Biking alone seems like an unusual, rather daring way to spend your time. You don’t have to be extreme to go on an unconventional hike. According to statistics, 34% of Russians prefer to travel alone. Bicycle tourist is attracted by the complete autonomy, the sense of comprehension of the road, the unexplored beauty of nature. Psychotherapy trip brings a lot of impressions, but also dangers. Therefore, you need to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this type of recreation, the nuances of accessible exoticism.
Why you should try cycling alone
Bicycle tourism is chosen by those who want to fully relax, to discover even the most textbook places from an unexpected side, to test their own strength. A solo cyclist feels like a master of the situation, who does not depend on the wishes and opinions of other people. Cycling trips are taken for self-discovery of personality, psychological balance. On a bicycle cross continents, visit monasteries and deserts, go around the vast expanses of Russia, Africa, America. Lack of like-minded people is compensated by new acquaintances and pleasant surprises. It is worth trying to make a cycling trip alone to discover the secret corners of unfamiliar cities and the wonders of nature. Even in quarantine, cycling will allow you to be at your own pace and do only what you want to do.
Advantages and disadvantages of a solo cycling trip
Before you go on the road, you need to study the pros and cons of an exciting and unsafe adventure.
|Physical exertion||Limited communication with friends and family|
|Independent choice of travel itinerary and planning of the day||Carrying cargo on a bicycle|
|Traveler’s skill, a new worldview||No quick help for injuries|
|Choosing the best speed||Repairing the bicycle yourself|
|Continuity and freedom of movement||Navigational challenges|
|Variety in forms and modes of bicycle travel||Lack of safety for the cyclist|
|Absolute freedom of action||Domestic duties performed without the help of friends (food, firewood, tent, etc.)|
|Positive attitude, bike trip atmosphere||Unexpected situations|
|Riding in unfamiliar cities, embankments, parks||Possibility of getting lost|
|Feeling of independence, self-confidence||Incomplete meals|
|Possibility to go to another country without company||No rescuers|
The undeniable advantages of cycling immediately make you want to say “yes”. And the disadvantages should not stop the brave cyclist. Any mishaps can happen close to home as well.
What is the best route
Long journeys are accessible only to athletes. Unprepared cyclists will quickly feel sore muscles and fatigue after unaccustomed physical exertion. Therefore, the choice of the route of cycling depends on the degree of preparation, the right model of bicycle, financial opportunities. Travelling by bicycle alone can be done in two ways:
- For inexperienced solo cyclists, choose routes on an unloaded road. Route through bodies of water along which it is much easier to breathe. It takes 34 hours to travel by bicycle. The rest of the time to devote to sightseeing and exploring unfamiliar places. In order not to feel the heat and not to inhale the exhausts of cars, leave at 5 am.
- Prepared person who travels by bicycle alone for the first time, there are unlimited opportunities.
The best bicycle routes for solo tourists are considered:
- Bicycle travel along the Golden Ring of Russia with visits to ancient cities.
- The Valley of the Laura in France with a view of the ancient castles, wine estates, the sights of Europe. The length of the route is 800 km.
- Rallarvegen (Norway). The bicycle route length of 280 km lies through the snow-capped mountains, forests, blue lakes.
- On the coast of Italy, dotted with picturesque cities and cliffs, you will not be bored. The cobblestone streets are steeped in the romance of adventure.
- Bicycle travelers expand their horizons and find interesting friends in Cuba, the Emirates and Macedonia. Among men, Sri Lanka and Moldova are popular.
- Self-motivated bicycle tourists can admire the beautiful views of Lake Baikal, the Urals, the Crimea, and the Volga.
EuroVelo has developed 14 bicycle trails crossing Europe and the Atlantic coast. Guide maps will be provided by any branch of the cycling federation. Regardless of the complexity of the route, cycling alone is always an exciting holiday and an unforgettable experience.
Choosing a bicycle for a solo trip
There are no universal recommendations for choosing models of vehicle for solo travelers. Tourists determine on their own what kind of bike they need for a solo trip. There are a few rules to help the solo traveler settle on the right option:
- Choose sturdy bicycles with a lightweight frame for a particular type of bicycle touring.
- The saddle of the bike should be comfortable and handlebars covered with soft material.
- Regardless of the route, choose a roomy rack with a secure attachment.
- The best bicycle for traveling has several gears (minimum – 14).
- Analyze the pros and cons of the wheels, give preference to sports cycling tires.
- Buy protective fenders, rear view mirrors, clearance lights.
- Beginning cyclists are more suited to a general-purpose bike with universal pedals.
- Set aside $800 to buy a bike that is reliable and durable.
The weather and the trail during a bicycle trip can change and cause the vehicle to malfunction. Therefore, it is worth checking the Internet before your trip to read the stories of experienced cyclists about the problems of solo cycling tourists.
Advice for your own travels
Choosing a specific type of recreation, the cyclist must be confident in their physical and psychological capabilities. Bad weather, dirty clothes, running out of finances, fatigue can cause stressful situations. Traveling alone will be a lot of fun if you properly prepare yourself for the challenges ahead.
Physical preparation of the cyclist. Upcoming loads are easier to bear if you adapt your body to a long cycling trip with a heavy load in advance. Valuable experience is gained after riding your bike with stuff every day for a week (in any weather). Exercise and run in the morning.
Set yourself up for positivity. The formula works in an unconventional bike ride: hope – want – can – get.
Think through all the details of the trip in advance. It is important to study well the route of the trip and make an alternative plan. Choose roads with low car traffic. Sections of the route without settlements and stores should not exceed 50 km.
Determine in advance a place to sleep. Sleeping in a tent or hotel will affect the budget of the trip and the comfort of the cyclist.
Choose the right season for your cycling trip. Properly calculate the time of active movement and rest.
Check the condition of your bicycle. Replace old parts, tighten the handlebars and saddle, and check that it is securely fastened. Use a professional to make sure your bicycle is 100% complete and ready for a long ride.
Have safety precautions in place. A solo cyclist should have a cell phone with him or her so he or she can report to family and friends regularly. Prepare a list of emergency numbers. Mark on the map the areas where there is no communication. If the route of your bicycle trip goes through difficult places (e.g., mountains), register with the rescue service. In the event of an emergency, you will have a beacon that makes it easy to find the cyclist.
What to bring
Stock up on water, pay special attention to the selection of clothing and clothing of the cyclist. Take more money than is necessary according to calculations. Canned foods, fruit, energy bars, nuts – a minimum set of products that will quickly run out. Be sure to need a tent and gear for your campsite.
- copies of documents;
- Bicycle insurance;
- tools for minor repairs;
- spare cameras, reflectors, bicycle lock;
- first aid kit;
- helmet, sunglasses, gloves;
- equipment, appropriate to the season;
- camera, video camera.
How much money do you need for an independent cycling trip
The calculation of financial costs each cyclist who goes on a trip alone, makes independently. The amount of money depends on the chosen route, the duration of the tour, and personal preferences of the cyclist. For example, it took 50675 rubles for a trip lasting 56 days and visiting 23 countries. In the second year, when passing the same cycling route, the costs were halved. Bicycle Journey Through Russia magazine published the notes of an experienced tourist who did a bicycle trip alone through Russia. The distance of 1200 km was overcome in 11 days. Nineteen thousand rubles were spent. The professional advises: take with you not only credit cards, but also cash.
A solo cycling trip expands horizons, helps to make new friends, and looks into the most unusual corners of nature. You should not be afraid to experiment. It’s boring to lie on the couch and do nothing. Being a discoverer for yourself is always interesting.