How to route a tour
So, I just picked me up a new tadpole trike and am thinking about going on a tour. I just don't have a clue where to go. We have a few paths around here but I don't know where to get the info on them. Is there some sort national bike touring association that would have a giant bike path database?
Older than dirt
Not touring, but: http://www.railstotrails.org/index.html and you can search in your area. Puttting where you are in your profile does help others make suggestions.
After that pretty much the defacto standard is Adventure Cycling: http://www.adventurecycling.org/
Originally Posted by ccrew
Punk Rock Lives
Adventure cycling sure has alot of tours, tour guidebooks, and tour guides. But the best tour is YOUR tour, and the best way to lay out a nice tour is to get a good set of local maps and head for the hills/forested regions, usually highlighted in green on maps. Country roads that have been abandoned oin recent decades as people flock to the interstates. They often have great shoulders, old homes and small towns, small state parks and laybys where you can camp, or rest, or enjoy the scenery.
Originally Posted by reptilian
Its a good idea to lay out in advance where your tour will take you. But when you are out there in the hustings, listen to the locals, who give you a great idea of about scenery, roads, etc. They will share with you information about construction, repaving, etc. Thats one of the reasons why I almost always start my day with a nice cup of a joe' in a local cafe.
Long Distance Cyclist
If you are planning to leave from home and go somewhere, over the next few weeks and months prior to your tour, go cycling, go exploring. Today, start at the end of your driveway and turn right ... at the next intersection, pick a direction. At the next intersection, pick a direction. Etc. Tomorrow, when you get to the end of your driveway as you set off on your ride, turn left .....
You can go a lot of interesting places without maps or route plans or any of that stuff. And that's exactly how I'd advise you start. Get to know as many roads as possible in your local area ... 50-100 km radius of where you live.
If you think you'd feel more comfortable with a map, pick one or two up from your local tourist information place. Your local tourist information place will also be a good source of information for campgrounds and all that sort of thing for when you're ready to do your overnight practice tours. And the tourist information place should have info on those bike paths you've noticed.
If you're going further away, places like CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) and I'm assuming AAA have maps and accommodation information for places throughout North America and other parts of the world. So do bookstores.
I like the idea of picking certain things I'd like to see or do along the way .... and then just winging it to get there.
Oh, and all you need for figuring out your directions is the sun and a compass.
Last edited by Machka; 01-17-09 at 02:11 PM.
Just added my location, Thanks for the info so far.
Long Distance Cyclist
For my first tour, I'm planning to head over to the Mississippi River and do a section of the Great River Road. That would be a fun tour for you as well, given your location. I've done much of this by car and it is really beautiful. Do click on that link. There's a lot of good info for anyone wanting to do a tour. And if you didn't want to take the same route back, you could swing over to the Kickapoo River valley by Wildcat Mountain State Park, down through La Farge and Viola. That part of SW Wisconsin is very nice. There's very little traffic on the backroads in that area.
awesome, awesome, awesome! I found two huge trails/paths that come right through here. The Grand Illinois Trail, which I could take to Galena, and go off 12 miles to the Great River Road if I wanted to. There is the American discovery trail that goes through here too. Thanks for the help. Now, I just need to plan everything out and start getting into shape!