Reader Testimonials

Over the past couple months I’ve started collecting some of the positive comments readers have sent me in regards to the website here at I love receiving these types of messages, as they are what keep me motivated to continue working on the site.

I thought it would be fun to share some of these comments with you, as many of them are from people who are either planning for or have just finished their first bicycle adventure.

If, after reading the testimonials provided here, you would like to share how the content here at has help or inspired you in some way, please use the comments box at the bottom of this page to leave a testimonial of your own. Thanks!

What Bicycle Touring Pro Readers Have To Say:

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 – Irvine, California

Hey! I just ran across your website from your videos on YouTube and I like what I’m seeing. I’m planning my first bike trip for this coming summer and I plan to visit your site often. Keep up the good work.

Jay Manuel

Just a quick note to say thanks for all the help your site has given me. I completed my 1st week long tour in June and your advice and videos certainly contributed to it’s success. Thanks again! Keep up the excellent work!

Paul McDonald

I have really enjoyed your site. I appreciate your views on touring and your more ‘modern’ approach to touring. I have most benefited from your posts on packing bags. I also took your post to heart about having a mirror. Keep up the good work on the website!

Kevin Ricker – Sendai-shi, Japan

Thanks for putting together and keeping this web site up. I read your site all the time. Some day I’ll make that great trip, and it will be because your cool web site that tells me that I can go anywhere I choose to. Thanks

Darrin Forquer – Pineville, North Carolina

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. Great site Darren. Please add more! Thank you for all your help and advice.

Robert Halkett – London, England

Darren, Great site. I really like your videos. Thanks for all you do!

Nancy Phillips – Camarillo, California

I am a school teacher in Barrington, IL. I enjoy your videos very much. I have ridden my bike in the Land Between the Lakes many times and I am headed down there for spring break. Keep up the good work. I appreciate the fact that you are a clean minded, decent young man as well as a good bike tourer.

Roger Messman – Barrington, Illinois

This site is awesome! Keep up the good work!

Leslie Parr – Oxnard, California

Great stuff! I want to do some touring and have been reading all the articles you have posted. Thanks and keep posting great articles!


I would say 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. Also, Darren’s advice on handlebar bags and helpfulness when I purchased my Lone Peak Alta through his site was great–and that bag is the best thing I’ve added to my bike to date!

Chris Kmotorka – Tucson, Arizona

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. In particular the video of how and what to pack in the panniers was extremely helpful. 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 – Griffin, Georgia

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 looks 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 can learn a lot from you! I’ve just finished building my new touring bike and I’m hopeing 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!


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

Hi Darren…the Lone Peak bag (I ordered from your site) just arrived from UPS…I love it…I just attached it and I’m off for a ride…thanks again…

Robert G. Kemp – Tucson, Arizona

Thanks for all the good and useful info. I’m going on my first tour next week in Victoria, BC. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m camping and staying in a few hostels. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about the free rooms and stuff. Peace.

Clancy Finchu – Canada

I’ve been following your biking advice for years and everything you’ve taught me has been ‘right on.’ Thank you for sharing your secrets!

Suzi Flanders – Whittier, California

Hey Darren, Thanks for the videos. They have been very helpful in getting me ready for my upcoming tour.

Fred Piumelli

Hey Darren, I am a big fan of your website. It has been so helpful for the planning of my first trip this summer. My friends and family are starting to check out your website. 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 – Calgary, Canada

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 – Florence, South Carolina

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 web site that you have. It is truly one of the best that is out there.

Malaika Sharp

(Before) Hey Darren, I just wanted to tell you how helpful your site has been. I’ve been doing a lot of research in preparation for my first ever bike tour (TransAmerica) and your site has been one of the best resources out there. Thanks for everything you do!

(After) I just arrived home from my bike trip today after a 3 day train ride home undoing all the cycling I did over the last two months. It was my first tour, from San Francisco to 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

Kudos on the BEST Bike Touring site I’ve seen!

William Bruce

Finally there is a fantastic website on Bicycle Touring. Before I left on my first tour – I had absolutely no idea what to bring or what to expect. If only this website was around I wouldn’t have had so many ‘issues’. Darren is truly passionate about touring and that shows through on his site. If you are into Bike Touring – bookmark this site now so that you can get the items and support that you need.

Ted Schredd, Author of The Cycling Adventures Of Coconut Head,

I love what you’re doing on your site. It’s fun to read, helpful, and very relational.

Susan Reed – Illinois

I really do want to thank you for all your great information. You’ve mentioned a lot of good stuff on your site. I found a great deal of information on how to pack my panniers. I will use this information on my rides. It’s kind of funny because I always thought I knew how to pack everything, but you showed me the proper way. I always enjoy going to your site. If I have any questions about touring and If I can’t find something I can e-mail you and get a very quick response. Thanks so much and keep up the great work!

Rick Jansheski

There are more testimonials below. Scroll down to keep reading…


159 thoughts on “Reader Testimonials

  1. David Gieger says:

    Hey Darren,
    I’ve been regularly visiting your website for the past couple months and wanted to let you know that I really appreciate the tips and advice. You’ve helped me plan my tentative tour for next summer – Chicago to Lake Superior and back!

  2. Ross Kestin says:

    Hey Darren,

    My name is Ross Kestin. I stumbled across your web sites while perusing

    You and I have a lot in common……with about 30 years difference. I did a fair amount of bicycle touring, but it was back in the early 80s and on into the early 90s. My two longest tours were from San Francisco to Los Angeles, but I also did a lot of “weekend” tours to San Diego, Oxnard, Ventura, Santa Barbara,etc. all from my Culver City base. I also have a degree in film and tv, and have been working at L.A. tv stations for 32 years, the last 28 at KABC-TV. I’m 57 years old, and hope to retire soon.

    Unfortunately, my cycling miles took a big dive once life got in the way. Marriage, kids, home-ownership, serious illness, etc. have all had a detrimental effect on my cycling. Now, 25 years, I’m getting back into it. I never really stopped riding, but my mileage went from about 5,000 miles a year to about 500 miles a year. Fortunately my kids are nearly grown, and I have the time on my hands to do it again. It took me a month or so to get all my old bikes back in shape, and I’m back on the road again.

    Anyway, I just wanted to take the time to compliment you on your web sites. They’re very well done, and I hope that you can make a decent living from them. Video gear was a lot heavier 25 years ago, or I might have done something similar. My dream, at the time, was to start a bicycling touring company. I wasn’t able to do that. Keep following your dream.

    Best of luck to you.

    Ross Kestin

  3. larry says:

    Thanks for the website…my wife and I tandem and love Europe…we love the
    Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria and have Italy in our sights for next
    fall. We have bike camped but stay in motels mostly and I would like to
    get into an everyother day camping regimen this coming spring…I don’t
    like trailers, so a tandem with 4 pannier spots for two people etc becomes
    a bit full, but we have managed…

    I will check your website from time to time and be jealous of your

  4. Chris says:


    I didn’t get around to sending out Christmas cards this year, but I still would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. You’ve been a big help this last year and I appreciate what you’ve done with the site and beyond.

    Best wishes,


  5. Jim Brown says:

    I would love to tour the U.S. on a bike, but my health doesn’t allow me to do so. I enjoy so much reading about touring by you and some others, and I love it when so much detail is given in describing the things you see and the people you meet. Even though I can’t be there, in my mind, I’m riding with you. Keep up the web site and the e-mail, I enjoy them very much.

  6. Kali says:

    Thanks for spending so much on this fabulous site. I recently found it *twice* on Google, entirely by accident. The first was because I ordered a Bike Friday this week and wanted to see what other people were saying about riding them, and the second time I found you was because I searched “cost of living Switzerland” and got your blog entries, since I’m moving to Bern. So thanks for the useful information on two counts! I look forward to reading more and following your adventures.

  7. Jim Marsh says:

    Hi Darren

    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 did the same trip by motorcycle (although I ended up going to Florida and the across to San Diego and back home to Vancouver Island). I spent the last couple of months converting a mountain bike to as touring bike and am very happy with the way it rides.

    I’ll be camping and hosteling most of the way with a fair bit of stealth camping thrown in as well (I did a lot of camping on my motorcycle trip). I think that the lower pace will allow me to get up close and personal with this beautiful country.
    I read Ted Schredd’s book and really enjoyed it and found your interview with him and enjoyed that as well. I’m currently reading Neil Peart’s book on cycling through West Africa. He’s a great travel writer as well; and very insightful.

    I’ve been retired for five years and have had the luxury of a lot of adventure travel and am waiting for my wife to retire next year so we can go live in some of the countries I’ve been visiting.

    All the best and keep up the good work! Happy Travels

  8. Paul Sanchez says:


    Love your site! Hope all is well. I have been talking about you to my friend Nate. He has a film out about a ride that went from Alaska to South America. The site is

    We should chat sometime.


  9. Guido Molaroni says:

    Hello Darren,

    I’m Guido Molaroni from Republic of San Marino ( inside Italy )

    I wanted to say that I really admire your way of being simple down to earth and unconventional , not in the main stream, like many others of your age , doing something quite different and I think maybe even very soulful , trying to sensibilize people to bike riding , an adventure that you are the real protagonist that can feel the good ( and even the sometimes bad ) things of the places and people during your long espeditions , having the time to think , admire ,reflect ,elaborate and memorize while travelling in a quite alternative and much slower pace . Much a different way of seeing places in a /mordi e fuggi/ way .( …that means bite & go in Italian , …

    and sorry for my poor English 🙂

    Admire Greece , and keep it up .. hope you have a great tour !

  10. Grant Southam says:

    Thanks Darren for taking the time to share your experiences. It really does help 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

  11. Nick Parker says:


    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.

    Now, 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.

  12. Logan says:

    Great information about cycling and touring! After reading Darren’s adventures it will leave you with one thing on your mind and that is “when can I leave?” 🙂

  13. Norman Pettit says:


    I just wanted to tell you how impressed I am with the content of your e-mails I have recently subscribed to. One of my goals in life has been to ride the Pacific Coast Highway from the Canadian to the Mexican borders. I recently placed this goal on my vision board and not long after, your web site showed up. Having never done anything more serious than a day trip here or there, I am in the learning mode about this hobby and the information you’ve been sending is quite relevant.

    I’ll be gradually gathering all of the pieces (physical and logistical) to make this trip happen and your information is cornerstone of my preparation. Also, as much as possible, I will purchase items via any affiliate links you have with bike supply companies.

    Keep up the good work!

    And many thanks,


  14. Dave Fuller says:

    This site has been 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 web sights…awesome!

    Wish I could have been along with you on some of your tours. You are “the man”

  15. Peter Beers says:

    Hey Darren.

    Thanks for all the effort you’ve put into the web site. It is great. I did a lot of touring in the late 70s and early 80s and then just went on to do other things. I’m building a bike this winter so that I can get back to touring next summer. Your site has been a great source of info and inspiration. We’re not doing anything too fancy… just a few thousand miles in about 4 weeks through New England and the Mid-Atlantic region.

    It is the first in a line of many.

    Keep up the good work.


  16. Jarin Spencer says:

    Hi Darren,

    Your website is an amazing source of information. Thank you for newsletter, it’s awesome. Thank you so much for all the information. The more and more I learn about other people’s experiences touring the more confident I feel about doing it.

  17. Justine Pattantyus says:

    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. Thanks for the great touring newsletter offering – 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!

  18. Brenda M. Waller says:

    Keep up the good work, you are providing a great service to bikers everywhere. You are truly an inspiration!!!

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

  20. Daniel Kisacky says:

    As a newbie to touring the site really helped me and it still helps me keep motivated for my tour. At first I was a little hesitant about buying the blue print book because I thought here’s a guy just trying to make money, he’s just doing this for money he doesn’t really care. Then I sent a email got help right away eveytime I asked a question I got help. so I bought the book and know I can say because of that book I know were to start planning and feel that much more confident that I will finsh my tour in July. great site don’t stop and if your ever on the east coast let me know would love to ride with you.

  21. Bruce Chulka says:

    I have appreciated the practical advice and product reviews the website offers. Reading the stories of your adventures has motivated me to do a lot more riding and I am planning on making a few more trips.

  22. Daniel Kisacky says:

    you don’t have to respond to this just want you to know i took your advice and took the bike computer off for my weekend long ride and wow i enjoyed it a lot more i wasn’t looking at every 2 feet. thanks love your site.

  23. Yan says:

    Hi Darren,

    Firstly, I haven’t purchase my bike yet as I am still saving but as you said in your book, taking the first step is the most important. I am now more focus and I am pacing myself, working out and reading materials about bikes. My first purchase will comes end of this month, a bike helmet which i saw it online. The nest will be to put a deposit down for the Surly and next I get the Lone Peak panniers. So this is the schedule I am running at the moment. It still far away but I know I can make it and can’t wait for the day I am going to ride the bike. With the bike, a whole lot more options for me to travel and its mind boggling.

    Anyway thanks for your advice and I really hope can meet up with you someday and thank you personally for changing my life and put some focus back into my dull life. Cheers!

  24. Gemma says:

    A great website, both informative and exciting – it provides solid advice on how to get started and gives you the confidence to get on your bike and go for it! Thank you!

  25. T C Gruia says:

    It never gets boring reading Darren’s site. Updated regularly, you get all the info you need to plan your bike tour.
    Great resource of info.

  26. Dale Wahowiak says:

    Hi Darren,

    I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate what you do with bicycletouringpro; The emails, the Traveler’s Blueprint I purchased and the helpful videos (YouTube). You have given me incite into making the proper preparations for a tour this summer, and for that I thank you!

    Good luck, Darren, and Peace!

  27. William Miller says: is a comprehensive site for any individual interested in learning more about and and every aspect of bicycle touring. It’s obvious that Darren Alf 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.

  28. Michael LaMacchia says:

    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 in to it. My inspiration comes from my father who, when in college (1970’s), rode across the states and every since 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.

  29. Jenn says:

    your amazing Darren ~ Thanks so much for all your energy & 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 your preparing for the road. Thanks so Much Darren~! invaluable.

  30. Tom Young says:


    I enjoyed your pictures of the KATY Trail. We must have just missed you (and happily the rain as well). My buddy and I started on May 21st and finished on May 23rd. We camped in Booneville, Tebbetts (not really camping) and Klondike Park near Defiance on the last night. You articles and book really helped me prepare and other than a tender hind end my body and equipment held up well. I used my street converted Specialized Hard Rock and a Bob Yak trailer. 257 miles in 3 1/ 2 days. Hope your trip was as good as ours.


  31. Kris Torrey says:

    Touring is the ultimate website for the bicycle touring enthusiast, whether traveling 5 miles or 50,000. It is chock-full of useful information, down-to-earth and friendly in tone, and accurately helpful enough to enable any cycle tourist complete the most successful of journeys.

  32. Dave Fuller says:

    I am so looking forward to what you have been doing for the past 10 years…long distance bicyle touringl…and cannot thank you enough for all the suggestions and stories I have listened to and watched in you videos and articles.
    Thanks again.

  33. Donna Gatz says:

    You’ve done an incredible job of creating a career out of something you not only love to do, but enjoy teaching about as well. 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!

  34. Peter McLean says:

    Reading the information given on has given me reassurance that I really can do my trip! The e-mails I have received have given me a good focus on what I need to know and how to do things I wouldn’t have thought of before.

  35. Diane Keim says:

    Thank you so much for all the information. This is going to be the most awsomelywickedlicious summer. Thanks to you it is going to be safe, happy, and well organized. Your emails have made it easy to plan and prepare for this.
    Blessed Be.

  36. Eveline says:

    It’s a shame I only found your site after many cycle touring endeavours, but even as an experienced cycle tourer I love to read your reviews of gear and usefull advice for on the road. You’re doing an excellent job of promoting this respectful way of travel with everybody who has the slightest sense of adventure and beyond that your site is a treasure for anyone with an interest in cycle touring. Keep up the good work.

  37. Lisa Liljeberg says:

    Hi Darren,

    I have biked all my life, including working as a bike touring guide for Butterfield & Robinson, but am a definite novice at long distance bike touring! Your site has helped me prepare for my trip from Tuscany to Munich this September, including selecting panniers and rebuilding my bike for touring.
    Yours is the best site I have found and I read all your emails!

    thanks again!

  38. dan says:

    Gday Darren I found the list of touring bikes you have put on your web site helpful. As Im looking to buy a touring bicycle in the near future. I had no idea there was so many to choose from. Regards Dan.

  39. Jeffrey Katrencik says:

    I am a relatively new bicycle tourist planning a huge trip from New York City to Cancun, Mexico to attend the upcoming UN Conference on Climate Change this November. I have used your site extensively when deciding upon my bike and gear for the trip. The user reviews have been particularly helpful so I am happy to add one myself.

    Jeff, TheBikingBrewer

  40. Juan Crespo says:

    Ha sido de gran ayuda para poder elegir la bicicleta plegable adecuada para hacer cicloturismo, y todos los consejos sobre acampada, mecánica, y todo lo relacionado con los viajes en bici de larga duración. Gracias

  41. Daniel Shin says:

    Darren! Thanks for your, I could enjoy the beautiful scenery around the world.
    I am still afraid of several days of bicycle tour, but now, I can do a one day tour about 60km around the city.
    Some day I think I can do a overseas bicycle tour like you did.

    Thanks again!

    See you!

  42. jim presley says:

    This July, I will be purchasing a touring bicycle. Your website has given me the knowledge and confidence, to know that I will be successful in my future touring days. I find your 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 an rich education in long distance touring.

  43. Les Mullins says:

    Hi from downunder Darren,
    for an oldie starting out, you and your materials have been, nay, are a great confidence builder.
    great job

  44. sharon Hadad says:

    I love your videos, especially the one about Lone peak panniers being waterproof. I got a kick out of you putting the bags in the shower and turning on the water for a while it is great that you take the time and come up with great ideas to demonstrate your point. Thanks for a great site.

  45. Geoff Shannon says:

    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.

  46. Shane says:

    Great, helpful site, reconfirms my thoughts that you can do it yourself without having to go purchase all of the ‘ideal’ gear you would want in the long run. Dance with who brung ya, and then buy better clothes as you move along!

  47. Robert Earle says:

    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&Patricia

  48. Darrin Sumner says:

    While I don’t really care if I win or not I do want to thank you for the great e-book you wrote. With your advice I’ve ignored all the nay sayers and have taken my first long self supported bike tour…it was a blast!

  49. JAC ROSENBERG says:

    Hi Darren,

    I found your website with a GOOGLE search.
    I’m 50 years old, and i re-started riding a bicycle last year.

    My daughter wanted a bicycle for her 10th birthday. I hadn’t been on a bike in about 20 years and i thought it might be fun to ride again.

    I bought her a SS cruiser, and i found a used hybrid for myself.
    I’d forgotten how much i loved being on a bike.

    I had a dream many years ago to ride a Trans-America. Well, I’m planning for the ride now.

    Your website has been invaluable in helping me plan this ride.


  50. Frank Sanders says:

    I learned how and what to pack on your website. Additonally, I think one of the greatest values of your site is convincing people that anyone can do a tour. It just takes a little planning for an adventure just down the road from your home. Thanks.

  51. Eddie says:

    I learned a lot from this helpful site. I especially like the time that has been put into the well thought out videos and visual aids.

  52. Nancy says:

    I have learned a lot of little tips from your site and postings, but I think the most I learned was about Global Earth and how to use that for touring and setting up points of interests routes. I have not actually used it yet, but think it will be a big addition to my touring interests and route finding. I am not yet very good at it nor well “schooled” in the intricacies of it, but I will work at learning more about using this idea. Thanks Darren

  53. Robert W Ethridge says:

    Last year My wife and I rode from Boston Mass. to Kenniebunk MA. In the back of my head the whole time I remember you talking about how to pack , and if you dont need ot send it home via the mail.
    Man I tryed really hard to get is done, after the first day of 70 miles and 54 pounds on my bob Ibex. That was the hardest day of ridding in my 30 years plus of riding.
    But it was all worth it to see my wife look so good after we went out to deinner in her nice clothes I towed across the state.
    Next time I will pack lighter thanks to you, and now she has watched the video you had about packing, so the may help my legs next time.

  54. Jennifer Kehoe says:

    Home is simply a state of mind! 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 tour biking…security in the little voice in the back of my head- 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.

  55. Tina Laurence says:

    I have learned a great deal from this website…..namely how to pack wisely for a tour and essential gear to take along etc. First and foremost, is that…. you can do anything you set your mind to… like, taking that tour that seems out of reach or doing it solo. I recently just purchased a touring bike and have been commuting on it regularly. I keep learning new things from your site and have been mentally storing all the good insight for all the upcoming tours I have been planning while, daydreaming about them at work.

  56. Chris Kmotorka says:

    I’ve learned a lot from your site! One that has made a huge difference is your coverage of handlebar bags. I ended up buying the Lone Peak through your site and it’s the best investment I’ve ever made for my bike. In general the packing tips have been very useful.

  57. Linda Imle says:

    Darren, what you have taught me about how to use my panniers and handlebar bag has made my touring so much easier. my goal is to be able to cycle around the world, alone most likely, and as a senior female cyclist your site has given me the confidence I have needed to fulfill my dream. I don’t want to carry as much gear as i have seen other cyclist who have come to visit and to start from Anchorage, Alaska to other wild places. I have done several short trips, including in China and you have really helped me a lot. My gear is great, light and on the mark for what i want.

  58. Jorgen Larsen says:

    Havent spent that much time on this site. I mainly used it to get an overview of bike companies that make bikes with crooked handlebars. But for that it’s been great. Thanks a lot. I have been reading your emails with great interest though. Even though im not a rookie in the touring world, it’s been nice having my mind being refreshed on a lot of touring related subjects. And it so much wanted me to go touring again. So as soon as I get my new bike, my Devinci was stolen, ill be back out.

    Thanks a lot

  59. Muddah's Bikes says:

    Thanks D:

    Thanks for sharing all your experience – all of your practical tech tips & tips!
    But what Muddah learned most was that anybody can follow his dream and become a bicycle tourist – it isnt just for the “Elite” its for all of us and you have made so many of our dreams a reality by your practical insights and experience.
    Plus, we all feel like we are friends of yours – little birds you have pushed off of the porch onto their bicicles… I know that is rewarding, because I is a muddah me me self


  60. Gabriel Triggs says:


    I just wanted to let you know what your site has taught me above all else – to be adaptable. Last summer, a few friends and I started our first bike trip in the podunk town of Newnan, GA, headed for Helen, a mountain town in the foothills of the Appalachians. We never made it to Helen, but even through countless detours, equipment malfunctions, and a run-in with a power plant security guard (apparently taking pictures of bicycle tourers in front of coal plants is a threat to national security), we had an amazing time.

    Your site taught me that, regardless of what changes the journey may take on, it is still a journey worth taking.


  61. Ben says:

    Darren, as a new adventurer, the information you’ve shared has been vital to preparing me for my first trip. Most importantly, the emphasis you put on proper planning and packing has been important in getting me ready in ways I didn’t consider much before.


  62. Blue Young says:

    I love the continued enthusiasm you show through your site! I’ve been touring for several years, but to get someone else’s ideas about how to go about packing and planning is very useful (and fun!). Keep up the excellent work! I’m sure there are many more folks traveling by bike due to the confidence gained from your site.

    happy trails!

  63. Andrew Hughes says:

    Although I haven’t been able to get on the road on my bicycle journey throughout the USA your site has been a good reference point for me to keep my plans focused. Plus I’m going to have to buy a newer bicycle and gear and this site helps me keep my shopping list real too. I hope to be on the road sometime in the fall.

  64. Michael says:

    Hey Darren,

    Your site and newsletter have helped me immensely. I’ve only done short weekend stints so far (still in school) but I wouldn’t have had any idea what to do if not for your site! Your advice to always have rain clothes was a life saver, it started raining just three hours into the day, even though the forecast was “sunny”. Quick change of pants and a rain jacket, and I was on my way again.

    Thanks a bunch!

  65. Michael Rosenfield says:


    I started biking seriously while I was teaching English in Korea. I used it to get around instead of the subway. The following year before my contract had ended, I had thought of creating a ride for cause. I wanted in Japan, from Fukuoka to Tokyo. I came across your website and began to listen to your advice and experiences of bicycle touring. I incorporated your ideas and tips into my tour and raised money for Breast Cancer.


  66. Norm Church says:

    One of the things I have learned from your website is that it is never too late to get involved in bicycle touring or camping and that everyone can pursue it at their own desired level of involvement. I am 68 years old and have done a lot of biking but not much camping or touring.

    I started out two years ago with a couple of solo over-night camp-outs of about 30-miles each way. This Memorial day, I decided to join a group on a 4-day 212-mile trip on the Columbia River Gorge in Washington and Oregon. This would have been the longest trip on a fully-loaded touring bike. I traveled 55-miles the first day in pouring rain and was soaked at our first campsite. The next day we did a 65-mile trek to our second campsite. I had come down with a terrible cold and cough by then and made it 38-miles into the third day before dropping out with a terrific cough. I later came down with a flu bug and have been off my bike recovering for nearly three weeks now.

    Many of my friends think I did quite well with my effort and even though I didn’t complete my main goal of 4 days, I am also satisfied with what I did. I am waiting for a little more time and then getting back into enjoying a summer of bicycle camp-outs.

    thanks…and I have enjoyed you book on bicycle touring…Norm Gladstone, OR

  67. P. Lloyd-Davies says:

    Thanks for giving me the tools to tour efficiently, know more about technical tools related to quality screen time, and the sense to put riding first and screen time second.

  68. Ken Werner says:

    Hey Darren,
    I’ve learned that your name is not a misprint from watching your videos. I’ve also learned that bicycling can become part of a way of life that brings people together. It has done that for me and my fiance Jessamy, another name I discovered was not a misprint. I bought her a bike that she liked, not one I would have liked, for her birthday and they hit it off right away. She tried it out in an empty part of the large sporting goods store parking lot and disappeared for a few minutes over a hill. When she got back she was glowing, and the bike had a new name, Rapunzel (possibly misspelled).
    The reason she wanted a (inexpensive) bike was because she saw how interested I had become in your site and others like it. She wanted to to share that joy with me and now we do. We have a sort of luxurious bicycle honeymoon planned. Although I do point out how much farther and longer we could go using examples from your site, it is a honeymoon after all.
    Thanks, Ken

  69. Harold Goeckeritz says:

    Hi Darren!
    Even in old Age it is not to late to plan a trip on a bike.Enjoy reading your web site.Keep up the good work.How can you find the easiest route from cost to cost,which has good scenery and not much traffic.Before I get much older I need to do it

  70. Kevin M. says:

    I found your website while sufing the net for bike touring info. Boy, did I ever strike gold! So much information to go through. I’m a gear nut, so I especially love checking out your gear lists and product reviews. I even made a couple of alcohol stoves using your video.
    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!

  71. brittany says:

    i can’t actually chose just one thing i’ve learned. but you have tons and tons of information available. it’s all extremely useful, from recaps of your first hand experiences to product reviews, to packing tips, and other visitor comments. i’m planning a self-supported x-country tour for next summer and was wicked stoked to come across your site. it’s been a great comprehensive resources for everything tour related! looking forward to testing out some gear and tips and reporting back on my adventure!

  72. Joel Bickford says:

    I learned not to tour according to time but rather by destination. You can’t control weather and breakdowns but you can control attitude and perserverence. I also like the advice to just try it even a short tour on what you have or can get your hands on. It is a blast. Thank You

  73. Gary says:

    I’ve learned that touring can be done easily on a number of different types of bikes and that it doesn’t have to be endless miles in the saddle. For instance, I really like the idea of having a home base somewhere and taking day trips from there. What better way to get to know an area! Also, I am thankful that you are promoting using a bicycle as a primary means of transportation and exploring our world around us, rather than just for recreation or fitness/competition. Keep up the good work!

  74. Guy Bouchard says:

    Hi Darren.

    Your last long trip inspired me about an area of the world. We are preparing for a one year long trip in 2013 (we need this time to save money). Your trip make me aware of this nice area in the world. You make me think about this money making when travelling thing too.


  75. Donald arbeene says:

    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, 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. I have read books about people who have gone from alaska to Terra Del Fuego. 17,500 miles. I hope that when i retire that i can chase you down and get a group ride to Some place you haven’t been before.God Speed my Friend and Ride Safe. Don’t stop doing what your doing. Thank You, Donald

  76. Yan Cheang says:

    I hoped and I guessed I’m the only Asian guy subscribe to your website and I thoroughly enjoy reading your stories , reviews , etc on bicycle touring and that helps me to made up my mind and inspire me to take up the sport. To be frank, I don’t have any interest in anything, whatsoever 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 opened another path for me and taught us to stop and smell the roses along the road. Thanks!

  77. Ken Poindexter says:

    Excellent website! Great information which I used in planning and also during my seven day tour of the Florida Keys in March.

  78. Nour Nazef says:

    I’ve leaaned a lot from Darren’s webcasts and videos. From preparing for a tour to finding a place to spend the night (from stealth camping to staying at a 5 star hotel for FREE).

    Thanks Darren

  79. Louis Melini says:


    Great bunch of comments. Not sure if I can add much. Mostly bike touring is about having the right attitude. Your site provides the means to help anyone (experienced or not) have the right attitude to bike tour.

  80. ConnieD says:

    I learned about TrackMyTour. I have it on my iPod Touch. I love it.
    I went to Adventure Cycling Association, you recommended.
    How did I hear about it? I “listened” to your videos I watched. I read your website.
    In fact, I have a load of Bookmarks, from you, with great information.
    I even told a friend he should be able to update and maintain his website he had made for him involving HTML and CSS templates, because you said that is what you do with your website design business.
    All the best, Darren.

  81. Ed says:

    I’ve enjoyed your site for a couple of years now after discovering your Articles in Adventure Cycling. Your tips are simply invaluable. I love your enthusiasim and want to thank you for fueling my pashion for Touring. Keep up the good work and I hope to read more of your travels and interviews in the future.

  82. sandi says:

    I figured, at my age, doing a 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 guys 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

  83. Byker Doug Leggett says:

    I have enjoyed reading more on your experinced biking in other countries and how you interact with the people living there.

  84. Ronnie Jones says:

    Through your e-mail course I was able to hear reinforced information as can be found in your Bike Travelling blueprint. This helped me both to remember what I had covered and also it gave focus to points which were most vital which was a great help.

  85. Kevin Lambert says:

    Never could pack my panneirs properply until I found out how with your help on youtube. Also learned from you only the essentials are necessary. Thanks for the help. I also enjoy the videos of you trips which wet my appetite to get out there on a road trip myself. Hope to find someone to do a weeklong trip the Natchez trace this fall. Thank you sir.

  86. Budianastas P says:

    Hello Darren,

    I have yet to do my bicycle touring, but your website provides me with useful information and motivation to make it happen.
    Bike touring is not yet popular in my country, despite its breathtaking landscape and culture. I have been a bicycle commuter so far and already I enjoy the way & feel city scape and town scape emerging before me through the ride.

    I hope one day you can hit our road too. – Budi from Indonesia

  87. A. Malaika Sharp says:

    In addition to providing often times much needed inspiration and motivation, I found the tools for planning a successful tour very helpful. The first time that I used them was spring and summer 2008. They proved invaluable in helping us to organize and plan our destinations in a timely manner. It was also great to have all of the information captured in one place.

    I continue to use the tools in preparation for each touring season.

    We have shared the tools with other touring cyclists. They have also found them helpful. Thank you very much.

    Malaika and Clifford Sharp

  88. Tony says:


    Great site.

    I’m intending to go from the south of mainland Australia to the northern most point. Havn’t done any touring before so the site has been good to get advice on equipent and types of bikes to use.

  89. Peter S says:

    You generously and thoroughly provide alot of great touring info – for free! I particularly liked the video of re-packing your Friday for the first time; taught me to make careful and acurate pictures for re-packing my collapsible bike ( a Moulton, not a Friday.) Keep up he good work!

  90. Scott Messer says:

    Hey Darren,

    As a newbie to touring I obviously found the recommendations on touring gear and road info of great value, but the photos and commentary from others is equally encouraging to getting out on the roadways.

    Thanks for the great site!

  91. Dennis Gonzalez says:

    I want to thank you for all the advice you have given us cyclists for all these years. You have helped some of us start and many of us continue the wonderful journey on two human powered wheels

  92. DanOnRans says:

    Followed your recommendation and read “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougal. Wow! Thanks for the reference.


  93. Roselady says:

    Dear Mr. Alff. I just want to say thank you. I have learned a lot. Safety on the road, maintain my bicycle, how to pack, and I can do this. I have always told people to be true to themselves and to believe in themselves and they can do anything they set their hearts to. You helped reaffirm that for myself. I am not going to lie. Yes I am a little scared. I lost my follower. But I still believe this is going to be the best summer of my life. Not only am I going on an amazing bicycle ride, but I am going to be doing a lot of good. We have raised a lot of money for the Washoe Club, and I have made some AWSOMELYWICKEDLICIOUS new friends. Thank you for all your help and instructions. You helped me remember If I am true to myself and believe in myself. This to will be reached. Dude you ROCK. Sometime this week you can see my ride introduction on the Washoe site. Stay Wicked. I thank you and my daughter thanks you.

  94. Scott Murray says:

    Hello Darren,

    Reading the information from your site is helping in the selection of equipment to buy or not to buy for my own folding bicycle touring.


  95. Phil says:

    Your e-mails and website have been quite helpful in planning our first touring trip. On a number of occasions I would receive your e-mail addressing a topic/hurdle that we were trying to overcome that very moment. The “mapping your bike trip” topic was very helpful, especially given that the route planning took the most time.

    Thanks for everything!

  96. Stephen Ballachey says:

    Count me as those that have purchased the book and read it cover to cover. Just wanted to thank you for furthering me down this path for not all who wander is true. Best Regards, Stephen Ballachey

  97. Diane Keim says:

    Your email course has been amazing. I have looked forward to the new updates even on the road. Thank you so much. Because of you and your course I will be arriving in Virginia City Nevada. On Bike Saturday the 31, 2010. around noon. I don’t know if I could have made it with out your course. The monies raised is awsome and the ride was wicked. Thank you.

  98. Charimaine Blinco says:

    I’ve had a quick look over your book, and I cannot wait to print these off and have an extensive look. As I journey further – will think of you and how inspirational and passionate you are about bicycle touring. I look forward to travelling some miles. Thanks again. Charmaine.

  99. Gregory Swigert says:

    thanks darren i’m so glad to find someone who is like minded all your advise has been ininvaluable this stealth camping andfindind a good place to pitch a tent.Im glad for all your advice and would like to tour with you anywhere.anytime

  100. Stuart Appleton says:


    Just wanted to say thanks for the fantastic emails and informative website. I am planning an extended trip for departure next year, and i am gathering us much information from people like yourself before i tke the plunge.

    Looking forward to the next instalment,

    Regards, Stuart A

  101. Jan Lane says:

    Hi Darren,

    I really enjoyed listening to the Cycle for Change interview. I will be ordering your book shortly.

    My husband and I decided to take a bike trip around southern Vancouver Island next in a couple of weeks. We are from California and have travelled by car all over Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast over the past 18 years. We’ve talked a lot of one day biking it up around this area and finally made the commitment. We are recreational bikers, not “cyclists” as you mentioned in the interview, and will be renting hybrids with panniers, etc. to ride 40 miles west from Victoria past Sooke, mostly along the Galloping Goose trail which you also seemed to referenced in your interview. We will then ride back to Victoria and up to Swartz Bay and take our bikes to Mayne Island for a couple of days. It’s a short trip, only a week but I am so excited to finally be getting to do a trip like this. We will not be camping this time around, though I do love to camp, but will be staying at some wonderfully rustic lodging.

    I just wanted to give you some background and to tell you that I am so glad to have found your web site because I feel the stirrings of passion for bike touring already takitng hold and reading your newsletter, hearing your interview, etc. has really been a motivator. I’ve downloaded your packing list and can’t wait to read your book.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and knowledge to help those that are just starting out or those veterans that could use some helpful insight into making the trip so much more.

    Jan Lane
    Palm Desert, CA

  102. Louis Keller Jr says:

    c Love your web site. It helps me fantasize about what I’d really like to do with my time. I’ve been an avid biker for for over 30 years. I commute with a dedicated road racer (pannier equipped) in and around New Orleans as fast as I can. That’s my style. I see my self now packing up to look for work or opportunities along the Gulf Coast. This will be the first over the road trip for me. I feel confident I can make it because of the knowledge gained from your site and others’ similar too it. No, this isn’t a pleasure motivated trip but I plan too enjoy it like a tour just the same. There is beautiful scenery to be seen down here as well.


  103. Cinda Weisgerber says:

    Hey Darren,
    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 – camping (not as much as I wanted to as I didn’t want to stealth camp nor stay in campgrounds where no one else was staying – just wasn’t comfortable for me to do that), hostels, friends from Facebook, warmshowers, and couchsurfing, and relatives a couple of nights. Had a total blast – had one really bad experience on my first afternoon in Pittsburgh when I was on a detour from the Eliza Furnace Trail – pedaling down a not busy street – I was on the right hand side and a car came intentionally at me from the left lane – you could see the evil in the guy’s eyes – he didn’t hit me but in the process of me speeding up to avoid that I hit the curb and came down with the loaded bike on top of me. I was fortunate that I only sustained some serious bruises and no broken bones. However I couldn’t use my right hand for anything but shifting for several days and that was painful.
    It shook my confidence a lot, but I found a quiet place to rest, pray, and re-focus. By the time I hit the GAP trail on Saturday afternoon and pedaled there for about 30 minutes I knew I would be okay. I was blessed in so many ways during the remainder of my journey and feel extremely happy and proud of my achievement. I also left 14.2 pounds on the trail about 15 inches of body fat so that was a great accomplishment too as I found it difficult to find healthy food in the trail towns.
    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

  104. John says:

    Hey Darren Alff! You have a great web site! Thanks for all the time you put into your web site. I get some much out of your work. I love biking! My wife and I will be taking a trip next year! We love to bike together! I love all the stores you share!

  105. Kathy says:

    Your emails keep the “want to” bug alive in me. I’ve never done an actual tour ~ yet ~ but hopefully someday!

  106. Hans Pligge says:

    Hey Darren,thanks for all the info. This is my last year of PE teaching(35 years) in Oswego ,Illinois and I have told a few people I will be riding everywhere I can once I retire. My plan is to make a trip cross country in the near future. Keep up the great work.

  107. Nelson Mathion says:

    I learned that the biker travels, in “slow motion”, exactly to watch, stop, talk to the people, change ideas about the trip, the terrain, the village, the roads, the water source, the wheather, the world, the life. Because the world passes slownessly under his wheels (and eyes). That´s I learned at the Bicycle Touring. It is all there.

    The entire reading of the world can be done only by bicycling. Or walking. (words from Renata Falzoni, a brazilian bicyclist).

    Nelson – Jundiaí, SP, Brazil

  108. James says:

    Thank you very much for your kind wishes, and to the messages you are sending in your email newsletters. indeed they were not just interesting and informative ones, but I also greatly enjoyed your writing style, it seems you are not just a cyclist but an adventure writer! furthermore, I also enjoyed reading your messages for they open to us (the ones who spend 8 hrs on our office saddles) new beautiful perspectives and it point out to the possibility of breaking the prison of daily routine all you need is guts and will to follow your dream, which is not easy to do in this consumption society, thus we are much happy to wait for the weekends of the spring season!

    Best regards, and thank you once more, wishing you all success, much courage (I guess you do not need this wish) health and a great cycling trip.


  109. Richard says:

    I want you to know that I’ve loved your site, your tips, and your auto-emails; they’ve all been very helpful. Thank you.

    If you ever want to read some of the blathering I’ve done about my new passion for cycling and such, I just started blogging at:

    Keep well, and keep writing…you do great stuff.

  110. Colin Kenney says:


    Going to turn 67 this April and will do my first cross USA solo 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.

    Continued safe roads to you

    Colin Kenney
    Long Beach, CA

  111. Linda Wells says:

    Darren, thank you for the emails. I just watched yourutube video “Summing up my 2009 bicycle tour through Europe”, and it was very informative. The reason I signed up for your e-mail is because I am going on a 2 week tour in the Czech Republic/Austria in May. Watching the videos and reading blogs/emails helps me prepare for this trip as this is my first cycling trip. (road cycling). I am an avid mountain biker, so this is a new journey for me and I am very excited about it.

  112. dan says:

    Hi just wanted to say I never realized how much money I can save and pollution by riding a bike. I love riding around my neighborhood and going on small trips. I hope everyone rides bikes because they are good for your health and mind. Thanks, Dan

  113. james neal pipes says:

    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 a overwhelming desire when you find yourself in the precarious position of losing that opportunity. I wish I could express how much your enthusiasmm for biking has driven me to exceed the Dr.s expectations of my recovery and driven me to accept that there will be limitations in my abilities, AND that that is OK to! 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 sense your web site is funding your traveling adventures, but I don’t think you realize of 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. Think I’ll take a spin around the neighborhood. Hope to hear from you again soon. I sincerely thank you. Please use this endorsement in any way you see fit.


    James Neal Pipes

  114. Liat Gat says:


    Your email newsletter offers such great advice! I feel like you are really going to help me make my first bicycle tour a success!

    Thanks so much for your emails,


    (PS I’m VERY selective about whose email lists I am on – yours is great!)

  115. Rosemarie Nadelen says:

    In regards to The Bicycle Traveler’s Blueprint, 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).

    I began last night by re-reading the PDF of the “Bicycle Traveler’s Blueprint”, making a list of gear that I have on hand, what I need to buy, and mapping out my daily routes, distance, topography & camping/lodging resources for the 375-miles round trip.

    My first training ride up Ute Pass will be a test to decide “panniers or trailer”. In the meantime, I’ll use the trailer in town to train for that first ride up the pass. (We have no shortage of hills to challenge here in Colorado Springs).

    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.

    Rosemarie Nadelen

  116. Megan Lucy says:

    Thank you for the tips!

    I also just wanted to say thank you for all that you are doing with your business. Your articles, photos, experiences, emails, etc. are incredibly helpful as I continue to plan for my first tour.

    Thanks and happy riding!

  117. Zeng Xuyun says:

    thanks a lot for creating bicycletouringpro, I’m sure the resources inside have helped quite a lot of people! There are some areas about the website that are really true and inspiring, such as your own solo tour at 17, the packing list which I’ve been telling everyone is the best preparation tool ever, and also the number of truths about cycling that you write in there, such as touring is addictive although ironically, it’s not a walk in the park at all. I don’t know why we put ourselves through such masochism, but I’m sure gonna do another one!


  118. lowell smoger says:

    Hey Darren,

    If you haven’t checked it out yet, I’m making my way across the country (well “into the country” is more like it). My glorified blog is and your website was so much help that I put you on my Links page.

    Steel on,


  119. Doug says:

    Thanks for all the information. I just think its Amazing you been around the world on a bike, for you young age…What adventous spirit…:)….

  120. Adam Bruk says:

    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. I found your article about flying with your bike extremely informative. Airfare is expensive enough, but the rates most airlines charge to fly your bike is outrageous. I recently purchased a bike bag, and as a premier on United Airlines, it counts towards one of my two free bags. I believe standard baggage rates apply, as long as it’s under 50 lbs.

  121. Philip Reed says:

    Good morning, Darren!

    I wanted to take a moment to commend you on the Bicycle Touring Pro blog. It’s definitely a great resource for people looking for solid cycling information and advice, and I really enjoy the helpful and informative content that you post. In particular, I enjoyed the recent interview with Luke Heller. What a great way to tie fitness (and awareness of fitness) into helping a great cause. He’s very inspirational, and I know his efforts are rightfully appreciated by so many. I thank you for spotlighting him and his selfless work.

  122. Bob Dixon says:

    I would like to thank you for your very informative site.

    I am 63 and live in the North East of England. I have recently taken up cycling for health reasons. I have always done a lot of hiking and a little bit of camping and thought it would be nice to combine the two using the bike. At the moment I have only been doing weekend cycle camping but would like to do a longer trip.

    Your site and others like it really inspire me to do this. Keep up the good work.



  123. Willis ONeill says:

    I spent may years touring during my 20’s and 30’s(now 54)and this recent trip across Europe showed me that not only do I love it,but that I’m still physically more than capable.It is my intent to eventually ride across all 7(?)continents.I’ll admit I’m a bit of a maniac prefering to ride long days,I just enjoy being in the saddle vs. exploring local sites.I rode the 4,100 km. of the eurovelo 6 in 29 days,camping out all but 3 days and thrived on all aspects of the touring lifestyle.I’ve just got to tell you that I really admire what you’ve done w/your site and may you cont. the good work!I’m sure you’ve got lots of people like me trying to pump you for info.,so share what you can when you can and I’ll appreciate any and all info. you send along!Thanks,Willis

  124. Conrad Jay Bohl says:

    Can not believe the amount of info on your web-site, thank you. I am thinking about doing my 1st tour from Seattle WA- Cleveland OH next summer solo. No I’m not a serious bike rider (truth is I would even have to buy a bike). But hey I want to see IF I can do it. Have not done something extreme since I left the AirForce Special Forces (Combat Controller)back in 94 and I’m feeling the need to accomplish something big! But family & friends think I’m crazy and I don’t think they believe I’m really thinking about doing it. Now is I can talk my wife into letting me buy a Novara Safari so I can start riding.

  125. Richard Welch says:

    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. Even if I had only gained one thing, it would have been worth it, however, I gained much. Not young anymore, and I needed all the help and encouragement I could get. Thanks Again for making this public. Richard.

  126. Erik Ribeiro says:

    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. My friend Yiqi got me into cycling and in particular, touring. I’m sure he’ll love your books. I’m also sure he will lead more people to your site and hopefully win you more happy customers. Keep doing the good work you do!


  127. Kerri McKenna says:

    Hi Darren

    Thank you so much for your course and eBook. Reading the emails has been fun and informative! Even better I am now set up and planning a tour. I did my first ‘practice run’ with a loaded bike (all good) this week and am planning a two day camping adventure for next week. I am joining a touring club but also checking out routes to do some rides in my state (Victoria, Australia) this summer. Next year I would like to do a longer ride up the coast (still trying to work out how the hubby and my job fit in).

    Your encouragement and wisdom has been great, many thanks


  128. chloe jasmin says:

    awe this is great information! I’m so happy to have found this website! I just recently this past year got into bicycling and planning my first cross country tour! but learning all on my own. Thanks again! 🙂

    <3 Chloe

  129. Roger says:

    Hi Darren:

    You have no idea how glad i am to have found your Web site. I am planning a cross Canada bike trip in the summer of 2013. I have little/ no experience in planning this trip so whatever help I can find will be great.

    Looking forward to all of your information.

    Roger Richard

  130. Meredith Secomb says:

    Thanks very much, Alff. I’ve really enjoyed reading your bicycle touring email newsletter

    It has shown me that the things i have done on the cycle tours I have done over the last couple of years have been spot on. Great encouragement! Thank you!

    You write clearly, incisively and informatively, with a most enjoyable way of engaging the reader.

    Congratulations, and thank you!


  131. Jane van der Spuy says:

    Hello Darren,

    I haven’t even finished reading your book yet and already I’m excited and inspired!

    My husband Charles and I live in South Africa and have just done a four day cycle around the island of Mauritius – not huge distances – four days and 260 km but it was enough to tempt us into looking to see ‘what else we could do’. We’re now cancelling our annual beach holiday and are planning a cycling holiday and I know your book is going to be a great resource. The ‘choosing your destination’ section of your book really resonated as we both love Asia so are looking at the possibilities of Hanoi to Hong Kong (with some trains/boats snuck in along the way). Unfortunately we have to wait until December but the planning and excitement is part of the fun and in so doing we’ll be devouring your web site and book for further hints and tips but I really just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration!

    Kind regards

    Jane van der Spuy

  132. Mark McGee says:

    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

  133. Robert says:

    I am very glad to have run across your website. It’s informative without being condescending or snooty. I will be ordering your book Blueprint. I am an novice at best, but have done some out of state credit card tours involving hundreds of miles up and back. Looking forward to your book.

  134. John Suscovich says:

    I bought a copy of your book on getting “free” hotel rooms. It really paid off in our 5,500 mile tour across the States.

  135. Michael Geisinger says:

    Yes; bicycle touring can be done with an expensive bike and equipment pedaling for long distances for weeks at a time visiting places exotic and no so exotic. It can be the epic journey of a lifetime establishing one as one of the most dedicated of bicyclists.

    What I learned from the website though was something quite different. How the bike and equipment doesn’t need to be so expensive, the distance not so great, and the destination not so much a once in a lifetime opportunity place to visit. The distances need not be so great nor the time with a reduction in the amount of planning and preparation (though basic equipment preparation is the same whether long or short). That even done in this mode it can be a worthwhile endeavor that everyone should experience whether for a week or a long weekend.

    What I come away with may not make the manufacteur’s and builders too happy, but the wanderer inside of me is pleased with what it has learned!

  136. Rudy says:

    Hi Alf- Been follow you on your adventures for some time now. I wasn to thank you for that, and want to encurgage you to keep going. Thanks again Rudy…..

  137. Jo Tan says:

    Hi Darren

    Just wanna to say THANK YOU so much for all bicycle touring emails i received , your emails & ur FB sharing gave me a lot of motivation .

    warmest regars
    Jo Tan
    Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia

  138. Kit Illingworth says:

    Thanks for riding your bike and sending those emails about your adventures.
    You inspire me to think about one more long ride.

  139. Jamal Alakroka says:

    Hi Darren,

    I enjoyed looking at your swiss bike trip may be one day I will try it soon.

    I did two bike trips this summer. The 1st in Colorado during the Pro Bike race in Boulder during August 2012. The 2nd was in early September 2012 Amsterdam.

    Biking is my passion to enjoy sight seeing, meet people and stay in shap.

    Keep sending these inspired emails and news. I appreciate the work and the efforts your doing to premout this all age sport.


    Jamal Alakroka

  140. Rosemarie Nadelen says:

    Awesome, Darren! 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 camping…yet.

    Thanks again for the excellent resource that you are providing for us! It’s so fun to be able to follow your European adventures. And, your photography is awesome!

    I’m looking forward to a long and rewarding relationship with your work.

  141. Derek Gibbs says:

    Hey Darren!

    Thank you very much for your emails! I’m planning a trip from San Diego, CA to LaFollette, TN to visit family over the summer and will be leaving sometime in March. The information in your emails have been very helpful, as have your interviews and youtube videos. I especially enjoyed your friend’s idea of placing the panniers in the corners of your tent in the same orientation as on the bike to ensure you know where everything is going. That just seems brilliant. Thank you again and I’ll be sure to update you about the trip. Have fun in Europe and best of luck to you with the winter cycling book. I’m sure that information will be helpful for me in the mountains.



  142. Peter Wolfe says:

    Love your posts and website. My wife and I rode from San Diego to Yorktown this past summer. We knew we could do it because of you. Thanks. Google “Peter and Karen’s Big Adventure” and you will find us.

  143. Bobby Weaver says:

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

  144. James Stack says:

    Hi Darren

    Just want to say thanks for taking the time to write and send all the useful information, its not easy to get good quality information that actually makes “real world” sense. You have inspired me to dream, and better yet, you have inspired me to enjoy and have fun with my travels.
    I wish you all the best on every road you travel, and have a safe and happy New Year


  145. Carmine Specchia says:

    Dear Darren,

    I cannot begin to explain you how much I’ve appreciated your last post w/ the short video about touring on a bike, and all your work.

    The thought of doing it myself has taken me for the last few months (and has become some sort of fixation, really) and I’m waiting to get a little time off from work to do it and a little warmer weather (spring probably).

    Thank for all you do to promote the biking touring experience, I believe you’re an inspiration for a lot of people like myself.

    Best wishes for the new year,

    Carmine Specchia

    (an Italian-American architect living in the south of Italy that will love to have you over in Ostuni next time you come around the Puglia region).

  146. Graeme Cox says:

    I read your book ( as my girlfriend and I were interested in doing a self guided bicycle tour in Burgundy, France. We have just returned and I have have just bought my 1st touring bike.

    I love reading your books, updates and watching the videos. All I can say is a BIG THANK YOU Darren).

    I am truly amazed by the dedication and effort that you put in to this site. I am so impressed that I talk to all my (non-cycling) friends about it – who knows, maybe we can convert them?

    Graeme Cox – Swanbourne, Australia

  147. Paul Jenkins says:

    Hi Darren,

    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.

    Being a little older than you (67) I couldn’t cope with camping along the way and stayed in modest hotels (of which there are plenty in France) and this certainly does make it an expensive form of travelling (yes there are two l’s in English English!) but it was a great experience and very satisfying, the more so as I’m able to say that I didn’t get off and push at all, not even over the Jura Hills.

    From Interlaken I went on (still cycling) to meet up with some old friends in the resort of Adelboden. I know how much you have enjoyed your cycling in Switzerland but I don’t think you have visited this area, usually known as the ‘Bernese Oberland’. To my mind, and I have explored most of the country, this is by far the most beautiful region so don’t miss it next time. Interlaken,in particular, is building a reputation as a centre for all kinds of outdoor activities like rafting, hang-gliding, and mountain biking, so you would certainly feel at home there, but the valleys which reach south into the Bernese Alps, like the one to Adelboden, are just spectacular.

    My bike, incidentally, is a 27-year old Specialised, well-worn and slightly modified, but still going very well indeed. I keep reading and wondering about the possibility of a folder to give me a bit more flexibility on future travels (getting back by train this time was quite tricky) but the quality folders are all so expensive and I’m not convinced that I’d feel entirely stable on one. The image thing bothers me a bit as well. I already get enough strange looks!

    Anyway, thanks for all that you do to encourage bike touring and keep up the good work. No reply necessary, just hope this might be of interest.

    Best wishes,

    Paul Jenkins.

  148. Mark Cox says:

    Thanks for your valuable experience and advice. I appreciate that you took the time to share with me the wisdom you have gleaned from your many years travelling on two wheels. I plan to take my first bike camping trip soon! Looking,foward to it!
    Mark Cox

  149. Carl Lussier says:

    Hi Darren,

    I have been a fan over the past few years, have purchased some of your ebooks and have appreciated the tons of info for cycle touring. 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 2441.02 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 (not frost bite) 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!

  150. Brandon McClintock says:

    Thank You! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your mini-course as I did your maxi-course which I refer to regularly. As a librarian, any little suggestion serves as an excuse to rack up some more hours of armchair cycling. I’ve already acquired three of your suggested reads (Ted Schredd was great)
    and will probably get a few more. Good fun during the few rain showers we’ve gotten here in California.

    I had planned to do my first S24O test ride a couple of weeks ago but weather and family obligations prohibited. I’m shooting for this weekend. The odo on my Bike Friday just hit 1,000 miles today and in another thousand or so I should have the Rivet saddle somewhat broken in…I hope.

    Keep doing what you love; it’s good for everyone. Brandon

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