Everything you need to plan your trip in a single digital guide.
If you’re dreaming of a bicycle adventure of any kind, and you’re trying to put that dream into action, this book will tell you exactly what you need to do to make it happen.
With contributions from more than 50 veteran cyclists, The TomsBikeTrip.com Guide To Adventure Cycle Touring has been specifically written to walk you, the newcomer, through every step involved in planning and undertaking that most joyful of things: a bicycle-mounted adventure.
It doesn’t matter where you want to go, or for how long. It doesn’t matter what kind of bike you ride. It doesn’t matter if you call it “cycle touring”, “bikepacking”, or any other name. The fundamentals are the same. It’s just the details that differ.
This is not your average how-to guide.
I remember ‘discovering’ cycle touring. It was 2006, and I was browsing a bookshop in Edinburgh when I noticed a title called The Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook. I bought it on a whim and spent the afternoon under a tree devouring its contents. By the end of the day I’d decided to try and cycle round the world.
Then I started Googling. This one mistake cost me a year. For all the fine detail and information in that book, it didn’t reassure me that bicycle adventures were actually really simple.
This was in contrast to all the conflicting information I found on the web. Nobody agreed on anything, and everyone claimed to know best.
My other big stumbling block was fear. A long bike trip felt like a Really Big Thing. I was daunted and didn’t know where to start. There seemed so much I needed to know, and Google only uncovered more things I needed know. I thought I needed to have every last detail figured out before setting off, otherwise something terrible would happen.
I did eventually set off to cycle round the world. And I soon realised I could have started much sooner and with far less stress. I wish someone had told me explicitly what I needed to know to get to the starting line, and what could wait until later.
Getting you to the starting line is the aim of this guide.
I’ve spent over a decade riding and writing about bicycle travel. I write in order to help people.
Because of this, TomsBikeTrip.com is the UK’s number one adventure cycling advice website. The planning section alone now contains about 400,000 words of hard-earned knowledge.
This has resulted in some key principles for this book:
- It’s concerned with simplicity and breadth, covering the full range of topics, but not getting bogged down in details that don’t matter.
- It presents a range of perspectives, rather than the “my way is the best way” approach you’ll find on countless blogs and forums.
- It is a manual of reassurance as much as a practical guide, because getting going isn’t about knowing everything, but about being confident that you know enough.
- And it covers trips of a few days right through to multi-year epics.
Whatever you’re planning, and wherever you’re going, this beginners’ guide has got you covered. Even if you only discovered bicycle travel today.
Especially if you only discovered it today.
The guide is broken down into four logical parts.
The Introduction is where you’ll get up to speed on the basic principles of all types of bicycle travel – the Who, What, When, Where and How. (Come back here if you start to feel overwhelmed.)
Part One: How To Get Ready contains 9 chapters covering the big questions you’ll probably have already asked yourself. You’ll learn about a range of approaches to each topic, and come away with a much clearer picture of how to approach planning your trip in a way that fits your priorities.
Part Two: How To Get Going contains 14 chapters on every common scenario you’ll encounter between leaving your front door and finishing your ride. This is all about helping you visualise what life on two wheels is going to be like, so you can prepare mentally in advance of hitting the road.
Part Three: How To Go Further contains an additional 11 chapters that are likely to become relevant once you’ve got the hang of the basics, or if you’re planning something particularly ambitious. (This is where the experiences of the guide’s 50+ contributors really come into their own.)
If, after reading all that, you still don’t know where to start – well – I’ll film myself eating my cycle helmet and upload it to Youtube.