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Old 02-25-12, 05:41 PM   #1
chefisaac
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Books on Touring

Before ya all got into touring, did you read any books about it? How to, etc?

Suggestions welcome and appreciated.

Thank you
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Old 02-25-12, 06:25 PM   #2
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Before ya all got into touring, did you read any books about it? How to, etc?

Suggestions welcome and appreciated.

Thank you
Nope. My research consisted almost entirely of reading trip reports on the CrazyGuyOnABike site. Very handy for that. :-)
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Old 02-25-12, 06:38 PM   #3
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I read this book back in the early '80's. Looks like it's been revised and updated, so it should be up-to-date.

Before personal computers...it's how I learned a lot about touring.



“Bike Touring — The Sierra Club Guide to Travel on Two Wheels” by Raymond Bridge

http://www.bikecommuters.com/2009/06...aymond-bridge/

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Old 02-25-12, 07:03 PM   #4
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In 1990 and 1991 I read a collection of books about cycling from the local library, and I've picked up more books since (mainly about endurance cycling, training, bicycle mechanics, etc.) and have skimmed them. But very few of the books I own or have read have been about cycletouring, and I didn't use a book to learn how to tour.

Instead, I used experience ...

I have been travelling pretty much since birth, and cycling since I was 6 years old.

I've been doing hub-and-spoke style tours since I was in my teens. The bicycles came with us when my family went on holiday and we would cycle out this way one day, and out that way another day, and hike up a mountain another day, and do some more cycling another day ......

In my early 20s I got into camping, and more hub-and-spoke tours in conjunction with the camping.

I did my first point-to-point tour in my late 20s (1995) ... it was a supported tour down the Icefield Parkway. And then I got into racing, and then randonneuring, and more hub-and-spoke and short overnight tours, and lots of cycling in general. My first unsupported point-to-point tour was in 2003 through Wales.


Ride lots - get to know your bicycle and your body. You'll discover things that don't work for you on your bicycle, and you'll want to make changes (this is where a bicycle mechanics book might come in handy). You'll discover, as you increase your distance, that perhaps there are things that aren't working for your body (this is where a good training and nutrition book might come in handy).

Ride a variety of places. Get a map, pick a spot and ride there. Ride hills. Ride in wind. Ride to local tourist attractions. Become familiar with all the roads in a 50 km or 100 km radius of where you live.

Go camping, if camping is your preference for accommodation. Buy or borrow some camping gear, load it into the car and go camping for a weekend or two. You'll soon discover that this is working well, but that is not.

Travel lots - take every opportunity presented to you to go new places, whether the new place is the next town over, or the other side of the world. Go!

And then start putting it all together and start touring.


That said, I do own two books about touring and cycletouring, although neither one is a "how to" manual. Both were somewhat motivational/inspirational.
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Old 02-25-12, 07:09 PM   #5
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The answers to your question have been, are being, compiled here.
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Old 02-25-12, 08:01 PM   #6
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“Bike Touring — The Sierra Club Guide to Travel on Two Wheels” by Raymond Bridge

http://www.bikecommuters.com/2009/06...aymond-bridge/
+1 -- I retired this last summer, and one of my goals was to write a book about bike touring basics. I learned most of my touring like Machka, and thought there needed to be something for the person just getting into touring. As I started to do my research to see what was already out there, one of the first books I picked up was the Sierra Club's book. My first reaction was Oh %$#*! This is just the kind book I thought was needed. I was fortunate this was one of the first books I looked at. It saved me from wasting a lot of time

A lot of my perception about the need for a basic touring book was driven by the topics of many of the threads on this and other forums.

Having said that, reading about bike touring does not replace experience. However, it may head off a few of those "teachable moments."

I just started reading it and am learning some things ,e.g., reversing the direction of your chain when you clean it will double the life of the chain. I've been working on bikes since I was about 10 years old, and this is the first time I've heard about this practice. Contrary to what my wife thinks, I'm still teachable.

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"The most important things are learned after you think you know it all"

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Old 02-25-12, 10:01 PM   #7
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Learning by experience is key but it is only one piece of the puzzle. For me, reading about it in books, reading online, and asking a lot of questions is doing diligence in the homework area.

Doug: I still think you should write a book about it.
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Old 02-25-12, 10:48 PM   #8
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I'm another one that started traveling before there was Internet. I buy books - lots of them. Not many about bikes or camping, mostly about places to go, sites worth visiting and great places to stop over and eat. B&B guides are always handy and if there's some really recommended restaurant - someone elses experience can save a lot of time and effort. Authors share their experiences and I'd rather just read about their bad ones but relive their good ones.
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Old 02-26-12, 07:35 AM   #9
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nope. My research consisted almost entirely of reading trip reports on the crazyguyonabike site. Very handy for that. :-)
+1

b
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Old 02-26-12, 07:50 AM   #10
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Try

The Essential Touring Cyclist: A Complete Guide for the Bicycle Traveler by Richard Lovett
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Old 02-26-12, 08:46 AM   #11
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a lovely wee book by a two retired dentists who decided to cycle across spain.
A Trans-iberian challenge.you will enjoy this one.
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Old 02-26-12, 09:04 AM   #12
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I enjoy picking up humorous books about bike touring while at the library, one of my recent favorites is Bicycling Beyond the Divide.
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Old 02-26-12, 10:22 AM   #13
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Free of charge. It even includes a list of books should you be so inclined.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/howto.cfm
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Old 02-26-12, 11:32 AM   #14
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Dear Chef:

I read "jackfruit" a book about a guy who traveled through Central and South America on bike just for pleasure. I got the guidebook for Quebec's Route Verte before I rode part of it. Both were good books.

John
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Old 02-26-12, 11:55 AM   #15
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Have a bunch of Glossy books on Countries, DK, & APA publishers,
but being heavy they stayed in the box in the storage unit while I went..

X-GF gifted a hardbound CTC British Isles,cycle routes book , but later tore it up,
so chapters got re bound, in sections at the copy shop.. then discarded
after moving thru that nation. I later found same book paperbound..

Dervla Murphy Writer and cyclist read her books , because she is a great writer..
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Old 02-26-12, 06:00 PM   #16
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Get on the web and watch all the videos about Ian Hibell.
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Old 02-26-12, 06:43 PM   #17
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Joe Kurmaskie's Metal Cowboy books. Even though he doesn't really focus on the bike, they are great reads and provided me with a major source of inspiration.
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Old 02-27-12, 02:29 AM   #18
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The gear is always changing, and the rest is pretty basic life skill stuff. I like to read what people are up to, but many of the very best stories, unlike the how to books, are by people who really seemed to know nothing about bikes or gear, and just hit the road.
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Old 02-27-12, 04:15 AM   #19
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The Travelling Two have just revised their free 66 page e-book “Bike Touring Basics” although you do have to sign up to their newsletter to receive it.

http://travellingtwo.com/biketouringbasics

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Old 02-27-12, 10:23 AM   #20
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Nope. My research consisted almost entirely of reading trip reports on the CrazyGuyOnABike site. Very handy for that. :-)
+1 absolutely! I continue to study and update my knowledge with new journals as well as review past writings.

Reading during my next trip will be something new for me. With the weight of books I have never really entertained bringing one with me...that is until this past RAGBRAI. On one of the first days of the week someone was handing out small bibles. Not being particularly religious I stored the book in my handlebar bag. Later in the day while still riding I came to the conclusion that it was "Time". Time to read the bible. So during my evenings at camp I read a few pages of it. I enjoyed the readings. Now, for my upcoming TransAm I will be using my Android to read it. Should be a good read, and I still believe it is time for me to read it.
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Old 02-27-12, 01:11 PM   #21
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Massive: nothing is just basic. Its like me telling you something about cooking and saying "it is just basic stuff".
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Old 02-27-12, 03:06 PM   #22
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Free of charge. It even includes a list of books should you be so inclined.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/howto.cfm
+1.

Crazyguy has some great stuff for inspiration. Problem is, it's often buried among the dreck. It's tougher than you might thing to write and maintain a travel blog; it takes me about an hour a day on tour if I'm going to do it justice. That's part of why cgoab ends up with so many picture collections with no apparent theme, so many "I'm going off to do a neato ride" with no follow-up, so many fascinating ride stories that taper off to nullity, ...

Adventure Cycling is a better place for the editing that's gone into their web site. The magazine is one of my "sit down and read it tonight" pleasures every time a new issue comes out. And their maps are top notch.
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Old 02-27-12, 03:53 PM   #23
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I tried navigating Crazyguy's web site but its not the easiest of website to use.
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Old 02-27-12, 09:01 PM   #24
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Massive: nothing is just basic. Its like me telling you something about cooking and saying "it is just basic stuff".
How To Cycletour
Step 1. Learn how to ride a bicycle. (You might need to take lessons if you're on this step, book learning is probably not going to take you too far with this)

Step 2. Gradually increase the distance you ride until you are comfortably riding 100 km days. Be sure to include a variety of terrain, weather conditions, traffic conditions, etc.

Step 3. Go car camping. Borrow the gear from a friend if possible. You'll likely want a tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag at least.

Step 4. Assess what you brought on that camping trip and decide if you liked the gear you brought or might prefer something different. Make changes. Go camping again.

Step 5. Make some more changes to your camping gear (and maybe start buying some), and bring your bicycle with you on your next car camping trip. Go for some rides here and there. (also known as a Hub-and-Spoke tour)

Step 6. Borrow or buy some panniers, load your camping gear into the panniers and ride to a campground nearby ... not too far away. Ride home. First point-to-point tour complete.

Step 7. Asses the trip. Make changes as necessary. Go cycletouring again.
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Old 02-27-12, 09:17 PM   #25
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I am reading journalist David Lamb's "Over the hill" recommended by Neil_B.

Lamb on a sort of mid life crisis decided to do a cross country trip from Washington D.C. to L.A. in the '90s. Like MassiveD says, its not necessarily about the technical aspects of biking or a how-to book but looks to be a re-discovery of the self. Its a fast read, funny and insightful.

I too am apprehensive about my trip starting sometime in April but the general advice in these forums has been, to quote Nike, "just do it." I am taking that advice. I'll still get advice on gear, bikes, the "black art" (or so it seems to a newbie) of deciding the right drive train/gearing/wheels, tires, spokes (!) for a "larger guy", but I suspect I'll still be unprepared when I leave town...
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