Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Useful resources when planning a big cycle tour

Trawling through the internet I've stumbled across so many useful resources for planning a trip like ours. We are not the first to have a dream like this, and it's reassuring to hear how other people have done it.

Here's a list of some of the things I've found useful and/or inspirational:

YouTube Channels
  1. Nomads Trails - great gear lists on their website and a superb YouTube channel. 
  2. Adam Hugill - English bloke who started off cycling around the world with his girlfriend, before carrying on alone(!) Useful stuff on his YouTube Channel.
  3. Wheels to Wander - a Dutch couple on a big ride.
  4. Ed Pratt - this guy unicycled around the world at the age of just 19. His kit list is a study in minimalism; his YouTube channel is inspirational.

  1. Rob Lilwall - a mate of my brother's who has written a couple of books. Cycling home from Siberia + hearing him talk many years ago fanned the flames for me.
  2. Three Men in a Bike by Rory Spowers I've ordered this book on Amazon, following a tip-off from a colleague. An old-school adventure awaits :-)
  3. Jonny Ginger's Last Ride by Tom Freemantle. I was given this by a parent whose child I was taking to cycle in Nepal. It's rather a wonderful travelogue but a sad one to be reading now in the sense that it deals so warmly of cycling through Syria.
  4. Alastair Humphreys - I first heard about this guy via my brother and read some of his early books. He's living proof that if you want to bike touring can be done in a way that would please the most hard-core Mustachian (i.e. you don't need much money!)
Blogs and other resources
  1. Tom's Bike Trip - this is the guy on whom the film Janapar was based. His site is an absolute treasure-trove of information.
  2. Caravanistan - detailed information on visas for Central Asia. Looks very helpful indeed.
  3. DHL Race to the RWC - I suspect this might be taken down soon, but it has a useful map and led me to connections to Ron Rutland and James Owens - their Strava tracks are publicly visible :-) 
  4. Pete Adeney - cf Mustachian - not a bike tourist per se (though he does like bikes!) But adopt some of his principles even just for a year and you'll feel less worried about finances and more able to take the leap.
  5. Pete Gostelow - fellow teacher and fellow Thorn Raven Tour owner. Lots of useful hints and tips on cycle touring on his website.
  6. Alee Denham - some useful stuff here, but mainly an inspiration of you're looking to monetise your tour (I'm not).
  7. Travelling two - a useful blog with a lot of information on cycle touring.
  8. Lifetime Trails -  kit lists, reviews and advice.
  9. Crazyguyonabike - a wonderfully retro treasure trove for cycle tourists.
  10. Two on Four Wheels - I've blogged about these two elsewhere, their site is a useful, if sobering, archive of their trip.
  11. A Bike Journey - Guy and Frederike did a ride from the UK to Australia back in 2010/11. They rode Thorn Raven Tours (same as us) and kept a journal while they went.
  12. Cycletourer website - Frank and Jon, a retired teacher couple, have put up a wealth of information here. I love their kit advice which comes from the perspective of years of experience. They've got their gear sorted to a tee.
  13. Complete Tandenomium - these two did almost the rider we're going to be doing on a tandem. There's some useful info here including a piece on electronics which put me off spending money on a dynamo hub and USB charger. Having read this, I think keeping things simple is best. It also happens to be cheaper :-)
  14. Vaegabond - a German couple on a mission to travel around the world for five years. Very organised - comprehensive kit list and links.
  15. Tour on a Bike - some useful kit reviews and other tips and tricks.
  16. Rolling East - smart looking website of a couple who cycled from London to Melbourne. Really informative kit reviews etc.
  17. Riding Round - Adam Riches' circumnavigation.
  18. The Next Challenge - Tom Moss delves into cycle touring with a new level of geekiness.

I'll add to this if I come across any more, but that's it for now (15/4/2020). Please let me know in the comments if I've missed any gems :-)