A true bike lover never leaves his cycle behind, not even on holidays. Furthermore, it becomes his travel buddy up to the point of conditioning the destination of the trip.
12 tips to prepare a perfect bicycle trip
Traveling by bicycle allows you to enjoy the environment freely, to travel the world feeling the wind on your face through uncrowded roads. Cycling is for those who like to go at their own pace, improvise and get carried away.
More and more people feel encouraged every day to leave aside the conventional transports and start their journey riding a bicycle. Throughout the world there are numerous routes that have been especially adapted for cyclists.
However, whether you are traveling Argentina from north to south or discovering the cycling routes of Mallorca, any bike trip, longer or shorter, requires prior preparation. The vehicle, the saddlebags and of course our physical condition have to be ready.
If you are thinking of trying, pay attention to these tips to prepare a cycling trip:
Organize your trip
Start preparing your trip a few weeks before and make lists with everything you need or have to organize. Make sure to adapt them to the peculiarities of your trip, the expected weather conditions and the destination or route you have chosen.
Adapt the distance to your level
Remember that travelling isn’t about covering a ton of kilometers. Set a destination according to your abilities, ride at your own pace and enjoy the experience. This is the most important advice to prepare a trip by bicycle.
Choose your bike carefully
Pick a bicycle that suits the needs of your trip and that has the following accessories: rear-view mirror, rear and front luggage rack, lights … And always have replacements and tools in case you need to do some repairing along the way.
Prepare the saddlebags
Be aware that, the more weight you carry, the more you will have to drag along the way. Try balancing saddlebags with less weight on the front and loading more the rear ones.
Learn the basic about mechanics
You do not have to become an expert, but at least you should know how to put a patch on a flat tire. Then, try to do an almost daily maintenance to the bicycle to reduce the possibility of breakdowns.
When you set out on the road, try to record as much information as possible or write notes in a notebook. In addition to being a nice reminder of your first experience traveling by bicycle, it will help you when you need to make recommendations to other people in the future.
Whatever your destination, let yourself the place surprise you along the way. Dare to get out of the way to improvise and to live new experiences. You will meet different places and new people.
Define a schedule
Try to define how many hours you are going to pedal each day and when you will do it. When it’s summer and the sun is strong, it’s best to leave early in the morning. Think, also, that the first days should not force too much.
Eat and hydrate well
Take care of your body; it is the real motor of your bicycle. Try to keep a varied diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, salads and fruits. And, above all, drink a lot of water to prevent cramps.
Help other cyclists
Traveling by bicycle generates a special empathy amongst those who, like you, are experiencing a similar trip. If you see a cyclist with problems, stop to offer your help. You never know when you can be the one in need of a hand.
Be cautious with the rain
Precipitation and wind are the main enemies of cyclists. Check the tires, the brakes and try to stay on the marks left by the cars on the wet asphalt. Keep in mind that rain reduces drivers´ visibility, so wear flashy colors and turn on the lights.
Keep the security measures
Always pedal in the traffic direction and on the white line, do not exceed the speed in steep descents, keep the safety distance if you are in a group and have all the senses alert during driving.
With these tips to prepare a trip by bike you will be ready to take the road and live one of the most exciting experiences of your life.