Are you thinking about going on a cycling holiday this summer but don’t know where to get started? Here are some top tips to help you prepare:
With any holiday, it is always good to do a bit of research before booking. This is particularly relevant for cycling holidays where certain destinations are arguably better than others due to landscape and weather conditions.
If you aren’t sure where to go, consider France for your first cycling holiday, with stunning scenery, excellent cuisine, and plenty to explore, France is a great option.
Another fantastic benefit is that France can be reached via train from across Europe, perfect if you want to use your own bike or are conscious about your holiday’s carbon footprint.
Once you have booked your transport to your chosen country, you will now need to consider the cycling routes you are going to take. This will require further research into different areas to help you decide. Make sure there is plenty to see and do along the way, but don’t forget that cycling and taking in the scenery is going to be the holiday’s main event.
If you don’t feel up to planning a route yourself, don’t worry; plenty of cycling holidays are available where the route, and even the accommodation, are included when you book. This could be a useful option if you have never been on a cycling holiday before, or if you have limited time to do research.
Equipment is a big part of a cycling holiday; whether you plan on using your own bike or you’re going to rent one whilst you’re away. As well as sorting a bike, there are lots of other things that will need to go on your packing list to make sure you have the best possible time away.
Safety equipment is crucial, so you will need to decide whether you’re going to also hire this or whether it would be easier to rent. Make sure you have a helmet and supportive shoes for your trip.
It is also advised to pack a first aid kit, just in case.
If your chosen routes involve some lengthy rides then it could also be worth packing a padded seat cover for your bike, for added comfort.
If you are already a keen cyclist in your spare time, then chances are you will have appropriate clothing to take. However, consider how much of it you are going to need and whether you will be able to wash it throughout your trip. It may be that you need to purchase some additional cycling kit to see you through.
Don’t forget to pack some reflective clothing in case you are ever cycling during the evening.
As well as the obvious, equipment and clothing, there are lots of added extras you should consider packing to elevate your trip.
With a vast number of gorgeous views set to be on offer, you may want to bring a camera or a Go-Pro to capture memories along the way. If you prefer taking pictures and videos on your phone, then a portable charger could come in handy to prevent you from ever missing out on the perfect photo opportunity.
Cycling can use up a lot of energy and so just like when you cycle at home, it is going to be key to remain hydrated and energised on holiday too. Bringing a reusable water bottle will help with this. If you have a favourite go-to cycling snack such as a protein bar or energy gel, then pack some of these too.
The word training sounds daunting, but don’t let it put you off. As previously mentioned, you don’t need to be a pro cyclist to enjoy a cycling holiday but putting in a bit of effort to increase your fitness before you go could provide very useful once you’re out there.
Check the longest distance of the routes you intend on taking and do a couple of rides of a similar distance at home first just to check that you are able to both complete and enjoy them. This will help put your mind at ease before your trip and allow you to have a better time during, as you are already used to covering similar distances.
Bare in mind that if you are planning to holiday in a country with a much hotter climate than where you usually cycle, this will have an impact on how the ride may feel and so it is good to prepare for that in advance by completing long rides and packing appropriately.