If you’re planning on going on a bike tour, there are several things you need to do first. This guide will help you get ready for a trip of a lifetime.
What types of bicycle touring are there?
Bicycle touring is much more diverse than you probably think it is. There are numerous different ways to go on bicycle travel and therefore, there are many different types of bicycle touring. Your bike tour can last a day, it can be overnight touring, or it can be a longer tour that can last for a few days. In that case, you are going bike-packing or cycle-camping. The best way to go bike packing if this is your first time is to sign up for guided group tours. Not only will you be guided by professionals who know what they’re doing and where they are going, but you will also meet tons of new friends who are also into biking like you.
Picking the route
If you decide to go by yourself, it is very important to carefully choose a route that you will be biking on before you actually go on your tour. You have to be able to recognize the road that you’re taking and know exactly where you are going. This is especially important if you plan on taking a long tour. Firstly, your route has to be chosen according to your biking skills. If you’re a beginner, you’re not going to choose a challenging road full of obstacles where you can potentially hurt yourself. Start slow and steady and visit an area that you are familiar with. You can go through the route you are about to take with your car first to see where you will be riding your bike and how you can safely return home. Once you finish picking the perfect route for your trip, you can move on to picking a bike that you’ll take on the road. That brings us to the next point.
Picking the right type of bicycle
When taking a bike tour, you need to pick the right bicycle that will be able to carry you through the trip. There are numerous different types of bikes that you can choose from. These are all the bikes that can undertake a bicycle tour: road bikes, recumbent bikes, folding bikes, touring bikes, expedition bikes, and even professional mountain bicycles that are most commonly used for these kinds of tours. So, visit your local bike store or go shopping online to find a perfect bicycle for your trip.
Purchase the rest of the equipment
Once you buy the bike, you need to buy the rest of the equipment that you need for your trip. First of all, you need to purchase a helmet. On this biking trip, you firstly need to think of your own safety and how to prevent any injuries you may get on the road. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Find appropriate gloves to protect your hands while riding a bike too. Then, get some sunglasses to protect your eyes both from the sun and the wind. Make sure to have a LED flashing front and rear bicycle light as well as the head-torch for the night part of your travel. You have to be able to see where you are going, but you also need to ensure you are visible to car drivers on the road too. What you also need for your bike are a mirror and a bell. The mirror will help you see what’s behind you at all times, while the bell will make sure you can signal to other drivers as well as pedestrians when you’re coming their way. Also, in case of an injury, you need to have a patch kit and an emergency kit.
In case you decide to go camping on your bike tour, there are several things you need to pack. First of all, you need a tent. If you plan on staying somewhere in the woods overnight, you need a place to rest. Find a high-quality tent made of water-proof materials that will keep you warm at night. You can also bring a hammock if you want. It can come in handy if you want to stop somewhere in the middle of the day for a quick rest. It’s important that you bring a sleeping bag, a sleeping bag liner, or a sleeping mat. Bring a travel pillow as well to make sure you can sleep comfortably on your long trip. Lastly, make sure to have a nylon stuff sack, where you can pack and organize all of the stuff you’re bringing.
Some of essential items for your trip are electronics like your phone and portable charger. A phone bike mount also comes in handy at a trip like this as well as a camera, tripod, some spare camera batteries, and your headphones. If you’re going on an especially long trip, make sure to have a travel power adapter or even a multi-power adapter. If you’re feeling a bit fancy and want to document your trip in a cool way, you can also purchase a drone and a drone controller. Bring some hard drives so that you can store all the data too.
You have to make sure you have enough food for the trip as well as the right utensils and equipment so that you can make yourself some food while you’re on your long bike tour. Firstly, a camp stove is an essential piece of equipment for your trip. Make sure to bring a fuel bottle and an insulated coffee travel mug. A coffee maker can also be very useful for your tour. You can also buy a coffee grinder in case you prefer to grind your coffee beans yourself. The other stuff that you will probably need is a chopping board, a water filter, tea towel, dishcloth, a small sharp knife, some forks, spoons and knives, and a cigarette lighter or matches if you’re a smoker.
Besides the stuff you need for your bike, camping, and food, there is a list of other essential things you need to have with you at all times:
- Credit Cards
- Vaccination Certificates
- Washing Line
- Hand Sanitiser
- Electric Tape
- Tap Key
Going on a bike tour can be a bit challenging. There are lots of things you need to think of and organize beforehand. However, if you follow this guide for your first biking tour, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be an absolute success.