Exciting, adventurous, rewarding biking is not a pastime, but a way of life for many travelers. The democratic kind of healthy and exciting pastime has become a fashionable trend of modern life. Biking not only keeps you physically fit, but also expands your ability to experience the world. A bicycle at least doubles the speed of travel, allowing you to get to places inaccessible to the car. The choice of clothing, gear, and comfortable upgraded models of bikes depends on the purpose of the trip. Although environmentally friendly cycling involves a certain amount of risk, proper preparation makes it easy to complete challenging routes.
What is the appeal of biking
Rest with benefits for body and soul – the motto of the bicycle tourist, which can become any healthy person, regardless of age. People who have decided to join the party of travelers on two wheels, we are interested in the question: what is the attraction of bicycle tourism and what features the vacationer needs to consider. A charge of positivity, a splash of adrenaline, free movement over long distances, the ability to change the route at any time to be one with nature – a short list of benefits of active respite from the bustle of the city. On the way you will meet the sights, secluded corners, unique places of nature, which can not be seen from the sightseeing bus. Compared with hiking, cyclist will overcome long distances in less time. A bicycle will take you on trails inaccessible to the car. The health benefits of biking are undeniable:
- The ride engages half of the body’s muscles;
- One hour of cycling burns 500-600 kcal, reducing body weight;
- twice as much oxygen enters the blood and lung volume increases by a third;
- attractive rest relieves stress, improves sleep, and slows down aging processes;
- cycling strengthens the cardiovascular system and immunity.
Scientific studies have found that people who ride bicycles have elevated IQ levels. Two-wheeled travelers are guaranteed to get a boost of positivity and aerotherapy. The main features of bicycle touring:
- Before the trip, you can take a training course at special schools for cyclists.
- The trip does not require a large financial investment.
- All you need is a bicycle, comfortable clothing and equipment.
- Breakdowns along the way can easily be repaired.
- The cyclist gets a wide view, which is important for the aesthetic appreciation of the beauty of nature.
- Routes are available in all countries (especially in Europe, where there is a special infrastructure for bicycle tourism).
Types of bicycle tourism
According to the design features of the attractive hobby is divided into types. For example, with a backpack for bicycle tourism go to the traditional nature hike. Heavy cargo will carry not the back, but the bicycle. Civilized (European) tours are organized both in cities and in distant countries. This type of bicycle tourism provides an opportunity to rest in a good hotel, cozy hostel or camping. There will not be sharp adventures and obstacles on rough terrain, but you can enjoy the sights and picturesque scenes of nature. News of biking tourism are constantly reporting on the unusual routes. For example, a vacation in Tunisia. Useful tips will be useful to travelers who have decided to rent a bike to visit the African island of Djerba.
In terms of duration, bicycle trips can be one-day or multi-day trips. You can make a weekend bike trip and go for three months for thousands of kilometers away from home. Depending on personal preferences and the route chosen, selected model of bike and equipment. Lovers to lie under the palm trees will not choose a winter bike tour, and fans of mountain biking will give preference to a biker vacation. Each traveler will find the best option. All that is needed is to decide on the type of cycling tourism.
The hobby of this type requires a good physical preparation, since it does not belong to the category of active recreation. Federation of sports tourism established 6 categories of bicycle touring – from the easiest to the increased complexity associated with obstacles.
Sports discipline presupposes using a bicycle as the only means of transportation with the regulated time and the specified length of a route. For example, cycling 800 kilometers in 20 days. Half of the route consists of difficult roads, wetlands, and river crossings. Those who want to get the first category must overcome 300 km in 6 days.
Proponents of sport cycling, equated to a multisport, choose lightweight bicycles, with 4-5 speed gears and without luggage.
Routes cycling travelers vary in complexity. Racer biking is characterized by high-speed riding on comfortable roads. This type is preferred by professional athletes with years of experience. Cyclists do not stop for picnics, ride without cargo, and overcome more than 200 km a day. Single or team travel requires thorough preparation. A racing type of sport cycling tourism involves passing a given distance in the minimum amount of time.
Cyclists who prefer to combine the beauty of nature with a risky ride, choose routes with sections of varying complexity. In the expedition type of biking tourism necessarily present bogs, mountain trails, frozen bodies of water. Travelling “with obstacles” is combined with recreation in a well-equipped tent, hot meals and interesting evenings by the fire. For travel choose mountain bikes with wide tires, good Cross-country—what-it-is–nuances ability, carrying capacity. Improved bicycle models are produced in the U.S., European countries.
Proponents of this type of biking experience the strength of their two-wheeled transport as much as possible. Aggressive riding is filled with jumps, dangerous turns, trampolines. This type of tourism attracts cyclists who want to tickle their nerves. Off-road bikes are designed for riding in difficult conditions. Bikes with a strong frame, wide wheels, a large set of gears (24-27) are characterized by a versatile and heavy-duty design. Biker biking is suitable for sports, long journeys and solves 4 problems:
- Helps you have a rich and unusual vacation.
- Improves the physical activity and health of the cyclist.
- Gives an adrenaline rush that you can’t get in normal conditions.
- Checks and demonstrates the power of the bike.
How to choose a bicycle for cycling
The journey will be successful if you choose the right vehicle. For example, a road bike is designed to ride straight back with no weight distribution on the handlebars. Therefore, outside of the track with a gravel surface or when encountering a slope on rough terrain, bicycle tourists have problems. For different types of recreation, bikes are selected according to their technical characteristics.
Type of bike
|Touring Bikes||Excludes aggressive extreme riding style
Use for sporty types of biking and traditional trekking
Easy going on dirt roads and smooth highways
|Mountain||High off-road capability
Suitable for city touring, long distance riding, sport riding.
Solid shock absorbers
Up to 27 gears
|Hybrid||The combination of touring and mountain bike with good Cross-country—what-it-is–nuances, hard mode of travel||Big wheel
Front shock absorbers
|Road||Practical bicycle models suitable for long journeys of varying difficulty||Sturdy construction
No suspension fork
|Racing||High-speed riding on level roads||Low Cross-country—what-it-is–nuances ability
Poor bike maneuverability
Professionals advise choosing a model to consider the main requirements for the means of transportation of the cyclist:
- reliability of the bicycle;
- light weight;
- Sturdy frame (preferably steel or titanium);
- front fork with air and hydraulic shock absorber;
- comfortable saddle;
- wide tires;
- straight handlebar;
- triple crank system;
- good brakes;
- availability of a bicycle rack;
- carrying weight of the load – 25 kg;
- the bicycle must be suitable for Cross-country—what-it-is–nuances riding.
What equipment do you need to have with you
Biking – not only an exciting journey on unexplored trails. Before the arrival, the tourist must prepare the following equipment:
- An itinerary indicating places for planned stops.
- Tent, sleeping bag.
- Backpack for the cyclist.
- Special clothing.
- Stock of water and food.
- First aid kit.
- Gas burner.
- Wok, hatchet, matches.
- Dry fuel pills.
- Pump, spare camera, tool kit in case of bike repairs.
- handlebar bag.
- Raincoat, plastic film.
- Headlights, blinkers, flashlight.
- Plastic foam mat to keep you warm, or an air mattress.
- Airtight bag to hold documents, clothes, money.
- Garbage bags.
- A roll of aluminum wire.
- Bicycle touring insurance.
Necessary bicycle clothing.
Inexperienced hikers are the last to pack personal items. Cyclists believe that there is no time to pack them, here the main thing is to prepare the bike and choose a route. Prepared in advance outfit will make the trip comfortable, will not make the cyclist freeze or languish from the heat. Clothing and shoes are chosen depending on the season and duration of the tour. Mandatory items of equipment:
- A bicycle helmet that protects your head from injury if you fall.
- gloves with helium inserts (reduce pressure on the hands, provide a secure grip on the steering wheel when braking). In summer, choose gloves made of lightweight materials with short fingers.
- Tight-fitting shorts or comfortable elastic pants that make it easier for your pelvic muscles and joints to work .
- Cycling thermal underwear for fall rides.
- Jacket made of fabric that absorbs sweat well.
- Lightweight knit cap.
- Reflective tape sewn onto clothing.
- Sneakers secured to bike pedals.
- Wool and cotton socks.
For day trips pick comfortable sports clothes in bright colors. The cyclist should be seen by all road users.
The first race in the history of cycling was carried out by Sir John Foster Fraser (1896). Together with his companions the Scottish writer went on a round-the-world trip on safe Rover bicycles. The pals traveled to 17 countries and covered 20,000 miles in two years and two months. Since then the cyclists have not set out to test their personal endurance or set new speed records. The main purpose of the trips is to admire the scenery, see beautiful cities, have a good rest alone or in the company of friends.