Bike Touring Tips

Wanting to head out for a tour, but not quite sure how? Here are plenty of articles with information about a wide range of topics. Browse through this list and see what strikes your fancy!

red rock canyonBicycle Touring 101: The Basics – Not sure where to even begin? This article will get you started.

What to look for in a touring bike – Thinking about heading out for a bike tour? Here are our thoughts on what to look for in a touring bike.

Bicycle maintenance for bike touring – My take on preventative bicycle maintenance may sound like being wasteful replacing things when they still have a little bit of life left but if you look at the bigger picture you will realize that old saying about how a “stitch in time saves nine” has some merit.

Tips for bike touring safely – Dangerous in what way? What should we be afraid of? Yes, what we were doing was dangerous. We could have been hit by a car, bitten by rattlesnakes, died of food poisoning, or slipped in the bathtub and hit our head – but then, all those things could happen back in Boise, Idaho too.

Isn’t bike touring dangerous? – Isn’t it dangerous to bike around the world with all those bad people out there?  All those people who would never help a cyclist or go out of their way to avoid hitting them – they’re everywhere! What I want to know is this:  who are they?  Who are those people?  They certainly aren’t the people we’ve met.

What do we carry in those bags? – One glance at our bikes will tell you we carry a lot of gear. A lot!  But what exactly do we carry?

Choosing your gear and equipment – Plenty of information on choosing your gear, including bikes, panniers, clothing, and food.

Steel or aluminum bike? – In the end, it comes down to personal choice. Aluminum is more rigid, which some people prefer. Steel flexes, which leads to a more comfortable ride for many.

Clothes for bike touring – One thing I’ve noticed consistently is that each cyclist has his/her own preferences for clothes. All I can do is give some idea about what we packed (and each of the four of us liked different things), and you can take it from there.

What kind of shoes do I need? – The shoes you wear while touring on your bicycle will dictate a lot of your tour and will be one of the most basic decisions you will need to make. Do you want dedicated, hard-soled cycling shoes? Or will regular sneakers work for you?

Bike touring tips Expect the following: You’ll be terrified of the unknown. At some point – and maybe all points – on your tour, you’ll be miserable. It won’t be all roses, rainbows, and unicorns.

bike touring argentina Maps For Bike Touring – Many people new to bicycle touring get caught up on this aspect of touring – they think they need some kind of special map and that planning their route needs to be based on some kind of special cycling routes. Nothing could be farther from the truth. All you really need is a regular, plain ol’ state map.

On carrying food and water for four cyclists – “How on earth did you manage for food and water on the road? How did you carry enough fresh water? Food?”

Choosing your route – Too often people stress over choosing a route for a bike tour, but really – just get on a bike and go. When you get to a corner pull out the map and figure out where you want to go from there. It’s not all that difficult.

Where to sleep while bike touring – One of the first questions people ask us is, “Where do you sleep at night?” It’s an uncomforting thought to think of being stranded on the side of the road with your children. What would we do if we couldn’t find a safe place to sleep?

Why I prefer traveling on bikes – It was wet, it was mucky, it was not a whole lot of fun.  But even so, when a bus passed by and the passengers opened their windows and stuck their heads out to gawk at us fools pedaling in the rain, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit sorry for them.  Yes – for them.

My very first bike tour: A comedy of errors – That first tour I took – I hesitate to even call it a tour – it was really more of a comedy of errors than anything else – but it was start, and I was so proud!

Serendipity – Love how this whole serendipity thing works sometimes! Here’s another kindness of strangers story.

A bicycling kind of love story – I planned to be a 29-year-old female out cycling the Indian subcontinent by myself. But that seemed a whole lot more sane than attempting the same journey with a man I had barely met.

The lure of the bike – It’s the wide open plateaus with sweeping vistas of the snow-capped Andes, the colorful and rugged people who eek out a living in this sparsely populated wonderland, and most of all having the freedom to explore this land and discover hidden treasures that can only be found while riding a bicycle.

How to cycle the world – We slowly make our way across a country or state and rarely think about how it fits into the bigger picture.

If you can cycle a mile, you can cycle around the world – Riding across the country is just a series of medium-long day rides. That’s all it is. The hard part is being determined enough to keep doing them day after day.

family in andes

4 Responses to Bike Touring Tips

  1. Walking Bob Durkin September 11, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    I am go deeply grateful for all the work you put into compiling this site for the benefit of others and I can tell you it has provided the requisite inspiration for me to get off my feet and into the saddle. I acquired a Trek 7200 hybrid bike and a Croozer trailer and will soon set off my my first glorious excursion!! Bob in El Paso, September 11, 2013

  2. Emma December 29, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    I a so inspired by your stories. I am fat, stressed over-worked and 50 next year. And I am gong to cycle from the UK to Ibiza this year – with my dog. thanks for your wonderful examples of how to love living


    • Nancy Sathre-Vogel January 6, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

      @Emma, AWESOME!! It will be wonderful. I was 50 when we finished our PanAm journey, so it’s very doable. Please let me know how it’s going.

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