You surely know those decisions you have to make when packing your bike.
This or rather that? Going for comfort or for weight? Better pictures or smaller camera? Small tent or heavy tent? Etc. etc.
In my case I was preparing my bike trip around Tasmania, when I was not so sure about both tents and cameras. I had two choices. And I decided to ask for help on Facebook.
But not just in my profile amongst my friends (most of them are not into bicycle touring), but instead in groups that are dedicated to bicycle touring.
Like the very active group Bicycle Touring with more than 10.000 members:
We are Bicycle Tourers.
Brave men, women, children, dogs and felines from all around the globe with the same passion: To explore the world the slow way, on our well-laden (t)rusty steeds, one stroke at a time.
Some of us gather here to share stories.
Some to share knowledge.
Others simply absorb all the greatness that surrounds our hobby.
It doesn’t matter where you come from, or where you’re headed to; if you enjoy touring, even if it’s a short trip or an expedition of a lifetime:
Be welcome.Please be kind, polite, respectful, and do not post for commercial interest….and for the love of all that is good and holy, please avoid the helmet debate.
Ricycle Touring (Rider’s Forum)
Share Bike Touring Knowledge, Experience, and Travel Pictures – Ask and answer questions; for new riders to experienced riders; Post Pictures from our own Travels, address technical and travel issues, share experiences good and bad; International in flavor, and Family Language as with grandmother.
NOT for commercial sales, promotion, solicitation, fund raising, votes, registration of any kind, vendors, politics, religion; Administration will try to remove material or people who operate outside of the Purpose.
The third group I can recommend is Warmshowers.org on Facebook. Although Warmshowers is kind of a Couchsurfing for cyclists, the Facebook group is mostly not about accommodation, but about bicycle touring itself. And with more than 14.000 members it is also very active.
Promoting hospitality amongst touring cyclists worldwide. Please check out and sign up on the www.WarmShowers.org website and host touring cyclists!
To my very surprise there were qualified and very helpful answers coming in almost every minute. After just a few hours both my decisions were made (not packing Hilleberg tent and packing both cameras).
The power and usefulness of Facebook blew my mind.
Good old web solutions like forums and blogs are still around. But compared to Facebook their usability for both asking and answering is just miles below Facebook.
The advantage of Facebook is the quick and easy way to use it.
But of course there is a major downside:
Facebook only lives in the moment.
Both my questions and all those useful answers will be gone down all timelines within hours or days. And all that knowledge will then be neither visible nor searchable.
Update: Several readers told me in the comments below that Facebook groups are indeed searchable. Please see the comments. But still, this is nothing compared to a well structured forum.
Both would not be the case in a forum and on a blog. It would build another brick of that great thing called internet.
And Facebook is just a closed garden, even without a proper search.
That makes me sad!
But still, it solved my problem within minutes. And I am thankful for that.
All Facebook groups
So here is the list of the Facebook groups I am following.
- Bicycle Touring (10.344 members)
- Warmshowers.org (14.052 members)
- Bicycle Touring (Rider’s Forum) (4.159 members)
- Expedition Bicycle Touring (3.345 members)
- Long distance cyclists (5.412 members)
- Bicycle touring UK and Mainland Europe (827 members)
- Bicycle Touring Stories (763 members)
- Bicycle Touring Websites (1.567 members)
- Cycle touring, camping and adventure equipment for sale or wanted (1.702 members)
- International Cyclonomads Community (I.C.C) (819 members)
Are you following any other group that I should include in this list?