Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 32
  1. #1
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Where the Detour takes me
    My Bikes
    Raleigh Detour 4.5
    Posts
    602
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    How much time do you spend planning a tour?

    I've been avidly thinking about my upcoming 400 mile self-sustained tour since 2012. It wasn't until this past winter when I decided to discover Google's bike route mapping. If it was just me, I would just put in an address to start and finish and just ride 80-100 miles a day, find a bush or something to camp behind off the trail when I got tired. If I got lost along the way, so be it. But since I'm riding with a 10 year old I decided I better put more thought in the mapping out the route.

    Due to the nature of our bikes and the safety of the kid, we're going to stick exclusively to the trail when possible. We also plan on riding no more than 60 miles a day because she wants to see things along the way (museums, etc.). I was going to do this as well but I would do it at a faster pace (20 minutes instead of an hour in one place) plus the necessary looking up and making reservations for conveniently located campgrounds along the way.

    So I ask, is it normal to plan extensively and cautiously for a first tour?
    "Just ride it until the wheels fall off!"

  2. #2
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Middle Earth
    My Bikes
    A lot of old bikes and a few new ones
    Posts
    3,941
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    A lot depends on personality type. I did my first tour just by buying a bike and a map and heading out. As long as you are having fun, that's all that matters.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    690
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Packing, finding storage, and Moving out of my apartment , so I could afford to go took the most time ..

    boxing up the bike and gear , buying the ticket , flying there , then buying a map when I got there ..

    Foreign countries , so passport needs to be in effect at least as long as the tourist Visa limit is .

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    On my bike...
    Posts
    256
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I spend more time on details than the other posters, but part of that is just time fantasizing about the tour when I'm at work

    I spend a lot of time finding the absolute best deal on flights, and the hotel for the first night. After that I like to know where each of my campsites will be, if and if possible, if they have showers. You can tell my tours are generally under two weeks.

    And all that planning is not to say I stick with the plan strictly.

    For routing, I generally use ACA maps, and fill in any gaps with google maps, or if available, past threads here on bike forums.

    Next months tour added a new wrinkle, since I just bought my own bike case of craigslist. So I had to research on whether I could assemble my bike at the airport, find a fedex at / near the airport I could ship the box from, and a place on the destination end that would hold the box for a week.

    You can probably tell, I like to leave as little chance as possible, but that the same time be ready to roll with the punches. The internet is not always up to date. For example, last year one of my planed campsites was closed; you just end up rolling with it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Waterloo, ON
    My Bikes
    Surly Krampus, Specialized Allez
    Posts
    168
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It was two weeks ago that i decided I wanted to do a long tour, and I've put countless hours into planning how much time, money, and gear I'll need. Not to mention mapping a route, reading about wildlife in the area and learning what state laws might be important to know. I tend to plan details and make lists; that's who I am.

  6. #6
    Bike touring webrarian
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    My Bikes
    I tour on a Waterford Adventurecycle. It is a fabulous touring bike.
    Posts
    1,549
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I very much enjoy planning my tours. I have a coupled bike whose box needs to be sent somewhere (if it isn't a loop route, which is rarely is). That means finding someone or place I can send it.

    I also like to know where my places to spend the night are each day. I don't like to sleep on the ground (or carry camping gear), so my first thought is seeing if I can avoid camping by using motels, couchsurfing or warmshowers. I like to see what the time constraints might be, such as ferries or trains to catch. I want to know if any sections of my route are dangerous.

    I search the web for details, check out journals at crazyguyonabike.com, and send emails to anybody I think might help me. I record the useful bits on line (at my website) so that I can access it on tour via my smart phone, should I need it.

    I usually start planning several months before the tour date.
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NE Tx
    My Bikes
    Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial
    Posts
    2,634
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Earlier tours, lots of planning. Later tours, not so much. More just load up and go, after roughing out a route. It'll all work out. But, I don't have a 10 yo to worry about.

    I do make a stab at knowing where the state/federal parks and WS hosts are on or near the route. But being self contained, not a big deal. If wild camping, always nice to be an hour or less away from a second breakfast.
    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

  8. #8
    mev
    mev is offline
    bicycle tourist
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Austin, Texas, USA
    My Bikes
    Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500
    Posts
    884
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I enjoy planning and spend a moderate amount of time planning in advance. The exact type of planning depends...

    - For a week trip or so; I tend to at least have read previous journals of people who did a similar trip, and do enough research to have a good idea of where I can camp, towns with motels, locations of attractions, perhaps locations of bike shops, etc. I typically don't make reservations in advance but instead adjust those depending on weather/mechanical issues, etc. So each morning I might have a reasonable idea of my options (e.g. town at 45 miles, campground at 67 miles, town at 84 miles, etc) and then start early enough in the day so I am well before dark and well before some other road traffic might decide to stop - as well as having enough in reserve to do that extra 22 miles if the 45 mile down isn't attractive, etc. The exception here is if I'm in a very touristy area or have other reasons to expect all accommodations to fill up.

    - For less than a week or S240 trip, I'll typically have a good idea of where I can stay and sometimes make reservation - though sometimes the afternoon before I depart or along the way. I am more constrained, so have some of those parameters fill out (plus in TX the state parks fill up w/o a reservation).

    - For a trip measured in months, the planning and preparations are also different. I'm winding down things at work, putting the home front into storage, making sure my bills get paid, etc. I'm double checking climate, vaccinations and passports. I've also read journals of people who have done similar trips. I might have put together structure for a web site so I can easily document and update the trip. I don't necessarily know where I'll be from day to day - but instead work more with an overall "distance budget" - as long as I'm roughly doing what I expect on mileage I'm ok and if I get "ahead", I'll take some easier days - or not be as gung ho to bike in the rain, etc.

    Overall, as much as I can, I try not to have a day-by-day sequence pinned down - but let it be flexible; while also researching a fair amount about my alternatives in advance so I can be smart in adjusting things as I go along.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
    My Bikes
    7 single speed road
    Posts
    3,977
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i doubt if very many people can offer useful insight as regards a bike tour with a 10 year old.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NE Tx
    My Bikes
    Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial
    Posts
    2,634
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    i doubt if very many people can offer useful insight as regards a bike tour with a 10 year old.
    1+
    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

  11. #11
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora
    Posts
    4,332
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It depends on the area in which you are touring and your intended lodging. If it is a route that is very popular like maybe the PCH and I am credit card touring then I spend a significant time planing and book lodging well in advance.

    If it is a place like Italy, I pretty much pick a region and a basic plan, but the tickets and go. Where I stay for the night is pretty much how I feel that day. If things are booked, the next town isn't awful far away by bike and if it is, then it is then not far by train for sure. But I never had an issue.

    Sometimes I over plan because I am not certain. My tour of the Oregon coast for example. I could have pretty much winged it as far as lodging. All I needed to do was be on schedule for my plane ride back home.

    That is why I really like Europe. Everything is an easy train ride away if you get behind or just feel like staying longer in a particular town than you expected.

    I like planning it adds to the excitement of the trip. But I really prefer just winging it especially in a place like Italy where you can change your mind at the last minute. I think that adds to the fun of the actual tour.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    38,764
    Mentioned
    34 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeRides View Post
    I've been avidly thinking about my upcoming 400 mile self-sustained tour since 2012. It wasn't until this past winter when I decided to discover Google's bike route mapping. If it was just me, I would just put in an address to start and finish and just ride 80-100 miles a day, find a bush or something to camp behind off the trail when I got tired. If I got lost along the way, so be it. But since I'm riding with a 10 year old I decided I better put more thought in the mapping out the route.

    Due to the nature of our bikes and the safety of the kid, we're going to stick exclusively to the trail when possible. We also plan on riding no more than 60 miles a day because she wants to see things along the way (museums, etc.). I was going to do this as well but I would do it at a faster pace (20 minutes instead of an hour in one place) plus the necessary looking up and making reservations for conveniently located campgrounds along the way.

    So I ask, is it normal to plan extensively and cautiously for a first tour?

    First of all, a comment on your plans …

    10 year old … 60 miles (100 km) a day … 100 km @ 12 km/h = approx. 8.5 hours/day of cycling time.
    Plus approx. 2 hours for things like toilet breaks, lunch, etc. = approx. 10.5 hours/day of travel time.
    Plus museums?

    You’re planning on some very, very long days for a 10 year old.

    What distances is she currently cycling? How fast does she cover them with the load she’s planning to carry (presumably she’ll carry some stuff)? It’s possible you’ve got a really special 10-year old there who has the attention span, endurance and speed of an adult … but if she’s a normal kid, what you’re currently planning is going to get old by about the middle of Day 2.

    For a first tour, I’d recommend dropping the planned distance to an amount below 50 miles/day, in fact, below 40 miles/day would probably be better … especially if the route is hilly, or if there’s a section that’s notorious for being windy, or if there is something your daughter would really like to see along the way. Unless your daughter is an experienced cyclist who can easily handle 60 mile days right now, I wouldn’t recommend putting in more than 6 hours cycle time each day, and even that might be long some days.

    I’d also suggest that you break up those 6 hours … ride for 1.5 hours, then stop at a playground and for something to eat for half an hour or an hour … ride for another 1.5 hours, then stop at the museum and for lunch … ride for another 1.5 hours then stop at a beach, another playground, or something for a little while … and ride the remaining 1.5 hours to your campground or hotel.

    And I’d recommend taking a day off in the middle so that you two can do something different from cycling … go to the beach, go for a walk around a lake, rent kayaks, go to an amusement park or museum, or something fun that isn’t cycling.

    Regarding things like that hour at the museum … it’s amazing how much time any time off the bicycle can eat up. First there is the business of finding the place, then you’ve got to securely lock the bicycles and unload anything important that you want to carry with you. Then there’s the debate about whether you want a jacket or not, and have you got the camera, etc. etc. Then you go into the place, and find the toilet and maybe get something to eat or drink. Then you finally wander around the place for an hour, and if it is interesting, you can lose yourself in there for longer than an hour. Then it’s back to the toilet again, and maybe getting some water for the next leg of the journey. Then you’ve got to repack anything you dug out to carry with you, and debate if you now want a jacket or if you want to put on leg warmers because it’s a little cooler now than it was when you went in. And you finally unlock the bicycles and set off again … approx. 2 hours later.

    Even if you’re hoping to spend 1 hour at the museum, I’d recommend putting 2 hours into your plan. If you spend less than 2 hours, great … but if you go over 1 hour, you won’t be stressed.

    This is a first tour … and you’re going with a 10 year old child. Relax … take it easy … have fun and enjoy it. Don’t turn it into something stressful and difficult.



    How much time do you spend planning a tour?

    As for me … I plan as little as possible. I don’t enjoy planning tours. I’d rather just get out there and do it, and I don’t like being tied to a schedule. So I’ll book airline tickets if necessary, and book a place to stay the first night. If I need things like vaccination and visas, I’ll arrange those ahead of time. I might look at the weather patterns for the area to get an idea of what to bring. And then I figure the rest of the tour will fall into place when I get there.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Farmer Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Rogue River, OR
    My Bikes
    2010 Globe Vienna Disc 3
    Posts
    277
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Packing, finding storage, and Moving out of my apartment , so I could afford to go took the most time ..

    boxing up the bike and gear , buying the ticket , flying there , then buying a map when I got there ..

    Foreign countries , so passport needs to be in effect at least as long as the tourist Visa limit is .
    What country did you bike in? I'd love to tour South America. Just got back from Perú after being there for 4 months.
    Un hombre, y un destino.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    690
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I went across the Pond , AMS Shiphol my favorite Airport , easy to cycle out of and leave from,

    but the Dublin Irish airport was pretty small so easy arrival flew back via Aberdeen Scotland

  15. #15
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,605
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    First of all, a comment on your plans
    Machka's comments were pretty on target.

    I will offer another option that might work for you. Pick a place to ride where there are frequent options to stay and then go with a flexible schedule. Ride only as far as seems right for the day and stop. Keep the mileage short enough that it never becomes a death march (60 miles per day would be for a lot of adults and most 10 year olds). Also I'd recommend taking it especially easy the first day and add mileage as you go if it feels right. There is no way I'd take a ten year old on their first tour with a rigid and demanding schedule.

    A flexible tour schedule is a joy IMO and a rigid one can be a joy killer. BTW, the same can be said about tour budgets.

    As for me... I sometimes don't plan at all and sometimes plan a lot. Usually when I plan a lot it winds up being just an exercise and I throw the plan out the window, sometimes even deciding to do an entirely different trip at that last minute. Planning a 400 mile trip for two years seems wildly excessive. On my coast to coast trips my planning was counted in weeks and there wasn't all that much actual planning other than air travel and packing list planning.
    Last edited by staehpj1; 04-14-14 at 06:33 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    New York and Florida
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Trek 2100, Trek 7000 (1995 or so) Trek 7000
    Posts
    219
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Last year, for my first ever tour I bought a ticket to London with a Budapest return. That was the extent of my planning. Worked out great, had a good time. That said, I also learned a lot that I might apply to my next tour....man plans, God laughs.

  17. #17
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    38,764
    Mentioned
    34 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Planning a 400 mile trip for two years seems wildly excessive. On my coast to coast trips my planning was counted in weeks and there wasn't all that much actual planning other than air travel and packing list planning.
    +1

    Rowan and I didn't spend 2 years planning our 8-month RTW trip in 2012. About 5 years out, we had a rough, approximate plan to take steps toward some sort of long trip (i.e. pay off debt, save money) ... but we didn't settle on the details about where we were going to go and for how long until about 3 months before we left. And even then we left the itinerary as vague as possible.

    And for my 3-month tour of Australia, I booked the flight into and out of Sydney, and knew I had to be in a place south of Melbourne by a certain date for an event ... but other than that, my cycling partner and I didn't sit down and plan how we were going to accomplish that and figure out what else we were going to do until we were both in Sydney on Day 1 of the tour.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Philly
    My Bikes
    IF SCJ SE, Surly LHT, BikeFriday NWT, Cannondale M300, Raleigh 700
    Posts
    4,008
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Why do you care what's "normal?" Do what works for you.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

  19. #19
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    38,764
    Mentioned
    34 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Why do you care what's "normal?" Do what works for you.
    Since he isn't the most important factor on this tour ... he needs to do what works for his 10-year old daughter.

    He can no doubt do a metric century for however many days it takes to cover the whole distance ... but that's a big ask of a 10-year old.

    And that from the perspective of someone (me) who grew up in a cycling family and cycled a fair amount when she was 10 years old.

  20. #20
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Toronto
    My Bikes
    Currently building a Bianchi, Trek 330, formerly Monshee Nomad, Favorit, Bianchi Sport SX, Frankenbike
    Posts
    362
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have three kids, I don't think any of them would have been up for that kind of touring at that age no matter what their physical ability.

    When you are touring, things will happen, you will get flats, encounter wind and rain, traffic etc. An adult will learn to overcome. A child will become frustrated and it might turn them off cycle touring altogether.

    Many children also feel comforted by routine, and a bike tour is the opposite of routine.

    I would suggest something different. Find an area to stay in that has great day trips that are accessable by bike. That way if you start out and find the conditions aren't great or she just doesn't feel motivated, you can simply turn around and go back.

    When I took my son into the wilderness doing canoe camping, I was fully prepared for the fact I might have to do all the paddling. Can't do that on a bike.

  21. #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    38,764
    Mentioned
    34 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Mike ... have you and your 10-year old daughter (?) done an overnight tour? If so, how did that go? If not ... plan to do something like that soon. Cycle out to a campground approx. 25 or maybe even 30 miles away, camp overnight, and return home. See how something like that works.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    352
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've spent a lot of time planning. It's not because I am terribly anxious about the trip or obsessive about details I just like to dream about my big trip which is several years off and it's fun to learn from others and make decisions about my own trip. As simple as bike touring can be there's a lot to figure out for the first trip. I can also respect those people that do very minimal planning and are more comfortable with winging it. Different strokes...

    Regarding daily mileage. I agree with the comments above. 60 miles is a long, long way for a 10-year-old to ride a bike. Especially on the canal where you'll likely average 7-8 miles an hour. I'd suggest starting low (20-25 miles?) and working up to max of maybe 40-45.
    Last edited by mm718; 04-14-14 at 11:22 AM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Gig Harbor, WA
    My Bikes
    Surly Long Haul Trucker, Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, Dahon Mu P 24 , Bacchetta Strada, Rodriguez Tandem
    Posts
    2,117
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I spend many hours planing on where to go on tour, outside of that, very little

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    My Bikes
    '85 Le Tour Luxe, '14 Soma Stanyan
    Posts
    67
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I spent quite a bit of time planning my tour. 2300 miles. I wanted to know the roads, camping, motels, and food along the way. And, as this is first long tour, I needed to upgrade or get a few items. I started some of the trip planning 5 months ago. I'm sure many of the sites I selected to stay at will not happen. I leave tomorrow.

  25. #25
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,605
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rwpshaw View Post
    I leave tomorrow.
    Have a great trip.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •