Biking long-distance? Tips for the perfect expedition.
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Your mind and heart are itching for an adventure come vacation-time this year, and one of your candidate trip options is to bike through a lovely natural landscape built for first-time long-distance cyclists. Your goal is to stay fit—just one benefit of cycling according to BikeRadar—while enjoying some time away.
Whether traveling by yourself or as part of an organized group, you want to know the basics about how to best plan the logistics of your long-distance bike journey, what kind of gear to haul, and how to pick out an appropriate route. Here are some pointers from on how best to turn your bike touring adventure into reality, whether you end up long-distance cycling, natural trail biking, or mountain biking.
1. Pick a Destination What kind of vista pops in your mind when you envision riding on your pro bike? Do you see an elaborate cityscape? Or do you picture a more rural setting? Do you have the strength to ride a long stretch of trail or road? Or do you think you can muster just enough stamina to go to the next town and back? Are you prepared to train intensely for your trip? Ask yourself these kinds of questions before rolling up your sleeves and researching your potential candidate destinations. Collect printed maps and route information, and you should definitely acquire a GPS device to bring along for the ride.
2. Plan Your Cycling Route Once you’ve decided on the general area of your planned bicycle tour, specifically identify which route you’ll end up taking. To better determine this for yourself, make up your mind on how many total miles you plan to bike, and subsequently break this down into a per-day number of miles. Remember that cycling is part of your overall healthy lifestyle, so take into account what you will eat, and be sure to determine which areas areGPS-friendly.
Outline your candidate journeys on a map, and discard all but one based on the type of terrain, weather, infrastructure, state of the road, traveler amenities, etc. Try to anticipate what you’ll encounter as much as possible. There is no such thing as too much planning, so try to imagine as many scenarios as you can.
3. Choose a Dependable Bike Century Cycles notes that it’s vital that yourcompanion bike be of solid quality and durability – the kind that won’t fall apart in the middle of nowhere. Pick the brains of expert bike handlers to find out if you should go for a touring bike, a mountain bike, or a road bike. Be especially sure to ask about what kind of bike best suits the particular terrain and probable weather pattern of the destination area you’ll tour.
4. Choosing Accessories and Gear This stage of planning will eat up a lot of time and research, especially if you’re on a budget. Ample information abounds on the Internet as to what constitutes the most important gear to acquire, the best kind of clothing to take, and the right necessities to pack. If you’re still uncertain as to what to take, consider joining a professional biking tour op to handle all the difficult what-to-take details.
5. Take Care to Be Safe on the Home and Job Front Remember, you’ll likely be far from civilization if embarking on an all-out tour of a wild natural park. No communication towers means no reliable smartphone signal, no consistent Internet service, and most likely no guaranteed methodto keep tabs on your domicile via your home security gadgets connected to the Internet of Things.
Since you’ll likely be completely disconnected from the grid, you should take care to leave your home fully locked—safe and secure from potential burglars—before going on your long-distance cycling trip. Other measures to safeguard your property are to have a neighbor pick up your snail mail, leave your radio or TV on (to deter intruders from breaking in) and to set the alarm. You can never be too safe, so fall on the side of caution.
As far as the workplace goes, it’s important that you take care of essential matters before heading out. It’s important to let those filling in while you’re away know that you intend to avoid work-related communication, so that you can truly enjoy your downtime. This includes not taking phone calls or reading and responding to emails, a big temptation thanks to our wired society. Have a plan in place that your team members have access to in case any emergencies arise.
Final Thoughts Whether it’s the Chaparral Rail Trail or the San Antonio RiverWalk, it’s worth it to remember the risks of going on a long-distance biking tour by yourself, assuming this is indeed how you plan to experience your trip.
Study YouTube videos on how to fix your bike in case of an accident or malfunction. Foresight will get you out of many a prickly situation, so be smart and learn how to grip that safety Torx wrench and Phillips screwdriver with aplomb before you hit the Texas trails.
Guest Contributor: Dean Burgess
Dean Burgess started Excitepreneur to explore the areas of entrepreneurship that are often overlooked, and share with current and aspiring entrepreneurs the stories and lessons he has learned. He fully believes entrepreneurs will lead us to a more exciting future. All it takes is an idea or goal and a desire to see it to fruition.
This article is brought to you by Gotta Get Outside, where we like to get planning and packing out of the way as quickly, efficiently and thoroughly as possible so we can get out there and have some fun.