Here follows SIX important questions that you should ask yourself before you book your first bike tour - some food for thought really.
1. How fit are you?
If you are fit but you don’t cycle much, the fitness alone will stand to you. If you can start cycling before the trip, even better!
Depending on when you are planning on going bike touring, if you are not fit, you might have time to rectify that before you go i.e. get fitter!
You can of course pick a route that is matched to your fitness level and/or remove fitness from the equation by using an e-bike for your trip.
2. How long do you have?
This of course will be very important as it will determine the length of your cycle trip and the route you choose.
3. How far do you plan on cycling each day?
This is related to questions 1 and 2. Firstly, the less fit you are the less likely you are to cycle long distances every day. Secondly, depending on the time you have and the route you choose, you will have to cycle a certain amount of kilometres every day in order to get the bike tour done within the time-frame available.
4. How hard/easy do you want it to be?
- Are you looking for a challenge?
The one great thing about bike touring is that there exists a route to suit people of all ages, capabilities and fitness levels. In addition, some of the harder routes can be made easier by:
- Using an e-bike.
- Transporting yourself and your bike via car/bus/train/shuttle over the harder segments allowing you to cycle the easier parts and complete a more challenging route.
- Are you looking for a relaxing trip?
If you are looking for a relaxing experience then choose an interesting picturesque easy bike touring route which has plenty of accommodation and food options available. Keep your daily kilometres reasonable. Plan to have your days off the saddle coincide with interesting places along the way that you want to explore or things you want to do e.g. large towns/cities, famous buildings, wine tours, hikes in national parks and so on.
5. What time of the year will you be touring?
The time of year that you are cycling will of course affect a number of things:
- The weather.
- The gear you need to bring to suit the weather.
- How busy a trail is i.e. Winter versus Summer.
- The availability of accommodation i.e. will you need to have all your nightly accommodation booked in advance?.
- The cost i.e. peak season prices for accommodation versus off-season prices, transportation costs to and from bike tour route and so on.
6. Do you have your own gear?
If it’s your first bike tour, you will of course be either buying your own gear or renting (or perhaps borrowing if you are lucky enough to know someone with bike touring gear). We have discussed this in more detail in another bike touring article The Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying versus Renting Bike Touring Gear!.
So, that’s it - some of these questions will pop up over and over again when planning all of our bike tours but its great to have a list to refer to and keep you on the right track.
More Bike Touring Blogs:
If you liked this blog you might like some of our other bike touring blogs too so we have attached some links below to make it easier for you to find them:
- Eight Useful Bike Touring Kit Items.
- Our Essential Bike Tour Items.
- What to Store in Your Handlebar Bag?.
- Why Ortlieb Bicycle Panniers are the Best!.
- Choosing a Bike Touring Route.
- Using Planes, Trains and Boats on your Bike Tour.
- Buying versus Renting Bike Touring Gear.
Even more noroadlongenough bike touring blogs available here.