If you love the outdoors, enjoy meeting new people, and don’t mind a bit of physical exertion, then bike touring might be the perfect activity for you. In this article, we’ll explore the many reasons why bike touring is a fun and rewarding activity, and provide some tips and resources for planning your first tour.
What is Bike Touring?
Bike touring, also known as cycle touring or bicycle touring, is the act of traveling by bicycle over long distances, often carrying all of your gear and supplies with you. Tours can range in length from a few days to several months, and can take you on pavement, dirt roads, or a combination of both. Some people tour solo, while others join organized group tours or travel with friends.
Why Try Bike Touring?
There are countless reasons to give bike touring a try, but here are a few of the most compelling:
- It’s an active, outdoor vacation: Bike touring combines the fun of traveling to new places with the physical benefits of cycling. Whether you’re tackling challenging mountain passes or leisurely pedaling through rolling countryside, you’ll be getting a great workout while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors.
- You’ll see more of the local area: When you’re traveling by bike, you’re able to cover longer distances and experience a place in a way that you can’t from the window of a car or bus. You’ll see small towns and hidden gems that you might otherwise miss, and you’ll have the opportunity to interact with locals in a way that you wouldn’t if you were just passing through.
- It’s environmentally friendly: Bike touring is a low-impact way to travel, as it produces no emissions and requires no fossil fuels. Plus, by staying in small, locally-owned accommodations and eating at local restaurants, you’ll be supporting the local economy and reducing your carbon footprint.
- It’s relatively inexpensive: Compared to other forms of travel, bike touring can be quite affordable. You’ll need to invest in a good bike and some touring gear, but once you have these items, your only ongoing expenses will be food, lodging, and the occasional bike repair.
- It’s social: Bike touring can be a great way to meet new people and make friends. You’ll have the opportunity to chat with other touring cyclists, as well as locals who are curious about your journey. And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can join an organized group tour, where you’ll have the chance to bond with a diverse group of like-minded individuals.
- It’s a chance to disconnect: In this age of constant connectivity, it can be refreshing to unplug and disconnect from the daily grind. When you’re on a bike tour, you’ll be away from the conveniences of modern life, and you’ll need to rely on your own resources. This can be a great way to clear your mind and reconnect with yourself.
Tips for Planning Your First Bike Tour
Ready to give bike touring a try? Here are a few tips to help you plan your first tour:
- Start small: If you’re new to bike touring, it’s a good idea to start with a shorter tour, perhaps a few days or a week. This will give you a chance to test out your gear and see how you enjoy the experience.
- Choose your route carefully: Consider factors like the distance you’re comfortable cycling each day, the terrain you’ll be covering, and the type of scenery you’d like to see. There are many resources available for