One of the things that make cycling great is the fact that it’s a sport you can take with you literally anywhere. Pick any country in the world and you can bet that there will be at least one road worth cycling on. A riding trip is a rite of passage for all cyclists no matter their levels and disciplines. It can also take many different forms depending on what you are looking for.
The following are the top 7 considerations to get you started:
Bike packing or Back-to-base camp?
One of the first things you want to consider is what kind of trip you want to take and what kind of cycling you want to do. Bike packing or bike touring is among the most popular variations among the roadie population. It entails loading up your bike with an overnight kit and then riding from point A to B, B to C, and C to D depending on your planned route over a few days. For instance, you might be looking to pedal from London to Cannes or ride across Ireland. You could also opt to experience one single location and savor the local roads the area has to offer.
This question that could help here is: what is more important to you, adventure or luxury? If you don’t like having to weigh yourself down and make some compromises on your performance during climbs, then you will probably prefer a hotel base-camp option.
York can be a great place for a cycling holiday and many people really enjoy their time around this Viking city. Here’s a good list of cycle routes in the locale. And if you’re looking for somewhere to stay take a look at My Hotel Break York deals for the perfect base for exploration. If what you are looking for is the indescribable sense of freedom you get when you carry everything you need on your bike, then you should pack your panniers and plan an adventurous route.
Off the Beaten track or the Tourist Trap?
It can be difficult to decide where you want to start when surveying possibilities for cycling trips. However, there are a few standards in place. For instance, the mountainous regions of France, Italy, and Spain attract thousands of cyclists just as soon as the winter season ends and the snow melts. Climbs such as Mont Ventoux, Alpe d’Huez, the Angliru, and the Stelvio are included in many cyclists’ bucket lists.
However, the popularity of these places, especially in the mid-summer months, mean that the roads are often busy with bikes and the hotels are bustling with hungry folk and curiously tanned tourists in lycra. But who could argue with the saturation of cyclists on some of the most spectacular passes in all of Europe?
While this cannot be considered a major issue, when you add in the countless classic cars, motorcycles, and even motorhomes in the hairpins, you might find yourself wishing you visited somewhere else a bit less predictable.
Fortunately, there are a lot more areas in Europe to experience by bike, and much of these are considered “off beaten tracks” for cyclists. Some of these places include the less mainstream countries like Norway or Slovenia, both of which have given the pro-peloton some thrilling racing moments. Of course, when you break from the pack, you may have to plan everything by yourself, though that shouldn’t be a problem.
Do You Have Cycling Travel Insurance?
Before you get too carried away with the plans for your epic cycling adventure, you should take a moment and think about your travel insurance. In many cases, this is left to the last minute, and some people even forget about it completely. However, it is one of the most important things to organize.
Hopefully, nothing will go wrong on your trip. But it’s always better to have peace of mind knowing that in case something does go awry, you are well covered. It doesn’t take long to organize for insurance and once you have it sorted, you will be ready to continue with all the important planning.
Should you take up a Package Tour or Plan Your Own?
There are possibly countless cycling trips packages now, which ideally take all the responsibility for organizing and planning out of your hands. This is attractive for many. Of course, when you plan your trip, you will keep the costs down and retain complete control of not only your trip but also your routes, stays, eating, etc.
However, a package tour will typically provide everything you might need and possibly even more. Many will even lay on a “pro experience” for the guests, complete with hotel bookings, airport shuttle, route planning, meals, route guidance, among many others.
A huge benefit of taking package trips is perhaps the fact that some provide a support vehicle that will carry additional water, spare tires, bike pumps, cake, and even sports nutrition from whatever company that the company happens to have an agreement with. The only problem is that when you experience riding with a support vehicle, you won’t ever want to go back to carrying your supplies by yourself.
Who is Invited?
There’s nothing like sharing a holiday with others, whether it’s family, friends, or clubmates. If you took up an all-inclusive package tour, chances are that you will be forced to join a group of strangers, despite them sharing a passion for cycling. Of course, you could get some friends to book the package at the same time, or even organize your expedition. However, then comes the question of how many of them, and who will be invited.
Hire or Haul?
This is a huge one and it mainly depends on a lot of things. We all know of the horror stories about how airlines treat bikes, not forgetting the major faff of getting the machine packed away first, though this might still not be enough to separate the rider from their beloved bike. With this in mind, you might still want an opportunity to get a rental machine while on your trip at least for a test ride.
In the end, you will have to decide if you would prefer to ride your trusty companion on new roads or if you’d prefer the carefree use of a most likely high-end, well-maintained, road bike that you don’t have to dismantle at the end of your holiday.
Recreational Trip or a Personal Record?
This is something you need to consider with plenty of time in hand. Based on the kind of rider you are, your destination, your experience, and your objectives will vary from a leisurely cruise around the lake to smashing it up with aspirations of a Strava top-10.
What you choose will influence the kind of training you need to do in the months before you leave and whether you need to train at all. If you want to take a relaxing holiday, then a base level of fitness will be all you need, but if you are looking to perform to a high standard, you will need to prepare accordingly.
How high is your destination and how hot/cold does it get?
Still, on the subject of preparation, you will have to think about the kind of kit you will need. Whether you’re headed to the Pyrenees for a Tour de France challenge or to Spain for a winter training camp, you will have to get more layers than you probably bargained for. In the mountains, it could feel like July in the valley, but the summit will tell a whole different story.
When you stop moving, you will feel the cold seep in, which is when you will have to pull on the layers to prepare for the descent. Long story short, you have to start the journey equipped for every eventuality, from snowdrifts to sunburns.
if you are yet to cycle over 1000m before, you could find your body behaving in peculiar ways while on the trip. As such, it’s wise to stretch the duration of your trip by several days. A week should be enough to let you get into it and make the most out of your time on the bike.
If you are in Los Angeles in the US and cycling around the city, you can leave your luggage at Vertoe locations. Vertoe is safe for the short-term storage of your bags. Click luggage storage in Los Angeles to explore safe options offered by Vertoe.