many enthusiasts, there's nothing like sightseeing than from a
seat of a touring bike.
While a self-drive
auto tour may afford views from major highways, they don't compare
to the opportunities for off-road experiences - on either a solo
spin, or on an arranged group tour, complete with stops to meet
the locals at country inns and restaurants.
Tips on touring
According to experienced bikers, the most important tip for gearing up for your trip is practice. While you may feel you're fit enough to pedal for several hours a day, real endurance means withstanding "saddle time" for extended periods. And woe to biking novices who haven't conditioned their backsides to go the distance.
Speaking of endurance - before signing up with an arranged cycling tour make sure their idea of difficulty matches yours. Most companies specify "easy" as 20-30 miles a day over flat terrain, and will grade routes exponentially more difficult depending on distance (and altitude) covered.
More serious bikers prefer groups that hit the road running, but a majority of companies offer more mellow itineraries. Instead of covering distance, the first day of the tour may more likely be spent at a "welcome" get-together before your foot even meets
the pedal. After a few days of serious touring, the last day may be devoted to proper good-byes and a farewell meal.
Elsewhere around the Web, check out more facts & information on the
best (and worst) international bike tour operators offering complete
travel packages (plus details on what they include), related insider
advice and safety tips, and related how to's on seeing the world
on your own steam ...
Tour Reviews.com - Helpful reviews of companies offering
adventure cycling tours worldwide, including a table with comparisons
by price, service, and tour availability by country.
Cycling Association - Popular American community of bike
enthusiasts offering maps of nationwide bike routes, sponsored
tours, archived features, photos, busy forums and message boards,
Mega Bicycle Links - Like it says, with an extensive directory
of bicycle clubs and touring companies by U.S. state, as well
as in Canada, England, and Germany plus related travel & safety
tips, maintenance and repair how to's.
Around the World- Personal travelogues by a Dutch biking
enthusiast with tips and advice on touring more than a dozen countries,
related photos, FAQ.