One of the most difficult things about planning a bicycle tour is that when you plan out a route, you are usually planning a ride along a stretch of road that you've never been to before. This makes any kind of planning difficult because you don't know what it's going to be like once you get out there on the road.
Will it be hot or cold? Will it be flat or hilly? Will the roads be smooth or bumpy? Will there be lots to see along the way or will there be nothing to do but ride, ride, ride?
There are ways to figure out most of this stuff in advance (I'm not going to talk about that now), but what would happen if you went through all the trouble of planning a bicycle tour only to find that each and every day you were getting further and further behind schedule?
This does happen by the way!
Sometimes you overestimate your own abilities and plan to ride too many miles each day. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and you just don't feel very well. Sometimes there is a massive mountain or a steady gust of wind that slows you down.
Whatever the situation, it is possible to get behind schedule when traveling by bike.
Some people, when they get behind schedule feel that they have failed. Others see being behind schedule as a reason to quit. And others (like me - and you too, I hope) are okay with being a bit behind schedule because we know we can either make up that time later in the tour or change our route a bit to adjust for the delays in our schedule.
Changing your route and/or scheduling in a backup route in advance is what I want to talk to you about today.
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