The Web is full of bicycle touring blogs featuring tales of adventure and envy-inducing photos.
In need of practical advice on how to plan a bicycle tour? That’s harder to find.
British cyclist John Benson is one adventurer who’s keen to help others in the sometimes arduous task of planning a long-distance bicycle tour.
If you’re in the pre-tour planning stage, a click on John’s pre-trip planning pages is a must. You’ll find detailed information on money & budgeting, the process of choosing a destination, how to quit your job, charity fundraising and building a website to showcase your bicycle tour.
Next, I’d check out the Trip Costs section. Again, it’s often hard to pin down the actual cost of a bicycle tour. Most bloggers are vague about expenses and rarely will you find detailed and organized information about actual expenses. John hits on everything from the cost of food and drinks to bike shops, laundry and internet.
John’s done the bicycle touring community another favor in putting together comprehensive equipment reviews of all the gear used on his bicycle tour from Alaska to South America.
Here’s what you’ll find:
- The Bike & Upgrades to It
- Bicycle Equipment
Of special interest will be the process John went through to get his Surly Long Haul Trucker touring bike ready for the rigors of the Pan American.
Finally, you can browse through a detailed account of John’s latest trip through the Americas Here’s a tidbit from a tale about his time in Panama:
The last 23km from Changuinola to Almirante was a different story. Once I’d found my way onto the right road – the sign is apparently hidden behind a wall – a 20% gradient stared me in the face. I’d hadn’t seen anything like this since San Francisco. It was only a short climb or struggle, however. It was far from the last one & some of them were seriously long — a kilometre at most — for the 16–20% gradients. Even if you don’t have a computer to tell you this, when a small truck barely overtakes you, it is steep. When there is climbing to be done there are usually great views to be had. Roughly halfway between the two towns I stopped at an indigenous co-operative for a break & a water top-up. When they realised I spoke Spanish they all gathered around & we chatted about English football. They were all Man Utd or Chelsea fans, dictated by what they saw via the large red satellite dish on the roof.
Whether you’re after information to plan your next tour, or just in need of a good dose of inspiration, check out John Benson Travels and get psyched about bicycle touring.