How To Plan A Bike Trip – Beginner’s Guide

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Bike tours are a one of a kind adventure, both grueling and rewarding at the same time. It’s no wonder more and more people are planning to get into this activity. But to plan a bike trip, especially one that can take several days or weeks to complete, needs some serious consideration to make it safe and enjoyable. If you’re planning a bike tour, then the guide below should be of considerable help.

5 Steps to Planning a Bike Tour

Planning a bike tour isn’t rocket science, but there are several things you’ll want to consider before jumping in on the adventure.

1. Plan Your Travel Time and Route

The first thing you’ll want to do is to map out or plan a bike trip route. Consider how long you’ll be on the road, the type of terrain you’ll be cycling, and the weather conditions along your route. This will influence the type of touring bike you need and what cycling gear and equipment you’ll need to pack.

2. Get the Right Bike

Touring bikes are different from your ordinary, everyday mountain bike. They are designed specifically for long road trips and certain types of terrains. This is why they often have sturdier frames, specialized touring tires for long rides, as well as better and more comfortable touring saddles.

Also, touring bikes come in a variety of options like city touring bikes, off-road touring bikes and others. Hence, it is important that you decide on the type of terrain and touring you’ll want to do before putting down your hard-earned cash for a touring bike.

3. Invest in Quality Cycling Gear

Touring will involve long hours and several days (or weeks) of being on the road. This is why it’s important that aside from getting the right type of touring bike, you should also invest in high quality cycling gear and equipment. Not only will such items be able to take on the abuse involved in long rides and make the trip more comfortable, but they’ll also last longer so you can still use them for future touring adventures.

For your cycling outfit you’re going to need like mountain bike helmets, cycling gloves, cycling jerseys, cycling shorts and touring bike shoes. These are made from sturdy and breathable materials so you don’t get overly hot while pedaling on the road or trail.

4. Pack the Essentials

Aside from your bike and cycling outfit, you’ll also need food and shelter for the trip, especially if you’re biking on off-road trails and away from civilization. Hence, be sure to pack along a backpacking tent and a backpacking sleeping bag.

You’re going to need some food as well so consider bringing no-cook meals or freeze dried food packs. If you plan to cook some outdoor gourmet dishes, then you’ll need a camping mess kit as well.

And don’t forget your bike repair kit which should include spare tubes, tire patches, air pumps, and others.

In any case, choose small, compact items so you can save space in your touring panniers. Checkout our bikepacking checklist for a full list of what you to bring.

5. Stay Safe

Bike tours can last for several days or weeks, so be sure to let your family and friends where you’re going. Leave an itinerary on your fridge and emergency contact numbers like police stations or park rangers along your biking route. Tell them when they can expect you to be back as well.

Also, before heading off give your bike and cycling gear a test run on your local park or a nearby hill. This will ensure that they’re in excellent working condition and will cause no problem during your trip. Once everything is set, it’s time to head out and have one of the best adventures of your life.

FAQ

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Q: How do I plan a bike trip?

A: 

Planning a bike trip starts with mapping out a cycling route. Once you’ve got that down, invest in a quality touring bike, cycling gear, and some camping equipment. Don’t forget to bring along enough food to last you for the whole trip as well.

Q: How do you start a bike touring?

A: 

Start by getting basic gear like a touring bike, helmet, and others. There’s no need to spend on lots of fancy equipment just yet. Then, plan a short bike trip (preferably overnight) to get a feel of what touring feels like. Once you gain more knowledge and experience, then you can start buying more equipment and planning longer bike tours.

Q: Which is the best cycle route planner?

A: 

One of the best cycle route planner available is Google Maps. Though technically not a bike trip planner per se, it offers plenty of feature which you can use in planning a bike tour. There are other apps out there like the ViaMichellin, Cycle Streets and others which offer robust features like real-time traffic data, weather forecasts, and others.

Q: How do I plan a bike route on Google Maps?

A: 

To plan a bike trip or route on Google Maps, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Google Maps app on your browser and set a starting point by entering the address on the dedicated “Search” field. This can either be the park entrance, your house, or wherever you’ll be launching your bike trip.
  2. Set the waypoints or intermediate locations for stopovers along your route. These can be stores, restaurants, water refilling stations or scenic locations where you can take a break during the trip. You can do this by clicking on the “Directions” icon to open the route planning features of Google Maps.
  3. Switch to the bicycling map view by first going to the “Menu” section, then the word “Bicycling”. This will add pertinent cycling information like bike-friendly routes, bike lanes, and trails related to the route you plotted.
  4. Adjust your route by dragging it onto a bike-friendly route or trail. As you adjust your route, Google Maps will automatically re-calculate the total distance of your bike route.

Q: What do I need for a bike tour?

A: 

For a bike tour, you’re going to need a touring bike, cycling safety gear like cycling helmets and gloves, and others. In addition, you’ll also need some form of shelter like a backpacking tent, sleeping bags, and cooking and eating utensils if you’re planning to stay outdoors for the night.

Globo Surf Overview

It’s not always easy to plan a bike trip, but the rewards and satisfaction you get after the expedition will more than make up for the hours you put into planning a bike tour. Just remember to keep safe always and enjoy yourself while on the trip. When everything goes according to plan, you’ll be riding back home with a big smile plastered all over your face while you look forward to your next touring adventure.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!