Searching for bicycle touring inspiration?

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
  • Sleep­ing
  • Clothes
  • Cook­ing
  • Toi­letries
  • Med­i­cines
  • Tech­nol­ogy
  • Doc­u­ments
  • Paper

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:

Pacific Coast Topography:  you’ve got to be kidding:

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.

Practical Advice on Planning a Bicycle Tour

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