My Favorite Websites

VIRTUAL ARIZONA

There's a lot happening in the Grand Canyon State! The Internet offers a great way to check in on wildlife, hiking, river running, parks, special events, politics, and people. Although a virtual visit to Arizona cannot replace the real thing, you'll find an enormous amount of helpful information on the Internet's World Wide Web. Thousands of Web sites interlink to cover everything from the Grand Canyon's environmental issues to Scottsdale restaurant reviews. Up-to-the-minute weather and news reports lie at your fingertips 24 hours a day. E-mail links let you write to many of the tourist offices and other people who can provide additional information. The websites will save you time and money by quickly providing information that you would otherwise have to write or call for. Most public libraries offer free use of Internet computers. If you're new to the on-line world, library staff or a friend can get you started.

Web "surfing" will have choppy waves at times, however, due to out-of-date sites and missing links. Also, don't expect to find every topic covered in Moon Handbooks: Arizona! Note that you'll often see Internet addresses beginning with an "http://"  or "www" but Web browsers need only the part of the address that follows it.

Where to Start
The Arizona Office of Tourism site, www.visitarizona.com/, leads you to many corners of the state in its online guide and events calendar. The "Internet News Portal to Arizona" Although based in the Phoenix area, the Arizona Republic site, www.azcentral.com, has excellent statewide coverage of news, weather, sports, business, entertainment, and travel. Arizona Highways at www.arizonahighways.com offers some of the same beautiful photos, travel information, hike descriptions, and entertaining stories found in its magazine pages. If you're interested in learning about the desert, check Desert USA at www.desertusa.com for information on places to visit and the plants and animals you might meet there.

South-Central Arizona
Visit Phoenix at www.visitphoenix.com offers extensive information on sights, events, and services in and around Arizona's largest city. Also based in Phoenix, www.azfamily.com presents regional news, sports, restaurant reviews, and entertainment listings.

Southern Arizona
The Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau at www.visittucson.org has the latest on travel in and around the "Old Pueblo."

Grand Canyon and North-Central Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park has so many things to see and do that it's well worth visiting the official site, www.nps.gov/grca. The commercial sites GrandCanyon.com and TheCanyon.com and AllTrips Grand Canyon National Park offer an introduction to the park and links to Grand Canyon hotels, tours, and surrounding towns. Over at Page and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, www.visitpagelakepowell.com/ lets you know about things to do in town and out on Lake Powell. In north-central Arizona, the Flagstaff Flagstaff Visitor Center, www.flagstaffarizona.org will fill you in on the sights and services there. Sedona-Oak Creek Chamber of Commerce at http://visitsedona.com/ takes you to the magical Red Rock Country south of Flagstaff.


BILL'S EXOTIC TRAVELS

You're welcome to follow along on my trips!

Bill & “Bessie Too the Bicycle” Ride Asia 2016-17 describes a series of rides in this wonderful region: First in northern Myanmar, next a loop in Sri Lanka, then a return to Myanmar for a ride through the south, and lastly cycling and scuba diving in South Thailand.

Grand Tour of the American West is a five-month bicycle loop ride through spectacular regions of the West, beginning and ending in San Francisco in 2016.

Cycling in the Himalaya of India's Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh, then Across Myanmar to Thailand begins with a flight to New Delhi for a week's stay, then a train east to Siliguri, where the ride to Darjeeling and Sikkim commenced. After enjoyable loops in Sikkim, I rode east across West Bengal and Assam to Bhalukpong, gateway to Arunachal Pradesh and the very tough ride over increasingly high passes to Tawang near the borders of Bhutan and Tibet. Also in Arunachal Pradesh, I rode to the capital Itanagar and the very pretty hill country around Ziro. From there I turned south back into Assam and across the great Brahamaputra at Majuli Island, then continued south through Nagaland and Manipur states to the border with Myanmar. Only recently have independent cyclists been able to ride all the way across Myanmar, and I was fortunate to do that on a very memorable adventure! I emerged into Thailand at Mae Sot.

Cycling in Sri Lanka 2015—A Loop of the South tells of my return to this tropical island for another loop, this time with an emphasis on the South, a region I've never visited before. As on my April ride of Sri Lanka, I made a clockwise loop from Negombo, heading first to the Ancient Cities region. The route also takes in the East and West Coasts, as well as the South Coast.

Europe Swing 2015 describes a 90-day ride north through Italy's dazzling spring countryside from Rome area to Genoa, then east across the mountainous north to Slovenia and on through Central Europe—Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, and Germany to Holland. A giant ferry then took me across to the U.K. for it's memorable history, culture, and landscapes.

Cycling in Sri Lanka 2015—A Loop of the North takes in beautiful tropical beaches, temples, wildlife, and mountains. First I headed to Mannar Island and Jaffna in the North, which now welcome visitors again after the long civil war.

Bill & "Bessie Too the Bicycle" Explore Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos over the winter of 2014-15 takes in western and northeastern Thailand, northern and eastern Cambodia, and loops in Vietnam's central and south. And maybe a quick ride across Laos if I have time.

Bill & Bessie Too the Bicycle ride California to Virginia tells of a 2014 bicycle ride from the Pacific to the Atlantic, including an extensive exploration of the American Southwest.

A Swing Through Thailand and Cambodia is a three-month bicycle ride that begins in the east of Thailand, turns north into Cambodia, and curves through Thailand's northeast and north, from December 2013 to March 2014.

Northern India Delights cycling adventure begins high in Ladakh of India's far north in the summer of 2013. I explore the Himalaya for about two months, drop into New Delhi for the festivals in October-November, then continue east by train to Kolkata.

Italian Delights, then Short Visits to Slovenia and Croatia describes a 90-day grand tour of Italy in spring-early summer of 2013, followed by a short ride through Slovenia to Croatia that ends in Zagreb.

Off the Beaten Track in Thailand and Cambodia is a four-month cycling journey to experience new places in these countries from November 2012 to April 2013.

A Grand Ride of the American Southwest is an adventurous bicycle loop ride in 2012 that starts in San Francisco, California, and follows the coast south to San Diego, inland to Arizona, up to both south and north rims of the Grand Canyon, on to southern Utah's canyon country, then the lonely countryside of Nevada and over the mountains back to San Francisco.

Indian Ramble is a rare backpacking trip that I did in late 2011-early 2012. I flew to Chennai in the south of India, where I traveled overland north to New Delhi, then east to Kolkata. From there I headed to southern Thailand for two months of meditation, travel, and scuba diving.

Asian Journey has two big parts: A ride all the way from northeastern Thailand across Laos and Vietnam to China—including a swing across the eastern Tibetan Plateau—in 2010, then a ride in western India—mostly Gujarat State—in 2010-2011.

Asia Again, relates the year-and-a-half journey in China (twice!), Central Asia, India, Southeast Asia, and Tibet in 2008-2009.

A Sentimental Return to the TransAmerica Trail After 31 Years tells of a ride way out east in Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio in autumn 2007, inspired by the reunion of my fellow riders from a 1976 Virginia-Oregon Bikecentennial ride.

One Year in Asia tells the story of a 17-month epic cycling trip in 2005-2007, including a ride all the way across China from Southeast Asia to Central Asia, plus a pair of rides in India—one in the Himalayas (near the headwaters of the Ganges) and one in the south, capped off with cycling in Cambodia and southern Thailand.

Cycling Thailand to China had astounding variety—a four-month ride from tropics of central Thailand to the great ice mountains of the eastern Himalayas in 2004-2005.

Cycling Across Northern Europe begins in the land of Vikings—Denmark—and journeys east across Sweden and Estonia to the larger-than-life land of Russia in the summer of 2003.

Cycling Indian Himalaya began in Leh, Ladakh, where I rode "Bessie Too the Bicycle" over some of the world's highest road passes in late 2002.

Cycling Thailand & Laos roughly parallels the Mekong River on a journey across lush rice paddies and over jungle-clad mountains in the winter of 2002-2003.

Cycling Pakistan & India tells of an epic bicycle ride from the Karakoram Mountains of northern Pakistan to the warms seas at the southern tip of India; the six-month ride began in the troubled times of September 2001. 

Makalu Trek in Nepal had more than its share of trials and tribulations; it lasted four weeks in autumn 2000.


FAMILY AND FRIENDS

My dad, Gordon Weir, tells his story of flying in WW II as a navigator in B-17s and B-24s.

Could there be TWO travelers named "William Weir" who are both cyclists and filled with wanderlust? Yes, the other is Willie Weir and he has tales to tell.

Cyclist Peter Gostelow has ridden an incredibly adventurous ride across Asia in A Long Ride Home. He tells some great stories illustrated by awesome photos. We met in the southeastern corner of China in March 2006. Since then he rode a very challenging journey from his home in England to the southern end of Africa in the aptly named Big Africa Cycle

English cyclists Colin Champion and Tracy Maund describe their 2003 bicycle ride of Lahaul, Spiti, and Kinnaur on which we met twice. They have also ridden many other challenging routes, including to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh in 2009.


FELLOW AUTHORS

Moon Travel Guides has titles and articles by my fellow authors.

Veteran author David Stanley takes you to the people and islands of the South Pacific. He also has a map site dedicated to the region.

Michael Buckley is especially fond of Tibetan culture and has written the Bradt Tibet guidebook and produced documentaries about the region.

Visit the Thailand author Joe Cummings, whom the Leonard DiCaprio's character in The Beach threatened to "punch his lights out"!

Julian Smith writes about science and travel; his books include such diverse destinations as Virginia, the Southwest, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Africa.

Joshua Berman "The tranquilo traveler" writes about Latin America, his native Colorado, and his round-the-world adventures.

Author Randy Wood tells about Latin America and many other corners of the world on his diverse blog, Into the Wild Spaces.

Erin Van Rheenen's writings include Living Abroad in Costa Rica about visiting and living in this Central American country.

Ready to hit the open road? Then swing by Jamie Jensen's Road Trip USA.

Travel the world with advice from Edward Hasbrouck's The Practical Nomad.

Jeff Bradley, the TNGuy, has a great site about all things Tennessean.

Senior Citizens will find an online travel magazine just for them at Alison Gardner's site.

Californian dog lovers will enjoy trotting over visit Maria Goodavage.