By Chloe Smith
A lot of people believe that the best way to really learn a thing or two about your target destination is to get creative with the way in which you get there. This makes a lot of people turn towards the idea of going on a road trip but even this can be somewhat restricting. You see, traveling in a vehicle that is closed off from the world, with an AC unit on and your eyes fixed on the road, you won’t get to enjoy or appreciate beautiful landscapes that surround you. Because of this, those most daring ones decide to go on a cycling road trip as an alternative.
Aside from reducing your carbon footprint, being cheaper, as well as being much healthier, this idea also has several downsides. First of all, it requires you to pick a season that will allow such an endeavor. Second, it requires you to be physically capable to endure such a feat. Finally, this kind of accomplishment requires you to undertake a complex and elaborate preparation stage. This being said, here are several pointers that will ensure you are on the right track.
The first thing you need to do, before even starting to plan a cycling road trip is get the right bike. For this, however, you will have to pick the track in order to see the distance you have to cross, the terrain you are about to encounter and several additional factors. Racing bikes are not alike endurance bikes, while hybrids, mountain bikes and cruiser bikes are a different story altogether.
In order to make the right choice, you need to pass through a several-stages long process. First, as we mentioned, you should know the details surrounding your trip. Next, due to your inability to test all of the above-listed vehicle types on your own, you might want to visit some forums such as Reddit and Quora and see what kind of experience other people had. Finally, you should look for a reliable bicycle shop and check if they have what you need.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that going on a cycling road trip tends to be an incredibly demanding task. Because of this, you need to prepare yourself physically well ahead of time. Here, your best choice is to go with a lot of cardio. Running, swimming, skip-rope and bag punching all work just fine, still, if you really want to prepare yourself for this task in an adequate manner, you need to start cycling. Some people start cycling to work, others, get a gym bike and use this as a regular form of exercise. Either way, you need to start your preparation stage long before your road trip. Optimally, you would start months in advance.
When it comes to packing for a cycling road trip, this tends to be quite difficult. On one hand, you need some basic items like a change of clothes, first aid kit, pump and a few other gadgets. However, you can’t bring too much, seeing how you don’t want to become encumbered by all these items. In other words, you need to tread a fine line between being under geared and over packing. One last thing, remember that the season in which you decide to go on a road trip plays a role here, as well. For instance, traveling during summer may require you to take sunglasses, a hat and a sunscreen.
Finally, remember that traveling on your own might not be as safe as you would assume. A malfunction on your bike or a road bump concealed by rainwater to completely ruin your trip. Seeing how a road trip includes traveling a lot in nature, the possibility that something will happen to you off-grid is not something you should dismiss. This is why it is crucial that you find a way to always stay in touch with people back at home. Once you plan your itinerary, you should inform several people about it. Furthermore, you should use checkpoints to call contact some of these people and let them know you’re fine and on the track.
Even though preparing for a cycling road trip may seem like a daunting task, keep in mind that succeeding at this endeavor may bring you one step closer towards having an unforgettable road trip experience. While this trend is getting more and more popular each year, it is still not a common thing, which means that you will also get something completely unique to brag about amongst your friends. Finally, if you find this form of travel to your liking, which most people do, there will be no reason for you not to repeat this experience as soon as possible. Keep in mind that even a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
Image credits: https://unsplash.com/@rikkichan89?photo=_k31aFqnmTM
Author Bio: Chloe Smith is a cycling enthusiast, business consultant, and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success.
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