A cycling road trip represents a part of many outdoor activities enthusiasts’ bucket list. Yet, somehow many keep postponing their trip because they simply don’t know where to start from. Yes, planning such an adventure is never an easy task. That’s why I’ve put together this checklist. So you can adventure on.
Taking a Cycling Road Trip
First things first, no money no party
Unfortunately, a cycling road trip usually calls for a high budget. In case you haven’t saved enough money for this particular occasion, which you probably haven’t, don’t give up your dream trip at the very beginning. There is always an option of borrowing money from family and friends.
However, you can enjoy your trip and get paid for it at the same time. Instagram, social networks in general, has become a perfect place for little personal blogs. Make your profile be your travel diary by uploading fascinating photos of sights and scenery you come across. Don’t forget to incorporate a few remarkable tags and hashtags, and sponsors or partners may come to you. Besides, you can ask companies to provide you with their products in return for being mentioned in post or video. Who knows? This idea may turn into a serious travel blog profitable in the long-run.
Trip planning dos and don’ts
Any road trip planning involves long sleepless nights and a number of things getting organized.
First of all, it is an imperative to have previously planned routes. We promise you an unforgettable experience if you plan your route according to the significant sights and natural attractions worth visiting. Since trips like this often occur once in a lifetime, don’t miss anything that seems worth stopping by. Although you would probably have a map of the route on your smartphone, we advise you to bring paper maps, just in case.
Let’s get technical. As much boring as it sounds, don’t skip this part. If you are planning an international cycling road trip, investigate which of the countries demand visas. Likewise, get informed on their laws and traffic regulations specifically. It would be convenient to have countries’ SOS numbers written down to the smartphone in the case of emergency. Speaking about that, remember the travel insurance, as well.
Regardless how perfect your cycling road trip plan is, the weather is always quite unpredictable. You won’t get much help from weather forecast as it constantly changes. Therefore, be ready to face all possible weather conditions.
Once you gathered all the above mentioned information, make a calendar to help you organize the time on the road. However, you are not supposed to stick to it rigidly. Better enjoy the trip.
Get (back) in shape
Being out of shape is a ‘mustn’t’ when it comes to the cycling road trips. Start riding a bike at least one to two months prior to the trip. Try riding 5 miles a day at first, then slowly increase the number of miles to 10, later 20, etc. If you are not a regular cyclist, you might need additional exercises. You shouldn’t start the journey until you are physically and mentally prepared.
Get your bike in shape too
Getting your bike properly serviced is essential. Make sure you have tires replaced and breaks and lights checked. Upgrade your bike with a few new parts or even a whole new bicycle by searching for bicycles online. If you don’t know how to repair the bike by yourself, ask somebody to teach you. You wouldn’t like getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken bike.
When it comes to the bicycle itself, the most important thing is the comfort. Since you are about to spend days and days on it, make sure you pick the comfiest saddle you can find. Adjusting the heights of saddle and handlebar is also necessary. Otherwise, back pain might ruin the whole experience.
Bring only the necessities
Riding a heavily loaded bicycle is far from easy. Which is why you shouldn’t exaggerate with your baggage. Your clothes, hence the baggage itself, is supposed to be light and easily loaded. But, of course, some items are fundamental. You shouldn’t hit the road without a first aid kit. Safety should come first. In case you were planning on sleeping over in some kind of accommodation, you would possibly leave tent and sleeping bag behind. However, they can come in handy. Being on a road is a tricky thing, so you never know which circumstances may force you to change your plans. Apart from cycling equipment, remind yourself to take raincoat and sunglasses with you. Yes, it does sound silly, but this is a common mistake.
I hope I made it easier for you. Good luck planning your trip. Follow the above discussed tips and hit the road!