Cycling is one of the best ways that you experience new destinations. Unencumbered by the barrier of a car window and exposed to the elements, you get to smell, see, and hear a new place in a natural, totally different, and hugely enriching way. And biking doesn’t have to be local. You can travel to a neighbouring country without missing a beat and have all the fun.
Bike tours are fun and environmentally-friendly excursions. As long as you are appropriately prepared, healthy, have a positive attitude and have trained adequately ahead of time, the open world is waiting to be explored.
From what to pack to training and planning, here are seven things to know before you book your first trail bike adventure.
1. Plan Ahead
A trail bike tour allows you to travel slowly as you enjoy the surroundings as they change. It’s also fun, relatively cheap, and environmentally-friendly. And perhaps the best thing is that you get fit as you do it. But it all demands meticulous planning.
Going into a trail bike adventure without planning adequately can sour what should otherwise be an enjoyable way of spending your time outdoors. Knowing when to start, where you’ll be, and when to stop are vital parts of the adventure trip and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
2. Choose the Right Bike
If you are looking for the thrills of bike riding, going off-road, and hitting the dirt, it’s handy to have the right bike. You need to know what to look for in a mountain bike. With dozens of brands, models, and makes to choose from, knowing where to start could be challenging. The bottom line is that you want a bike that makes the right physical fit for you.
When choosing, remember that the heart of a good mountain bike is its frame. Ensure you are very comfortable with different bike functions and handling. This includes breaking, changing gears, and adjusting the bike gears.
3. Keep Yourself Safe
While it is a fun, casual outing, you will not want to skip out on safety issues and gear. With a big percent of cyclist accidents and fatalities happening every day, begin with a helmet. Pads for your knees and elbows plus the right footwear should be among your key considerations.
While they can be uncomfortable and potentially too warm, biking gloves can save your palms from painful scrapes and bumps in case you take a tumble.
Unlike a car road trip, you will need to be warier of weather conditions when going on a bike trail trip. It could unexpectedly start pouring heavily, or the temperature might drop suddenly, so ensure that you are well-prepared to deal with such scenarios.
4. Have the Right Attire
No matter the kind of riding you are planning, having bike-specific clothing ensures you have a more comfortable adventure. However, note that different styles of biking dictate what type of clothing you might need.
For example, your biking shorts options range from form-fitting designs (popular among cross-country racers) to baggy, more casual styles and styles designed durability when hitting rough trails.
Similar to biking shorts, jerseys can range from form-fitting styles to more casual-looking, loose designs. Bike jerseys with several back pockets are another good addition to your biking wardrobe for both convenience and comfort. A good pair of gloves with comfortable padding will help reduce wrist and hand and wrist fatigue.
5. Take Advice from the Pros
This may not go very well with most riders, for this is like having to read an instruction manual, but talking and listening to people that know about bike trail riding will prove invaluable. When they advise you to start on a short tour and travel light, it’s not because they are questioning your abilities but because it makes lots of sense for a beginner!
They will also point you in the direction when it comes to buying the right kit and when to take that bike adventure or where to go. They could even become your riding mates when you decide to join epic adventures like the ones on offer at Crossroadsbiketours.com.
6. Train Well
Unless you have been doing it for years, a biking tour isn’t the kind of adventure trip that you plan in one-two days or even a week. Building and toning your body such that it can cope with several hours of uninterrupted riding will not be achieved overnight. It could sound obvious, but if you want to get “cycling fit”, you need to spend as much time on the bike as possible. Never assume that working out at the gym, swimming, or running will suffice. You need to get on that bike!
Try and maintain a consistent amount of weekly exercise, particularly in the weeks leading up to the trip. Repetition and consistency are important if you are to get the body ready for long cycling. To maintain consistent workouts, it helps to do them at the same time every day or week and ensure they fit into your routine.
7. Don’t Forget the Maps
If you are travelling or riding to remote areas that might have a weak network, it’s advisable to carry hard copies of local maps. At least that can give you a fair sense of where you are. If remembering roads is not among your strongest attributes, this might also be the ideal time to embrace technology such as GPS.
You may also want to go to the next level and invest in a Bluetooth-enabled helmet that provides you with GPS directions as you ride. Also, remember, asking the locals for directions is certainly better than getting lost!
A trail bike adventure is a perfect way of exploring new destinations at a relaxed pace. It allows you to discover hidden local gems off the popular path and delve into the local culture as you keep physically fit.
Most bike tours are typically rated by how lengthy and difficult the journey is. Being your first adventure, start with the lowest difficulty or shortest ride and work your way up to avoid burning out even before your biking enthusiasm does!