Compact Guide to Bike Travelling- BikeTroops

This article covers how to get ready physically and mentally, what you should pack, and the best places to go on a bike tour, all covered in this article.

Introduction

If you ride your Bike every day, you’ll be limited to the places you can go in a day, with enough time to get back home again.

On the other hand, Bike touring lets you go to places that are a lot farther away. During a bike tour, you go to many checkpoints before you stop for the night. This lets you take a break and refuel for the next day of cycling so you can finish the next part of the trip.

If you want to learn more about Bike touring, this guide is for you. It will give you an overview of why it’s so popular, how you should train for it, what you should pack with you, how to plan your route and how to tour on a budget. At least you can’t say we haven’t been very careful.

Why Travel by Bike?

Why Travel by Bike?
Photo Credit- @markstos

Because biking is both physically and mentally difficult, there are many reasons why people choose to go by Bike instead of taking a bus or train instead of a car.

Cheap

Traveling by Bike is a lot cheaper than taking a plane or a ferry to get around your chosen tour spot. After the cost of the Bike, of course.

This is a far cry from the rich and aristocratic days when Bike touring was only for the rich and famous. They then moved on to motor cars, which was a big change. It is now possible to go on bike tours and see beautiful countries while keeping traveling low.

Accessible

Bicycles can be a great way for us to get around. Even though they can get you around a lot faster than you could on your own two feet, they’re small enough that you can still get to small, off-road paths and trails that cars can’t get to.

There are also a lot of airlines and travel agencies these days that let you take your Bike with you when you fly or book a trip. This is a lot cheaper than renting a bike when you get there. There is also the fact that many people prefer to ride their bikes.

Builds Fitness

Traveling by Bike is a lot more active than traveling by boat or bus, so you’ll be able to get fit while enjoying the beautiful scenery. In the gym, you can’t cycle on a treadmill. This must be better than that.

There are many health benefits to cycling, such as improving your mental health and increasing your strength, stamina, and ability to lose weight. It’s not easy, but riding a bike can be a great way to see many different places.

Explore New Cultures and Landscapes

As you move from place to place, you’ll learn more about the people and places around you, and you’ll be able to enjoy the landscapes you’re seeing truly.

Cycling lets you stop and smell the roses while you’re on the road because you can stop to meet or talk to the people who live there if you’re traveling with many people and have to follow someone else’s schedule.

Cycle Touring or Bikepacking?

Cycle Touring or Bikepacking?
Photo Credit- @worldsbetweenlines

Cycle touring is when you ride your Bike around the world with all of your luggage attached to it. You can do this with bikes made for this, or you can make a regular hybrid bike into a touring bike.

This is great if you’re going on a long trip that needs a lot of luggage. You can attach more to the front of the Bike. Things you can bring: extra cooking equipment, extra clothes, a laptop or other electronic device, and your tent set up.

Bikepacking, on the other hand, is a newer type of cycle touring that is much lighter and doesn’t have a lot of luggage racks. It also often goes off-road for a lot of the trip.

“Lean setup” is one of the best things about bikepacking because it lets you use either a road or gravel bike if they have at least 28mm of tire clearance. They’re also very light so that you can ride your Bike across the country in no time.

City Traveling

City Traveling

To add to your bucket list are the Cultural Trail in Indianapolis, Vietnam, and Cambodia bike tours, where you can stop at local restaurants to learn about the culture and eat what they serve while on the road.

More people and busier roads in cities, so you have to be extra careful. Ensure to keep your Bike in a safe place when you’re not riding it during the day so that it doesn’t get stolen. You should also make sure that it’s locked inside.

Mountain Exploring

Mountain Exploring
Photo Credit- @davidmarcu

As a former Great Britain XC mountain biker and a founding member of the Adventure Syndicate group, Lee Craigie says that bikepacking gives riders “the ultimate freedom.” The Adventure Syndicate encourages riders to go on new adventures and push themselves to their limits.

To go bikepacking, choose the right mountain bike. Then, pack your bags and choose where you want to go next. Mountain exploration is what bikepacking is all about at its core, so it’s the best choice for a trip like this one. Check out the Glacier National Park bike tour and the Carolinas bike tour if you want to ride up the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Carolinas.

Am I in Good Enough Shape?

Bicycle touring can be both physically and mentally demanding, so how do you know if you’re in good enough shape to go on the trip with your Bike?

How Far Can You Ride in a Day?

The distance you can go on a bike in one day is a lot based on how to fit you are and a lot of other things. This includes your own goals, the type of cycling you’re doing, and the terrain you’re riding on.

You’ll need to work out before going on a bike tour so that you can keep going for long periods without taking a break.

As a general rule, adults who are in good shape can go 65 miles a day on paved roads and carry less than 20 pounds of gear, and this still gives you time to stop and explore or rest your legs.

How Much Gear to Take?

The more weight you have, the more difficult it will be to move and the longer it will take you to get to each stop. You should always try to pack light.

Only take what you need and don’t buy too many souvenirs on the way. If you do, your legs will pay for it! Later in the article, we’ll go into more detail about what you should always take with you when you go on a trip. This will help you avoid overpacking.

If your gear weighed between 20 and 45 pounds in the example above, you should lower your expectations to a pace of around 55 miles per day. This can change or stay the same depending on what kind of terrain you’re on.

Training for a Bike Tour

Training for a Bike Tour
Photo Credit- @airfocus

Bike tours can be a great way to see a lot of different places, but they can also be a lot of work at the same time because you’ll need to train for it.

Build a Training Plan

Taking a trip by bicycle is so hard that you can’t go into it with your eyes closed. Make sure you build and follow a training plan so that you can be physically fit enough to cycle for miles every day with very little rest time in between.

Before going on a trip, be realistic about your goals and what you want to achieve. Then, start small and work your way up, leaving enough time to rest and recover before your trip starts.

Base Training Miles

Make sure your Bike has some miles on it before you go on a long trip where you’ll be riding a lot.

Every time you go for a bike ride, try to go for a little longer. This will help you get ready for your trip. You’ll need to have a good amount of daily mileage that you can reach. You can use this to figure out how far you’ll drive each day or set up a more flexible schedule for your trip.

Build Strength

Check your physical strength before you set off on a bike tour. You’ll need to carry all your gear for a long time on the road.

Building strength before you go on your trip will make your muscles more ready for what’s to come and will be able to repair faster as you push yourself. This means you’ll be less sore, which will make the trip a lot more fun for you.

Build Endurance

Even though you’re going to build up your endurance as you go, you’ll enjoy your trip more if you already have some endurance. This is one of the great things about Bike touring!

Cycling holidays usually involve a lot of long, intense travel days. Adding a few extra miles to your weekend bike rides is a good idea, even though it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to practice such a long distance before you go.

Practice Riding with Weight

In this case, it’s not the same thing to ride long distances alone with your back pack full or a bike mount piled high with gear. On the first day of your trip, you don’t want to find out what a difference this makes.

You can do this by riding with weights a few times to build your strength and endurance.

Finding a Bike For Travel

It’s said that a bad sportsman always blames his equipment, but the right Bike can make or break a trip by Bike. Choose one that won’t make the aches and pains you’ll likely feel after a few days even worse, so comfort is important.

Some bikes are made for Bike touring, but you can start on any kind of Bike before buying a new, expensive bike. Some bikes can even be made to fit your own unique needs.

Road racing bikes are the only bikes that don’t fall into this category because they focus on speed instead of comfort and durability, which is the second most important thing to think about when you buy a bike.

Low Gear

Keep an eye out for low gears on your touring Bike because you’ll need them when you’re going over difficult terrain or when you reach a point in your journey where you’ll be mostly going uphill.

Rack Mounts

On a touring bike, another thing to look for are racks that can be attached to the front and back of the Bike. This will make it easier to carry your gear with you as you go.

Brakes

There’s a lot of debate about whether you should use V-brakes or disc brakes when you’re touring. In the end, it’s up to you. We think that disc brakes are better than V-brakes because they are more likely to damage your wheel rims over time.

Handlebars

A touring bike has a shorter reach, making it easier to ride and keep your body in the right position. Some aches and pains come with cycling all day, but this should help ease them.

Wheels and Tires

You’ll have to think about which road you’ll be on the most. Most of the time, wide tires are better when you’re riding on bumpy ground.

Planning Your Route

Planning Your Route
Photo Credit- @martinirc

Make sure you learn how to plan your route before going on this trip.

It’s one of the most popular routes for Bike touring, and there are some great cycle tour vacations for people who are new to the sport.

Planning Ahead

This will not only save you money, but it will also help you figure out how long different routes will take. To make the most of your time and money, you will be able to plan better for the next few days. You will not waste time or money on things you don’t need.

Camping or Hotels?

Bike touring purists would say that you should camp every night to have a full and true experience. We don’t see anything wrong with treating yourself to a hotel stay after a long day of riding, though. This can be a great way to end a trip!

Safety

To avoid dangerous areas for cyclists, you need to plan your route. You can also stay on quieter roads with fewer cars on them.

Getting to Your Destination

It won’t be long before you start pedaling across the country. You’ll need to get there first. It can be hard to figure out how much it will cost to get to your destination if this isn’t near you. When you’re traveling by bike, that can make things a little more complicated.

Car

It’s possible to attach your Bike to the back of the trunk or the top of the car with a bike rack.

If your seats go down, you can fit the bicycle on the back seats. You can also try to remove the wheels for travel if it’s easy. Some bikes can be folded up, which is very convenient if you’re going to be taking them in and out of your car a lot.

Plane

Before you go on a plane, you need to put your Bike in a bike box or a bike bag. It usually costs around $10 to $12 to have your local bike shop package it up for you, which is usually easier than trying to do it yourself. It usually costs less than that to have them do it for you.

Take into account the way you’re going to get to the airport, too. You’ll need to make sure your bike box or bag fits in the backseat of your car or taxi, so think about that.

Bus/Train

A bus or train driver might not have enough room for your Bike. You could be at the mercy of that person, as well as the size of the bus or train. If your Bike takes up too much space, you may have to buy a second ticket.

Check with your local train station to see if you can bring your Bike on the train or if they have a separate area for bikes to be stored.

What to Pack For Bike Tour?

What else do you need to think about when you pack for a bike tour? Ryan Gardell says that “if you have a tent, a sleeping bag, and a bike, you’re set.”

Tools and Parts

When you’re going on a trip, you’ll need to make sure you have some tools and parts with you.

  • Bike pump: It doesn’t matter what kind of terrain you’re on. Your tires will need to be filled up at some point. Check your tires before you leave.
  • Multi-tools: These can be very useful for a lot of different things.
  • Adjustable wrench: In the event of a repair job, this is another thing you’ll want to have.
  • Repair kit: If something goes wrong, repair kits usually have everything you need to fix a small problem with your Bike and get back on the road.

Clothing

The right clothes are very important for your comfort, so make sure you pack these things.

  • Cycle touring shoes: Because your feet will be pedaling you across the country, you’ll want to buy a pair of cycling shoes that are easy to wear. These are made to keep your feet from overheating and getting painful blisters. They are also breathable enough to keep your feet from overheating and blisters from forming.
  • Cycling shorts: Try to pack more pairs of pants than you think you’ll need.
  • Sports shorts: Again, you should bring a few pairs.
  • Cycling socks: It is very important to keep your feet from getting blisters, so don’t just wear any socks. It might be a good idea to wear two pairs of cycling socks to protect your feet more.
  • Thermal skins: In the winter, you’ll need something to keep you warm.
  • Cycling jerseys: Make it easy for people to see you by wearing bright, colorful jerseys for cycling. Cyclists can be dangerous if other people and drivers can’t see them.
  • Loose base layers: Make it easy for people to see you by wearing bright, colorful jerseys for cycling. Cyclists can be dangerous if other people and drivers can’t see them.
  • Jacket: Choose one that is waterproof and well-insulated to keep you dry and keep you warm when it’s cold outside.
  • Gloves: Gloves can help you keep a better grip on the handlebars in the cold and keep your hands from getting cold or numb. It all depends on the climate where you’re touring.
  • Warm hat: Heat goes out of the head, so a warm hat can help fight the cold.
  • Underwear: Every time you go away, always pack more clothes than you think you’ll need, and try to choose underwear that won’t chafe your skin.
  • A scarf or neck gaiter: If you live in a cold place, this will help keep your neck warm. It will also help protect you from sunburn and windburn in warmer places.

Storage

To make the most of your Bike’s space, you need to develop clever ways to store things because every square inch counts.

  • Pannier racks: You should pay attention to your pannier rack for your Bike, even though it isn’t the most exciting part of your Bike to choose. This is where you will put your luggage and other things.
  • Pannier bags: Many times, it’s a good idea to choose waterproof pannier bags that keep your gear dry if it rains.
  • Small frame bag: Keep anything you might need while riding in this.
  • Handlebar bag: During your ride, this can hold anything you might want to keep close to your hand, and it should be waterproof, too.
  • Frame bottle cages: Hydration is very important when you’re going a long way, so keep one or two on your Bike’s frame.
  • Bungee cords: A lot of bungee cords are better than not enough.
  • Zip ties: Zip ties are also very useful, so don’t forget to pack them.

Accessories

Some things you might want to bring with you when you go on a trip:

  • Sunglasses: Putting sunglasses on can help protect your eyes from the sun’s glare, making it hard for you to see, which can be dangerous when you’re riding. They also protect against a bigger danger: bugs.
  • Phone: People in the modern world should not forget their cell phones, right? Just make sure you don’t forget to pack your charger and maybe even a small battery pack as well.
  • Phone mount/holder: Take photos or answer calls easier if you have a mount or something to hold your phone while your hands aren’t free, like a phone stand.
  • Water bottles: The best thing you can do is make sure you have a good water pack or some extra bottles to keep them full.
  • Bike lock: When you don’t use your Bike, lock it up to keep your wheels from being stolen.
  • Headlamp: When you’re cycling past nightfall or into the evening, a headlamp or head torch can be used with your bike lights to illuminate the road ahead.
  • Sound system: Some people like to listen to music while driving, so having a sound system will improve the sound.
  • Laptop: This one isn’t required, but you won’t be able to skip the case. You’ll need to keep it safe.

Camping and Cooking Gear

It’s not just about remembering to bring your biking gear with you when you go out on the trail. There will be a break in your days of riding when you camp overnight.

  • Tent: Look for a lightweight tent that’s easy to set up and takedown for the first thing.
  • Bedding: You can roll up and carry camping mats while you’re riding. They’re more comfortable than the hard ground under them.
  • Hammock: It’s another piece of comfort you can bring with you that’s small and light. You can use a hammock to sleep in or to relax after a long day of sightseeing.
  • Microfiber towel: It’s good to use a microfiber towel if you want to dry off sweat or if you’ve been swimming. It dries quickly and can be repacked.
  • String lights: These are a simple way to light up your campsite area.
  • Cutlery: You can’t have dinner without them! It’s important to have a knife and fork and spoon and any other tools you’ll need to make the food, like a chopping board.
  • Dishtowel: Because we are on a trip, we still have to wash our clothes.
  • Gas and stove: There are many options for portable gas stoves. Make sure everything is working before you leave.
  • Cups, plates, and bowls: If you forget these things, you’ll be in a pickle.
  • Pots and pans: Aim for ones that are light but strong enough not to break when you drive.
  • Tupperware: If you have any leftovers, this is a great way to keep them. Why not have last night’s dinner as a snack while you ride tomorrow?

Medical Supplies

Finally, it’s important to be ready for any situation, even the ones you hope never to happen.

  • Hand sanitizer: To avoid having to wash your hands all the time.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste: Make sure you don’t forget about basic hygiene when you’re trying to think of things to pack for your trip!
  • First aid kit: This will usually have bandages and alcohol wipes for when things go wrong.
  • Sunscreen: Make sure your sunscreen has an SPF of 50 or more because you will be outside most of the time.
  • Bug spray: Mosquitos. What more can we say?

Top Tips for Touring on a Budget

Taking a bicycle tour is already a cheap way to travel, but here are some ideas for touring on a budget.

1. Travel With a Friend

It costs less to go on vacation with a friend when you split the trip’s costs. You’ll have someone to help pay for food and park fees, and you’ll be able to stay at more places along the way.

2. Use Apps to Find Food and Lodging

Apps like Warm Showers help you find free food and sometimes even places to stay while you’re on your bike trip. They’re made by other bikers who want to help each other out and form a Couchsurfing group.

3. Avoid Campsites

There are many free parks where you can set up your tent. Campsite fees are one of the highest costs of going on a trip. Make sure you do your homework before you go so you can find out what the rules are.

4. Stay Open to Opportunities to Make Friends

Every day, strangers do amazing things for each other. Keep an open mind when you meet people on the road because you never know what kind of generosity you might make them want to do. When people hear that you’re going on a long trip, they might give you food or advice.

5. Plan Where to Go and What to See in Advance

Having a plan of action means that you’ll be able to budget for the different places you’ll be going and the things you’ll want to do along the way, which makes it less likely that you’ll overspend.

Also, don’t forget to check your insurance policy before going on your trip!

6. Talk to Locals

You should talk to these people if you want to know about local deals and which restaurants in the area are worth the money. The people you meet might tell you to pass their names on for a special deal.

Bike Travelling- Summary

In this article, we talked about starting planning a trip where you can go on a bike tour.

If you have any questions, concerns, or tips for other bikers, please leave them in the comment section below. We hope this was helpful.

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