I buy an ordinary road map as soon as I get into a country as that gives me a good overview of the place.
For general planning I use Google Maps and on the road I use Here Maps app in my iPhone.
Here Maps is excellent, the maps can be downloaded and used offline. It doesn’t have a cycling option but it gives you options to go by car or on foot. It shows even the smallest roads so you need to be careful as a few times I went down a road only to find out that it was just a sandy track.
I have a handlebar holder for my phone and the app has been really useful, in particular when finding my way to a specific address, navigating my way through towns and getting in and out of them.
Someone mentioned Maps Me as being very useful but I haven’t tried it.
I also use Google maps, good to find hostels and places of interest.
Country Specific Info
I couldn’t find any good detailed maps of the country. Local cyclists buy them from abroad, do if you are planning to use small roads you’d be better off bringing a good map with you.
Pretty much like in Turkey. You may be able to finda fairly decent one in Tbilisi that covers both Georgia and Armenia. I was give one there printed in Canada by International Travel Maps
It would have been very useful to have it earlier as I would have avoided some pretty busy roads.
I do check the forecast every now and again to help me plan. There are lots of sites out there but my favourite in AccuWeather
The site has a comprehensive choice of short and long term forecast and maps with cloud, rain, wind. I can’t change the weather but I can prepare mentally for it and I do!
It would have been useful to have good maps with the location of campsites in Europe and I recommend taking one if you are planning on using organised campsites.
Warmshowers is an absolute joy. Staying with other cyclists not only has given me glimpse of the life in that country but also has helped me plan my route through that particular country.
One tip – when I started to use both sites I would only write to one person and wait for their response. I soon find out that not everyone responds to requests for accommodation. Now I write to 4 or 5 people with the hope that at least one of them will get back to me.
Country Specific Info
Bulgaria and Romania
It may be possible to stay for free in Monasteries in these two countries. I didn’t in Bulgaria but stay in several of the Romanian ones.
Accomodation varies enormously from one to another, some of them are pretty basic and in others you get a lovely individual room. Sometimes the monks/nuns offer you food. You sit at a big communal table and a simple fare is served.
In the evening you are free to attend the night service. I did a couple of times for the experience. Services are extremely long but it’s OK to leave when you want.
What I did was just turn up at the Monastery and in sign language ask whether I could stay the night. I never had a refusal and they always were very good about finding a safe place for the bike. Once I was shown to the room I was pretty much left to my own devices. I was there in November and the nights were cold. The monks/nuns always lit a fire in the room to make the room warm.
I crossed Turkey in January/February. It was very very cold so I used Öğretmenevi quite a lot. They are a network of Teachers Houses that can be found all over the country. Whilst they’re primary function is to offer accommodation for teachers, they are also opened to the public. They are clean, safe and have good Internet connection. Prices vary, I paid between 20 and 50 Turksh Lira. If you are travelling with someone else some hotels may be as cheap
I have used public transport a few times and have found the rome2rio site really helpful.
For ferries I use the portal ferrylines which gives worldwide routes and timetables.
I’ve had my bike services a couple of times
Bisiklet Gezgini is a fantastic place run by Seçil and Alex, cycle tourers themselves. Foxtrot had a full service here. I can’t recommend them highly enough. They are in the Asian side and a must visit if you are stopping in Istanbul.
Veo + in Tblisi were great. A quick service and change of chain. Great service, they speak English and the mellow jazz background music in the shop is a real plus
There will be more I promise!