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4 months ago

ISSUE6-NERDS

How to Bike Tour ...like

How to Bike Tour ...like a nerd. I'm a nerd for bike touring. Bike touring means getting a bike, loading it up and heading off for however long you want. Some go for a few days, some go for years. This is something of a starter's list so you can conduct your own bike tours. It probably will do one of the following: either put you off this form of travel entirely, or suck you into the abyss of taking shit jobs to save money to travel. You will come to accept being lost most of the time, and you’ll end up browsing online forums where people argue endlessly over tyre sizes and types of inner tube valves. Get a bike No shit. There's a simple formula for this one: cheapness + shittiness = less comfort and more problems. I've met people touring on £30 old mountain bikes on the verge of disintegrating that got people hundreds of miles across a country. The main thing is to make sure the type of bike is suited for where you're heading (don't be the idiot lugging a road bike on mud and mountain trails, or wasting your energy pushing a fat bike down asphalt). As your bike is your only means of getting about, it becomes something of a limb. Learn how to fix Or at least patch up - anything on it that could go wrong. That means bringing a repair kit. Get some money The amount depends on how much you like scouring supermarket shelves and lurking around under the cover of night to camp for free. You can go super light and do "credit card touring", with pretty much just the clothes on your back, and splash out on hotels and meals, or you can go full batshit wildman and pack everything under the sun in order to never pay for anything. If you wild camp, use Warmshowers (Couchsurfing for cyclists) and talk to locals to get free places to pitch up. You can get your costs down to under a tenner a day in Western Europe, and even less than that in cheaper countries. Work out where you're going Get maps, or GPS, or use your phone, whatever works for you. Very little can go wrong with maps, whereas phones can be temperamental. Avoid using Google Maps, I learnt that the hard way when it tried to lead me through a mine and over a collapsed bridge. Plan a route, don't plan a route, it's up to you. I'm not your fucking mother. Get equipment and supplies This depends on how far into the cesspit of camping and being a cheap, smelly bastard you're willing to dive, as well as how long and where you're riding. If you're riding dodgy mountain trails aim towards bikepacking 22

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