Ryan Van Duzer’s expert tips on planning a cycling vacation, part 2
By Aimee Heckel
Ryan Van Duzer has traveled across the country, up and down the coasts and internationally on his trusty mountain bike.
He’s also a favorite face on various travel programs, and is gearing up for a Travel Channel show about cycling through Sonoma and Napa valleys in California.
Monday, we featured some of his expert tips on how to plan a cycling vacation — and save money while doing so.
Here, he shares more tips on planning a vacation on your bike:
ShopAtHome.com: How do you plan a bike trip?
Ryan Van Duzer: It’s pretty simple: Get on a bike and start pedaling. People get overwhelmed with planning and gear and maps, but once you hit the road and get going, you just wake up, ride your bike all day long and it’s beautiful and amazing.
SAH: What has been your favorite bike trip?
RVD: It’s hard to say, but I think the first one, from Honduras to Boulder, after being gone for for two years. The journey home was incredible, riding through jungles, mountains and deserts, and I met so many wonderful people. That first ride is what inspired me to do all these other long bike tours.
Each ride has its own charm. The West Coast nature is beautiful, with redwoods and the Pacific Coast. Across country is small-town America and farms. The East Coast the big cities (allow you to travel) through New York, Philly, Boston, D.C. I call it life at 15 miles an hour. You’re going so slowly that you really get to see and experience the world in ways you never could if you were traveling by car or bus or airplane.
SAH: Is a bike tour cheaper than a road trip in a car?
RVD: It depends, because on road trip, you have gas and hotels. But on a bike, you’re going really slowly, so to get somewhere takes a long time — at least a month to go cross-country. That’s a lot of food to eat. For me, I keep it cheap. I camp out as much as possible. Keep it simple.
SAH: Where do you go camping?
RVD: I stay away from designated campsites because they’re expensive and often charge you the same amount as an RV or car. I find a spot off the side of the road; make sure it’s safe and there’s water nearby.
SAH: What are your sleeping arrangements when you’re camping?
RVD: I always bring a tent, in case it rains and for bugs. If it’s not going to rain, I like to sleep under the stars. Bring a sleeping bag or light camp blanket, a Therm-a-Rest or sleeping pad.
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Photo courtesy of Therm-A-Rest at Cascadedesigns.com.