Hitting the open road has always been considered a way to travel by car, but many people are finding the fun and excitement on a long-distance bicycle trip. It might not be as relaxing, but the point of an adventure is to get out of your comfort zone, and bicycling across a state or farther allows you to appreciate the journey as much as the destination.
There is a lot that goes into the preparation of a bicycle trip, so it is good to be ready for what life throws at you. Here is some advice you need to know before starting your bicycle adventure.
Make Sure You Can Handle it Physically
Bicycle trips are not for the faint of heart – literally. Before you head out on the road you need to be sure that you can handle it and that your body will not get too exhausted too quickly. Practice your biking pace for a while before you start the trip, and always know when to take a break. The biggest problem that many people have is that they are unprepared for how rigorous the physical exertion can get at times, so know your limits with your health and conditioning.
Know What to Do In Case of An Accident
Cycling for long distances means you will have to be sharing the road with motorists often. This poses a danger to you to some degree. While you can avoid any accidents by being smart, like biking towards traffic on the side of the road, there is still the potential for mishaps. Being prepared when an accident occurs and knowing what these common injuries are could save your trip, your life, and your wallet from medical expenses. Have a phone handy if you need to call for an ambulance and pack some light medical supplies like bandage wraps.
Plotting Your Course and Keeping Your Direction
Bicycle trips are not like car trips. If you get lost it takes a lot more time to backtrack and reorient your directions, so it is even more important to know your directions and have a map or GPS handy. Before you hit the pedals and take off you want to check the course out and see landmarks, towns and cities along the way, and important information that will help you while you are travelling. Always make sure your phone is charged so you can have quick access to a map. There are even solar panel chargers that you can bring to keep yourself charged, otherwise, a traditional map never runs out of power. Being prepared is the best way to ensure a safe and fun trip, and knowing your course will keep you on the right track.
Packing the Essentials
As mentioned, GPS, phones, phone chargers and maps are a must for a bicycling trip, and so are some light medical supplies. Bandage wraps, bandaids, gauze, and splints are all light supplies you can stuff into a first aid kit. Other things you need to bring are a reusable water bottle, tent and sleeping bag if you plan on setting up camp overnight, perishable food like granola, and a small repair kit with a wrench for on the fly fixes for your bike. These essentials will help you stay safe, stay nourished and stay on the road so you can fully experience a successful cycling trip.
Emergency Contacts or Trip Buddies
More often than not, it is better to travel with a buddy or more. Travelling alone can be safe if you take the proper precautions, like picking out emergency contacts and giving them the details of your trip, but going with someone reduces risk immensely. Even if you want to take on the adventure of travelling cross country cycling by yourself, it is also recommended that you have a tag along. Not only is it more fun to have someone with you but it also allows you to share some special memories with a friend or family member. This is especially true for beginners on their first bicycling trip because something is bound to go wrong and it never hurts to have a helping hand with you.
If you want to buck the trend of a traditional road trip, then taking a tour on bicycle is a great way to incorporate some adventure and exercise into your travels. The difference between a road trip by car and by bicycle is that the cycling aspect makes it more rigorous and potentially more dangerous. That is why this advice can help you get ready for a bicycling trip and ensure you have a fun and safe time.