A cycling holiday is one of the best ways to travel. It affords you a unique perspective on your chosen destination as you’ll be passing through rural villages, unspoilt countryside, and stunning landscapes. It’s a healthy, cheap, and environmentally friendly option, and is a refreshing change of pace compared to bustling tourist hotspots and all-inclusive holiday packages.
But if you’ve never biked long-distance before, you might be worried about the logistics of your trip. To help you avoid any stress, here are five trips for planning your first cycling holiday.
Pick a destination
The great thing about a cycling holiday is that you can do it anywhere. Pick any location in the world and there will be a myriad of cycle paths, traffic-free roads and jaw-dropping scenery to enjoy as you pedal along. Opt for a Sicilian cycling holiday, a South American epic, or just amble along the amazing cycle infrastructure of Belgium or the Netherlands. Once you’ve decided where you want to go, the rest is easy.
Plan a route
Most cycling holidays involve a long journey from A to B, with multiple overnight stops on the way. Decide where you want your trip to start and finish, then plan the most suitable route to join the dots. There are many factors to consider when picking the route. You might want to choose a scenic journey with lots of big climbs and viewpoints, or maybe you want something more low-level with pleasant countryside and lots of cafes and pubs to stop off at. It completely depends on your own personal preferences. It’s important to choose a route with easy transport access to the start and finish to minimize the logistical hurdles. For ultimate ease, you could even plan a cycling tour of your own country starting and finishing at your front door.
Where are you going to be sleeping each night? After a long day in the saddle, a comfortable bed can seem like the most desirable thing in the world. Pick a route with plenty of affordable hotel accommodation along the way. Make sure you book well in advance to avoid disappointment. If you are after a cheaper trip, or a full wilderness experience, you can stay in campsites or sleep under the stars if you choose.
Get the right equipment
The main thing you’ll need for your trip is a suitable bike. The type of bicycle you pick will depend on the terrain and style of your journey. If you are sticking to tarmac and paved cycle paths then you’ll probably want a road bike suitable for long journeys. But if you are going off-road you might need a gravel or mountain bike. You’ll also need a range of additional equipment, including a helmet, repair kit, panniers, first aid kit, and more.
Book with a tour operator
If this is your first bike trip, you want to minimize the chances of anything going wrong. Booking with a trusted cycle tour operator will take a lot of the stress out of your hands. They will sort out the accommodation, the route, bike maintenance, and your luggage transfer. All you need to do is get on your bike and enjoy your ride.