Many travelers are looking for ways to reduce their impact on the planet while still seeing as much of the world as possible. This is why bike tourism is becoming increasingly popular. Not only is it a great way to keep fit and reduce your carbon footprint, but it is also ideal for traveling with independence and more choice. If you are keen to enjoy your next trip from the saddle of your bike, here are a few pointers on how to be a bike tourist.
Pick a Destination
Some parts of the world are better than others for cyclists. Depending on your skill level, the type of bike you ride, and where you want to go, you will need to be discerning about your chosen destination. Consider how far you want to travel, what paperwork you need to get there, the length of your trip, and what kind of terrain you can expect to cycle on. For example, the Netherlands are known for being relatively flat and easy for cyclists. Of course, if you are confident in your strength as a cyclist, you could always choose somewhere for its renowned difficulty and steep slopes.
Figure Out Your Route
Choosing a good cycle path is the next step to planning a fun bike tour. Research different routes that other cycling enthusiasts recommend and decide which ones appeal to you the most. You will need to check with your transport providers in advance whether they allow bikes onboard. For example, some trains require you to book your bike ahead of time so that they can guarantee enough space to store it for the duration of your journey. It is always best to sort these kinds of concerns out before your trip so you can avoid unnecessary stress.
Choose Your Bike
The type of bike you should take on your trip will depend on where you intend to go, for how long, and what your level of cycling proficiency is. If you plan on visiting a lot of crowded cities with plenty of public transport, you might want to try a folding bike. If you would prefer to enjoy the scenery and use your own energy to do most of the traveling, single speed bicycles might be a better option for you. Make sure you are familiar with how to perform basic repairs for your bike so that if you have a minor accident along the way, you can easily fix it yourself. It isn't fun being stranded in an unknown location with a broken bike.
Since you will be spending a lot of your journey riding your bike, it makes sense to pack light so you can balance your luggage easily. Unless you plan to keep your belongings in your accommodation all the time, it is best to only bring the essentials on your trip so that you aren't carrying excess weight. This way, you won't be burdened and can fully appreciate your journey.