 multi-tool (with screw drivers and Allen wrenches that match your bicycle), 1 pump, 2-3 tire levers, 1 patch kit (containing patches, glue and fine-grain sandpaper), 1-2 spare tube(s), chain lube and a couple extra rack screws. After you've assembled your tool kit, you should read a book or take a class and learn how to repair and maintain your bicycle.
- Learn to cook delicious meals using a one-burner camp stove.
A big part of bicycle touring is the food you eat while you're on the road. Bicycle touring is a lot of work and you need to fuel your body properly. If you plan to cook your own meals while traveling by bike, then this bicycle touring-specific cookbook will help you learn everything you need to know to shop for, prepare, and eat delicious meals while traveling the world by bike.
- Buy a bike lock and learn how to use it.
Believe it or not, it's possible to cycle around the entire world and never use a bike lock. But even if you don't use your lock very often, it's always a good idea to have one with you! Purchase a quality bike lock and then learn how to use it to secure your bicycle in various situations - such as when there is nothing to lock your bicycle to... or when you need to go inside a supermarket or other such building.
- Learn to conduct the bicycle tour of your dreams!
Truth be told, there are a ton of additional things you need to know about before you go off and conduct a bicycle tour of your own. Lucky for you, "The Bicycle Touring Blueprint" has been created to guide you through the process from beginning to end. This easy to follow how-to book has helped thousands of people from all around the world conduct their own incredible bicycle touring adventures... and it can help you too! Learn more at: www.bicycletouringbook.com
Step 6: Hit The Road & Go Bicycle Touring!
- What does an average day of bike touring look like?
Because there are so many different types of bicycle tours, it's difficult to summarize what a single day of bicycle touring looks like. If you plan to conduct a bike tour with a professional touring company, I suggest you read this article. And if you plan to bicycle tour on your own, this article will give you a pretty good idea of what it's like to travel the world by bike.
- Understand the 3 major hurdles you’ll need to overcome.
If you plan to go on a bike tour that lasts for more than 2 to four weeks, this free 1-hour webinar will walk you through the three major hurdles you will need to overcome on your travels. Knowing that these three hurdles exist will help you to overcome them once you get out on the road.
- Personal safety & travel scams to watch out for.
Bicycle touring is an activity that takes place in the street… and because of this, it means interacting with the types of people who are commonly found on the roadside. Some of these people are kind, friendly and helpful, while others are there to prey off the weak and vulnerable. Use these three tips to defend yourself from evildoers... and then read this article to learn about 20 common street/travel scams you might fall victim to if you're not careful.
- Learn to enjoy camping in the wild.
Camping in the wild is one of the many joys of traveling the world by bike. Camping can be a scary act for some, but with practice it quickly becomes an enjoyable experience. As a bicycle tourist, you can camp in established campgrounds, on private property, or in wild, open spaces.
- Expect to learn a few lessons along the way.
You're bound to learn a few lessons from your travels. You'll see the best and the worst that this world has to offer, and you'll come home from your travels having learned a little something about both yourself and this world in which we all live.
- Send me a postcard from the road.
Who is the Bicycle Touring Pro?
BicycleTouringPro.com is run by the world’s leading expert on bicycle touring – Darren Alff. Darren went from being a 17-year old high-school kid, riding across America on a dusty old mountain bike, to the Bicycle Touring Pro, after having bicycled across 28 of the 50 United States, and after traveling by bike through more than 50 different countries all around the world!
In addition, Darren is the celebrated author of “The Bicycle Touring Blueprint” and now coaches people of all ages, incomes and backgrounds so they may have a safe, successful and enjoyable bicycle touring adventure of their own, following his teaching, tips and shortcuts. “The Bicycle Touring Blueprint” has sold over 10,000 copies since it’s release and this unique at-home study guide details everything you need to know in order to conduct a bicycle tour of your very own. The book is simply the world’s best step-by-step guide to bicycle touring, handed to you on a silver platter!
Darren Alff is the author of four popular cycling books:
- The Bicycle Touring Blueprint – a 412-page book designed to teach you everything you need to know in order to conduct your own self-supported bicycle touring adventures.
- The Essential Guide To Touring Bicycles – a book designed to help first-time bicycle tourists find the type of bicycle they need to conduct their very own bicycle touring adventures. This book also contains a list of each of the touring bicycles currently available on the market, so you don’t waste money by purchasing the wrong bicycle before you head off on your grand adventure.
- Stretching for Cyclists – designed to help you prevent injuries and stay limber on your bicycle touring adventures.
- Winter Cycling – the definitive guide for how to keep cycling the whole year round – regardless of the cold, wet or snow-covered weather you might encounter in your part of the world.
Darren Alff is also the founder of www.gobicycletouring.com, where people from all over the world can quickly and easily find the best guided and self-guided bicycle tours on the planet.
What Can You Expect to Learn Here?
Here at Bicycle Touring Pro you will discover:
- The types of bicycles built for short and long-distance bicycle touring.
- The gear you need to travel for days, weeks, or months on end.
- How to plan out a safe and scenic cycle touring route.
- How to plan and prepare for your first bicycle tour.
- What to mentally and physically expect once you hit the road.
- Where to find guided and self-guided bicycle tours to participate in.
- Plus a whole lot more!
Sign up for Bicycle Touring Pro’s free email newsletter right now and you can start learning about the joys of bicycle travel right away!