Exploring on bikes is a refreshing way of traveling and the trend is catching up even among those who may not be bike enthusiasts but are still looking for some offbeat adventure. Though it sounds fun, biking is much more than a simple adventure.It needs a lot of preparation. Paul Devault, an avid cyclist shows us the way how to make most of your biking trip by planning right. He has traveled to over 10 countries with his bike. He writes a lot on bikes and biking in his BestMtbGear.com. When not attending to his blog, he's biking in the neighborhood. You can get in touch with Paul on Twitter and Facebook. Now over to Paul.........
You must be quite an adventure enthusiast if you are contemplating to take it on with your bike. It is a big step particularly if you are not the type to be caged in what seems normal by taking a car. Even if you are an expert cyclist, deciding to travel by your bike on an adventure will demand thorough preparation and research compared to readying a car or just taking a flight. This article is aimed at giving you a guideline of the things to factor in as you prep to embark to enjoy the scenery at your own pace.
Consider your safety first
Inspect your bike first or have a professional do it for you. Whether you have the best mountain bike under 300 or the best mountain bike under 200, safety is paramount. You need to feel as safe as possible with your bike. Confirm your helmet is all set and it’s the right so as not to block your view. If planning to ride in the night, have a light mounted on your helmet and on your bike. Ensure its’ sharp enough for the other cyclists and drivers to clearly see you. Take your bike for a long-distance test-ride. This will help you rule out some of the doubts you could be having on safety.
Go over your map keenly, this will help you to familiarize with the surrounding, the terrain to expect and traffic. Research on weather conditions to expect and note down the spots you can take shelter at in case of an emergency. Most importantly, ensure to research and feel settled when it comes to the security of that place.
Know basic bike maintenance and adjustments
If seriously planning to travel with your bike, at the bare minimum, be sure you know how to adjust the saddle and change the tire in case of a flat. Even if you’ve already marked bike shops on your map, these basics will save lots of time not forgetting money. You can imagine if your tire bursts in the middle of nowhere and you’ll have to transport it to a technician. Not an exciting detour you’d hoped for, right?
Also, know how to adjust the saddle to the right height; you sure have to be comfortable riding and adjust your brakes accordingly as well. Knowing how to tighten bolts or replace a slipped chain is just as important.
Remember to bring with you appropriate tools for such issues. Examples of such tools are pedal spanners, pump, tire levers.
Essentials to pack
If you plan to travel by your bike, you require a helmet, a spanner and a map to confirm where the trail leads you. You can also pack backup tire and a bike pump.
Most importantly, bring your phone with you, a backup phone battery or portable charger and an ID. Unfortunately, accidents happen and you might need to contact a friend or family for help. And an identification card will help to identify you just in case. Equally important set aside money for an emergency that you can easily access.
At some point, you might be forced to pack your bike for a flight or via other means of transport, so ensure you’ve a bike bag. Below is a guideline on how to pack a bike:
• Deflate the tires but not completely
• Remove the rear derailleur
• Remove the handlebars and attach them to frame else turn them to one side
• Remove or lower the saddle
• You can remove the wheels well.
• Ensure everything is fitted well, most bags with different fitments suited for their bike parts. Fit them and fasten with straps.
Cycling demands lots of energy especially for a long-distance and burns a huge amount of calories. You surely don’t wish to get worn-out with fatigue, so pack healthy snacks to keep you energetic all through. Don’t forget you need to stay hydrated. Dehydration just smells doom for your adventure with a headache that comes with it, so carry enough water and take it as often as you need to.
Finally, pack appropriate clothing. It helps to check the weather forecast first to know the kind of dress code you will need. But, try to ensure you pack lightweight clothing; even if you will be riding late in the night, get a lightweight jacket.
You cannot afford to allow physical discomfort to overcome you. Push yourself a bit further if you regularly exercise. If exercising isn’t the norm for you, hit the gym or still set aside enough hours cycling around. Take on similar terrain if possible, this will help you get a feel of what the bike tour will entail as well as build your confidence.
Finally, have a blast on your adventure! Don’t shy away, go on and travel by your bike on your deserved adventure.