Tour Planning

All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.

Tour Planning

Postby Brenchen » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:24 pm

Hi guys,

This question really aims for both "Touring Overseas" and here. But can the regular tourist please share your planning workflow for going on a tour?

Recently I've hosted another cyclist from warmshowers, he is from Germany, and he has a whole set of procedures and applications, websites etc. for hitchhiking and planning his cycling tours. But those resources are all in German, and they are more aimed for Germany and parts of Europe. For places like Australia or elsewhere, there are practically no data, because there are no one from other parts of the world who contributes their routes and other information for those places.

So I ask for the equivalent, or even better, a planning workflow for your touring rides would be much appreciated; these may also include possibly contacting warmshowers or couchsurfing, food, and other preparations etc..

Thanks in advanced.
Brendan Chen
It never gets easier, it only gets faster...
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by BNA » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:23 pm

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Re: Tour Planning

Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:23 pm

I personally don't worry about getting all anal in planning I pack my bike and go carry everything with me and play it by ear the entire way until I get back home it makes the journey so simple and much more fun for me. Nothing ever goes as you plan if you do plan a trip and I'm not one to be sitting down writing on facecrap or twiddling on twater keeping a trip diary updated to bore everyone with I just love my own company and a forgotten world when touring. --------------->KISS

Having said all that I do enjoy reading others that have written about there trips and documented the events it gives me reading material at night because I don't watch the idiot box.

Ricky
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Re: Tour Planning

Postby WestcoastPete » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:14 pm

I agree. Don't plan too much. You need at least a start point and usually an end point. I usually have a look at the options for nice routes in between and ideas for places to stay, but that's about it.

Every time I've planned, my plans have ended up changing anyway. Once you're going, it's easier to visualise what the next day or two will likely hold anyway.
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Re: Tour Planning

Postby il padrone » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:18 pm

I did run a tour in Tasmania last summer where nearly everything I planned came off - only one small village campsite we did not get to. But I had to plan this one as I took 15 other people with me. It was a great cycle tour by the way.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Tour Planning

Postby WarrenH » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:16 am

We are very different in what we do at times and as I've aged, I have changed my planning strategies for touring off-road. I plan everything like a military operation nowadays.

Having all the maps is crucial, not just having a slick GPS with Garmin maps. I ring around or visit property owners well ahead of time to gain access to places not seen by most cycling tourists. I prepare my food for weeks, well in advance. I even reconnoitre several possible routes before deciding where to avoid. I also plan for the worst happenings ... last week I was bitten by an Eastern Brown Snake and had to talk paramedics to my remote location.

The possibility that someone who wasn't as well prepared, might at their worst, not be writing this today, I find oddly satisfying. This is a brutal country at times. I'm usually hyper-vigilant for spotting snakes but last week I dropped my guard by treading softly. That nobel ethic of treading softly in the bush, isn't wise in Eastern Brown Snake country.

For me thorough planning is just as important as being there. I know that the ride will happen anyway. I plan so that I'm not forced to keep riding because of being inadequately resourced and any changes to the route are simply done because they've already been considered.

Warren.

PS, My GPS location was unfortunately no help, last week. When I gave 000 my exact GPS location, they couldn't use it because their gear was inadequate. The first paramedics that came to help me were thwarted by a locked gate. I talked the second group of paramedics into my location, turn by turn. If you don't know the Eastern Brown Snake, its the second most venomous snake on earth. I dodged a bullet last week. Thankfully the snake initiated its attack with a non fatal bite. I put it down to good tour planning that had me adequately resources to the conditions.
Last edited by WarrenH on Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tour Planning

Postby RonK » Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:53 am

Brenchen, no doubt touring information is very organised in Europe, but there is very little such organisation in Australia.

First port of call for me is usually crazyguyonabike.com to find and read journals about tours in the area I want to visit.

Once I have an idea where I want to tour, I use Google Maps to plot an intinerary that can be accomplished in the available time. This itinerary will be invariably adapted along the way, but it's important to have one - it's not much fun wandering off with just a vague plan then realising you are going to be 500kms short of the airport where your return flight departs tomorrow. Most of us go touring for relaxation and can do without that kind of stress.

Then it's painstaking research on the www to find information about places worth visiting and things see and do along the route.

You may also find some useful books about touring in Australia, though most are a little out of date.

Tomorrow I set out to ride what I expect to be one of the features pf my current tour - the crossing if the Crown Range from Wanaka to Queenstown. It's the highest sealed road in NZ and at the top there are panoramic views over Arrowtown and Queenstown. It will be a hard, but rewarding ride. All discovered through my research.
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Re: Tour Planning

Postby Vintagetourer » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:21 am

I like to have a broad strategy with detail worked out for just the first two or three days. I do however like to be prepared enough to handle changes and contingencies without going too overboard with stuff. Too light is risky but so is carrying too much.

You can get a flavour of my approach to touring at:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/grahsmith

Everybody develops their own style and preferences for touring. Somebody elses prescription can provide ideas, but it is much better to develop ones own lists, plans, or non-plans on the basis of experience and personal preference.

(And Warren... thank goodness the snake didn't fully connect. Time to buy a lottery ticket :)
There are a lot out this year. We saw quite a few close up on the Can to Melb. ride.)
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Re: Tour Planning

Postby WarrenH » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:58 am

Graham aka VT, I like how you plan your tours. Your themes are a wonderful feature.

The tour that I found most interesting (above your other recent captivating tours) was The Turpentine and Diesel Tour. I think that the impression of simplicity that the tour gave was truly Classic. The initial plan and way the tour started and finished was very well considered.

There is a lot to be said about learning and exploring our immediate regions, which I'm now finding to be inexhaustible. I got that from both you and from Shamus Mac also on crazyguy'. Shamus was an amazing poster who got to know his region, but with crazy twists at the end of each day. Shamus gave the impression that he didn't necessarily plan well, that he just did it ... but I think Shamus's casual manner proved his tours were well planned. Sadly he doesn't post nowadays.

There is one thing though, that I wish that I hadn't read about on one of your tours Backroads to Braidwood ... Old Sydney Road. When I read about it on your tour, I thought that it may have been repaired. That was a big mistake. Not always does on get good info from the web. We get what we pay for.

The three variables that I give priority to which no amount of planning can always be sure of giving, are finding water, solitude and trying not to do too much on tour.

... and thank your Mate. The snake connected when I trod on it but I wasn't envenomated. That's typical of the Eastern Brown's first strike supposedly, which I now know. There is another thing that I learnt last week, which I hadn't planned for. An ambulance has no room for gear, apart from one bit of hand luggage.

Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Tour Planning

Postby Vintagetourer » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:27 am

That's a good point about Old Sydney Road Warren. I'll put a note on the article to say it is an unrideable, rocky track in case others get the wrong impression. It is an OK walk, but not a ride.

The recent Kings Hwy upgrade out of Queanbeyan makes it a lot safer. No need nowadays to resort to the OSR goat track.

I've since ridden to Captains Flat several times. On the most recent ride we saw this as we reached the crest of the hill out of Queanbeyan.
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page ... id=1417606

Regards Graham
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Re: Tour Planning

Postby Vintagetourer » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:07 pm

"An ambulance has no room for gear, apart from one bit of hand luggage."

This is when the true, hard-core cycle tourer says, "Just leave me here to my fate ambos. Save my bike and panniers!" :)

gs
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Re: Tour Planning

Postby WarrenH » Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:58 am

Graham, or "I don't matter, just save the film" because as Rifraf says, "Without the shots it didn't happen."

Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Tour Planning

Postby jemo27 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:15 am

I think tour planning all depends on why you are touring.

Are you trying to cycle fromone place to another, like Adelaide to Melbourne with no worry about visiting any specific places along the way, or are you wanting to visit certain places along the way.

for me I work out how long I have, the time of year, the area I want to go and if there are any special events on during that time. I try and follow old railway lines as I go seeing railway stations and bridges along the way, so I do alot of research on railway history in the area I'm visiting.

for example In early march 2012 I knew that the Steamranger tourist train was running on the 31st of March 2012 from Victor Harbour. So I new I had to be there by then. so I worked out a route that I thought was interesting and do able in the time I had.
I don't plan where I will be each day but look up places I could stay along the way and where I can get supplies. I also research any interesting things I could see along the way. i also look up public transport options and short cut routes if I am delayed or have to leave for some reason.

other people are different, I met a German cyclist at Wellington, he was just cycling to Melbourne from Adelaide with no real plans other than getting to Melbourne.

Similalry I met a cyclist at Port Augusta who had just been cycling on highways and was heading to WA. while I had taken quiet roads and the Mawson trail to get to Port Augusta. he appeared to have no interest in seeing Port Augusta, he left the next day, while I rode the Pichi Richi railway and went on a cruise on the Spencer Gulf.

when I plan I try to have something interesting to see every day or at least most days as I can.
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Re: Tour Planning

Postby rifraf » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:23 pm

Brenchen wrote:Hi guys,

Hi Brenchen
one of my suggestions would be to check out the "big picture" of the countries weather.
I didnt earlier this year and found myself unsuccessfully trying to dodge floodwaters. Even though there was no rain
in my area, northern rains flooded Murrumbidgee/Lachlan Rivers which found me stuck at Lake Cagellico for about a week.
Not an unpleasant place for a forced break on my jouney but if I'd done a little forward thinking I could have
taken perhaps a more southerly route. The waters themselves caused me little hardship but the mozzies were in plague proportions and the snakes trying to escape the waters (onto the tarmac) were a little worrysome to me
who'd last seen one in a zoo. All in all it added some excitement to my trip and I'd not have missed it for quids.

WarrenH wrote:Graham, or "I don't matter, just save the film" because as Rifraf says, "Without the shots it didn't happen."Warren.

Image
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