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Traveling the world by bikeTo 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.

also see in Travel -> Road Trips & Driving Tours, Maps & Directions

also see in Sports & Recreation -> Tour de France


More about biking & cycling around the Web

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 ...


Bike Tour - Helpful reviews of companies offering adventure cycling tours worldwide, including a table with comparisons by price, service, and tour availability by country.

Adventure Cycling Association - Popular American community of bike enthusiasts offering maps of nationwide bike routes, sponsored tours, archived features, photos, busy forums and message boards, related resources.

Mike's 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.

Cycling Around the World - Personal travelogues by a Dutch biking enthusiast with tips and advice on touring more than a dozen countries, related photos, FAQ.

International Bicycle Travel Forum - Busy message boards with discussions on equipment, countries & locations, health tips, and finding a cycling partner.

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