These days, cycling tours have become more popular than ever. You should be able to find one in most holiday destinations you travel to. Not only do these tours give you the perfect opportunity to enjoy stunning views up close, but it is also a more eco-friendly way to travel.
If this isn’t something you have attempted before, it is only natural to be curious. Well, the following tips will help you prepare for the road ahead so that you can have the best trip possible.
If you are headed out on a cycling tour far from home, you will probably rent out a bicycle. Fortunately, most companies make an effort to maintain their bikes and inspect them for any damages before renting them out.
However, if you are planning on covering a long distance, you have to deal with the risk of your bike breaking down. As such, the longtime mechanic in this Bike Radar article recommends that you run an inspection of the cycle. This includes the wheels, tires, chain, and the shifting ability of the gears.
If you want complete peace of mind, you may want to take the bike into a shop before your trip. This way, you can have experts take a look at it to make sure that everything is running smoothly. Although this can seem like overkill, it does give you some additional safety if you are planning to cycle in a remote area.
If you don’t cycle regularly, you might be more than a little rusty once you start. In turn, the first few hours or days of your cycling tour may not be that pleasant. To avoid this scenario, it is a good idea to head out on a test run.
In an ideal world, you should build up your fitness level day by day. If you are short on time, try to go for a test run a few days before the big trip. Don’t go just before, as you may find yourself pretty sore on the day of.
In case you aren’t able to prepare your body for the excursion, make sure to take regular breaks during the tour. This may extend the time that it takes to complete the trip, and you will be far kinder to your body.
Even if the tour takes a few days, it is best not to pack more than is necessary. After all, you will be responsible for balancing the load on your bike. If you take too much with you, it will only weigh you down.
If you are traveling in a well-populated area complete with various stores, it is best to only take items such as the necessary clothing, rations, money, documents, etc. You will be able to pick up anything else as needed. If you are headed to a remote spot, you probably won’t find any stores close by, so take as much as you can.
For a few days’ worth of travel, you will probably use a cargo rack or panniers on your bike. You need to make sure that the weight is properly balanced. Only using a cargo rack? Then make certain that the back isn’t so heavy that it will lift the front or put too much pressure on the back wheel.
With panniers, each side needs to be equally balanced. This will ensure that you aren’t on the verge of constantly tipping over as you ride.
In some areas, the weather tends to be predictable, while in others, you could experience all four seasons within a day! The risk of ever-changing weather is higher when you go on a longer cycling tour.
To stay on the safe side, make sure to prepare for all types of weather. Always wear sunscreen and a light, long t-shirt to prevent sunburn on sunny days. Take a raincoat that you can easily slip on if it does start to rain. Always take a jacket or warm clothing for the night.
Even if you have a modern marvel of a bike, there is a good chance that your tire pressure will drop during your trip. In turn, this will compromise the steering and can also slow you down. This is why it’s important to take a pressure gauge pump on your travels.
The gauge will let you know if your tire is deflated. As Amy Law at Cycling Global explains, road bikes will have an ideal PSI of around 60 to 100. Off-road or mountain bikes will clock in around 30 to 50 PSI. More often than not, the PSI will be given on the tire.
If it isn’t, simply press the tires between your fingers. While the tire will depress slightly, it should still feel firm.
It doesn’t matter if you are in a remote area or a populated one – always stock up on rations. See a water fountain or someplace you can fill up your bottle? Drink the water currently in your bottle and fill it up.
The same goes for snacks and food. Don’t wait till you run low on your supplies. Instead, buy energy bars or other long-lasting food when you have the option. This will ensure that you never go hungry. After all, cycling is hard work and you will get hungrier than usual the more you tire yourself out.
There you have it – the top tips for the best-ever cycling tour. Keep these guidelines in mind and you are sure to have a smooth and fun trip!