Many people value cycling for how it gets them where they want to go— they can commute to work while saving money, getting exercise, and contributing to a healthy planet. Have you ever thought of where your bike can take you—discovering new destinations along the way?
The spectrum of bicycle travel is broad, from taking an overnight trip to a near-by state park, a weekend adventure, a weeklong tour to a neighboring community, or embarking on an epic, cross-country cycling adventure.
Bicycle Travel Resources
|Adventure Cycling Association is a nonprofit organization devoted to inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle, with over 44,000 members nationwide. Adventure Cycling offers:|
- More than 38,000 miles of cycling routes
- An online How-To Department, offering the basics such as Bike Touring 101 and Getting in Shape for Touring, plus much more.
- The Cyclists’ Yellow Pages, a worldwide trip planning resource that helps you find accommodations, bicycle shops, trails, and other resources you’ll need.
- Adventure Cyclist, the one magazine dedicated to inspiring bicycle travel stories and photographs from around the world. Get a free sample issue of Adventure Cyclist.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinators: each state has one and they can tell you where to get cycling maps for their state.
USDA Forest Service: familiarize yourself with your preferred national forest area, its recreational opportunities, and cycling regulations.
More trail options: learn about local greenways (such as the East Coast Greenway), rails-trails, historical trails (such as the Route of the Hiawatha in northern Idaho), & other shared-use paths that you can incorporate into your route.
Better World Club offers roadside assistance for cyclists.
On a bike you can enjoy the journey, the company of family and friends, and the world around you, at “human speed.” Touring by bicycle emits 100% less emissions than a car and connects you with your community and natural environment, so you can:
- Save money and curb your emissions – plan the ultimate gas-free road trip
- Experience your community up close – bike on local trails or camp along a local river
- Immerse yourself in history– ride a section of a route like the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route
- Take in a landscape like never before – cycle down the Pacific Coast
- Invigorate your health with a fast-paced day trip or a more strenuous trek
- A bike: Consider a Touring Bicycle
- A helmet: Protect your noggin and possibly the environment
- Some maps: Plan your route and consult ride guides
- Other gear and clothing: Make a packing list
Riding your bike is a great start, but making communities more bike-friendly and walkable, and consequently healthier, is the next step. Speak up about what matters to you and tell your community leaders why bikes belong. What can you do to learn more and get involved? Here are some ideas.
- Learn more about bike laws in your area from the League of American Bicyclists
- Support the creation of a U.S. Bicycle Route System
- Join the Alliance for Biking & Walking
- Get involved with local Trips for Kids Earn-a-Bike programs
What sort of bicycle tourist are you? Ken Kifer’s web page, Types of Touring Cyclists and Bicycle Touring Trips, offers an overview of some of them. If you already know what you need, try these links for more info:
- Basics for the beginner: Learn to ride a bike and teach the kids!
- Family fun: get some specialized information on traveling with kids.
- For the nine-to-fiver: CommutebyBike.com and Bikecommuters.com
- For the more adventurous: Mountain bike touring is growing in popularity and a great escape. Learn more about how to mountain bike tour.
- More bicycle basics and how-tos from Adventure Cycling Association