A biking holiday is a perfect chance to recharge your body and mind. At the core of every enjoyable cycling holiday is your ability to plan the trip properly. The list of things that need to be thought about can be extensive, as you need to also include the requirements of non-biking days and the evenings when you may possibly be socializing. Even if you enroll in a bike tour of a professional biking company you still need to chalk out what you need to carry with you on your rides. Some useful packing tips from experienced bikers:
Own Bike or Rental
The very first issue that you need to decide on for a biking vacation is whether you will take along your own bike or prefer to take a bike on rent. While there is a fair amount of cost attached to transporting your own bike by air to your holiday destination there is the assurance that you will be riding a bike that you know very well and which, will offer unmatched comfort during the long days of your biking holiday. You also need to reckon with the hassle of properly packing your bike in a hard case and worrying about damage in transit.
On the other hand, if you rent a bike not only do you save on the cost but also don’t have to worry about transportation and damage. Of course, you will have to be satisfied with a bike that may not exactly be the same model as yours but nowadays bike rental agencies do offer you a varied choice. Generally speaking, if your biking tour is of a serious and no-compromises nature, you would do well to take your own bike along but if your main intent is to have loads of fun at a leisurely pace, you can very well hire a bike. You can visit the Unlimited Biking website to learn more about how bike rentals work.
Essential Clothes and Equipment
A cycling holiday may seem very simple in terms of requirements and while it does require less high-tech equipment than many other sports, there are quite a few items on which you need to pay adequate attention to be able to fully enjoy your biking holiday. Some of the essential stuff:
Shorts: If you are going to be biking in relatively balmy weather, shorts will suffice, otherwise, you will do well to take along three-quarter cycling tights that will protect you better against the chill and also keep you from feeling self-conscious. Depending upon your preference, you can choose a tight fitting one or a comfortable fit but you should make sure that they are padded. Some bikers prefer bibbed shorts but using the toilet can be extremely inconvenient as you will need to remove the top. Carry at least two pairs so that one can be washed while the other is worn.
Tops: You can take your pick from short or long-sleeves depending on the weather that you anticipate, however, try to ensure that the material is of the wicking kind that will keep your skin dry even when you are sweating. Ensure that they fit comfortably without hindering your movement. It may be useful to choose tops with pockets at the back. As with shorts, ensure that you have a clean and dry one while the others are being washed.
Protection from the cold: If your cycling holiday is at a time when you expect the weather to be uncertain or even cold, it makes great sense for you to pack arm and leg warmers that can be easily worn or taken off depending on your requirement. Keep in mind that mountain regions can be surprisingly chilly even if it’s summer. Including a cycling jacket that can keep you warm as well as protected from the wind and the rain is a really wise step. The good quality ones are lightweight and soft enough to be folded small into your backpack. Wearing cycling glove is a good technique to protect your hands from the cold as well as sweat and friction that can rub them raw.
Bike shoes: Cycling can get pretty awful if your shoes don’t fit. Make sure that you are not wearing them for the first time on your holiday. Buy them in advance and break them in so that you are comfortable even when you have them on for extended hours. If you are planning to bike for long distances, shoes that are capable of clipping into the pedals can save you a lot of effort, though you need to get adjusted to the concept of using cleats before you kick off your holiday. If you are really serious, you can bring along your own pedals and fit them onto your rental bike.
Helmet: Wearing a helmet when biking is advisable because even at low speeds terrible accidents are not uncommon. Most tour companies like Unlimited Biking insist that customers wear helmets and most bike rental agencies make them available. If you are extra conscious about the fit and hygiene, bringing your personal one is better.
Backpack: A backpack is certainly one of the most useful things to have on a cycling tour. You can carry all the essentials like extra clothing, camera, sunglasses, snacks, and a few essential medicines easily in a small backpack. Make sure it is not too heavy, is waterproof, and comfortable.
Other essentials: You can fit a bottle of drinking water into the water cage because you need to stay hydrated. Make it a point to wear sunglasses in bright weather and wear a high visibility vest. A GPS system, a mobile phone and charger, some essential tools, and a basic first aid kit should form part of your essential packing.
A biking holiday can be a great experience if you approach it with the right preparation and have a like-minded group of people to share it with. If you are relatively new to biking, it can help to join a tour organized by a professional company or take the advice of a reputed bike rental company.