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New to touring and almost to cycling - Need advice

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New to touring and almost to cycling - Need advice

Old 12-08-12, 10:35 AM
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New to touring and almost to cycling - Need advice

Hello folks:

Before I start, I would like to say that this is a wonderful forum and the quality of the information you get to find here is outstanding. After 25 years without riding a bike, I purchased 2 bicycles this year. One of them is a Trek X-Caliber mountain bike and the other a Dahon Formula 18 folder. The reason I purchased the Dahon has to do with my intention of doing some bicycle touring abroad. I would like to do a bike tour in Italy or Spain, and one in the Pacific Northwest. For this, I already started saving with the intention of doing the first tour around May or June of 2013.

I would like to ask your advice on internet sites or books I could consult for someone who will be doing touring for the first time. My idea is to spend 7 to 10 days in one of the locations mentioned above and just explore some of the roads, parks and even travel between cities, but always staying at hotels and the intention is not to carry anything with me when riding the bike. This will mean planning a route were i could start riding in the morning and then return in the afternoon or early evening to the same place I started the ride. perhaps this is not considered real touring, but Im sure that I could benefit from some expert advice from the folks in the forum who has done this in the past. My preference would be to tour Italy and wherever i might end up, i would be using my Dahon folder bike. The idea also is to select routes that doesnt have too many hills or climbs.

Anyway, I would appreciate any advice I could get from the forum.
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Old 12-08-12, 11:26 AM
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I have toured in Europe staying in hostels, pensiones, economy hotels and camping (not cooking). They all have their advantages in terms of luggage, comfort, economy and local colour.
I usually move from one location to another but sometimes stay 2 nights in one place.
Many times I set off without a clear idea of where I will end up, just a general direction. If you are riding out of the main season (ie in May/June and Sept) then you have much more freedom to wing it.
Route-planning is something I do the evening before and during the day. The idea of setting out on a 10 day tour, knowing your exact route is a bit strange. I might have a particular scenic road or town or something that i want to see and you have to account for pinch points such as river crossings and mountain passes but the rest is just the luck of the road.
You cant avoid hills in Europe unless you ride the North Sea coastal route. Most tourists find that big mountains and hilly terrain is much more fun than riding all day on the flat.
It is often possible to take touring bikes on local trains but a folding bike opens up local bus routes as well. Many folding tourists use a light backpack (35-45l) as their luggage and strap in to the rear rack when riding.
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Old 12-08-12, 11:57 AM
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The touring you've suggested, where you start from the same base camp in a different direction each day, can be a lot of fun. One advantage is that you can get to see a lot more in a smaller area than if you just stay there a night or two before moving on.

I haven't been to Europe, but the Pacific Northwest has hills. Big hills. You cannot avoid them. Also, the Pacific Northwest is a heavily populated area, so there are some roads which will be too busy or too congested for enjoyable cycling. When I was in the Seattle area in late spring, I found Google Maps helpful in mapping out cycling routes. There are also some great cycling paths in that area. If you want to do the hub-and-spokes tour plan you've suggested, you will have a predominantly urban experience. This may or may not be what you want.

If you go north into British Columbia, Vancouver and Victoria both have extremely good cycling cultures. Again, Vancouver is a large urban area and while you can find beautiful natural areas, you'll also contend with urban cycling conditions.
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Old 12-08-12, 12:11 PM
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Can you already climb hills on the bike you want to tour on? what is the Drivetrain?
SRAM Dual Drive hub a good option..

Europe? There is the possibility to use, ferries, trains and busses, to get to major cities,
then hub from your lodging.

Folding bike, how about a folding trailer to go with it for your gear? Burly Travoy, [US] ,
tows from the seatpost,

Carry Freedom City [UK] tows from a hitch on the left axle end.

Crazyguyonabike has lots of resources and others tour stories..

Oregon Coast there is a nice Bus from PDX airport.

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-08-12 at 12:18 PM.
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