An Ideal Cycle Tour

What would I do differently with respect to touring? First of all I wouldn't do it alone. The ideal tour in my mind is a small group, four to six, with a sag wagon. It would be similar to a commercial tour, but done independently with much more flexibility.

It would seem reasonable to do a tour of one to three months by renting of buying a small van, capable of carrying the entire group, plus gear and bikes. To do it independently, either one member of the group, who wasn't into cycling, could act as driver, but more reasonably, each member of the group would take turns. The van would carry all the gear except for minimal personal items on the bike, such as rain gear, snacks, water, etc. It would go ahead to the next destination and get everything ready for the rest of the group.

If the riders also had radios or cell phones, the van would also be able to pick up anyone who tired or had a breakdown. Or it could just follow along and pick up any stragglers.

As an independent group, it could flexibly change plans; could decide whether to ride to a place, or just load the bikes and drive to a new area, skipping from interesting ride to interesting ride. Sharing the driver responsibilities not only shares the burden of moving gear, but also gives the day's driver a regular day of rest from riding.

Using the van as “command central” also allows flexibility in places to stay. The trip could be fairly economical by using campgrounds and the daily rides could begin and end at interesting sites and the van used to get to the next evening's lodging, either an economical camp or a luxury abode. By keeping the group small, B&Bs, homestays and farmstays remain an option as well.

Any volunteers for trying this on the next trip?

Updated: 13 May 2002