Plan the Ultimate Bike Trip
While vacationing outside the country hasn’t exactly been easy or even doable in 2020, that doesn’t mean you have to scrap your holiday plans all together. Instead of traveling outside of the United States, 2020 has been the year to stay home and discover all the beauty, attractions, and sites that you are surrounded by. And what better way to experience what the country has to offer than with a bike trip? Building your own itinerary gives you complete freedom over what you’ll see, where you’ll travel to, how many days your trip will last, and just how off the beaten track you’re willing to go.
So, if this sounds like the perfect getaway for you, especially now that fall is upon us and the tree and foliage colors are simply stunning, here are some tips and tricks that you can use to plan the ultimate bike trip.
Get Yourself Bicycle Trip Insurance Ahead of Time
The first thing you’ll want to do is think ahead, give yourself peace of mind, and go ahead and sign up for bicycle trip insurance. This will cover such things as accidental damage or a crash, theft, loss or damage sustained while in transit (by an airline or courier services), roadside assistance, replacement bike rental, cycling apparel is insured, and more.
And if you do decide to leave the country and go about your bike trip, it’s important to note that there is a worldwide coverage extension available.
You wouldn’t take your car on a road trip without making sure you have all the necessary coverage, and your bike should be no different.
Will You Combine Bike Travel with Other Modes of Transportation?
The next step is to think about your vacation style. Do you plan to bike the entire holiday or do you want to combine it with another mode of transportation? For example, maybe you want to drive to each destination and then explore various towns and cities by bike once you arrive. Your answer to this question will help determine just how far you’ll be able to go on your trip, and how much ground you can cover.
Choose Your Destination(s)
Now comes the hard part – choosing your destination(s). Would you like to combine more than one stop, or would you rather call one central location home for a week and explore as much as you can of the surrounding area?
If you’re having a hard time choosing your destination, it can be helpful to look up sample biking itineraries to get an idea of the highlights, features, and amenities available.
The big decision really comes down to whether you are more of a city person and want to explore a cityscape, or is it the countryside that appeals to you?
Make a Must-See and Do List
Once you have chosen your destination, it’s time to make a must-see and must-do list. These are the things you absolutely want to get to no matter what. What this means though is that you need to schedule in a little flex time in the itinerary. Sometimes a trail or route can take longer than you planned, perhaps weather has messed with your itinerary, or even your own level of fitness has thrown a curve ball at you.
Making sure you don’t cram the itinerary full means you’ll have a stress-free holiday where you can also afford to live in the moment.
What About Trail and Mountain Biking Adventures?
For those who are more adventure-minded, you may want to consider skipping the roads altogether and opting for bike trails and mountain biking adventures. Obviously, you’ll need a specialized bike for this kind of terrain, and some experience wouldn’t hurt.
Any time you plan an off-road adventure such as this, you also want to be careful about planning. So, make sure you have a detailed map of the trails, that you have left your itinerary/plans with someone at home, you have a backpack filled with essentials, and that you have a cell phone that will have service even on these back roads. Being prepared is important any time you head into the woods.
Give Your Bike a Maintenance Check Before Leaving
Even if your bike is fairly new and is seemingly in great condition, it’s still smart to give it a thorough maintenance check. You want to be sure that it’s in tip-top shape before heading out on holidays. Whether you do the check yourself or you take it to a bike shop, it doesn’t matter as long as everything is looked over well.
Get Out on the Open Road and Trails
Making the decision to holiday by bike and explore some of the country’s most well-known places, as well as the hidden gems, could end up being the highlight of 2020 for you. It may also end up becoming your vacation style of choice.
Measure How Much You’ve Improved
The more you cycle, the more you improve your performance. You get better each day even if you may not notice it immediately. You can reach farther distances, pedal faster, and don’t get tired so easily. It’s difficult to see your improvement based on observation only, but there are tools for accurate measurement of your power and performance.
Measuring and monitoring your performance is a good way to see how much you’ve gotten stronger and fitter since the first time you’ve cycled. Getting yourself a power meter lets you record the exact amount of power you expend on the bike, which reflects your overall fitness. Besides giving you accurate insight on your performance, power meters also help with motivating you to be better than before and let you know when it’s time to rest during your training. It’s a good investment whether you’re competing or leisurely cycling.