More and more people are opting to take bike trips and tours while on vacation, and cycling can truly be a wonderful way to experience a new place from a whole new angle. It allows you to take things slow and really appreciate the scenery around you, perfect for exploring beautiful natural landscapes, national parks, villages, towns, coastal spots, and more.
Whether you plan on doing a full bike tour or just decide to bring some bikes along on your next vacation to do a little exploration of the local area on two wheels, here are a few top tips to bear in mind in order to help you have the best possible experiences.
One of the first things to know about cycling on vacation or doing a bike tour is the importance of having the right equipment. Helmets might be a little sweaty and uncomfortable, but they’re absolutely essential for keeping you safe and minimizing the risk of any nasty accidents on the roads. Other safety wear like gloves and knee protectors can help out too.
Get Into Shape Beforehand
If you’re not in the best shape or haven’t spent much time on a bike before your trip, you might struggle out on the roads and trails and could even find yourself pulling a muscle or spraining an ankle. This is why preparation is so important, and it’s typically recommended to get into a habit of cycling in the weeks leading up to your vacation in order to prepare your body the best way.
Take It Easy
This follows on from the last point and will depend on how fit you are, but it’s always wise to take things easy while cycling on vacation. Don’t treat it like the Tour de France and feel like you need to cover many miles each day. Relax, take it slow, enjoy the views, and listen to your body in order to avoid any nasty injuries or unwanted physical issues that could ruin your plans.
Prepare To Repair
if you’re going to be cycling several miles a day, there’s a good chance that your tires will start to deflate and various parts of your bike might need a little maintenance or repair from time to time. Even the best bikes can suffer under pressure, so it’s essential to carry a repair kit with you and check your bike over each day for any issues that need fixing before you set out again.
Think About The Weather
Even if you’re cycling a lovely sunny spot in the middle of summer, be aware of the possibility of adverse weather conditions. Rain may strike when you least expect it, affecting your visibility and making the roads more slippery too. Be sure to pack some rain gear, just in case, and be ready to adjust your cycling technique to cope with changing conditions.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
Cycling for long stretches can make you pretty hot and sweaty, so it’s wise to choose some breathable, wicking attire that can absorb heat and moisture effectively as you go, preventing you from overheating or feeling too uncomfortable while you ride. Some sunglasses or goggles can help to protect your eyes too, and be sure to choose appropriate closed-toed footwear and carry some spare clothes.
Try To Travel Light
If you’re going on a long-distance bike tour, you might feel like you need to pack all kinds of items, just in case certain situations arise, but the more you pack, the more weight you’ll need to carry and the more energy you’ll expend each day. Try to travel light, choosing your items, attire, and accessories with care and avoiding overly heavy and unnecessary items whenever possible.
Dehydration can be a serious problem for cyclists, and it’s so easy for people to not notice that their body is crying out for some water while riding. Cycling burns up a lot of energy in the body and makes you sweat a lot too, so it’s so important to keep drinking on a regular basis, especially if you’re cycling in warm and sunny conditions. Be sure to pack some snacks too, with things like trail mix and nuts being especially useful energy sources for cyclists.
With these top tips in mind, your cycling experiences on vacation should be much simpler and more enjoyable. Of course, don’t forget to have maps and itineraries too in order to keep track of where you’re going and plan out your journey effectively!