Biking isn’t just something you can do for exercise or a weekend hobby. It’s likely you’ve been biking for a while, but you’re used to spending an hour or two on the weekends biking around town with the intent to burn calories, or you use your bike to cut down on the carbon emissions cars bring to your daily commutes…but have you ever considered doing something more with your bike?
Biking trips can be enjoyed by any cyclist that has a thirst for seeing the sights and a love for riding. Stop taking trips from one destination to another via a plane or a car where you can’t see, feel and smell the world around you. Pack your bag and set out on a trip – but don’t forget to plan a little first.
Planning Tips for Optimum Biking Success
We love a nice spontaneous bike ride, but if you want to actually bike with a destination in mind, it’s important that you plan ahead. Before you set out on a grand adventure, get prepared – consider these questions and answer them well:
- Where are you going? It’s possible to bike almost anywhere, but you’ll want to start out with something that’s fruitful. Pick a destination that has both scenery you’re looking forward to and bike trails and/or roads that will allow you to access it. In short, don’t pick a destination because it sounds good, only to find out it’s a difficult trip and you won’t get to see what you truly wanted to. Ask questions like “How will I get from Point A to Point B?” and “What is the weather like where I’m going and during my trip?”
- How fit are you/How experienced are you? The journey of a million miles begins with a single pedal – but your destination should reflect how much pedaling you’ve actually done. Pick a destination and a route that suits your level of fitness. If you’re someone who bikes around town casually for your health and the environment, you probably aren’t ready to go riding off on a grand adventure. Put the work in and you’ll get there eventually.
- Get comfortable. You love your bike and all, but is it optimized for a long trip? You want to make your bicycle as comfortable as possible, and this includes figuring out the right seat fit and the position you’ll want to ride in. If you feel pain while you bike, consider your saddle position. If you feel pain in your kneecaps, it’s likely your saddle is too low. If your hands are getting numb, re-angle your seat or raise your handlebars.
- Keep limber and pace yourself. If you’re going to be biking for a long time, remember to take brakes. It’s always important to pause occasionally to stay hydrated and stretch. Every one to two hours, pull your bike to a safe stopping place and dismount. Stretch your calves, thighs and other leg muscles for 15 minutes while drinking some water. Look to this guide for simple stretches you can do during break time.
- Pack your bags. Always remember to bring an extra set of clothes, tools and parts for your bike, and also a cloth or rag to clean your bike with in addition to your normal biking staples. You don’t want to get an extra hotel charge because your muddy bike left some debris on the carpet, do you? You should also pack ahead of time so you can be as organized as possible.
- Consider foreign country necessities. From credit card authorization/notification, to border crossing laws, you’re responsible for knowing what to do if you’re biking across country lines. Especially popular in Europe, biking through countries can be a thrilling experience – but with this kind of thrill comes great consideration. Don’t forget to invest in local currency, research local lodgings and locations, and learn some handy tourist phrases in the country’s mother tongue.
Biking holidays and trips are perfect for getting out of the rat race of life. When you take it slow and steady and actually absorb the world around you on an amazing bike trip, you’ll truly know what it feels like to be one with nature and forget the worries of home. Won’t you join us?