Cycle Planet, the All in One Bicycle Touring Platform 9

Cycle Planet, the All in One Bicycle Touring Platform

Cycle Planet, the All in One Bicycle Touring Platform 10

Cycle Planet, the Ultimate Platform for Bicycle Travelers, Offers Everything a Bicycle Traveler Need: Hosting, Wikipedia-like pages about each country, Border Crossings, Visas, Touristic Attractions and more.

Crossing new countries by bicycle is getting more popular and easier by the day.

It’s simply a fantastic combination of an enormous amount of freedom to go almost anywhere, to suck in the slowly changing surroundings, to endure tough situations that will allow you to appreciate the small things in life, and above all a cheap and sustainable way of traveling.

And with the urge to live a more sustainable life, bike touring appears not only the greener, but also more intense and adventurous way of traveling, in which you can explore the untouched cultures and the great hospitality of local people.

And about hospitality, you probably know Warmshowers, a great platform, but since December 2019 they charge money for their app, cutting off a very specific group of people where bike tourers like to stay the most.

Here comes a great, even better, alternative: Cycle Planet. This new platform, available on a website and as an Android and iOS app, offers everything a bicycle traveler need: hosting, Wikipedia-like pages about each country, border crossings, visas, touristic attractions and more.

In this article:

  • Cycle Planet App: The Free Alternative of Warmshowers
  • Cycle Planet Hosting
  • Info about the Countries
  • Info about Border Crossings and Visas
  • Points of Interests
  • Get Inspired + Find the Right Gear
  • Cycling the World during the Internet Era
  • Cycle Planet App: the Idea, Finding New Resources in The West African Jungle

Cycle Planet: The Free Alternative of Warmshowers

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Even though Warmshowers is a great platform, since December 2019 they charge money for their app, cutting off a very specific group of people where bike tourers like to stay the most.

The Cycle Planet platform is completely free and it is available on a website and as an Android and iOS app. The platform offers more useful functionalities that are specifically built for bicycle tourers.


Cycle Planet Hosting

Cycle Planet offers the functionality of hosting, and divides users in 3 categories:

  • Available for hosting,
  • Not available for hosting
  • Touring.

Combined with statistics about response rate, host rate and feedback, you don’t have to send 5 messages to different users to learn that people are actually not around for hosting you.

There is a chat that allows you to get in contact with users and you can send an official host request with a separate button.

The host can then accept or refuse the request, and this data will be saved to let other users know if it’s worth sending this person a request.


Info about the Countries

There are Wikipedia-like pages about each country, and each registered user can add and edit information about general items such as:

  • the people,
  • food and drinks,
  • safety,
  • transport

Info about Border Crossings and Visas

But perhaps the most useful information that can be found are border crossings, visas and touristic attractions, ranked by popularity, so a user can see which borders and visas are the best way to go.

The visa section even allows users to add visa types that will be displayed in a clear table. Clicking on a specific item will show you more information, including the latest user experiences.


Points of Interests

All this information goes along with an interactive map that shows all kinds of points of interests and users, such as:

  • campsites (wild campsites, formal campsites and official campsites),
  • hostels,
  • tourist attractions,
  • border crossings,
  • embassies,
  • water points, shops,
  • ATM’s and warnings.

Get Inspired + Find the Right Gear

There are a few more pages, composed for researching bicycle tourers.

There is a page about different types of gear, such as bicycles, camping gear, electronics and more.

These groups will contain vast amounts of experience that can always help you to plan ahead.

In the near future, this page will be filled with input from users, and the most popular items will be in front, making it an independent gear reviewer that will serve the bicycle tourist at its best.

Finding inspiration like this, will allow beginning tour cyclers to align their dreams with some of the most epic journeys we’ve seen in the last two decades.

Another page shows a list of inspirational travelers, such as Ed Pratt, a British teenager that cycled around the world on a unicycle.

Last but not least, there is also a page with links to WhatsApp groups of several continents.

The same page shows advice on navigation apps, and will be extended with other apps in the future.

Cycling the World during the Internet Era

bicycle touring app

Often I wonder what life without Google and a mobile phone would look like. Nowadays, a mobile phone is the second most important tool on a trip, after a bicycle of course.

A few weeks ago I spoke to a man who travelled from The Netherlands to India by car, but 30 years ago.

At every big city they would go to the main post office to collect letters from friends and family, who knew that they would arrive at that point at a certain time.

At this point, he was also able to send some letters back to the homefront, knowing that it would take a few weeks to send new post letters.

Nowadays, my mom is getting worried if I haven’t responded to her message for 24 hours. Times have changed, for both the good and the bad.

Nowadays, Google, WhatsApp, offline navigation and apps like Warmshowers and iOverlander have revolutionized bicycle touring and daily life.

If you need very specific information, you just post your question in one of the many Facebook groups, or in one of the more specific WhatsApp groups, and some of the most recent experiences and tips will be sent over to you in a blink of an eye.

Finding New Resources in The West African Jungle

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Back in 2019, when I started cycling from The Netherlands to South Africa, via the West coast of Africa, I never even heard of some existing platforms.

All the time I was asking other cyclers about how they obtained their visas and which roads were the best to take.

Especially in West Africa, finding recent information wasn’t always easy, and I felt bad to bother some other cyclists all the time.

It was only when I came in touch with an expat in Sierra Leona that I found out about a West African Biketouring group and the platform iOverlander, which opened a flood of useful information for me.

For the better part of my trip I’ve been able to make use of these resources. And after getting some experience on the bicycle myself I was able to pass some knowledge to other tourers on WhatsApp, iOverlander and Facebook.

And although these platforms work very well in the way they are supposed to, there was still a huge loss of information that has to be reproduced time after time.

But how is this information being saved and available for people who will get similar questions? I thought this system of data sharing could be so much smarter. And Cycle Planet was born.

Conclusion

All in all, Cycle Planet is the Swiss Army knife under the bicycle touring apps. It will serve the relatively small group of long distance cyclers in the best possible way, and due to its flexible coding system, it is able to adapt to new needs and improvements in just a few days.

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