Types of Bicycle Touring
Fully supported touring -
A bicycle touring company manages all aspects of the trip.
They plan the route and offer daily written directions with maps.
The company provides meals and a place to sleep.
Most provide an experienced bicycle mechanic to tend to flats etc.
They offer a SAG (support and gear) vehicle with daily water and snack stops.
The SAG carries your baggage and is manned with a staff to assist you along the way.
Some companies provide rental bikes.
Credit card touring -
You manage all aspects of your trip, but are limited to a route with motels and restaurants.
You travel without the support of a SAG, but with the support of a credit card.
You travel light with only the bare minimum of equipment. (a change of clothing, maps, and bike repair tools).
You dine in restaurants and sleep in motels.
You fix your mechanical problems or rely on a bike shop.
Self-contained touring -
You manage all aspects of the trip and have total freedom and flexibility.
You carry your gear on your bike, either packed in panniers or pulled behind you in a trailer.
You map out your route and can venture to out of the way places.
You eat in a restaurant or cook meals in camp.
You can sleep under the stars or in a motel.
You fix your mechanical problems or find a bike shop.