Are you looking for a new adventure? Have you tried so many things already and want to experience something different? Well, how about taking a cycling road trip? If you are a newbie (and you probably are if you’re reading this), you must be wondering what it takes for a trip like this to be a success. The truth is that you can plan this adventure however you want to, from the location through the length all the way to the budget at your disposal. But, while every cycling experience is different and can be tailored to your needs, there are some general tips we can bestow upon you. Take a look.
Decide on your budget
As is the case with many other endeavors, you need to think about your finances. Being aware of how much money you have for this adventure will allow you to customize a trip that is just right for you. The great thing here is that you are able to organize a trip with a smaller budget that will still be as satisfying as a big-budget one, only if you dedicate some time to planning everything properly. However, if you want to make this a grand adventure, you can also borrow money from friends and relatives to achieve your goals. Once you’re on the road, money management will be crucial, so you need to set your spending limits and respect them.
Sort out your documents
While cycling allows the freedom of going wherever you want, you also have to keep in mind that you need proper documents to get in certain territories. If your road trip will be in a foreign country, check whether your passport will be enough or you need some special visas. Whatever the case, ensure all is sorted before you start your journey. What is more, you need to think about insurance as well. Getting travel insurance will protect you if you get sick, injured or robbed. Also, having a credit or debit card is probably the easiest way to pay for things, as you can get cash from ATM, banks, and in most cases, pay in stores. Furthermore, make sure all your documents are in a safe place while cycling.
Get the right bike and equipment
It’s important to understand that there are a lot of types of bikes and it’s vital that you find the right one for yourself. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, you should turn to professionals, explain your situation and ask for their opinion. They can recommend the best bike for beginners and provide you with some insight into the most important characteristics of certain models. Knowing where you plan to ride the bike will also help in making the right decision. Additionally, you should ensure you have all other important gadgets as well. Luckily, companies such as Bikes Online offer all sorts of accessories, from bicycle lights to locks and tire pumps. Furthermore, you cannot forget about safety gear, so make sure to get a quality helmet and some gloves. On the other hand, if you already own a bike, get it checked out to stay on the safe side and see whether it needs some upgrades.
Plan your route and accommodation
Some people like to wing it because they believe you cannot plan an adventure to the last detail. However, as a beginner, you should not take this approach but carefully decide on your route. For the first few times, keep it simple. Decide whether you will look for accommodation along the way or camp outside. If you plan to sleep in hostels, motels or hotels, you need to devise your route accordingly and make sure you reach your destination in time, especially if you book a room in advance. On the other hand, if camping is your choice, you need to bring some equipment, such as a tent and a sleeping bag.
Learn to travel light
While on the topic of bringing equipment, you need to learn to pack light. Sure, a tent and sleeping bag are necessary if you plan on sleeping outside, but you need to think of other things as well. Seeing as how you are traveling by bike, you don’t have that much storage space, which is why you can only bring along the necessities. You should get a comfy rucksack that you can keep on your back for most of the trip and put two panniers on each wheel. When it comes to clothing, bring items that are practical for the area you’re riding through; however, have in mind that the weather can change easily so bring along something for all conditions. Last but least, look for lightweight pieces that are also breathable.
We already mentioned travel insurance, but there are some other things you will also need in order to stay safe. Do not forget a first aid kit as you never know when it will come in handy. In addition to the above-mentioned protective gear, you should also bring some sunscreen, sunglasses and a raincoat. You’re probably bringing some technology along, so make sure you have all the emergency numbers and all the maps you need saved so you don’t get lost. Plus, some basic survival skills are preferable, such as reading a compass and starting a fire. Moreover, make sure to always be aware of your surroundings and follow traffic laws.
Be in shape
This is something people often overlook. Beginners usually don’t understand how hard this can be and jump into it without a second thought. It’s important to start getting ready on time, as being out of shape is a big no-no when it comes to a journey like this. If you’re not sure whether you are in good enough shape, start with a small trip and see how fast you get tired. In case you’re not ready, you need to exercise more to prepare yourself for this exhausting trip as you need to be ready both mentally and physically.
If you’re thinking about setting off on a cycling journey, it’s vital to remember that you cannot go into it blindly. Preparation is crucial and this little guide hopefully showed you the basics you need to keep in mind. Once you have all these things under control – good luck and happy cycling.