Bicycle Travel Basics

Learn the basics of bicycle travel: getting in shape, packing, and more. This section features blog posts from Adventure Cycling staff and guest authors, articles from Adventure Cyclist contributors, and links to other resources.

Photo by Jesse Merz

Small Items to Remember
Small Items to Remember

When packing up for a tour, I tend to put a big focus on the essentials (tools, tent, sleeping bag, cookware, clothes, etc). Here are three items that may or may not be necessities, so they can be easy to neglect. But all of them are beneficial to have along.

Pre-Tour Bicycle Tune-Up Checklist
Pre-Tour Bicycle Tune-Up Checklist

Any time I'm planning out a trip, regardless of location or distance, the very first thing I do is break into an Excel spreadsheet. Keeping things organized in my head has never been one of my stronger suits, so I need to get it all down on a list before something else grabs my attention. Lists also give me a little more confidence going into a tour as reassurance that the things I've planned for have been taken care of.

Bike Touring During Pregnancy: Yes, You Can!
Bike Touring During Pregnancy: Yes, You Can!

During our bike tours, people have often quipped, "Great that you're doing this trip before you have kids!" -- as if children would put a definite and immediate end to our love of cycling and traveling by bicycle. When I became pregnant in May 2011, I wondered if they were right. Would a growing belly (let alone the arrival of a new human being) put a quick end to my bike touring days?

How to Prepare for a Long Distance Bicycle Tour

Don't put off that long-distance bike tour! You can do it! To get you started, Adventure Cycling teamed up with America ByCycle to produce this fun video on how to prepare for your long-distance cycling adventure. Strap on your helmet and get ready for the ride of a lifetime!

10 Things You Might Think You Need for a Long Distance Tour, but Don't
10 Things You Might Think You Need for a Long Distance Tour, but Don't

As touring season ramps up and you’re getting your things together, you may be weighing what you do and do not need to bring, or what you need to make room for as your storage space fills up. Here's how to pare down!

10 Ways to Stay Healthy on a Bike Tour
10 Ways to Stay Healthy on a Bike Tour

We know what you're thinking -- how can you NOT be healthy on a bike tour? Read on!

BikeFlights.com
BikeFlights.com

Unless your bike tour begins close to home, transporting your bike can be one of the most difficult tasks in preparing for your journey. Flying with bikes can be outrageously expensive and shipping can cause all sorts of headaches in regards to where you're going to send the bike, and whether or not it will arrive on time. If you're struggling with these issues, you might want to turn your attention to BikeFlights.com.

BicycleSafe.com

Bicycle safety information and tips for adults.

HaveFunBiking.com

This site focuses mostly on Midwestern states. From destinations to explore, to bike clubs and shops you will find many fun options to stay active and healthy while making a smaller environmental footprint. 

BikeTouringTips.com

A web archive of over 1,000 bike touring tips and more.

SheldonBrown.com

An extensive resource for all aspects of bicycles and touring. Contains a wide assortment of informative articles.

How to Mountain Bike Tour
How to Mountain Bike Tour

by Aaron Teasdale. While cyclists have been exploring unruly stretches of earth on bicycles for generations, mountain bikes — with their stout frames, bump-smoothing suspension, and wide, knobby tires — make it easier and more fun. Put simply, mountain bikes have forever changed and expanded the sport of bicycling by opening up a new world of terrain for velo exploration.

Choosing a Commercial Tour

by Larry Diskin. It can be quite difficult to choose a commercial tour. In this article, I'll categorize the different styles of tours that are most commonly available, and give you some tips on how to select one that you'll enjoy.

Cycling Across America (PDF)

by Jerry Soverinsky. A bicycle-touring expert lends some advice on how to make the big ride happen. (PDF)

Tour It Yourself: Cycling In Europe
Tour It Yourself: Cycling In Europe

by Joe Morris. Europe is the birthplace of the Tour de France, the rear derailer, the Dutch utility bike, and the trans-continental bike route. Nevertheless, it can be intimidating to plan your own bike tour there. How do you choose a route? Where do you stay? How much planning do you really need to do?

Secrets to Social Survival

by Larry Diskin. We often write about selecting the proper gear. We recommend exotic locations, give you the maps, and lead you on three-month expeditions. But rarely do we share the secrets of social survival, tricks of the trade so to speak. Here are a few concepts to keep in mind that will help you have a positive experience.

Bike Law for the Touring Cyclist

by Steve Magas. All the Boring Legal Stuff (BLS) a touring cyclist needs to consider before taking to the road.

Self-contained Bicycle Travel Tips

by the Tours Department. There's a lot to think about when you're getting ready to leave on your big self-contained tour. Here are some odds and ends for you to contemplate.

What to Take and How to Pack

by the Tours Department. If you’re planning to travel by bike, there’s no getting around it — you’ll have to bring stuff. The central truth for this stuff: less is more. Countless cyclists end up shipping excess stuff home a week or two into their ride after they realize how little they actually need and precisely how heavy their extra stuff is. The other central truth: the less weight you carry, the more fun it is to ride. In time, you’ll figure out what works best for you. This article can get you started.

Getting in Shape for Touring

by Brian Martindale. Riding a loaded bicycle is a demanding physical challenge. Here are a few training tips that will help to prepare you.

Bike Touring 101

by Adventure Cycling Staff. Many people become smitten with the idea of traveling by bicycle but don’t how to get started. In this article, Adventure Cycling staff answer some of the common questions that beginning bicycle travelers often ask.

State Bicycling Laws

Learn about state bicycling laws using these web resources.