Are you heading out on a bike trip? Make sure you get off on the right foot with this Concise Guide to Bike Touring.
It can’t be denied that we’ve been born too late to explore the Earth properly. Long gone are the days of vast sailing ships, going where no man has ever gone before, their crews united in their insatiable curiosity and adventurous spirit. Barring the inhospitable depths of the oceans and other extreme environments inimical to human life, the entirety of our planet has been mapped and analyzed in detail.
That doesn’t mean you can’t do the best next thing and visit the sites catching your interest on your own. Just because you weren’t the first shouldn’t take away any excitement at seeing things by yourself. But if it does, consider spicing up your travels a bit.
Why not take your bike with you? It will raise the excitement levels and grant you both increased mobility and access to sites impossible to reach by other means. Bear in mind, however, that there are several things to consider when bike touring, including buying a high-quality mountain bike, equipping it with powerful lights, bringing a bike repair kit with you, purchasing a proper bike bag, bringing a FAK with you, and always wearing a reflective safety vest. Explore the tips below and learn how to safely enjoy your bike touring adventures!
Consider Buying a High-Quality Mountain Bike
When out on the road, you will need a high-quality, reliable mountain bike. Not only does it provide stability even at high speeds and on irregular terrain, but it also is far more durable than other types of bikes. Such bikes are also built to accommodate heavy loads, which you’ll need for your supplies and luggage.
Depending on the model and brand, a mountain bike will cost anywhere from around $500 up. Anything below that is likely to be a poorly made bike of low quality (unless it’s a special occasion). If your heart is set on something not very expensive, more recreational, but also suitable for travelling, you can check the best hybrid bikes under 1000.
Get a Bike Repair Kit with You
The best way to enjoy your bike touring is to make sure you have everything you may need in emergencies. That’s why we recommend bringing a bike repair kit with you. It has to contain tools for repairing or replacing any part of your bicycle that might break. Some of the most vulnerable spots include the tires, spokes, chain, and brakes. Check also to have a pump so that you can inflate any tire that has lost too much air. Additionally, if your bike needs to be dismantled for transport, be sure to bring tools for that as well.
Purchase a Proper Bike Bag for Transport
When you first have to use another means of transportation, it’s best to buy a high-quality bike bag for your precious two wheels. Such bags are available in different sizes, but to be on the safe side, we recommend getting one that can fit the bike, including both wheels and any accessories you might be carrying, plus another 10-20% space in case you need to transport some extra luggage.
Bike bags are available in different materials, with canvas being the most common. You can also purchase plastic bags, which are less durable but lighter and cheaper. Obviously, choose the material that fits your needs best, and don’t forget to keep it in a waterproof or water-resistant covering!
Wear a Reflective Safety Vest
This might seem like a small detail, but it is an important one. When bike touring, safety should be your top priority. That’s why you always need to wear a reflective safety vest. These are available in different sizes and styles, so choose one that fits you best and doesn’t disrupt your cycling. It will make it easier for other people to see you at night and, thus, prevent you from being hit by cars or other vehicles.
Purchase a Powerful Headlamp or Bicycle Light
Another thing you should consider getting is a powerful headlamp or bicycle light. They are necessary for illuminating the road ahead of you and ensuring you don’t fall or injure yourself when there’s not enough natural light. The best ones are waterproof and shock-resistant, as well as easy to mount on your helmet or frame so that they don’t get in the way when you need to make adjustments. A good lamp will cost anywhere from $20-$100 depending on the model and brand, so choose one that fits your needs best!
Always Take a First Aid Kit With You
Among the essential things to bring with you while bike touring is a first aid kit. It’s a must for any traveller, and it should contain at least the necessary first aid supplies to treat any injury. Depending on where you’re going, there may be diseases you need to prepare for as well. As such, we recommend bringing some of the most important medicines with you. As well as the usual bandages and antibiotics, we recommend packing a pair of tweezers, some anti-inflammatory pills, and a small portable power bank. It’ll come in handy if you have to treat yourself on the spot.
Bike touring is one of the most interesting and exciting ways of travelling. It’s also a great way of getting to know a place. As you can see, there are many things to consider before taking your bike on a trip. Still, they’re all worth it. If you do so, your bike touring will be as safe and fun as possible! Good luck!