How to plan a trip
Not sure if this is the right place for this, but my buddy and I will be riding our commuter bikes so thats my justification. We want to plan a two or three day tour from Newport News Va to somewhere on the other side of the state. Assuming we will carry food water tent and supplies. How do i find places where we can post up for the night. Are there rules for just sleeping somewhere? How do i decide what routes are good to take? As much as i want to just get on my bike and ride somwhere i believe it takes a little more planning than that.
Any help/advice is appreciated.
Heres the bike i'll be riding
Hey, Beatnik. Those are some very preference oriented questions, but you can work it out.
"How do i find places where we can post up for the night. Are there rules for just sleeping somewhere?"
Very touchy issue on the bike touring forums. If you bring it up on BFnet and provide plenty of water ans sunshine, there`ll be a three page argument on "stealth camping" within a few days . Some people camp only in commercial campgrounds, a lot will ask permission (especially in small towns) to camp out in the park, behind a church or firestation, in somebody`s yard, etc. Out in the West, we`re lucky enough to have free camping options galore- apparently not so simple back East, so my methods wouldn`t cut it for you.
"How do i decide what routes are good to take?"
Read trip reports by other people, follow published routes, use a combination of maps, GoogleEarth, and government issued traffic counts, or just wing it. Chances are you already have a good idea what the roads are like in your area- things to think about include amount and speed of traffic, grades, shoulder width (especially on long upgrades), frequency of services (not much of a problem in the East). For short trips in your own neck of the woods, you can probably manage to predrive the options that look good if you aren`t sure. I`ve also called public works departments in nearby counties to find out whether a certain road was paved or not or whether it was plowed in the winter.If you don`t have specific start and end points in mind, consider using nonmotorized trails, such as the GAP or C&O canal, for your first trip or two.
"As much as i want to just get on my bike and ride somwhere i believe it takes a little more planning than that."
Hmmm... maybe, but don`t over think it. I guess it is a good idea to put SOME thought into it before you strike out, but if you spend too long plotting ot every detail and worrying about all the possibilities you`ll never make it out the door. It isn`t rocket science, and there`s only one way to figure out which of the many points of view apply to you, personally.
Other websites to cruise:
How're you planning to carry all your stuff? If I'm not mistaken, that bike makes no allowance for racks.
Bring some larger cogs with you, "just in case."
"Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx