Biking on trips - both long and short, at destinations all over the world - is booming, with global cycling tourism estimated to be worth more than $116 billion and growing by more than nine percent each year. And why not? It´s a healthy and relatively inexpensive way to get closer to the places you visit and the people who live in them, and can make it possible to discover off-the-beaten-path attractions that you´d likely miss by using other forms of transportation. But there are a few factors to consider when considering hitting the road away from home on a bike, and here are the main ones.:
Choosing Your Bike
What Types of Terrain?
Think about the landscape you'll be through on your journey. A mountain bike with a strong frame, wide tires, and a suspension system is ideal for riding on tough terrain or off-road. A road bike or touring bike with skinny tires, an aerodynamic frame, and an upright riding position is best suited for paved roads and extended tours. Then of course there´s the whole other category of "e-bikes," with electric motors providing pedal assist up to around 20 miles per hour - which can be a boon for carrying stuff (including kids), on hilly terrain, on long trips, or maybe just to avoid arriving too sweaty at your destination.
How Long on the Road?
Speaking of long trips, think about how much time you´re planning to spend biking. Long-distance journeys require comfort and durability, but shorter trips may benefit from a more lightweight and agile bicycle. Touring bikes have a more upright seating posture and a lowered center of gravity so the rider can rest while covering greater distances.
What Is It Made Of?
A wide range of materials are used to construct bicycles, each with its pros and cons. Lightweight, inexpensive, and rather sturdy, aluminum frames have many advantages. Steel frames are more stable, last longer, and support more weight. Lightweight and comfortable carbon fiber frames are available, although they are priced higher. When choosing the frame material, consider your budget and desired features.
Planning Your Route
Get to Know Your Destinations
It may seem like a no-brainer, but invest in extensive research - consulting guidiebooks, blogs, online forums, and anything else you can think of - on where you plan to go biking. Make a list as best you can of important stops, sights, and places to eat and sleep. Naturally you´ll be improvising along the way, but this will be an important star.
Get a Sense of How Long and How Far
Think about how long you want your trip to last, and also how far you intend to bike each day - keeping in mind your level of fitness and biking experience. You don´t want to overestimate what you´re capable of, and to prevent exhaustion and leave time for local touring, you might want to schedule rest days or days when you plan to cover a more reduced distance.
Pick a Travel Mode
Related to the above, decide whether you´d prefer taking the quickest route to your goal or a more leisurely pace with plenty of time to take in the sights along the way - or a mix of both.
Research Road and Terrain Conditions
Take a careful look at the road conditions and landscapes you'll be navigating. Examine elevation maps, road types, and daily traffic counts. Think about how skilled you are as a biker and how challenging the route is. Consider any adjustments or additional gear you would need to consider for difficult terrain. In particular, try to choose routes with fewer cars, for example those which offer dedicated bicycle lanes.
Check up on Housing and Amenities en Route
Give some though about where and how you want to stay - a hotel, bed and breakfast, apartment, campground or wherever, and make sure that wherever you end up, you´ll have access to eateries as well as grocery stores (for resupplying) and bike shops for (for any repair or maintenance issues). .
Take the Weather into Account
Very important! You´ll want to have an idea of the temperatures and precipitation levels to expect during your travel dates, so as to better prepare for heat, cold, rain, and windy conditions.
Be Adaptable and Open to the Unpredictable
While having a game plan is essential, providing some wiggle room for unexpected twists, turns, and unexpected developments They might be negative, but are more likely to be positive - for example, taking a detour to a particularly interesting place you might learn about from locals can lead to enriching moments.
Documenting Your Adventure
Whether it´s jotting down in a notebook or using a digital journaling app, try to record your thoughts, feelings, and experiences throughout each day, decribing in as much detail as you can the places you go, the people you meet, and the ups and downs you face. Take in all the sensations—visual, auditory, and olfactory—that make each day special, and you´ll end up with a magnificent source of memories for many years.
Take Pictures and Videos
To complement your journal, use your camera or smartphone to capture the scenery, the historic buildings, the lively streets, and the spontaneous moments that arise throughout your journey, which will make th time capsule of your adventure all the more vivid. .
Make a Scrapbook, Virtual or Otherwise
Combine all the above - as well as additional elements such as maps, brochures, tickets, and so forth - into a vidually appealing scrapbook out of travel memories, whether digital or analog. Create a visually appealing account of your travels using online tools or printing services Bring your experience to life by using descriptions, maps, and tales.
Share on Social Media
People love following adventures in real time on socials. Make a specific hashtag for your journey and use it consistently while posting updates and images. Share your thoughts and experiences with other cyclists, visitors, and locals by leaving a comment or sending a message. You can share your enthusiasm for bicycle travel and reach like-minded people through the social social media of your choice, whether Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, YouTube, or whatever..
Even Create a Website or Blog
If you´re really ambitious, you could launch an entire site dedicated to your trip, interspersing your own tales and observations with helpful travel advice to increase its value and appeal to potential readers. Include a route map, tips on gear and travel strategies, and be sure to be consistent in providing new posts to attract and retain readers. This could have the potential to create a brand for yourself that could turn into a rewarding hobby and even a career, as a number of travel bloggers have done in recent years. Just keep in mind that once you start a project like this, you need to be prepared to "feed the beast"!
So hit the road, and have a great ride!