Ron wrote:I think I may have been fortunate to have started cycle touring before I had access to the internet.
Excellent! However did people manage?
In the spirit of the thread title I offer my own touring methodology for the consideration of New Tourers!
I managed to tour with very little forward planning other than booking hotel, trains and ferries for the outward journey to a UK ferry terminal.
I had a map of Europe on my kitchen wall and spent spare moments in winter weighing up the routes of previous tours and comparing the distance on the map with possible routes for the following summer until an idea for a tour formed in my mind. I didn't study sites like CGOAB, and did not read in any detail tour reports as seeing the photos and reading of the experiences of others would ruin the sense of adventure and pleasure of touring and 'discovering' these places for myself. I found it reassuring to carry a map of Europe in order to keep myself orientated and bought paper maps of larger scale as I travelled along. These kept me on course for the day, a method that had worked for me when an aborted tour of Cornwall morphed into a lejog and started me off on longer distance touring.
I enjoyed the flexibilty that minimal planning provided but realise this is not everyones cup of tea as I know some people like to know where they will lay their head at night before they get out of bed in the morning.
I never became seriously unstuck but once had to have police assistance to find my campsite after a day tour from my tent extended into the night. I bought a gps after that and recorded the position of my tent or hotel in order that I could make my own way back to base, but still could not bring myself to do any route planning or enter waypoints for the next day of touring.
Another thing the new tourer might consider could be the purchase of an A6 Notebook as a diary to record the trip, the characters you meet, places you stay, etc. The back of the book can be a handy rough note book memory aid etc. Reading the details in a tour diary can give pleasure long after much of the tour has been forgotten.