Any type of cycling holiday becomes an adventure in itself – however, nothing comes close to experiencing far flung destinations on two wheels. This type of long haul cycling trip is bound to get you out of your comfort zone and will definitely be an unforgettable and in many cases, life changing experience, which will allow you to explore a range of situations whilst bonding with your fellow cyclists.
Whilst some cycling enthusiasts embark on massive planning and preparation prior to their trips, others simply like to go with the flow and have a rough idea of their route with booked accommodation along the way.
It is essential to ensure that all paperwork is in order for your chosen destination, this includes visa requirements.
Some destinations may require lengthy visa applications which could take some time to process and may also be locked to a specific time frame depending on the destination – it is advisable to ensure this is done in advance to avoid any possible issues upon entry to your destination.
It is important to thoroughly research which vaccinations are recommended for your intended destination. In some countries proof of a particular vaccination may be required upon entry.
Destinations such as South East Asia have long been popular for adventure cycling holidays – the promise of spectacular scenery and full immersion into historically rich culture is bound to draw in any traveller. However, for some destinations it is advisable to take certain vaccines for your travel to ensure you can enjoy your time without worrying about the state of your health. Depending on the destination, vaccinations for diseases such as yellow fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid Fever, Tetanus, Japanese Encephalitis, Diphtheria, Polio or Rabies may be necessary.
It is a good idea for all cyclists to carry some local currency in cash with them instead of replying purely on cards and should always keep up to date with the local exchange rates to avoid being over charged.
Any packing list for a cycling holiday will heavily depend on where in the world you are planning to travel to, the weather conditions expected there and of course, your budget.
Clothes should be lightweight and packable – light loose fitting long sleeved and full legged clothing typically provides better protection from harsh sun rays and keeps the rider cooler. Layering offers an effective solution for when it gets chillier or windy, it is also a good idea to carry packable waterproof layers for destinations where rain is likely.
A helmet is an essential item, cycling gloves, cycling shoes (these have stiffer soles which increases pedalling efficiency), rain gear etc. can all make your trip more comfortable and subsequently enjoyable. A good quality, waterproof pannier to sit on the rear bike rack should be sufficient to contain all extra clothes and any emergency repair equipment. Anything which needs to be within easy reach should be at the front of the bike such as sunglasses, wallet, camera etc.
You can read more about packing and taking your bike on an aeroplane here.
On a long haul cycling adventure one should be mindful of the physical exertions of the trip and the effects of any climatic variations – cycling in extreme heat or humidity. It is a good idea to try to physically prepare yourself before the trip and have a rough idea of the daily mileage requirements, any hilly routes and the expected weather conditions.
Observing Local Customs
It is also important to observe local customs and etiquette, in particular anything which may be deemed as offensive. This is especially important when visiting religious temples and other places of worship. In some locations it may be necessary to cover your head, arms and legs so it’s a good idea to pack a lightweight scarf and ensure you always travel with the appropriate clothing.
For many, experiencing the culinary delights of a foreign country is an integral part of the trip, plus after a long day riding a heightened appetite will only make the food a more pleasurable experience. Although for some, home comforts are a welcome treat, especially when riding all day – so it’s a good idea to pack a few snacks from home.
Bike Adventures offer a wide range of cycling holidays across various destinations which are climatically, culturally and historically varied – offering some of the most exciting routes in the most spectacular locations on the planet. We offer tours in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America, Europe and throughout the UK.