There’s an amazing trend developing lately among new travelers and adventurers, a tren that we at Apache Pine particularly love: bike travels. Indeed, thanks to environmental awareness and the development of new lifestyles, always more people are starting to use bikes to move around, not just their cities, but the world.
There’s an ever-growing community of bike travelers, and many beginners are about to approach their first little adventure. If you are one of them and you are looking for tips and tricks for traveling by bike for the first time, here’s a little guide for you, where you can collect suggestions about gear, prepping and general shrewdnesses.
Bike traveling tips for beginners
Make sure to be in shape
Traveling by bike is no joke and cannot be compared to a single bike ride, as hard and long as it may be. In fact, we are talking about learning how to cycle for many days in a row, carrying more weight than usual and probably in weather conditions that are not so favorable. It can be backbreaking if you don’t get in shape properly. As soon as you decide to take a bike trip of more than two or three days, you must start training properly, and not just your legs, but your full body. Otherwise, it will turn into a pain festival!
Set your smartphone properly
You don’t want to pack too much stuff and become heavier than necessary. Everything you may need in terms of maps, connections, pictures, videos and all the rest of the crew can happily and easily be collected in your phone, so set it ready. With a nice and sustainable case to make it more resistant to eventual bumps and drops, all the apps you may need to find your itinerary, a spot where to camp, or check weather conditions, together with all the battery suppliers you may necessitate in order to always be on top of your charge.
Of course this is a golden rule for all sorts of trips and adventures, however, you must keep in mind that this time there will be no motor to help you move faster when you are running late, nor you'll be able to move if you are not well rested. Therefore, abandon tight schedules and always keep in mind that the later it gets during the day, the more tired you will be, and the less you’ll be able to push on those pedals. So be reasonable and always allow enough time to sleep, as you won’t be able to do it on the plane, or on the train.
Consider your weight
When the packing time arrives, it won’t be just a matter of space, but also a matter of weight. Something as small as a nut can weight a lot more than you think, so always make sure to find the perfect gear for you and to not overlook this little, absolutely fundamental aspect of your trip. If something is really heavy, unless essential, leave it behind and of course be ready to rely on the incredibly small amount of stuff. It can a be a very instructive process!
Mark your useful spots
Chances are you won’t have signal all the time. In general, your phone may break, or run out of battery. Having a biking paper map with you can be incredibly useful, even lifesaving sometimes. So make sure you mark all the useful landmarks on it, such as camping sites and camping spots, b&b, water sources, food places and so on. In this way, you will always know where to go.
Finding out last minute that something doesn’t work as you imagined can be extremely bothering, and it can ruin your schedule, if not ruin your travel for good. Your best option is to rehearse your gear and your packing asset a few times before leaving, maybe taking a nice day ride. This is the perfect way to understand if something is missing, or too heavy, or doesn’t work properly. This includes your bike too of course: it may sound a bit obvious, but it’s actually not. Many beginners, taken by the many preparations for the travel, forget to check if their bike is ready to face a long ride. Have someone to check it, so there won't be doubts it is 100% operative and ready to go.
In the next few weeks we’ll keep on exploring this subject, so stay tuned!