Biking tours are a liberating experience. There is no clock to pace your time, no competition, no winner’s circle. You’ll test your own limits for endurance. You’ll see more of the countryside you’re crossing, interact more intensely with your environment. Those moments of spectacular views will come more frequently and be appreciated longer when you’ve pedaled to that high point on a bike instead of an automobile. There is very little you need beyond a good bicycle, a sleeping bag and a tent.
But don’t forget these tips to keep things comfy and fun.
1) Building Stamina
Before considering a long distance tour, work on those bike pedaling leg muscles. Use your bicycle as your main means of transportation whenever possible. Schedule a few practice trips within twenty to thirty miles of your point of origin. Make uphill climbing a regular part of your practice routine.
2) Trouble Shoot
Once you are in shape, your bicycle will be your most important piece of equipment. Experiment with the different types of paths, from paved, even surfaces, to gravel and rock and dirt paths. Compare how well your bike performs with an extra load. Even a twenty-pound backpack can make a difference in performance.
3) Customize Your Bike
Minor discomforts become extreme on a long-distance trip, and are usually the result of choosing a bicycle that isn’t quite right for you. By going through a company such as Big Shot you can customize your bike to fit specific requirements, such as type of handlebars, front and back rims and tires, adding greater comfort and performance to your biking tour.
4) Stripping Down
A single speed bicycle is the lightest weight and easiest to maintain bicycle for a long distance trip. You will have a single chain assembly, facilitating easy repairs and eliminate the complications of shifting into gear adjustments for the varying types of terrain.
5) The Life of Your Tires
The type of tires you use will affect your bicycling performance and the overall comfort of your trip. Cross-country tires are wider and have more grip than cruise tires and are best used in rugged terrain. Know what type of terrain to expect and use tires suitable for the conditions.
6) Planning Your Trip
The beauty of a biking tour is that the time limits are strictly your own. You may choose to make the tour a three-week vacation or spend several years circling the globe. Research your trip. Buy a map. Check Internet sites for locations and type of terrain. Calculate how long it will take you to finish a trip within your time allotment, leaving plenty of room for error. Keep some readily available funds in a bank account and carry very little cash.
7) What to Take
Bicycling is a minimalist existence life. Little more is needed other than a lightweight tent, sleeping bag and some clothing. To add fun and safety to your experience, bring along a cell phone or other hand-held device that will allow you to take pictures and communicate with friends and family members during your trip. If you are uncomfortable with carrying all your essentials on your back, add a cargo rack or crate.
8) Going the Distance
Bike touring is addicting. Tours within the circumference of home spread out to more challenging bike tours and tours within foreign countries. Once you are synchronized with your bike, those long distance climes become increasingly more appealing. Do the paperwork. Fill out the forms for passports and visas before beginning your around the world trip.
9) Access to Parts
Even the best bicycles receive a lot of wear and tear on a long distance trip. You could try scavenging parts from a junk yard, take your bike to a repair shop, or go through a reliable company that will have your parts online.
10) Contact with Others
While bike touring is a solitary endeavor, it’s very much a shared experience. Contact with other bicyclers who will give you tips on great trails, camping locations, where to eat and other vital information. You can even create a website to connect. Be a considerate traveler, obey the rules and have the greatest experience of your life.
Biking tours are exhilarating, and allow you to see so much more than a bus tour can give you. It’s like two vacations in one!