What it takes to prepare for a cycling adventure

December 17, 2008 at 5:49 am Leave a comment

It’s all coming together now

As preparations for the trip gather pace, I thought it would be a good time to take stock of where we are at the moment and offer a little advice as to what you need to consider when setting up a project like ours.  Now, as Cycle for Change is no ordinary bike adventure we have a lot of extra things that need to be taken care of and ironically the list of things to do seems to get longer and longer the more we achieve. Combining travel and sport poses more challenges than you might think. In the next few posts I will  add 2 new points each time on different topics so make sure to check back and follow the story. I am always open to suggestions or to answer any questions- if you have either, feel free to leave a message!!

First two Top Tips for preparing for your touring adventure

1. Itinerary

Oddly enough this really hasn’t been a huge focus for us yet although it is starting to formalize more and more. I think it is always important to keep in mind that the route and timings on a ride like this by their very nature need to be flexible. The biggest considerations so far for us have been accessibility, seasonal weather conditions, practical issues like visas and partner organisations and unfortunately with the ever increasing tensions in the region, we cannot ignore the changing political landscape.

Advice –

With six month to go before you leave, it is important to have a general overview of the route that allows you to assess the practicality of the ride, but dont get to bogged down in daily distances, where to stop, what to see. That will all become apparent later and lets be honest, what you discover on the road that you could never imagine while poring over maps in your living room is really what the trip is all about.

That said the Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook from Trailblazer has been a  great reference for ideas and hearing real stories that inspire us to carry on every time the magnitude of this trip becomes overly daunting.

2. Support team

Depending on the length of your trip and what you want to achieve whether its just for travel and sport or something bigger, it might pay to think about organizing a little support team. Our team, made up of friends and family with specific skills or just a real desire to help an environmental project take on some of the preparation load. More importantly they offer great belief and encouragement that what we are doing is worthwhile. The other thing that really makes a support team useful is the amount of contacts they have that can really help you project along.

Advice –

Personal trip. If your adventure is just for your own pleasure and sense of achievement then the biggest bonus of having a support team during your prep time is for the support and encouragement they can offer. Never doubt the benefit of an encouraging chat over a nice frosty beer where you can voice your doubts and concerns.

Major project. If like us your are incorporating your ride into a greater project, expertise in various areas might be required. We need all sorts of help with webite and graphic design, legal and accounting services, research and general project management. We have found that relying on the good will of others and good old fashioned bartering are the best way to get things done without having to raid the piggy bank to much. Rmember you probably have skills that other people need and for the meager investment of your time you can help others achieve their goals while getting their help for your project. It seem in these dire economic times barteing is becoming a really popular way to beat the credit crunch and its turning out to be a whole lot of fun getting involved in other peolpes projects. we are discovering the old adage two heads are better than one has never been so true.

We would love to hear about your experiences or help with any questions you might have – leave a comment or post a question in our Any questions? page.

We will have more tips over the next few weeks which will hopefully give you a fuller idea of what is required to get your bicycle trip off the ground.

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Entry filed under: cycling, fitness, himalayas, Trip Preparations. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Another big wake up call What it takes to prepare for a cycling adventure – Part two

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