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  1. #1
    Silly Party Member
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    What makes a GREAT tour jounal for you?

    Members have been making excellent suggestions in my topic on CGOAB vs Blogging. Some started making suggestions for what makes a great journal in general. Thought I'd post it as a separate topic. I'll start with 2 suggestions from that thread.

    So, what to you makes for a great tour journal?

    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    A lot of people create bike tour journals that aren't really worth reading or are hard to read. I'd suggest you find 3 or 4 journals you really enjoy and pay attention to what makes them so interesting. You'll be ready to record the sorts of details you'll need for a high quality journal entry at the end of your day on the bike as well as what sorts of pictures to take.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    +1. Impressions of ppl you ride with and meet along the way. Accounts of how you interact with your riding partners and strangers. Characterizations. Quotes of interesting conversations you have. Personal angst, trials and tribulations. The highs and lows of the ride.
    Thanks, Erik

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    You say "GREAT"? I say:

    http://whileoutriding.wordpress.com/

  3. #3
    Crazyguyonabike
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    There was actually a thread on this very topic recently over on That Other Website:

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum...read_id=156330

    Neil

  4. #4
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    Impressions, adventures, anecdotes, and original thoughts rather than a litany of "and then this happened". Nobody cares how many miles you rode on day 11 or how what time you left camp.

  5. #5
    Bike touring webrarian
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    I probably have a different view of "great" than some.

    The main reason I read journals is for information about the area, the route, and other details that will help me should I tour through that same area. While anecdotes are nice, I prefer area details more than personal stories.

    While too much detail can get overwhelming, too little makes for a less valuable journal, to me.

    As always, the key is in the mix.
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybo View Post
    As always, the key is in the mix.
    +1. As long as the mix doesn't include a full page devoted to "my training rides."
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  7. #7
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Decent photos and a lack of spelling errors.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  8. #8
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    I like good photos and a good narrative, but that doesn't mean purple prose. I prefer funny, but writing good-funny is hard, and prefer not to read a novel per entry. Clear and concise writing goes a long way with a bit of tension. The fact of the matter when I'm thinking to myself, people who used gooder grammar goes a much longer way with I.
    Surly Cross Check, Thorn Sherpa

  9. #9
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    Self-deprecating humor, exotic locales, fabulous photographs. In other words, this journal. It's the ne plus ultra for me. One neat aspect is to see (both visually and philosophically) the change in the long-time tourer. The aforementioned journal is evidence of that, and I really like to check out those 500+ day experiences for this reason.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan The Man View Post
    Nobody cares how many miles you rode on day 11 or how what time you left camp.
    My mother does, and frankly I'm writing more for her than for strangers. It's not really my intent to get my journal published by Readers Digest.

  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
    My mother does, and frankly I'm writing more for her than for strangers. It's not really my intent to get my journal published by Readers Digest.
    I think that a lot of folks care about that stuff. I know that I do. I know that my friends and family do as well. The mileage for the day is one of the first things I look at when reading each day. Whether the person got up and started riding 2 hours before sunrise or rolled out at noon are also significant and of interest to me. Look at the top 10 or 20 journals by hit count on cgoab and you will find that they generally include that information most days. I am not saying that is why they are at the top of the list, but that it must not hurt.

  12. #12
    Day trip lover mr geeker's Avatar
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    what makes a good journal? i think that answer will differ person to person. i like pictures, a bit of information on towns passed through, and maybe milage. deffinately information on the towns & pics. personal thaughts and interactions are nice too.
    instant human: just add coffee
    trek 830 mountain track - dead

  13. #13
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I read journals for a couple of reasons. Number one is doing research for possible tours. I especially appreciate them when I've settled on a route for my next tour. Then I try and scan every journal which describes passing through my route. Number two is just for enjoyment.

    I like pictures. I usually don't bother reading a journal with no pictures. Sometimes I skip the text altogether and just look at the pictures.

    When I'm researching a route I really like descriptions of campgrounds, restaurants, grocery stores - all the services one needs. I like descriptions of the roads - shoulder, no shoulder, rumble strips. I like pictures of campgrounds. I don't care so much about descriptions and pictures of bed and breakfasts or nice hotels. The odds that I'll be able to afford such luxuries on a long tour are pretty slim.

    I like stories about good bike shops.

    I, for one, do like a record of daily mileage. When I read the account of a day's ride and know how far somebody rode, I get a feel for how strong of a rider they are compared to me, and some insight on whether I can do the same leg, something longer, or something shorter. I like to know the date. One of the factors in planning a tour is weather during the time frame you have available.

    I like good writing too. I like interesting stories about fun people doing fun things. I like heartwarming stories with kids, dogs, true feelings, etc. A tour can be an intense slice of life, and most of us like to read about multifaceted people doing something interesting.

    Lastly, I create my journal primarily for family and friends. If strangers like what I post, great, but that isn't really much of a concern.
    Last edited by BigBlueToe; 03-07-10 at 10:06 AM.

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    I read journals for a couple of reasons. Number one is doing research for possible tours. I especially appreciate them when I've settled on a route for my next tour. Then I try and scan every journal which describes passing through my route. Number two is just for enjoyment.

    I like pictures. I usually don't bother reading a journal with no pictures. Sometimes I skip the text altogether and just look at the pictures.

    When I'm researching route I really like descriptions of campgrounds, restaurants, grocery stores - all the services one needs. I like descriptions of the roads - shoulder, no shoulder, rumble strips. I like pictures of campgrounds. I don't care so much about descriptions and pictures of bed and breakfasts or nice hotels. The odds that I'll be able to afford such luxuries on a long tour are pretty slim.

    I like stories about good bike shops.

    I, for one, do like a record of daily mileage. When I read the account of a day's ride and know how far somebody rode, I get a feel for how strong of a rider they are compared to me, and some insight on whether I can do the same leg, something longer, or something shorter. I like to know the date. One of the factors in planning a tour is weather during the time frame you have available.

    I like good writing too. I like interesting stories about fun people doing fun things. I like heartwarming stories with kids, dogs, true feelings, etc. A tour can be an intense slice of life, and most of us like to read about multifaceted people doing something interesting.

    Lastly, I create my journal primarily for family and friends. If strangers like what I post, great, but that's really much of a concern.
    +1000

    You've nailed it.

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