When I was at York Uni I did a lot of mountain biking in the North of England. However, the first time I did a multi-day trip “adventure” trip was in Scotland in 2006. The trip turned out to be a big challenge, but it sowed the seeds of later ideas about “travelling by bike”.
Cycle touring - a definition
A bike tour is when you decide that you are going to go out on your bike and cycle a certain distance but then instead of looping back you stop somewhere and then the next day you cycle a bit more.
Bicycle touring means self-contained cycling trips for pleasure, adventure and autonomy rather than sport, commuting or exercise. Touring can range from single to multi-day trips, even years. Tours may be planned by the participant or organised by a holiday business, a club, or a charity as a fund-raising venture.
You don’t need much to go on a bike tour. You just need a bike and for self-supported trips, kit for sleeping, eating and repairing the bike. You can be as minimalist or prepared as you want but either way you’re going to have to carry it all!
For a sporty cyclist you could ride very fast. Your bike will reflect this by being light and minimal. On the other hand you could plan to go slowly and then it matters less the weight of your bike.
A slow speed means you will probably see more and meet more people. There will probably be more chance to accept invitations if you are lucky to be offered hospitality.
Traits to look for in an adventure touring bike
- Rack mounts
- 26in wheels
- Stay hydrated
- Ask for help, directions and water
- Avoid urban areas at the end of the day to find a secluded camp spot
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