By Steve Ryan, Pedal Power member and advocate
As someone who has joined lots of organised cycle tours over the last ten years, I have received many requests from family, friends and occasional acquaintances for tips or advice to help them decide whether cycle touring was for them or to choose which type of tour to join. I therefore used last year’s COVID downtime to create my new website – tour-de-mature.com. It costs nothing to open or use, but I would be delighted if you find it useful and subsequently provide feedback on your own experiences.
To develop the site, I called on the experience my partner and I derived from cycling in Australia, Japan, the USA, Europe and England. Our cycling has ranged from casual bike hire to half day city tours, right through to one week tours. Both in Australia and overseas there are lots of options – multi-week tours, supported tours with or without a guide, or doing your own thing. tour-de-mature.com focuses on the ins and outs of short and longer term guided touring.
Notwithstanding this, the site provides lots of advice that I believe can apply to most forms of cycle touring. For example, it can help you decide which form of cycle touring could be for you; as well as containing descriptions of the various types. of bikes you can bring or rent, including ebikes. The site endeavours to answer potential questions that arise when you begin the process of deciding whether you want to cycle tour and then tries to answer questions about what you need to do to prepare for your chosen tour.
In addition, there is a reviews tab that contains sections dealing with reviews of long and short tours and of bikes and accessories. Currently all the reviews have been written by me, but this tab also provides the opportunity for others to contribute reviews too.
Having had three tours in Europe cancelled in 2020, including two that were to introduce us to riding e road bikes up French and Italian alps, my partner and I decided to bite the bullet and purchase our own Specialized Creo e road bikes. These e road bikes weigh in at around 12kgs each and allow us to join in road bike tours and keep up with the younger brigade when it comes to climbs and head winds. We joined a tour along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria earlier this year and took our bikes with us. We had a fabulous week organised by AllTrails and riding with a group of Australians from across the country riding on road bikes, hybrids and e hybrid bikes. This was one of many tours on offer in early 2021 and it seems that as things COVID settle down, there are more tours being offered. If you think that cycle touring might be for you, please visit tour-de-mature.com and check it out. Hopefully it will provide you with the answers that you are looking for or at least send you in the right direction to get those answers.
Finally, I also have a Facebook page called tour de mature that I use to keep web site readers up to date with changes to the website or to publish cycling related articles that I think might be of interest to readers. If you like the Facebook page you will get notifications of new articles or as the web page is updated. So please have a look at both the website and the Facebook page, share the latter with your friends and either let me know if there are questions you have that are not answered and/or submit a review. Any review will be properly acknowledged and in this regard, I should reiterate that there is no cost associated with accessing these sites – they are a labor of love and if you like them please share them with anyone you meet who also would benefit from reading the advice.