Copyright 2014 Ed Wojtaszek
Revision 27 February 2016 Copyright 2016 Ed Wojtaszek
During the past three years of self-supported touring, I have refined the process of preparing for a bicycle tour and have upgraded a lot of my equipment as a result. There are three areas that I consider critical for the success of a long self-supported ride: bicycle, gear, and route plan. I use the same bicycle for all of my trips and it’s the bike that I use for training. The gear that I take with me includes everything from clothes and personal items to camping and cooking items. The route plan determines the length of the daily legs of the journey and the overnight strategy. Nutrition on the road is important, but food and water on the road and at camp is a topic that is more extensive than I can cover in this article and I only touch on it briefly. I also assume that you train and that you are conditioned and fit enough for a self-supported bicycle tour.
There are specific bicycle and gear products that I have chosen for myself. I avoid recommending these because many are subject to personal preference. Instead, I focus on the tradeoffs and other factors used to make those choices. My interest is self-supported bicycle touring and I consider variations such as fully supported touring and minimalist touring to be special cases that I only mention in passing.