Who are bicycle tourists?

“Bicycle touring. That’s something I could never do.”
“ You guys are so lucky that you’re young; it’s a good thing you have no kids.”
“If my life was different, maybe I’d think about it.”

We heard it a thousand times on our recent tour. Whenever we would talk to someone about our journey, the person would tell us that there was no way they could do what we were doing. As if we were some sort of superheroes or something. But that’s just not the truth. The fact is, there’s nothing special about us. We were simply out there riding our bicycles.

Honestly, if you want to tour, you can tour. It may not look exactly the same as the way we tour, and you may not ride as far each day (or you may ride further, we’re kinda slow), but it doesn’t matter. Literally anyone can get out on a bicycle and have a great tour. Our goal is to help you have the most enjoyable tour by passing on some of our knowledge to you.

What does a bicycle tourist look like? We’ve met many bicycle tourists over the years. Old people, young people, and everyone in between. Groups, singles, couples, parents with kids. Super athletic or just beginning a fitness journey. The only thing that seems to matter is motivation. If the person decides to tour, they can tour.

Why would anyone want to tour? Why not? If you’re reading this, you’ve heard about touring somewhere, or you have met someone or know someone who’s done it. Most of them are not certifiably crazy, right? In fact most of the bicycle tourists we’ve met are very grounded in reality. There really is something deeply fulfilling about packing everything you need to live onto your bicycle and using your own muscle power to move it from one place to another. Even if you ride with a partner or in a group, no one can ride those miles for you. You have to do it all yourself. All it takes is determination to keep going, meeting all the challenges and adversity that comes at you day after day.

Bicycle touring is so simple. You get up, eat, ride, eat, ride, and live. It is so rewarding, knowing at the end of the day that you did it. You accomplished something that is solely your own personal accomplishment. Not too long ago (we’re talking just over 100 years) pioneers walked across the United States as they moved west in search of a new life. When you’re on a bicycle tour you are following in the footsteps of those pioneers, forging your own way. You can see the lay of the land as they did, enjoy the wide open spaces and the freedom to go anywhere! So, give it a try. What are you waiting for?

What is Bicycle Touring?

Bicycle touring comes in many shapes and sizes. There is no one definition of touring. Bicycle touring is simply riding your bicycle. Tours typically include an overnight stay, whether it is camping or in a hotel. Many tourists carry supplies with them, either in panniers (saddlebags) attached to the bicycle, or in a trailer. Or their gear may be carried by a support vehicle. Regardless, the only common factor for bicycle touring is a bicycle. Pretty much anything else goes.

Touring is about getting out on the road and seeing the world from the saddle of your bicycle. It is about soaking in the sunshine, having enough time to enjoy the scenery and truly experiencing the power required to propel yourself around this world. You tend to spend more time climbing hills than anything else but when you get those long smooth downgrades good luck wiping that grin off your face.

Hopefully you are picturing the beauty of this endeavor and beginning to think that you can do it (because you can!). Now you need to decide which type of tour is right for you. Consider this:

  • How much money can you budget for this?
  • How much weight are you willing to carry? How much weight can your bicycle SAFELY carry?
  • What do you REALLY need to be comfortable riding a long distance over multiple days?
  • How much time do you have?
  • How far do you want to go?

But the most important question is how soon can you leave? Because, seriously, there are very few places that are off limits to travel by bicycle. And once you’ve been out on a bicycle tour and experienced the complete freedom and independence of the open road, you won’t want to stop.