Three weeks to go and the planning continues… Part of the fun and excitement of going on a bike tour is the preparation. Being properly prepared can make or break your bicycle trip. There are a lot of excellent resources available to help you along the way; most of them can be accessed from the comfort of your own home. The majority of States, Provinces and Regions have a website for camping, lodging or riding. Many places allow you to book in advance; a must when using the park system for camping in the busy summer season.
You can also find great information from bike specific sites. Previous tours, blogs or journals can provide the missing bike specific tricks and tips you won’t get on the general sites. If you are just starting touring or want someone else to do the planning, there are numerous bicycle touring companies that will help plan your trip for you.
I have found a bounty of useful information about the Dempster Highway on the web. This has helped considerably with my planning….especially because I am riding by myself. The information has aided me develop a plan for daily distances; I know where to find good water and have a decent idea as to what each days terrain will be like.
Good planning lets you mitigate some of the unknown, and by doing that, I will have more time to enjoy the ride.
“The potential for running into bears is also very high”
It is also good to recognize that there will be things out of your control….for me it will be weather, bugs and bears. Rain could turn the road into mud causing delays and affecting my daily destinations, meals and return trips. Pre-planning for this allows those blips in your travel to become small diversions instead of monster problems. The mosquitoes can be thick… but if the weather turns to too windy or too cold, they won’t be a problem, other issues will be created. The potential for running into bears is also very high, and in the Yukon the bears are big. I have already run into a couple of grizzly bears so I am hoping the quota is all used up. I will be packing bear spray all the same.
Good planning is not over planning. Planning to take in all the details removes all the risk. It is important to remember, that hidden within the risk is where all the fun lies!