Bicycle touring can be immensely enjoyable at any time of year, but the chance to see the beautiful fall foliage makes this season one of the most popular for these kinds of trips. Bike tours are also the perfect way to stay in shape and improve your overall health. In fact, a recent study conducted by the British Medical Association found that the risk for coronary heart disease was reduced by 50% when people cycled 20 miles per week. But while you might understand the benefits of bicycle touring, you may not be so sure how to get started. These FAQs may help.
As long as you are physically up to the task (and have a bicycle and a comfortable bike seat), you can enjoy going on a bike tour. Age, background, or group size doesn't really matter. You can tour alone or with a huge group in just about any region of the country. If you have the inclination to explore new places, work on your fitness, and meet new people, you can go on a tour.
There are some bicycles that are designed specifically with touring in mind, but most kinds of bikes (other than ones used for road racing) can be customized for your touring needs. Different cyclists will have different preferences, but the most important features include durability, lower gears (for going uphill), and a comfortable riding position. Picking out the right kind of bike seats can be extremely important for long-distance touring; heavily padded seats won't actually be the most comfortable and can result in saddle soreness. Most cyclists find that leather or carbon fiber bicycle saddles work best. Before you set out on your tour, you'll want to get your bike checked out by a professional to avoid any breakdowns during the trip.
Of course, you'll want to take your bike tour somewhere that interests you and that can provide beautiful scenery. You should also focus on touring along routes that have minimal traffic and that are known to be bike-friendly. There are plenty of online resources and maps that can help you find a route that interests you. Materials provided by each state or by tourism agencies can be of immense help, too.
In many aspects, bike touring can be a lot like camping. If you're staying stateside and plan on camping out at night and cooking your own meals, you might spend anywhere from $30 to $50 per day or (even less if you really rough it). A lot of cyclists choose to stay in hotels during their tour, which can be a lot more comfortable but can cost a lot more. If you need to buy additional equipment, like new bike seats, or conduct repairs before you set out, be sure to factor this into your overall budget. Do your research and consider making a financial plan for your tour to help you stay on track.
If you have the right bike seats and other equipment, the drive, and the physical fitness down pat, a bicycle tour can be a great way to enjoy the season and explore areas you've never seen before. For more cycling tips or to find out additional information about our products, get in touch with us -- we'd be happy to help.