Tired of gaining weight on vacation? Why not try a cycling trip?

Cycling vacations offer a great way to see the world, get a great workout, and meet interesting people. They are an excellent way to celebrate significant birthdays or anniversaries.

Bicycle Tour Companies Adapt to Different Fitness Levels

Seeing new places on a bike is enjoyable and enlightening. Cycling forces you to pay attention in a zen-like fashion and appreciate your surroundings, whether it be the countryside in the Czech Republic or the spot where the Normandy Invasion occurred in France. Cycling provides more chances to interact with local people than a bus tour and is greener than a driving vacation.

You do not necessitate to be a triathlete to do a cycling vacation. Backroads, which claims to be the number one active vacation company, offers three levels of riding for each day on their tours: basic, short, and long. Short can range from 15 to 30 miles, and long can go for as much as 60 miles. There is van support if you need water, snacks, help with a flat tire, or a ride back to the hotel. Other tour companies have similar strategies to accommodate riders of varying abilities.

Preparing for a Bike Trip

The Internet makes it easy to find a company that does cycling tours. Backroads have a loyal following, and some customers have been known to “get hooked,” making as many as nine different trips. The site BikeTour-Reviews.com provides a good description of many other tour companies and is a helpful site to start your research.

Once you choose a tour company and a destination, you need to start preparing for your trip. Of course, you need to start biking. While spin classes will help you develop strength and endurance, you also need to build balance, so start taking your bike out. It would help if you also felt comfortable riding on roads with some traffic. You can begin biking an hour 3-5 times a week. It would help if you intended to get yourself to a point where you feel comfortable riding 30-40 miles per day. It’s easier than it seems; just be disciplined. If you have hills in your area, start practicing on hills. Whenever you can, try to add a hill or two into your workout.

Shopping for Biking Gear

You will also need to purchase some essential biking gear. First and foremost is a helmet for protection. Biking shorts or pants with padding help you stay comfortable on the seat when biking for longer distances. Biking shirts with three pockets in the back are not necessary but convenient on the road. You can put a small camera, snacks, money, even an extra water bottle in these pockets.

Biking shoes are not necessary but helpful if you plan to become a committed cyclist. Any athletic shoe with a stiff bottom will do. If you decide to get biking shoes, you can get them with or without the clip-in cleats. Experienced riders prefer shoes that allow them to clip onto their pedals. To use these properly, though, takes practice, and sometimes it’s easy to lose your balance if you are not used to them, so many riders with less experience prefer to wait on the riding shoes or get them without the cleats until they have more experience. Biking socks are handy because they don’t keep slipping down while you ride as regular socks do.

Fingerless biking gloves are a must! The padding in the gloves helps you hold your grip on the handlebars and keeps your hands from becoming sore. You may also want to get biking gloves with your fingers if you are going somewhere that might rain or become chilly.

Dressing in layers permits you to adapt to changes in temperature throughout the day, so you may want to purchase long and short sleeve undershirts to wear under your biking shirt. Compression gear is beneficial because it keeps the sweat off your body as you ride.

Also essential is a lightweight rain slicker that you can fold up and bundle onto your bike rack or put in your bike bag. (Your tour company will most likely provide you with a bike and a bike bag.) You want to be prepared for sudden rain showers. Not essential, but the value is a skullcap that you can wear under your biking helmet if it gets cold or rains.

It would help if you had a water bottle or two. It is recommended that you drink one water bottle for every hour of riding, especially in hot weather. Some riders like to use a camelback for longer distances, which is a backpack with a water pouch built-in. It has a long straw attached, so it is easy to drink and ride simultaneously. With a camelback, the rider doesn’t have to take his hands off the handlebars to grab his water bottle. Some riders, however, find the camelbacks a bit heavy and prefer to rely on water bottles.

All of these materials can be found in a sporting goods store.

A cycling vacation is a great way to see new places from a new perspective and jumpstart yourself into a healthy fitness routine. There’s a good chance you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll want to keep biking when you get home to prepare for the next trip!


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