In their book Linking Up, Mary Shaw and Roy Weil identify four big initial decisions:
- Daily Distance: How far should we ride each day?
- Luxury: What kind of overnight accommodations do we want? Camping, hostels, B&Bs, hotels?
- Support: Self-contained with panniers, lightly supported with a van, fully supported with an outfitter providing a guide?
- Direction: Should we ride eastbound or westbound?
- Who's going, and what's the nature of the relationships and the group dynamic?
- Why? What's the reason for the trip?
- What degree of involvement do you want in your trip planning and trip leadership?
Time and distance (335 miles)
- What's the enjoyable daily mileage for the least proficient rider?
- What's the enjoyable daily mileage for most of the riders?
- Flexibility Will every rider ride every mile every day, or will one/some want the capability of opting out?
- Duration How many days do you plan to spend riding the trails?
- Where do you prefer to spend the evenings?
- My problem-solving approach to the unexpected (weather, mechanicals, surprises) is:
- How will you carry/move clothing and luggage?
- Are you going to use your own bikes, or rent bikes?
- What are your travel logistics? (new in 2015: you can roll your bike onto the Pgh-DC train!)
- Do your particular logistics benefit from starting in either Pittsburgh or DC?
If you can answer those questions, you'll be well on your way to planning your DC to Pittsburgh bike tour. Tomorrow's post suggests ways to process the questions-and-answers presented here.