Is Bike Touring Really Something Anyone Can Do?

defeated cyclist

In almost all instances, yes! Bicycle touring is an activity that almost anyone can do. Young people, old people, poor people, rich people, disabled people, men, women, children, and even people who have never ridden a bicycle before can go bicycle touring!

Since 2007 I have not only been traveling all around the world on my own bicycle touring adventures, but I have also 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.

Just look at what some of my readers and supporters have said about Bicycle Touring Pro, The Bicycle Touring Blueprint and the benefits they have received from working with me:

“Your blog is the motivating factor in my decision to tour. I’ve ridden for several years, but never toured self-contained. With your help I toured solo for 712 miles in 7.5 days, averaging 94 miles per day. I also have 3 other tours planned for next year. Thanks so much for your help.” – Bob Hopkins

Bicycle Touring Pro helped my daughter and I prepare for a 42-day bike tour across the United States and a 6-week bike tour in New Zealand. We learned that it really wasn’t that difficult if you just take one day at a time.” – Michael Rice

“I wish you had been around years ago when I started cycling in earnest. I learned much over the years, but the trial and error method is a slow process. Within a month I have ridden 1,400 miles for the year. Thanks again.” – Bernard Parker

“I don’t think I could ever prepare myself for my trip without your help. Every time I talk to you or go on your website I learn something new. Thanks for everything.” – Brandon Roesler

Bicycle Touring Pro showed me the most common mistakes people make on tour, without me having to make those mistakes myself while on the road. I’m really grateful there’s something like this site for people like me. Without it, I know my trip wouldn’t have gone as well as it did.” – Spencer Holmes 

“We relied heavily on The Bicycle Touring Blueprint. Not only for its technical points about how to prepare for a bike trip as long as ours, but also things like what to wear and eat. It contributed to us having no question and no fear about tackling the task before us.” – Jon & Earline Blumhagen

“Thanks for all the help your site has given me. I completed my first week-long tour in June and your advice and videos certainly contributed to its success. Thanks again! Keep up the excellent work!” – Paul McDonald

“I would just like to thank you for all the help you have given on your site over the last couple of months. I live in London and am planning a round the world bike ride leaving Britain in September. It will be a 2-year trip of a lifetime. I have had so much information from your site. You have helped with tent selection, pannier packing and just general information that has been amazing. Thank you once again. You have helped to make a dream come true.” – Robert Halkett has been a huge help for me – a beginning wannabe tourer. The information I have received has been invaluable, not only in preparation, but in building my confidence to a level where I know I can complete a tour with confidence. Darren’s willingness to personally respond to my questions has led me to view this site as one of my most important bicycle related resources.” – Chris Kmotorka

“Now that I have actually had an opportunity to put your wisdom to use on the road with a tour I did with my son, I can say that all the information you have given on your website is useful. My tour with my son was very fun and successful thanks to your helpful information! In fact, I was just mentioning your site to a friend of mine who just bought a touring bike. I told her she should check it out because your information is very good and practical. Us newbies need people like you!” – Colleen Welch

“There is a wealth of information on your website. I am grateful that you put the time and effort into sharing it. I have learned a great deal.” – Brenda Waller

“I’m training for a cross country ride in honor of my 60th birthday and I found your website while looking around the web for all the good advice I can get. Your site is great! Thanks!” – Joe Golden

“Thanks for your wonderful website. I am planning a bike trip from Scarsdale, NY to Canada and around Vermont. I enjoy reading material on your site because it is immensely practical. It gives me a sense of what is possible and has built up my confidence to take longer trips. Keep up the good work!” – Peter F. Mathias

“Thank you Darren. I’m new to touring so I have learned a lot from you! I’ve just finished building my new touring bike and I’m hoping to take it around Ireland this summer. Thanks for all your help through your website. The video section is great and it gives a much clearer insight on how to do things right. Thanks for a great site!” – Anthony

“Darren, I just wanted to say that I’ve been traveling by bike for a number of years… but I love the way you give a more age-appropriate approach to traveling by bike. I’m looking forward to what you have planned for the site in the future. Good work!” – Richard Barton

“Hey Darren, I am a big fan of your website. It has been so helpful for the planning of my first bike trip this summer. My friends and family are starting to check out your website too. The more they know the more they feel better. I decided to go all out on my first trip. I want to go coast to coast in Canada. It is a big and long trip, but I have the time and determination. Your website has made me so excited to start my trip. Thanks!!!” – Shawn Corey Wright

“Hey Darren. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your taking the time to sit down and go over what actually goes into the all the touring bags and how to pack them. Your commentary on placing all the bags in the same place both on the bike and off (in the tent) as well as putting everything inside the same bag every time has helped me a lot!! Please keep up the good work. I am anxious to see what you will do next.” – Tom

“I am continuing to enjoy your site/blog. I have viewed many, if not all, of your videos on touring and packing panniers, etc. for bike touring. You have definitely succeeded in getting me excited about this touring season. Thanks for all of the work that you do to video your trips and the excellent website that you have. It is truly one of the best that is out there.” – Malaika Sharp

“I just arrived home from my bike trip today. It was my first tour, from San Francisco to Washington D.C., and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I’m looking forward to the next one. Thanks again for your help! Your advice proved invaluable on my tour and I hope you continue to inspire future generations of touring cyclists.” – Boris Grogg

“I just wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your website and how useful I’ve found it to be. I’m embarking on my first cycle tour in May. It will be from Victoria, BC to St. John’s, Newfoundland. I’ll be camping and hosteling most of the way with a fair bit of stealth camping thrown in as well. All the best and keep up the good work! Happy Travels.” – Jim Marsh

“Thanks Darren for taking the time to share your experiences. It really does help me to prepare and you have a great resource for that. And thanks too for your personalized reply to my email recently. Keep up the great work. You are making your mark on the planet!” – Grant Southam

“I’m writing this to let you know that I’ll be going away for a while. I’m finally setting off on my bike trip, hooray! After a rather prolonged series of mishaps and setbacks everything seems to be in order. I’ll be leaving some time tomorrow afternoon or on Sunday morning, at the very latest. I’ve been giving the matter some thought and I think that it’s safe for me to say that hadn’t it been for your site and the tons of invaluable information therein and of course our meeting itself, perhaps I wouldn’t be taking this trip at all. So here’s a big thank you! And congrats for setting a goal and achieving it my friend. If inspiring and encouraging others to take steps forward is what you set out to do (alongside taking the road less traveled and leading a meaningful life) then allow me to say, mission accomplished. I salute you.” – Nick Parker

“Bicycle Touring Pro is the most comprehensive of all sites hit on for detailing the preparation for touring for a first timer. Great stories, pictures, informational videos, links to other websites – awesome! Wish I could have been along with you on some of your tours. You are ‘the man.'” – Dave Fuller

“I am in the midst of planning my first tour and had no idea where to start. I found and now feel like I know what questions I need to ask and how to plan so I am ready. I feel like I’m ready to take the next step. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us all and making the information easy to digest. Thank you!” – Justine Pattantyus

“ is my only trusted source on bicycle touring. I regularly check the site for updates and trust the information more than other sources.” – Jarin Marocco

“I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate what you do with Bicycle Touring Pro. The emails, The Bicycle Touring Blueprint I purchased and the helpful videos (on YouTube) have given me insight into making the proper preparations for a tour this summer, and for that I thank you!” – Dale Wahowiak

“ is a comprehensive site for any individual interested in learning about every aspect of bicycle touring. It’s obvious that Darren Alff works hard at making it easily accessible and useful for cyclists of any age or experience level. Darren is also responsive and informative in answering specific questions you may have. is really a “One Stop Shop” for all your bicycle touring needs.” – William Miller

“Hey Darren! I just wanted to thank you for creating a site like this with all its resources. I’m 17 and have always wanted to ride across America, but only recently started to really look into it. My inspiration comes from my father who, when in college (1970?s), rode across the States and ever since then has been an avid cyclist. I plan to make the trek in summer 2013. Thanks again for this website. It will no-doubt be a tool in making my touring dreams a reality.” – Michael LaMacchia

“You’re amazing Darren. Thanks so much for all your energy and generosity. Your weekly emails are like having a non-invasive, super chill and equally supportive personal coach! Just checking in to keep you on track while you’re preparing for the road. Thanks so much –  invaluable!” – Jenn

“The most comprehensive, down to earth information from a guy who lives it!” – Tom Magnone

“ is the ultimate website for the bicycle touring enthusiast, whether traveling 5 miles or 50,000.” Kris Torrey

“Your informal way of delivering information to a varied audience is so thorough and well-planned that nothing is left to chance. is the equivalent of one-stop shopping for touring information. From the basics of short, local trips to extended touring expeditions, Darren lays it all out with an easy-to-read format as well as interviews packed with information. Bookmark this site, because you’ll be back!” – Donna Gatz

“Your website has given me the knowledge and confidence to know that I will be successful in my future touring days. I find you and your readers to be insightful and helpful to those of us who are less experience in bicycle touring. I will continue to visit and learn from your site, which has provided me with a rich education in long-distance touring.” – Jim Presely

“Darren, what a great website! I had a crazy idea of taking my son on the Transamerica after he graduates high school in two years. Your site has helped with the planning big time, from what kind of bike to ride to how to pack panniers. Thanks a lot!” – Eric Benjamin

“The main thing that I have learned from you is that it is possible. I am 56 years old and have a back problem resulting in terrible sciatic pain. I can, however, cycle without any problems. You have inspired me to start preparing for a retirement of world travel which can be not only affordable, but possibly profitable. You have shown me that I can experiment to find the best equipment for me. You have demonstrated that I don’t need to limit myself to bicycle routes, and that almost any region of the world is open to me. You have helped me believe that it’s not the arrival at the destination that is important; the journey is the important thing, and the time-frame should be flexible. I could go on, but really, thanks to you, I now know it’s possible, and I’m about to start. Thanks.” – Geoff Shannon

“My wife and I have talked about touring for several years (we are both 50 yrs. old). With the help of your fine website, we have planned our first trip. Next month we will set off from San Francisco to Los Angeles with a mix of camping and hotels. Your advice has aided in the planning and we have total confidence that this will be a wonderful first journey. Thanks!” – Robert Earle

“Thanks Darren for the radical and well-planned perspective of life lived outside the office, on the road and with two wheels underneath you. I am 23 and will be embarking on a long-term, non-traditional life plan in the coming months. What you have given me, in addition to a COMPLETE background in bike touring… is some security in the little voice in the back of my head – telling me that my dreams (of bike trips of course) are not only 100% doable but are the essential next step in understanding myself as a person of knowledge, leisure, adventure, hard work, creativity, self-sufficiency, integrity, commitment and beyond, beyond, beyond. For the A-Z’s and the mental support, thanks for your dedication to helping people figure out how to make life one epic and righteous journey! Travel on.” – Jennifer Kehoe

“Once upon a time I was a fat couch potato. I stumbled upon Bicycle Touring Pro and read through it’s articles like mad. It was because of this website that I bought a bike and started cycling. Now I have a bicycle tour of my very own approaching fast and I would of been lost without this website. I learned everything I could ever have wanted to know about bicycle touring. When my concerned friends and family asked about specifics like how I would sleep without paying a for hotel, I was able to give them a good answer. With the giant library of information you have made available, I eased my loved ones into being alright with the idea of a bicycle tour. For anyone even remotely interested in bicycle touring, Bicycle Touring Pro is the best site out there for sparking that interest and teaching you everything you need to know. I’ve now been on countless trips to far off places I never thought I would be at by bicycle, and it’s only the beginning.” – Bryan

“I found your website while surfing the net for bike touring info. Boy, did I ever strike gold! So much information to go through. My wife and I might never tour across Europe, but your experiences have shown me that there are indeed adventures to be found wherever and whenever I choose, be it a couple of nights out from home, or a month in another country. Thanks, and keep it up!” – Kevin M.

“I wanna thank you Darren for making such an informative, encouraging, and fun website for us to learn and enjoy. I learned so many things from you, such as how to properly pack my panniers, what to expect while on the road, potential dangers and how to deal with them, and most importantly the inspiration you’ve delivered us through your stories and pictures of your trips. This has become my no.1 source for all the bike related stuff and will continue to visit. Thanks for the positivity you’ve delivered! We all really appreciate it.” – Paul Kwon

“Darren, I started biking at age 50 and I weighed 300lbs. At age 53 I now weigh 205lbs. I’m not built for speed, but I can go the distance. I have followed you around the planet with your trips to Europe, the Katy Trail and other off the beaten path trips that you’ve taken. You have inspired me to go farther. This fall I will be riding from San Diego to Cape Coral, Florida. Godspeed my friend and ride safe. Don’t stop doing what you’re doing. Thank you.” – Donald Arbeene

“I thoroughly enjoy reading your stories, reviews, etc on bicycle touring and that has inspired me to take up the sport. To be frank, I didn’t have any interest in anything before I discovered your website, but this sport has given me a new lease of life and I look forward to travel long distance with my bicycle. You have helped open another path for me and taught me to stop and smell the roses along the road. Thanks!” – Yan Cheang

“I figured, at my age, doing a bike tour was just a dream. Although I’m a grandmother, I had hopes of doing a long-distance tour. I had been training even up to 50-miles some days – so exciting! Then I became ill and had to quit riding a few years ago. I’d just about given up. Now, thanks to you, you’ve helped me believe dreams can come true, even for grandma’s.  With some training, planning, and motivation from Bicycle Touring Pro (thank you), my dream has once again become more than just a dream – it’s become my reality. Thank you, thank you!” – Sandi

“I’ve been home for 5 days from my first tour. I flew to Pittsburgh PA arriving on 9/10 back home from Washington DC to SF on 9/26. I biked around Pittsburgh – then hit the Great Allegheny Passage, C&O Canal trails and more – pedaling a total of 502 miles, with 7,600 feet of climb. I averaged 9.85 mph with an 87 pound load (bike, gear and water). I toured solo and had a total blast. I really appreciate your articles and all the information you share with us. I look forward to hearing more from you – and to planning the next tour. This one was a mental, physical, and spiritual challenge – I can’t describe what a marvelous experience it was. Blessings to you on your travels.” – Cinda Weisgerber

“Going to turn 67 this April and will do my first cross USA solo bike tour this spring. Thanks so much for your continued guidance. On those occasions when you may feel down – please know that your words of wisdom and encouragement really do make a positive meaningful impact.” – Colin Kenney

“I am still recovering from some health issues in 2009 and just recently advanced to where I can ride again. It is hard to realize how such a simple joy like preparing for a ride can become an addiction and an overwhelming desire when you find yourself in the precarious position of losing that opportunity. I wish I could express how much your enthusiasm for biking has driven me to exceed the Doctor’s expectations of my recovery and driven me to accept that there will be limitations in my abilities, AND that that is OK too! When I start to become stressed out or plateauing or feeling depressed that I can’t go now or I’m not the same as I was before, I take some “me” time and travel a little with you. I don’t think you realize the very real value you impart with your site, books, emails, and photos that inspire and uplift people like myself who may never be able to travel as you do physically, but through your eyes, words and experiences we have a much fuller and hope filled life. You truly have changed and helped me as much as any of my other therapist, Dr’s, nurses and family. NEVER short change your impact on others’ lives.” – James Neal Pipes

“I am so grateful to have a comprehensive A-Z resource for planning and executing a successful bike tour. Following the guidelines and advice now available to me in a systematic format, I am confident that I will be prepared for success in my first solo bicycle camping tour (in June). Now that I have a plan that’s in black & white, a successful bicycle tour is that much closer to being a reality! Thank you Darren for all the work that you’ve done to create a guide for safe, successful and satisfying bicycle touring adventures.” – Rosemarrie Nadelen

“I came across your site and I have to tip my hat to you for providing one of the most comprehensive biking sites I have come across. Your wealth of knowledge and expertise shows in the high quantity and excellent quality of cycling articles and advice.” – Adam Bruk

“My turn to say thank you! So happy you could put out this wealth of information. Certainly, I gained much from all of your newsletters, articles and resources. Even if I had only gained one thing, it would have been worth it. I’m not young anymore and I needed all the help and encouragement I could get. Thanks again for making this public.” – Richard Welch

“Thanks again for writing the great books (and site and podcasts/interviews/videos). Most books I’ve found are really aimed at athletes trying to improve their time or distance or learning how to fix bikes. There is not nearly enough info out there about how to travel by bicycle. Thank you!” – Erik Ribeiro

“I truly appreciate everything I have learned from your website and am so astonished that there are still great people out there who sincerely take joy in helping others out. My trip is still in the very early stages of being planned and is very intimidating, but the excitement I am feeling from just thinking about it is incredible and I know it will be life changing and that I will learn a lot about myself on this tour. I cannot thank you enough for all I have learned from your website and emails. Without these I would still be pretty clueless and may have given up on attempting this tour.” – Mark McGee

“You’ve been, and continue to be, such a source of inspiration and knowledge for me. It was because of all that I learned from Bicycle Touring Pro that I had the confidence and knowledge to complete my first solo bike tour last summer (495 miles round trip from Northern NY to northern NJ). I’m still riding daily but haven’t ventured out to do any winter cycling… yet. Thanks again for the excellent resource that you are providing for us! It’s so fun to be able to follow your own adventures too. And, your photography is awesome! I’m looking forward to a long and rewarding relationship with your work.” – Rose

“I just wanted to tell you, you are my hero, and have inspired me FULLY. I am planning my very own bike tour across America, and if all goes well, I plan to continue in Europe for a very extended amount of time! Thank you for paving the way and giving realistic hope to those dreams. You are, for lack of a better term, epic.” – Bobby Weaver

“I thought you might just like to know that thanks largely to inspiration taken from your numerous articles and videos, which I’ve been following over the last year or so, I’ve just recently returned from a 10-day trip from my home here on the south coast of England to Switzerland. I left from the Channel port of Dieppe on a Thursday afternoon and rode into the resort town of Interlaken on the Saturday, 10 days and about 500 miles, later. Thanks for all that you do to encourage bike touring and keep up the good work.” – Paul Jenkins

“I have been a fan over the past few years, have purchased some of your books and have appreciated the tons of info on cycle touring you have created. You have been an inspiration to me over this time. In Sept. 2012 I did a five day tour from Pittsburgh to DC and back to WV of the GAP & C&O Canal. That got my feet wet Darren and on January 7th, 2014 I just finished a 53-day, 2,441 mile fall/winter tour from Fort Kent ME to Key West FL through all kinds of weather including snow (thank you for the book on Winter Cycling tips). The cold bit my hands and feet, but cycle touring has bit my heart. Thanks again for all you do to help us out with great reviews, info and inspiration. I so enjoy your site. God Bless!” – Carl Lussier

Yes, Practically Anyone Can Go Bicycle Touring!

One of the things I like most about running the website at is hearing from all the people who have taken the information I’ve made available and gone off and executed their own bicycle tours. In the end, that’s really what it’s all about… and that’s why I have dedicated my life to helping others plan, prepare for and execute the bicycle tour of their dreams.

If you are searching for a bicycle touring expert to guide and assist you as you go about planning and preparing for your dream bike tour, you won’t find too many other people who have traveled by bicycle more extensively than I have. I don’t sit in a cubicle and write about bicycle touring. I actually live the life of a full-blown bicycle traveler. I have years of on-the-road bicycle touring experience, have written for both large and small media outlets about cycling all around the world, and I have helped thousands of people make their bicycle touring dreams come true.

Now it’s your turn! Are you ready to go bicycle touring?

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