I’ve been doing casual research on Chuck and my journey. My definition of casual research is Googling bicycling touring, backpack camping, and bike trails. I’ve actually assembled nice list of dependable web resources that have been helping me get up to speed as a novice. I thought I would share them with folks who are considering bicycle touring.
- The touring forum over at Bike Forums rocks! I’ve found a good community of cyclists who share their knowledge freely. The touring forum is also a good place to see what tours other people are planning; a nice way to get ideas for a future tour. Bike Forums is also a great resource for cyclists beyond touring.
- Yahoo Groups for the GAP and C&O Canal Trails are nice places where newbies and explorers mix with local trail enthusiasts. I find a lot of good news on trail statuses and construction updates. It’s a good place to get camping, lodging and food and dining recommendations. People are brutally honest.
- The Bike Washington forum has been invaluable in helping me plan the D.C. to Annapolis portion of our ride. Again, look for this type of forums to get the advice of locals. One member has shared his daily commute from Annapolis to D.C. It will most likely be the route Chuck and I take.
- The GAP has a wonderful web site at atatrail.org. Beyond that web site, I found bikecando.com which has a wonderful interactive trip builder that allows you to search for resources along the trail and build your custom tour guide.
- Trail Towns is a web site that encourages locals to invest in businesses along the GAP. For GAP riders, the profiles on the towns are very valuable. The profiles give you a taste of the town or village and links to businesses, chamber of commerces and visitors’ services.
- My eyes were opened up to touring when I came across several bicycle touring sites. Crazy Guy on a Bike is a must bookmark. It has thousands of tour journals from all over the world. The GAP and C&O journals on this site have been invaluable. Here are real life stories that often highlight what went right and what went wrong.
- Darren at Bicycle Touring Pro is a treasure-trove of information. The articles and resources on his site are phenomenal. You can even enroll in an email based bicycle touring class. I did and found it very informative.
- Cindie and Tim over at Down the Road left their jobs many years ago to tour and write about touring. They have authored many books and have a web site jam packed with everything about touring. Make this one of your “must read” web resources. You won’t regret it.
These are just a few of the sites I have found to date. They are listed in my blog rolls on the left side of this blog. If you are a bicycling tourist, I would love to know your favorite sites. Let’s build a blog roll to help others enjoy the world of bicycle touring.