Bicycling is a freeing experience that many come to love. If you are interested in challenging yourself and having a very ‘down to earth’ experience you will remember for a lifetime taking a trip by bicycle is a wonderful idea. At first, the idea is a little intimidating. There is no doubt that serious planning and ascertaining of solid resources is the key to a safe, productive and fun trip.
The main concern has to be bicycle friendly routes. Taking a multi faceted approach to route planning is best. First, get an idea of what your stamina will allow you to do. Taking a few bike tours that last a few days each will help you gauge your breaking point.
After you know how long you can bike at a time go online and plan out where your major stops will be. These will be places that have attractions or people you want to see. Based on those key points map out your route. Using a satellite mapping program, that maps out bike routes and the time it will take to bike them, narrow down where your stopping points will be.
Coordinate all the above information with a reputable biking map for the area/s you will be in. Thereafter, compile a list with the contact information for the local Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator for all of the locations you will be passing. Be sure to keep the list handy on your trip. You will find their contact information listed with the state’s Department of Transportation. Contact each coordinator and verify if the route you have chosen through their area is the best.
Once your route is refined take a ‘street view’ look at it. If you can, try to look over your entire route. Are areas void of stores? Are some routes uphill? What is the street system layout, shoulder width and average traffic?
Lastly, pinpoint rest stops. Where will you be sleeping? Are there areas where you may need to camp out? Where are the local bicycle repair shops?
Once your route is worked out the fun part of deciding what to bring starts, and you are one step closer to an unforgettable adventure. Before you set out, try to talk to others about what they have experienced on their bicycle trips. Whatever you can learn ahead of time may save you a bit of trouble on the road.