How to Prepare

At TDA Global Cycling, we know that the idea of setting off on a long distance tour can be daunting. However, we take great pride in making these adventures of a lifetime possible for the average person. And we’ve been doing so for almost 20 years. People tend to think that at TDA, our main work is around running tours. While that is true, we also spend a great deal of time and effort helping our riders prepare for the tour before they set off. So now we’ve collected all of this knowledge and information into one place.

There is a lot of information here. You can start at the beginning and read it all, or scroll through and pick and choose what most interests you. We’ve divided this information into 8 sections, each of which includes various sub-topics, blogs, and videos. As always, feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions or comments.

1. Choosing a tour

With so many tours and dozens of possible section combinations, choosing which journey to embark on can be a bit overwhelming.

Find the tour that’s right for you

Click here for an in depth guide to the various tools you can use to search for and find tours on our website. Or, if you want to start searching right away, choose one of the options below.

Tour Types

Our tour types pages provide a quick and easy way to find a tour that matches your preferred style of travel, in these three categories: Touring, Adventure, or Expedition.

Tour Finder

This tool provides several ways to search and filter tours with criteria like difficulty, region, length, and more.

Tour Calendar

Maybe you just want to know which tours are available next July? Or two years from now? This tool is for you.

2. All about bikes

Choosing a bike

By far one of the most common questions we get is, “What bike should I bring?” Click here to watch “Choosing a bike for a supported cycle tour” and read the accompanying blog post.


Tires can make a big difference to your tour experience. Too wide and you will feel slow, too light and you’ll get flats… Click here to read more about which tires to choose.


Are you looking for a new bike for your next tour, and wondering what type of brakes would be the best choice? Click here to find out.

Pedals – Clips vs. Flats

Touring cyclists often use clip in pedals. But many also just use flat pedals. Click here to read more and choose the right pedals for you.

Bike Handling Skills

We have two very valuable blogs to help build your confidence on the bike. First is some skills for beginners and the second is more tips on bike handling on rougher roads.


Read our guide about touring with tubeless tires.

3. Bike Maintenance

While there is a bike mechanic on every tour, it is still important for each rider to have good basic knowledge of their bike. This section explains what riders are expected to be able to do with step-by-step video instructions.

How to Fix a Flat

Click here for our blog post and video instructions on how to fix a flat tire.

Cleaning your bike

Cleaning your bike and drivetrain is one of the most important steps of preventative maintenance you can do. Click here to watch the step by step video.

4. Health Preparation

This section covers everything you need to know to prepare yourself physically before the tour.

Health & Medical Preparation

Addressing health concerns before you begin your journey is crucial. Dental check-ups, medications, dealing with old injuries – these are all things to consider as you prepare for a tour. Click here to read more.

Training Tips

Want to know how to train for a long cycling tour? These 8 cyclists, all participants of past TDA tours, share their training advice. Click here to read more.

How Far Can I Cycle in a Day?

Fitness is only one factor in determining how much distance you can cover in a day. Click here to read more.

Bike fit

When riding long distances, for many days in a row, having a bike that fits you properly is crucial both for comfort, and to avoid injury. Click here to read more about bike fit.

5. While On Tour

This section discusses all aspects of the on-tour experience, from daily routines to staying healthy.

Do I have to ride the whole day?

The simple answer to this very common question is “No”. This is a supported tour and while we encourage people to ride as much as they are able to, there are flexible options available. Click here to read more.

High altitude cycling

Click here to learn how to stay safe while cycling at high altitude.

Expedition behaviour

Learn how to be a positive part of an expedition cycling group. Click here to read more.

Staying Healthy – Tips from an Expedition Medic

Tour d’Afrique medic Sam shares his best tips for staying healthy on a long bicycle expedition. Click here to read more.

Health & Safety basics for cycle touring

Some of these tips might seem obvious, but they could be the difference between your adventure continuing, or ending abruptly. Click here to read more.

Advice for Women

What are the unique challenges for women on cycle tours? Read our helpful blog and find out.

A “Day in the Life”

What is the daily routine like on one of our tours? Read this blog post to find out.

How To Be A Fantastic Roommate On A Cycling Tour

By following this advice, you’ll have an enjoyable experience if you are sharing a room with a new cycling friend.

6. Gear & Packing

This section covers everything you need to bring. It covers baggage limits, packing lists, and everything you need to bring from clothing, to spare parts, to camping gear.

Packing for a TDA Tour – Everything You Need to Know

This detailed blog (with video) covers it all. By the time you finish reading it, you will feel more confident on what and how to pack for a TDA tour.

How to Pack Like a TDA Pro

Click here to hear from Tour d’Afrique Tour Leader Colleen about how to pack right for one of our camping expeditions.

Save space with minimalist gear

Click here to see how much space you can save with lightweight and compact tents, sleeping bags, and mattresses.

What to carry on your bike

Click here to read about what to carry with you while riding.

Clothes for riding

With the right information, you can pack minimally while still having the right clothing for any touring situation. Click here to read more.

Cold Weather Gear

Click here for some tips to prepare for the coldest rides you might encounter.

7. Paperwork & Admin

This section gives information about applying for visa, insurance and more.

Travel Insurance

Choosing the right travel insurance is both essential, and sometimes tricky. Click here for our in depth guide.

Travel Visas

Many countries require visitors to obtain a tourist visa prior to entry. Click here to read more about visas and the application process.

Registering and using MyTours

Learn how to register for a tour. When you register, you will gain access to the MyTours dashboard. Click here to read more about this process, and about the forms that must be completed before your tour.

Handling money on a cycle tour

Depending where you are cycling, you might find cash or credit cards to be more convenient. Click here to read about preferred payment methods, currency exchange, and more.

8. Travelling with your bike

This section covers everything you need to know about travelling by air with a bicycle

Boxing your bike

Click here to see our blog post and video instructions on boxing your bike.

Getting To and from the airport

Click here for some tips on the whole air travel process – including getting to the airport, checking in, and getting to your hotel at your destination.