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Bicycle Travel | What to Know

Home > Tips and Advice > Bicycle Travel | What to Know

Whether or not you’re a cyclist, traveling by bicycle may be on your list for your next adventure. As you first need to learn the fundamentals of bicycle travel, I’ve gathered information about the cycling basics you should know before you get on your bike.

Traveling by bicycle advantages and disadvantages

Bike travel is a fun, healthy and more eco-friendly means of travel compare to traveling by bus or in a car. You move at your own pace and get where you want, when you want. You venture off the beaten path and get away from the crowd. You exercise instead of sitting in a car or on a bus. You meet the locals and enjoy the benefits of slow travel in a nice, relaxed atmosphere. You simply live in the moment something you rarely get to enjoy on a daily basis.

Even though, traveling by bike is a sport that provides many advantages, it has some disadvantages as well. Unfortunately, you don’t control the weather and you better prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Depending on your destination, be prepared for hot days, rain, thunderstorm or even freezing temperatures. Sometimes, you might also have to ride in traffic so make sure to learn some “Rules of the road”.

 

Some bicycle travel tips

Before you leave for your first bicycle tour, learn how to navigate using a map or a GPS. Encourage your travel companions to do the same as you might sometimes need some help finding your way.

Because of the sport, make sure to wear the right clothing and equipment. Always wear padded shorts to avoid soreness. In case of bad weather, be dressed with warm clothes and don’t forget your rain jacket. No matter your destination, make sure to wear reflecting clothing to be seen.

Remember that you’ll be cycling over varied terrain so make sure to be in good physical conditions. Before you leave, follow a training program. If you’re not a cyclist, start by riding 5-miles 3 or 4 times a week and work up to 40 miles over the course of a few weeks. A rule of thumb to avoid dehydration and low energy levels is to drink and eat regularly during your rides.

Your safety should be your priority while on the road. Make sure to learn some “Rules of the road” like safety signals and sign post meaning in the country your traveling to. Don’t forget to contact your insurance to verify that you’re insured in case of injury or medical issues.

 

Pack the right equipment

From cycling clothing to bike accessories, you must buy the proper equipment. However, don’t take too much but make sure to buy what’s essential. Here is what I think you should take with you on your cycling vacation:

  • Padded cycling shorts
  • Cycling jersey
  • Cycling Jacket
  • Bike shoes & pedals
  • Sneakers
  • Cycling gloves
  • Rain jacket
  • Cycling pants
  • Arm warmers
  • Leg warmers
  • Shoe covers & booties
  • Cycling headband or cap
  • Bike Helmet

 

Learn about bicycle safety

We all know about occupational safety and best practices, however before you jump on your bicycle and explore the world, you must learn the bicycle safety best practices. When an accident occurs, you’re most likely to be injured but a large percentage of accidents could be avoided if cyclists and drivers watch out for each other. For that reason, you must learn some basic safety rules of the road:

  • You must wear a helmet.
  • While you’re riding your bike, ensure that you are using good judgment and being aware of your surroundings. The unexpected can happen in an instant and maintaining alertness will ensure that you, and those around you, are safe.
  • Do not wear headphones while riding.
  • Avoid riding side by side but instead try to “ride single file”.
  • If you are traveling downhill, increase the distance between yourself and others to ensure your ability to stop.
  • Be courteous to other riders and motorists.
  • In some countries, you will find intersections with no traffic signals. In that case, please note that other vehicles have the right away.
  • Stop at all red lights and stop signs.
  • Make sure to yield to pedestrians.
  • Use recognised hand signals.
  • Avoid road obstacles such as potholes, rocks, etc.
  • While riding downhill make sure that you are using both brakes.

 

Get in shape

From weight training to cardio and nutrition, traveling by bicycle requires you to be in good physical condition. Before you leave, try to follow a training program. You may decide to only focus on cycling or participate in any other physical activity. However, try to spend as much time as possible on the saddle. In case of bad weather, you may try a spin class. Remember, training in challenging conditions will help you get ready for the worst during your trip.

 

Be safe with a bicycle travel insurance

Before you leave, make sure to be covered by your insurance against physical loss, damage, theft and liability. Call your insurer or insurance company and check the followings:

  • Ask if you’re covered against damage, illness or death.
  • Ask if your equipment is covered.
  • Ask if your medical and hospital expenses are covered.

 

Some of my favorite bicycle travel quotes

You’ll find below some of my favorite travel quotes that will inspire you to live life to the fullest. Here are two true wanderlust quotes:

“Have fun, be active. Ride a bike instead of driving, for example.” Dan Buettner

“When you choose to take the road less traveled, it can sometimes be a bumpy ride along the way, but if you’re doing it for the right reasons, then the reward is so great.“ Gretchen Bleiler

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.

Albert Einstein
About the author

Kilian co-founded DIGnGO with his brother Flavien while finishing his BA in International Business at Northwood University in Florida. Over the years, he has played many competitive sports but focused on golf in college and traveled across the United States to compete with the best golf teams in the nation. He now oversees the planning of all our bike tours ensuring everything run smoothly on a daily basis and making sure we maintain the quality and service you expect on all our trips. He sets the company strategy and drives execution through transparency.

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