You’ve thought about it, now is the year to do it – go on an overnight bike tour. What are some of the things you need to know?
Just get out and do it. Traveling by bicycle takes many forms and there are lots of resources to help. Bring only a change of clothes and a credit card, and you can go as far as you’re willing with the same clothes washed in your hotel sink. With racks or a trailer on your bike you can become self-sufficient, camping and cooking wherever it strikes you.
Bicycle travel happens at a slower pace than your weekly group ride. Give yourself permission to enjoy the journey. Stop at the antiques store or enjoy a picnic lunch at the side of a creek. These are opportunities that don’t always present themselves when driving. Remember that you’ll be riding for more hours in a day than you’re used to. Keep your energy level up by eating small meals and snacks throughout the day. And no matter how delectable, that rich exotic gourmet meal with wine at the country inn may not be your best choice. Simple energy rich dinners will leave you feeling ready to ride the next day.
Any trip will be better with preparation. Make sure both your body and your bike are ready for multiple days of riding. It’s not necessary to carry a lot on a bike trip but you should have a few first aid supplies and the tools and know-how to fix a flat tire. Keep your clothes simple. Plain darker colors help you blend in at your destination and hide dirt. Always bring two pairs of bike shorts so you can wash one each night. The weather can change quickly so a rain jacket is a good accessory.
Now you’re ready to head out and ride!
– Joyce Casey, Adventure Cycling Tour Leader