Top Tips When Planning a Bicycle Touring Trip
When you first decide to go on a bicycle touring trip, you'll likely have a hundred different questions running around your mind regarding what you need to prepare beforehand, what you need to pack, and how you will keep the wheel spinning back at home while you're away.
To help wade through some of the confusion, we have listed our top five tips to live by when planning a bicycle touring trip. If we came across a tip that didn't apply to everybody, we ditched it. Consider each of the below tips, one at a time, when planning your next touring trip, and you won't go far wrong.
Get the Correct Insurance
Even if you currently have bicycle insurance, it doesn't mean you'll already be covered on a long touring trip. That said, it is important for you to check with your current provider to see if you're insured beforehand to make sure you don't pay more than necessary.
The benefit of checking with your current provider first is, even if your current plan doesn't include touring insurance, they'll likely be able to add it on at a much cheaper rate than you would pay if you had to go direct to a new insurance provider.
Agree to a Daily Distance, Leave Room for Negotiation
This is something which can only be learned from experience. depending upon your physical fitness and the physical fitness of all the members of your group, the distance in which you'll be able to comfortably travel each day will be much less than you originally imagine when you first dreamed up the tour.
Leave room at the beginning of your trip for the tour to take much longer than you had originally planned. Over the course of the tour, you'll begin to notice strengths and weaknesses in the group which will help you greatly in determining your daily distance for the next few days.
Only Take Gear That is 100% Necessary
Although this point emphasises the point of not taking too much with you, it's equally important to make sure you take the right things with you, as depending where your cycling tour takes you, you may often find yourself in areas where it's near impossible to be able to buy something you may desperately need in the moment, such as a puncture repair kit or a torch.
Travelling light is essential to lighten the burden as you're cycling on your tour especially, as depending on your agreed daily distance, you may be cycling for up to twelve hours a day on some days.
Look into Hostels Ahead of Time
With regard to the previous point, you will probably wish to carry a tent along with you (or if you're in a group, take it in turns to carry a larger tent that will fit you all), not only so to save money on your trip, but also to accommodate you when you have to settle down for the night in the middle of nowhere.
On the other hand, some days you will just want to have a nice warm bed to lay down on and go to sleep, with the added benefit of being able to have a good shower in the morning. Look up hostel destinations on your route ahead of time as, believe us, after sleeping in a tent several nights in a row you'll start dreaming of the warmth and comfort a hostel can provide.
Make Sure You're Physically Ready
This is the one tip that is, surprisingly, the most overlooked. Often people get so wrapped up in actually planning the tour and making sure everything is ready to go that they forget to consider whether they themselves are physically ready for the harsh endurance challenge the trip will no doubt offer up.
Make sure you're riding more than usual in the build up to the touring trip to get your body used to spending long amounts of time on the bike. If you can, try cycling in different conditions (if you see rain, get out in it) as this will help you gauge your ability in these environments.
About the Author
ProBikeKit is a leader in cycle tyres and other components, offering a broad range of brands in their online catalogue and their showroom in the United Kingdom.