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Planning
 

Is preparation for a 4,000 mile/70 day bicycle trip difficult? Well, let me clue you in on a little secret. The answer is no, not really.

Maybe we were just plain lucky in that we began the planning process over one year ago. Maybe we were lucky to discover early on that a wealth of information exists to help two novice long haul cyclists focus on all the issues that are important. Whether lady luck or possibly a little common sense was at work here, the planning and preparation for this trip has, we think, been thorough, and definitely a lot of fun.

 
David in action!
 

An explanation of three resources we used extensively may be the best way to explain our approach for getting ourselves ready.

These resources are:

1. The Adventure Cycling Organization
2. “The Essential Touring Cyclist, a Complete Guide for the Bicycle Traveler” by Richard A. Lovett
3. The website: www.crazyguyonabike.com

The Adventure Cycling Organization must be known to virtually all U.S. touring cyclists and many around the world.

Founded in 1973, this is America’s premier nonprofit organization dedicated to bicycle travels with over 42,000 members nationwide. They research and develop bicycle routes, now a network of over 34,000 miles of on road and off road routes. We purchased our detailed cycling maps for this trip from Adventure Cycling; maps that contain everything from locations of bike shops to sources for food and water, listings of overnight accommodations (especially camping facilities and small motels) and, of course, detailed route directions. We considered joining one of their guided cross-country bike tours but, ultimately, decided for this trip we would enjoy the luxury of traveling on our own schedule.

The second resource is the book “The Essential Touring Cyclist, a Complete Guide for the Bicycle Traveler” by Richard A. Lovett. The back cover of this book states, “The Essential Touring Cyclist, the only fully illustrated manual for bicycle touring, guides you through choosing a bike, equipping and customizing it for touring, and preparing yourself for life on the road. Other tips include getting into shape and dealing with aches and pains; touring solo or with groups; riding skills and endurance techniques and tips on clothing, camping, food and safety”. We found this book to be well written and an invaluable source of information based on the author’s more than 50,000 miles of cycle touring experience.

Finally, www.crazyguyonabike.com is a website for posting bicycle touring journals, forums and resource information. The content is contributed by cyclists from all over the world. You can browse the journals, or register and then create your own journal. Also, the forums (message boards) and resource section (a database of links and businesses) provides useful information. We enjoyed reading many of the cross-country tour journals. As of April, 2006 there were 945 cycling journals with 74,414 pictures posted on this site. We considered adding our own trip to this site but were fortunate to have Jeff Helfand of NevadaInteractive.com offer to donate his website production talents to create the unique site you are now viewing.

 
 
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