Solo bicycle touring is a fantastic way of exploring the nature of a destination on the open road, while also embarking on a physically challenging adventure. Before starting your journey, there are a few important necessities to consider, and this checklist will help you to ensure that you are prepared.
How to Prepare
It is essential to map out and plan your journey to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. First, decide where you are going and have a rough idea of your route, be aware of the terrain, weather conditions, and any other potential challenges. Additionally, you will have to consider any accommodation and sightseeing stops along the way. Bicycle touring can be physically challenging, so it is important to build up your stamina and strength through training beforehand. You may wish to have a few practice rides with your loaded gear to get used to the weight. It is also worth having an estimated budget, calculating how much you want to spend daily on food, accommodation, and any bike-related costs.
What to Pack
Packing wisely is a fundamental part of bike touring; you have to bear in mind that a lighter load will make your journey easier. It is best to avoid overpacking for your comfort. As is normal for any trip, you will have to pack the basics such as weather-appropriate clothing, toiletries, and daily use essentials.
Biking & Camping Gear
Aside from cycling clothing, there are certain essentials that you will need in terms of the biking itself like a helmet, cycling gloves, bike lights, bike lock and maybe a bike computer like a Garmin, Wahoo or Sygma. It is worth having a first-aid kit for emergencies such as bandages, antiseptic, and painkillers. Vitally, you need to ensure to be hydrated so always make sure to have enough water with you. You can also plan your journey so that there are stops where you can find water sources. In addition, it is worth having small snacks to keep your energy like energy bars, nuts, and dried fruits. If you plan to camp, then you will need to have items such as a lightweight tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, camping stove, cookware, utensils, and toilet paper.
While your phone may typically serve entertainment purposes like scrolling through social media, playing your favorite video game or even free slot games online; when taken within a solo cycling tour context it could become a very useful and multifunctional tool. Bikers can attach their phone to their handlebar so that they can easily look at it. Firstly and most importantly, your phone is valuable for navigation with specific directions, maps, and essential route information. If your bike has any issues, you can easily search and read articles for help. The flashlight integrated into your phone can also be convenient if you are cycling in low-light conditions. Moreover, your phone is a necessary tool for emergencies to stay connected and call for help if required.
Where to Go
All around the world, there are many places that you might consider for your biking journey. This is dependent on what type of trip you want and your skill level. You might wish to explore closer to home, in your own country, or embark on an international adventure across the world. Mountainous regions like the Alps, the Rockies, or the Himalayas, are more suitable for more experienced bikers who enjoy a challenge. For an easier and more flat route, you might consider coastal areas with sea views like California, Vietnam, or the Mediterranean. National parks are also a popular choice offering challenging terrains and beautiful natural scenes. Remember that if you do go abroad, then it will be a holiday of sorts, so pick a choice that is suited to your vacation preference.
Where to Stay
The type of accommodation you choose will depend on the experience you are looking for, comfort, and budget. The cheapest option is to go camping, you may decide between wild camping or finding campgrounds which will have showers and restrooms. Another budget-friendly option is to opt for hostels or guesthouses. For further comfort and if you have a higher budget, then you can always stay
in hotels, Airbnbs, or rentals.
Solo bicycle touring is a journey of self-discovery that can help you to challenge yourself and experience holidaying differently. Hopefully, this checklist will inspire you to begin planning your own cycling tour. At the end of the day, it is essential to carefully plan and be safe before starting your travels.