A fun and inexpensive way to escape from the hustle and complexity of today’s world is to take a bicycling tour. This active vacation can allow you to visit the more rural and hidden regions of a country while getting a great workout.
There are various types of bicycling tours depending on how adventurous you plan to be. Though some bicycling tourists choose to stay in hotels, the majority rough it on the open land. Here are the four major types of bicycle camping trips:
1. Hosteling - Only a sleeping bag is needed.
2. Camping – Only a sleeping bag and tent are needed.
3. Cooking – Gas stove, fuel, cooking pot, utensils, food, sleeping bag and tent required.
4. Backwoods Camping- All of the above plus water and/or water filters.
Preparation is Key
Before you embark on your tour there is a lot of preparation needed in order to make the trip as smooth as possible. You’ll get the best results if you use your head rather than your wallet. Bringing the right gear, equipment and tools will ensure safety and comfort for your trip.
Eleven tips for the rookie bicycle tourist.
1. Get on a bike before going on a biking tour, especially if you are planning on biking in a hilly area.
2. Bring good rain gear than will cover you from head to toe. Breathable rain gear with ventilation is best.
3. Get sturdy, but flexible biking shoes that are water resistant. Your feet will get wet so unless you want soggy feet, you’ll definitely want to invest in water resistant shoes.
4. Bring a biking helmut.
5. Bring biking gloves for the colder days or to prevent chaffing . Waterproof or water-resistant gloves are best.
6. Bring biking shoes with good padding as well as long biking pants for colder days.
7. Use bungee cords to secure items to the bike rack are helpful.
8. Take along a good guidebook that will give you insight and information on the places you will be visiting.
9. Take a good camera and lots of film! You will want to take loads of pictures everywhere you turn.
10. Join an organized tour like REI Adventures. Their are definite advantages since everything is taken care of such as bikes, maps, guides, hotels and most meals. However, if you choose to do a biking trip on your own, be sure to map out your tour carefully. There are many resources on the Internet that can help you do that with ease.
What to Wear?
Along with the proper equipment, the right clothing can make a trip so much easier. Here are a few tips for picking the right gear:
- Pick shoes that are practical for both riding and walking.
- Wear pants that are comfortable and have pockets.
- Wear bright colored shirts or jackets for better road visibility.
- Choose clothes made of synthetic materials (Coolmax or polypropylene)
- Bring a nylon waterproof suit for the rain.