How to Travel with your Bike on an Adventure
About to go on an adventure and are not sure how to travel with your bike?
Traveling the world with your bike is an amazing experience, although it’s not without its challenges. The first challenge lies in its packing. Secondly, there are the aspects of safety and weather. I’ve put together some great ideas below on how to travel with your bike on an adventure which can help you to travel without the hassle.
For years I have cycled on mountains, hills and even on low altitude areas and have learned several things concerning cycling in all altitudes. Biking on mountains, for example, requires more upper body strength because you tend to ride in an upright position and ‘hop’ on the front tires of the bike in terrains that are a bit rough.
Whenever you plan to go on a mountain adventure on your bike, make sure that you include some upper body work in your training program. These would be pull ups, rowing machine workouts, push-ups and basically anything that could give a great workout to your upper torso. Also ensure that you ride your bike as many times as you can on uphill terrain at home in preparation of the challenge of climbing the mountains.
If your bike won’t be travelling with you, ensure the following before packing it:
For packing choose any of your preferred bike packing option and you will be ready to travel with your bike on an adventure.
- The front wheel, pedals, the rear derailleur and the stem of your bike should be removed.
- For the hydraulic brakes, there should something in between the brake pads. This will ensure they are protected from being forced together.
- For the tires, most of the air should be expelled and lastly but not least,
- The bike is marked with your destination address, home address and name. You can also indicate on the packaging that the luggage is a bike. If it’s going to be transported on a plane,the baggage handlers will be careful when handling it. However, if you have chosen to ship it, you may not need to indicate it’s a bike.
Cycling adventures mean you will ride a lot. So you need to ensure and be aware of the following:
- If you are planning to take more than 2 weeks on your adventure, you need to ride your bike for close to 90miles a day training.If the period is less than this, you can opt for 50miles to 60miles a day.
- Your medical prescription lasts longer than your tour.
- You know well all your tools and have used them.
- Maintenance,repair and lubrication are made on your mountain bike.
- Purchase all types of clothing and tools you need.
- If you will be travelling by your bike,with your stuff,make sure you have tried travelling with the bike fully loaded. It’s better to recognize an issue before you get out for your adventure.
- When riding on the road make sure you follow all traffic laws.
- You should wear a helmet whenever you are riding.
- For safety,whenever you want to top,do it at least 10 feet off the road.
- Avoid parking your bike close to a door way or window.
- If you live in a low altitude area and your adventure will be in a high-altitude region you may need to travel a bit earlier so you can adjust to the altitude.
The fact that an adventure is not an indoor activity means it can be affected by weather so always be prepared for the worst but hope for the best. Having ridden on several western states mountain bike adventures (in the US), I’ve had to prepare myself for many extreme weather conditions, from very hot (100F), to snow, rain and extremely cold nights (at times below freezing). Particularly in hilly or mountainous regions, weather patterns can vary and are highly unpredictable. Humidity is normally lower so you need to drink plenty of water. For this reason always carry at least 2 bottles of waitron your ride. The Midwest and East regions have high temperatures and the humidity can rise above 90%.
To travel on an adventure with your bike is far more pleasurable when you ride on your own bike. A rented bike may not give you the comfort that you need when riding and your attention is focused on the bike rather than the journey because you don’t want to damage it. If you don’t already own a bike you can purchase one at a relatively low cost. In a nutshell, make the most of your adventure with your bike, purchase your best budget mountain bike, and travel as far as you want to go on cycling adventures. The world is your oyster!
About the Writer: Paul Devault is an avid cyclist. He's travelled to over 10 countries with his bike. He writes a lot on bikes and biking at his blog. He works with a small group of contributors to his site, and they’re all experienced bikers as well. When not attending to his blog, he's biking around the neighbourhood.
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