Friday, April 11, 2008

Website Review:

Cycle touring. I have little experience in this area, other than a weekend camping trip my Dad and I took when I was 13 or so. So I’m not the man for any advice, but what I do know is that there is a great resource on line for anyone interested in touring on two wheels. The site is filled with touring journals, articles, forums, reviews, resources, classifieds, websites, and ratings.

I’m always pleased when I read a good cycling adventure. The Journals section of the site links you to cycling adventures all over the globe. Some adventures are in the planning stages, some ongoing and some are completed. I recommend using the search feature of the site to find an adventure that interests you.

For example, when I searched for the word “Ohio” I found Patrick McLaughlin’s journal titled Transamerica Adventure – Spring 2008. He updates his journal daily and so far has cycled from Lakewood, OH to Augusta, KY in ten days.

One of my favorite journals is Tzuo Hann Law’s, Long Way Home. Tzou traveled W-E across the U.S., Ireland, Scotland, England, Europe, and Asia. He took the really, really, long way home, from college back to Malaysia, on a loaded bike! 17,753 miles over 293 days!

If you signup for an account you can post your touring journal (if you are into that). Or, you can track your favorite journals and/authors by adding them to your favorites. Not all journals are epic adventures, some journals range from day-trips to around the world. So whatever your touring taste, the site contains journals relating to your level of interest.

Another great feature is the RSS feeder. I have my favorite journals added to my RSS feed, this way I can track all new updates easily by checking my feeds list. Just like you do with my blog right?:)

Most of the journals are filled with excellent pictures and descriptive accounts of their travels. If you are like me, and you are too busy, so you can only dream of adventures like this, then this site gives you a chance to live vicariously through the authors.

Other great features include: A classifieds section, where you can buy and sell touring gear, or look for a companion for your next adventure. A journal guestbook, where you can add comments and post questions to the authors. A ratings page displays highly ranked pics, journals, resources, etc., that can be sorted in various ways.

The best way to familiarize your self with the site is to start clicking on the links in the toolbar and discover new adventures.

PS: For anyone familiar with riding in the Chagrin Valley, I cringed when I read an account of a fully loaded tourist who rode up Old Mill Hill. If she only knew that Berkshire road was a half mile down the road!!!

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