Have you ever considered bike touring but weren't sure where to start or what you need? Here's our guide on Self Guided Bike Touring for Beginners.
Some people go bike touring for a sense of fulfillment. Some go to feel fresh and active. Some seek escape from their mundane lives. Whatever the reason may be, bike touring trips are an excellent way to explore! Read on to learn how to get started with Bike Touring by preparing for a weekend self guided bike tour.
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1 Plan in advance
The earlier you decide you are to embark on a weekend bike touring trip, the better it is. Since the activity is physically demanding, you will need time to prepare yourself physically. It will also let you have enough time to plan your trip, routes, etc., properly and familiarize yourself with maps, something that would prove to be an indispensable asset for your trip.
2 Pick your route
Another very important aspect of planning a self guided bike tour is to decide your biking routes. To effectively do so, you must ask yourself some key questions. What kind of terrains do I want to bike in and which region do I want to explore are two questions you need to answer before you proceed.
Once that is done and you have some sense of route, get detailed maps and traffic and accommodation information. This way, you will be familiar with the territory in advance and would be prepared to tackle any hindrances/stays.
3 Prepare ahead
Try to live out of the items you intend on carrying with you during your weekend bike trip, like clothes and toiletries. Doing so would ensure that you are wise and economical in their usage during the trip. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your bike and ways of handling it when loaded and make sure you can undertake minor repairs.
4 Build stamina
A very important factor of preparing yourself for what lies ahead has to do with building stamina. Therefore, you should upgrade your rusty biking skills and build stamina. Once you are comfortable with casual riding, you can begin to practice with added loads on your bicycle to have a sense of your luggage's weight. A great and useful way to get started carrying small loads is by going grocery shopping on your bicycle!
Packing the right items is one of the key elements to planning a multi-day bike trip. Consider what you really need to bring along for those days of cycling and don't over-pack, it's remarkably easy to add unnecessary weight to your bike, which will just slow you down. Here's our suggested packing list to cover all weather possibilities, edit as you prefer:
1 x Bike helmet
1 x Sun glasses
1 x Fingerless gloves
1 x Full finger gloves
1 x Clear lens glasses (or changeable lenses)
1 x Cycle Shoes
2 x Padded cycle shorts
2 x Cycle Jersey
4 x Cycling socks
1 x Light Water-proof wind breaker
1 x Warm, light Fleece (makes a great base layer for your rain jacket on cold days)
1 x Arm warmers
1 x Sunscreen
1 x Small first aid kit
Post Ride gear
1 x Long sleeve "dinner" shirt
1 x Short sleeve "dinner" shirt or polo
1 x Long trousers / practical skirt
1 x Warm, light Sweater
1 x flip-flops or light walking shoes
5 x Underwear (if you only wear after showering each day!)
1 x Compact wash kit
Tools & Equipment
1 x Smartphone + spare power pack
1 x Camera (save space & weight and use your smartphone)
1 x Multi tool
1 x Spare tube (and / or patch kit)
1 x Small bottle chain oil
So there you have it. Now you know just how to prepare for an independent bike packing getaway. If you feel we missed out some important details, please get in touch and let us know!