Appendix C: What else did I learn?

In the Bay Area, I get used to being able to control weather by geography. One area would be raining, while over the mountains on the other side it could be warm and sunny. This is not true of the alps. Frequently, if it's rainy in one section, it'll be rainy in another. This means that if you visit the alps for a tour and it rains, you either stop touring in the alps (Venice was always nice and warm, it seemed) or you are stuck riding in the rain.

Information is easily the most precious resource while you're touring. If you can get weather information, your decisions become much easier (and better). If you know whether the town you're headed full is likely to be full by 5:00pm, your ride becomes better informed and you can choose to stop earlier or press on as needed. If you could access reviews of a hotel, you're more likely to be able to avoid bad ones. Unfortunately, acess to this information is least available while cycle touring. The fact that Jobst does the same route through the alps every year enables him to find the best places to stay and eat, while most of us are unlikely to be to do so, yet most guidebooks do not serve cyclists well, focusing their attention on the big cities that backpackers frequent while ignoring the delightful, family-run country hotels in obscure villages that serve cyclists so well.

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