What kind of journals do you prefer? - CycleBlaze

Bicycle Travel Forum

What kind of journals do you prefer?

Mike Ayling

Wayne Estes wrote:

6 of my oldest journals are posted here and 24 more are in Mike Ayling's queue. His queue keeps getting bigger...

When CB started I managed to read everything that was posted but with thanks to Neil we are being inundated with new journals on a daily basis, not that I am complaining!

I have never had any interest in visiting Asian countries so I can filter out Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Bangla Desh, China, Taiwan, Japan etc.

I was born and bred in South Africa, lived in Great Britain for a few years and am now resident in Australia so anything from there is a must read.

I usually read journals from America (my hat off to Kelly for the way she rides up all those mountains!), Canada, New Zealand.

And Europe. All that food! Certainly beats a Billy Bob's burger.

We all have our favourite authors but I am not going anywhere near there.

What about you?


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3 weeks ago
Andrea BrownTo Mike Ayling

Good writing! Interesting and vivid photos! And I do lean toward SE Asian countries but there are lots of places I'm interested in or could be convinced to be interested in if a journal inspires me. 

I know firsthand how much work it is to write and post a journal while on a trip, every single time we vow we'll never do it again, it takes too much time away from experiencing where we are. But, I must say that our three online journals are among my most precious accomplishments, and in retrospect I'll never regret taking the time and effort while traveling. So here's to all you journal-ers here, we appreciate what you're doing and thank you for giving us some escapist reading and inspiration.

I also appreciate the spirit of positivity we aspire to here on CycleBlaze, thank you all for carrying that forward.

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3 weeks ago
Mike AylingTo Andrea Brown

Hi Andrea

Some are better wordsmiths than others so if I see good pics with explanatory captions I can put up with less interesting writing, a picture tells a thousand words as someone once said.)


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3 weeks ago
Kelly IniguezTo Mike Ayling

I have certain authors that I follow no matter where they are.

I like to read journals of areas that I plan to travel - right now my special interest is Michigan and Wisconsin.

I also like to read journals of places I have been, to compare experiences to mine.

I like details, lots and lots of details. I want to know ALL about your day. 

Anyone who includes maps gets a kiss on the cheek. It is SO, SO easy to include a map here on Cycle Blaze.  

Special appreciation goes for specific information on lodging and restaurants. I love food photos. Aren't cyclists always hungry?

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3 weeks ago
Paul MulveyTo Kelly Iniguez

I agree about the details. I liked my Erie trip so much I created maps (both PDF and GPS download) for the route. I also had time on my hands so I created the detailed trip guides showing services along the way. Since I posted those, I have had countless people reach out and download and find them helpful. I will probably update them for the Empire trip if I'm able to do the trip this year if COVID restrictions are lifted. 

I chose to separate out the details of the trip from the actual experience of the journey. The pictures and riding the trail were one thing, all the services (some which I used, some which I didn't) were another. I don't tend to stop in libraries since I use my iPhone/IPad with cellular to post, but others may so I included them. I do like to share the sights with others, though, so they have something to look forward to. And while sometimes I may "complain" about the weather, it's all part of the experience I had while riding.

And I'll keep posting maps, although a kiss on the cheek may make my wife a tad jealous :-) 


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3 weeks ago
Graham SmithTo Mike Ayling

Mike I find that I like different types of journalling at different times.

For example when preparing for my first Taiwan ride last year I avidly read whatever journals about Taiwan I could find. Of course Graham Finch’s journals were very interesting and helpful. Great photos and info as always by Graham F.

Some journals tend to entertain and inspire more than inform. And that’s great too. Léo for example. As a professional writer we’d expect nothing less from him.

Local knowledge and insights such as Kelly’s, Jeff’s, Gregory’s and the other Americans is wonderful too.

And of course our less numerous Aussie journals inc yours are also interesting because the country in the journals is more familiar.

I think having a variety of journal styles is great. 

So no real preference by me. It’s great having a wide and growing choice of CB journals.

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3 weeks ago
Gregory GarceauTo Mike Ayling

Firstly, I like to read journals written by people I've communicated with either in person or by way of various on-line touring websites.  Most of the the folks who fit that description are on CycleBlaze now.

I'm not that big on reading every short detail of a person's day.   I very much prefer when a journal writer expands -- in great detail -- on a few episodes during their day.   (I'm not going to name names, but you people know who you are.)  I'm not that big on food pictures or motel pictures unless they are very unique, but I do like pictures of campsites --especially if they are near a body of water or in a desert.

I like roaming, fly-by-the-seat-of-ones-pants journals with minimal planning. 

Most of all, I  like journals about places that are far from established bicycling routes.  The arctic, for example.  Or western Africa.  Or Iowa and Minnesota.  Ha!

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3 weeks ago
Wayne EstesTo Mike Ayling

My touring style is to plan details in advance, stop often, visit notable historic and scenic attractions, and take many photos. Solo touring allows me to be immersed in the surroundings with no distractions.

My journal style is mostly documentary, with the goal to include enough details and good photos to motivate readers to pedal a similar route someday. I have no storytelling skills but appreciate those who do.

It's awe-inspiring that so many bike tourists find the time and energy to journal during the tour. I have never even attempted to post a journal during a bike tour. All of my tour journals are made after the tour.

I'm grateful that we can embed maps. It's hard to mentally follow most journals without a map. Maps please!

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3 weeks ago
Mike AylingTo Wayne Estes

Hi Wayne

Mary and I only tour for about a week at a time and we find it far easier to journal on our desktop after we are home again.

I am usually knackered after a day's ride and have the greatest admiration for those who spend an hour or two updating their journals each night.


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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Mike Ayling

I’m drawn to journals that take me to places I’d like to see and experience if I were younger, stronger, nervier, and more risk tolerant.  Even better if the photography and writing is top-notch.  Case in point: North from Casablanca, Graham Finch’s tale of his ride through Morocco - a place we’ve considered cycling but have never summoned the courage for.

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2 weeks ago