Cycling is one of the loveliest ways of travelling, and anyone can have as much of an adventure cycling to a town or village twenty miles from their home as riding to the other side of the world.
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Cycle Touring For Beginners has twin aims:
The first is to encourage you to try cycle touring as soon as possible, especially if all you can manage is a weekend away. It doesn't have to be a months-long expedition on another continent; you can experience the freedom that touring by bike gives by riding away from your front door and exploring areas close to home.
The second aim is to share what I have learned over the last seven years. I am a great believer in using the tools and kit that are available to you now and not waiting for perfection - and I keep repeating this point in the book - but I'd also like to help you avoid some of the more unpleasant experiences by sharing tips I've learned, so you can make it a little bit easier on yourself from the start.
The book covers:
- Reasons to try cycle touring
- What sorts of bicycle you can use, with advice on gearing, basic maintenance and safety
- Fitness and staying healthy on the road: advice on eating and drinking to keep you cycling happily all day, stretching to avoid aches and pains, and the importance of caring for your skin
- Where to stay, whether to travel alone or with others, and the advantages and disadvantages of having a plan
- Advice on tents and camping accessories
- Tools and repair kits, from the minimalist puncture repair kit and
- Cooking equipment and the importance of hygiene
Clothing for on and off the bike, toiletries and what to include in your first aid kit
Maps, guidebooks and the importance of luxuries
With a bike, you travel slowly enough to see everything in detail yet quickly enough to cover lots of ground. Even cycling thirty miles from where you live, using roads you don't normally take in a car, makes you see your area in a new light and turns what is familiar into an adventure. In the book I constantly encourage the reader to try with whatever equipment they have available, whether it's for a couple of nights or for a couple of months.