Since first imagining and researching my upcoming cycle touring adventure, I have found and used some extremely useful sites. Here is a list of some which I hope you may also find useful if you are planning either a short or long trip :)
WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It is a world wide network of organisations linking volunteers with organic farmers, and helping people share more sustainable ways of living. It is also an exchange - in return for volunteer help, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles. Individual country organisations link people who want to volunteer on organic farms or smallholdings with people who are looking for volunteer help.
An extremely useful concept after several days on the road, the Warm Showers Community is a free worldwide hospitality exchange for touring cyclists. People who are willing to host touring cyclists sign up and provide their contact information, and may occasionally have someone stay with them and share great stories and a drink.
A volunteer-based worldwide network connecting travellers with members of local communities, who offer free accommodation and/or advice. When you join CouchSurfing, you tap into a network of welcoming people worldwide. You can share your hospitality; bypass the typical hotel experience by staying at the home of a local and learning about their culture; join cool and interesting people for anything from a bike ride to a party; and you can meet up with new people, whether at home or while traveling, for inspiring experiences and new friendships.
A great site about Tim Travis's continuous cycle touring adventures with a particularly useful packing list. On March 30th 2012, Tim will celebrate 10 years on the road! I wonder if I will last that long?
A fantastic site full of useful information about touring, planning and purchasing kit. They have also created a brilliant, 250 page Bike Touring Survival Guide which can be downloaded as a pdf for just €5.
When researching what to do about getting online whilst travelling, I found an article entitled Mobile Smart Phones Abroad on this very useful site. Lost in France was founded in 2005 by Helen Hotson with the aim of providing useful information to people living in France or buying French property. Since then Lost in France has grown and expanded enormously and is now one of several online travel and information sites.
Travel, geography, culture, environment, wildlife and home of Vagabond Explorer Magazine by Wade Shepard, a world traveller for over 12 years. A great site packed with useful information and feature articles for worldwide travellers. Great information too about finding work on your travels. You can also contact him on Twitter and Facebook.
If your panniers don't quite provide you with enough space for all your kit, the bike trailer Extrawheel might come in handy. It can be attached to all types of bicycles - including recumbent bicycles, racing bicycles and full suspension mountain bikes. The trailer frame can support all pannier models, including those from other manufacturers.
Having created all my route maps in Google Maps I wanted to transfer them yo my Garmin eTrex 30, after a bit of searching on the web, I found this handy utility GMapToGPX
Finally, my planning would not have been as straightforward or anywhere near as much fun without Twitter. I mainly follow and am followed by cyclists and the exchange of information between everyone has been fantastic. From advice on tents to weather or not to take a trailer to information on places to visit and sights to see, the help and advice from the TwitterSphere is very much appreciated. Thank you all.