Regardless of the location or the distance, on every cycling tour the following list of essentials should never be left behind.
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.
Summertime and easy riding – what better way to explore the wonders of Europe, than by bike? As well as providing fantastic exercise in an outdoor setting, a cycling holiday also offers a greater sense of freedom and a different experience to one which could ever be offered from a car. Travelling by bike exposes the rider to all the sounds, scents, colours and sensations of their surrounding environment. It is a truly wonderful way to explore the outdoors and at the same time, faster than walking, allowing the rider to cover a decent amount of ground.
Taking your bike on an aeroplane is considerably easier than it was ten years ago – the majority of airlines will allow you to travel with a bike provided it is packaged correctly. Many airlines will include the bike within the standard fare as long as it doesn’t exceed the size and weight restrictions of the standard luggage allowance.
Cycling is a truly unique way to experience a new destination. It offers unparalleled freedom, allowing the rider to properly explore a new destination and immerse themselves in the surrounding landscape and culture, in a way which would simply not be possible from a car. Cycling also sets the ideal pace – it is slow enough to let the rider truly soak up the surroundings whilst fast enough to allow experience changing scenery and easily reach local landmarks and attractions on a daily basis.
There is no set time of year to plan a cycling holiday – cycling is an activity which can be enjoyed all year round, as most avid cyclists will attest to. However, cycling in a different environment is always more interesting, making the trip more exciting and enjoyable. There are numerous other benefits to cycling holidays – being away from home allows participants to forget about life’s daily distractions and focus on pedalling and exploring, as well as enjoying some time to relax in a new destination.
The longest and undeniably one of the most iconic routes in the UK, as well as one of its most challenging – tackling the Land’s End to John O’Groats cycling tour (LEJOG) involves careful planning and preparation.
The trip can vary in length, depending on the pace of the tour, however it typically ranges from approximately 10 days up to anything around 30 days for those wishing to take it at a more leisurely pace.
The famous Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) describes a transversal route from the South-Western tip of mainland England in Cornwall, all the way up to the North-Eastern tip of John O’Groats in Scotland.
The route was traditionally considered a walking challenge but has now become one of the most well established and iconic cycling challenges in the world. A classic, yet extremely tough challenge which often takes months to prepare for.
Since the previous entry, the team have been crossing the Appalachian Mountain range from Kentucky to Virginia, before crossing over briefly into West Virginia and then back into Virginia again. The Appalachian Mountains are a great highland system of North America – the eastern counterpart of the Rocky Mountains and although not as widely known, not to be underestimated. The Appalachian range extends for almost 2000 miles, stretching from Canada all the way to central Alabama in the US, forming a natural barrier between the Eastern coastal plain and the interior lowlands of the US.
Over the past few days the team have travelled 300 odd miles across the Ozarks in Missouri – a mountain range spread across the states of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Within the Ozarks there are 2 distinct mountain ranges, the St. Francois Mountains of Missouri and the Boston Mountains of Arkansas. The region is a popular tourist destination with numerous parks offering canoeing, horse riding, rafting, hiking, fishing etc. Crossing the Ozarks was challenging and although climbs were usually only a few hundred yards (half a mile maximum), the gradients were extremely sharp, up to 15% with seldom more than 1 mile in between them – one such day consisted of over 80 miles with 5500ft of climbing.