Start Here: The Beginner’s Guide to Bicycle Touring

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I’m Darren Alff, the Bicycle Touring Pro… and since 2001 I’ve been traveling the world on my bicycle and teaching people like you how to conduct their own incredible cycling adventures.

Darren Alff is the Bicycle Touring Pro

If you want to start bicycle touring, bikepacking, or traveling the world for days, weeks, months or years on end, but don’t know where to start, this is the page for you!

My goal here at Bicycle Touring Pro is simple: To help you plan and prepare for your own bike tours, to lead by example and share my own experiences from the road, and to help you avoid the pitfalls that force so many first-time bicycle tourists to quit their cycling adventures before they’ve even had a chance to begin. That’s what Bicycle Touring Pro is all about!

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“Bicycle touring” (also referred to as “cycle touring, bike touring, bike travel, bicycle travel, adventure cycling, and bike-packing”) is the act of riding a bicycle for days, weeks, months or even years on end as you travel across entire cities, states and countries under your own power (without the assistance of a motor).

While bicycle touring is typically an overnight endeavor, a bicycle tour can be a long single-day bike ride; a multi-day event where your gear, food and clothing is carried for you in a vehicle that meets you at various checkpoints along your route; or a solo or group adventure where all necessary clothing, equipment, food and tools are carried on your bicycle.

People participating in a bike tour

Click here to learn about the three main types of bicycle tours. This is very important, because as you will learn in just a moment, the type of bike tour you choose to conduct will dictate the style of bike you should be riding, the type of gear and clothing you should use, how heavy your bicycle is going to be, and a whole host of other important factors.

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The best way to quickly and easily learn about the basics of bicycle touring is to download my FREE Bicycle Touring Pro starter guide.

As soon as you’ve done that, you’ll be sent an email containing a link to a PDF document entitled “How to Become a Bicycle Touring Pro.” In this free 40-page report, you will learn:

  • Why so many people love bicycle touring.
  • About the different types of bike tours.
  • About the types of bicycles used for long-distance touring.
  • About the gear and clothing you need to get started.
  • How to carry everything you need for your trip on your bicycle.
  • About the bicycle maintenance and repair skills you need to know.
  • How to select the best location for your bike tour.

Plus, you’ll discover how Bicycle Touring Pro has helped thousands of people conduct their own incredible bicycle touring adventures all around the world.

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After you’ve downloaded the free Bicycle Touring Pro starter guide, take some time to watch this free 1-hour long training video entitled, “The Internet’s Worst Bike Touring Advice“.

This is a recording of a live Internet event in which I discuss the worst advice I see other people giving first time bicycle tourists on the Internet.

This information is extremely important for you to know if you are just starting out, because you don’t want to waste your time and money getting ready for a bike tour, only to realize later that you made some major mistakes along the way.

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In addition to the website here at www.bicycletouringpro.com, I’m constantly posting new photos, videos and bike touring advice on Bicycle Touring Pro’s various social media channels.

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Following Bicycle Touring Pro on social media and absorbing this new material as it comes out is a great way to learn about bicycle touring, world travel, and long-distance cycling because you’ll get to see both myself and other Bicycle Touring Pro readers actually participating in bike tours all around the world.

Follow Bicycle Touring Pro’s various social media accounts and you will see the types of bikes we’re riding, the gear we’re using, the distances we’re cycling each day, the foods we’re eating and a whole lot more.

Take a moment right now and subscribe, like or follow Bicycle Touring Pro on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr and Snapchat.

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In almost all instances, yes! Bicycle touring is an activity that almost anyone can do. Young people, old people, poor people, rich people, fat people, skinny people, men, women, children and people of all nationalities, religions and sexes. Even people who have never ridden a bicycle before can go bicycle touring with a little coaching.

For more than a decade I have been working with people all across the planet to help them plan, prepare for and execute the bicycle tour of their dreams… and I’ve helped thousands of people from all walks of life conduct their very own bicycle touring adventures!

Whether you’re 18 or 81, you can bicycle tour with a little help and assistance from the Bicycle Touring Pro.

Click here to see what some of my readers and supporters have said about Bicycle Touring Pro, The Bicycle Touring Blueprint and the benefits they have received from following my advice.

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touring bicycle

The most important piece of equipment you will need to buy for a bike tour of any kind is your bicycle.

While it may be possible to rent a bike in some instances, and it might also be possible to use a bike you already own, many people who are just starting out with bicycle touring need to do a little research about the bike that is going to be best for them and the type of bicycle touring they wish to do.

Inside “The Essential Guide To Touring Bicycles,” I explain why the bike you ride is so important to your overall success as a bicycle tourist… and I detail how using the wrong bike could cost you thousands of dollars and even do damage to your health!

So, before you run out and purchase a new touring bicycle, be sure to read “The Essential Guide To Touring Bicycles” and find the bike that’s going to be best for you and your unique situation.

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I’ve coached thousands of people through their first bicycle touring experiences and I can tell you that there are several major mistakes I see first-time bicycle tourists making again and again.

  1. Waiting Too Long – Don’t wait for years and years to start bicycle touring. Go bicycle touring as soon as you possibly can. Too many people wait until their too old or ill to go on a bike tour. Get out there while you’re still healthy and in good spirits.
  2. Using A Bad Bicycle – While it’s possible to use almost any type of bicycle for a bicycle tour, it’s worth spending money on a good touring bicycle, especially if your bike tour is going to be two weeks long or longer. Having a quality bicycle will make a huge difference in the overall success of your tour.
  3. Waiting On Other People – While it would be nice to have someone join you on your bike tour, don’t wait around for other people. If you have to – go alone! Or join a guided tour group where you can ride with other like-minded people. If you wait for others, you might be waiting for the rest of your life.
  4. Not Understanding How Your Bicycle Works – There are really only a few basic repair and maintenance skills you need to know in order to conduct a bicycle tour, but it’s important that you take some time during the planning stages of your tour to learn the basics of bicycle ownership.
  5. Traveling with the Wrong Person/People – Your touring partner has more to do with your success or failure than you might realize. Pick the right person to travel with on your bike tour and you’ll come home with wonderful memories you’ll remember for a lifetime. But pick the wrong touring partner and your bike tour could be doomed from the very beginning.
  6. Not Understanding the 80/20 Rule – Bicycle touring is 80% mental and 20% physical. Yes, bike touring is a physical activity and you need to prepare your body for the demands of long-distance cycling. But traveling long distances on a bicycle is much more mentally challenging than most people realize.
  7. Not Enjoying Every Moment – Bicycle touring isn’t always easy or enjoyable. There are times when you’re going to be tired, hungry, thirst, dirty, wet or sore. There might even be times when you want to quit and go home. But remember: the challenge, the struggle, the misery… are a part of why you’re doing this in the first place. The challenges you’ll face on tour are a part of what is going to make the experience so incredibly memorable.

To learn more about these common bike touring mistakes and how to best avoid them, watch this free online training video.

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The Bicycle Touring Blueprint

If you’re ready to learn everything there is to know about bicycle touring and you’d like me, the Bicycle Touring Pro, to walk you through everything you need to know in order to plan, prepare for and execute your first bicycle tour, then you should pick up a copy of the book that helped thousands of people learn to conduct their own incredible bicycle touring adventures.

The Bicycle Touring Blueprint is a 400+ page book that includes three main chapters divided into more than 100 sections detailing everything you need to know about how to conduct a short bike tour close to your home, or a long-distance bicycle touring adventure anywhere in the world.

The book comes complete with detailed packing lists, recommended resources, worksheets designed to help you plan and prepare for your first bike tour, plus a whole lot more!

To order your copy of The Bicycle Touring Blueprint (in ebook or paperback format) visit the website at: www.bicycletouringbook.com

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Thank you for visiting Bicycle Touring Pro. Please know that I’m here for you as both a coach and a friend. I want to hear your stories, I want to know how else I can help you, and I can’t wait to get a photo of you with your bicycle raised up high over your head as you stand triumphantly at the finish line of your first bicycle tour!

I hope the information on this page has been helpful. For even more incredible how-to tools to help you get started, be sure to visit the Bicycle Touring Pro resources page.

Thanks for visiting www.bicycletouringpro.com and I look forward to seeing you out there on the road sometime soon!

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