I live in Toronto, its November, its getting cold here. I'm not working right now, I'm rather bored, I just want to get away and go somewhere on my bicycle.
Where would be a pleasant place for a winter tour that is also reasonable airfare cost from Toronto (so Australia probably being out)? I also must mention I'm female and would probably travel alone so somewhere that would be reasonably safe to do so. I prefer to go solo rather than on an organized tour to save money, I'd be digging in to retirement savings to go on the trip (probably not the wisest of ideas but I feel I really need to travel right now) I'm assuming Europe would probably not be pleasant until say April weather-wise?
Anyone that's done any self-guided tours on a tight budget before, what area did you go to, and what was the approx daily cost for accomodation and food? Trying to figure out how long of a trip I can reasonably go on.
I've only done one loaded tour before, a one week fairly flat terrain trip that we cut short of its planned destination because of general unpleasantness, (most notably nerve damage to my left hand on the first day) and of course the fact we found the distances we planned each day were not realistic. Hopefully I've learned some lessons from this trip that would make a future trip much more pleasant.
My bike is a Devinci Caribou. In front it has 30-42-52 gearing, and I think the back is 11-34 (not sure), so not terribly useful for heavy loads or mountainous terrain. The top tube is long, and even with a fairly short stem I keep wishing for my hands to be about an inch closer to myself. This was the first dropped-bar bike I bought so I didn't have the experience to know it wasn't such a good fit. The bars are quite wide and my shoulders quite narrow. I'm wondering if I'm best off buying some parts (though not sure if I can solve the TT issue) or attempting to sell the bike and purchase one that's a better fit. The tires are 700x28c, and I find the ride fairly rough when encountering unpaved roads. So obviously it depends on where I am going and what the roads are like there, I think I can accomodate bigger tires on the bike, would 32 or 35 be better?
Any ideas of ideal destinations or ways to do this cheaply and comfortably - not sure whether I'd prefer hostels or camping.