Cycle touring is about adventure, not equipment. This book focuses on the skills, attitudes, and tools to let you explore the world on 2 wheels.
I've toured by bicycle nearly every year since 1993, covering well over 15,000 miles by bicycle. Yet whenever I read cycle touring books, I am surprised by how much of the book is about equipment, rather than skills and methods. I am writing Independent Cycle Touring to discuss what I consider to be the most important piece of equipment on a cycling tour: the person whose butt is on the saddle.
Written for experienced cyclists who have done many day rides and
organized events, Independent Cycle Touring will be skill-focused. While there will be chapters about equipment, most of the focus will be on important skills to learn and apply during a tour. Other cycling books ignore the need to recruit and attract compatible cycling companions. This book describes my method for screening and qualifying suitable ride partners. This book emphasizes useful, practical tips on navigation, and shows you how to use GPS and on-line tools to maximum advantage before and during your tour. Finally, country guides are provided for every country I have ever visited. I won't mince words: if I consider the country inferior for cycling, I will say so.
I have written about 3 and a half chapters of this book, and here's the rough outline that I am using to guide my work:
- Is independent cycle touring for you? What types of people do well on independent tours? Who shouldn't do independent tours? Why tour independently? What alternatives exist?
- Planning your trip. Types of cycle tours. How do you decide if a trip is for you? How do you plan your trips? What kind of research do you need to do? What kinds of books and guides do you need? What can you leave behind? How to buy plane tickets for travel with bicycles. Plane ticket check list.
- Equipment. Bicycle: frame, wheels, bags. Rain-gear. Electronics: phones, kindles, computing equipment.
- Physical preparation. How to train. How to select cycling partners. How to run a qualifier to weed out people whom you won't get along with.
- Cycling skills: Road safety skills: basic rules of the road, safety maneuvers, and how to ride in cities.
- Navigation and route planning. How to select proper maps to buy. How to use maps to pick good routes. How do you know which roads will be good to ride on. GPS-assisted navigation.
- On the ground: Flying with the bike. How to acquire cell phones, and what to use them for. How to use public transportation. Safety issues. Picking places to stay. Finding food. Weather, climate, and wind. When to abandon a trip? When do you need to make reservations? Languages skills.
- Country guides:USA: California, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire,
Germanic countries: Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Scotland, France, Italy,Japan,New Zealand,
- Equipment check lists:Overnight trips,Light and Fast 3 week trip,Cycle-camping
You can view the complete project page and download a sample chapter.
Unlike my previous book, this book is extremely graphics and layout intensive. As a result, I have to find a book manufacturer and front the money for a fairly substantial print run to keep the price of a book reasonable.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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