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Cycling holidays and tours are a fantastic way to really explore everything a destination has to offer, from tiny quaint back streets to stunning mountain views. Whether you’re looking for a new challenge, to indulge your cycling passion, or simply a change from a regular beach holiday, we’ve got tips to ensure you have the perfect cycling trip.
It’s completely up to you – many people find a scheduled tour with other riders much more fun and relaxing than trying to plan a route themselves, whereas others prefer to get going on solo adventures. If this is your first tour it might be worth booking with an operator to get the experience, then you can book future solo trips. There are a whole wealth of tours available all over the world, so do some research and find the best one to suit your passions and budget.
The fitness level required for your trip will totally depend on the terrain you plan to ride on and the distance you want to travel each day. To avoid any mishaps (and dreaded saddle sores), make sure you prepare for your trip by practicing, for example riding to work is great preparation for a city tour, whereas mountain biking at weekends will be better for on and off road adventure preparations.
If you have a bike that you’re comfortable with, that you service regularly and that is in good condition, it will probably be better to take it with you as opposed to hiring one when you arrive. However, you can always enquire with the tour company to see if you can rent equipment locally or from them – just make sure they’re of a good standard, otherwise your whole trip could be over before you even get started. If you do take your own bike, make sure you tell the airline ahead of time, so you know whether you have to pay a flat fee, or if it’s included in your baggage allowance.
Whether you take your own bike or rent one, it’s always a good idea to do some quick research on bike repairs, it shouldn’t take long but will save time on your trip should something happen. The basics to read up on include changing tubes, repairing punctures, replacing chains and adjusting brakes.
Remember that a helmet is an investment, especially when cycling abroad, so make sure you get a good one! Choose shoes and clothes depending on the weather and terrain in your chosen destination, but make sure you get base layers, gloves, lycra shorts (to wear under your baggy shorts) and good quality shoes.
Most standard travel insurance policies will cover ‘cycling’, however, activities such as off-road cycling or cycling at altitude may require additional cover, so check the T&Cs carefully. Another thing to consider is that a standard policy won’t usually cover your bike, cycle accessories, or repatriation of your bike, so it’s always worth investigating specialist bike specific travel insurance policies. Visit Holidaysafe’s cycling travel insurance page for more information.
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