How to Prepare for a Weekend Cycling Trip
A two-day bicycling trip during weekend to explore the beautiful countryside is always a great activity to do with friends and family, especially in summer time. You can maintain a group of 3 to 4 keep everything well-planed and under control while still having lots of fun. This article will demonstrate all essential tips to prepare a safe and fun weekend bicycling trip.
Folding mountain bikes are great choices for long-distance traveling.
Step 1: Plan your routes ahead
This is the first thing you always should do before any trip: deciding where to go and how to get there with your bicycles. If there are friends joining the trip, the whole group should together do research, brainstorm and give ideas of which routes you should tackle. Each member may have different health condition, so take that into consideration as well when planning the route.
There are a couple of reasons why I need to plan the route before preparing for anything else:
- You will be able to know the road conditions and therefore get equipped with the right vehicle.
- The cycling route also determines what to prepare next for the trip, such as clothing, equipment, etc.
Nowadays there are a lot of free online resources you can use as reference or take into consideration. If you are still not sure about the cycling route you will take, my advice is sign up an account on a local bicycling or travelling websites where the experienced are willing to share their tips and advice.
Step 2: Plan overnight stops properly
It is most likely that you need to take overnight stops during your trip, so it's (again) always smart to plan that ahead. You can rent hostels on the way or it's actually more fun to do camping. If the weather allows, camping is also a great option which gives so much fun and brings the adventurous feeling.
First of all, you need to plan the estimated distance towards the stop. Then how long it will take to start off cycling from the stop to the next destination. This is as important as planing your routes so take it seriously.
More importantly, you always should make a back-up plan just in case things don't go the way you expect.
Step 3: Choose a suitable bicycle and inspect it carefully
So now after knowing what kind of roads you will be likely to ride on (for example, whether they are mostly flat or uphills and downhills), you can easily pick a suitable bicycle.
For rough cycling routes, it is recommended to use mountain bikes to tackle all the ups and downs of the street. If the trip is more easy going with paved roads, a folding bike is absolutely a convenient choice since it's light to carry and fun to ride. Especially if the plan includes using public transportation like buses or trains, a bicycle that can be easily folded is so convenient for travelers.
When finally come uping with the conclusion of what bicycle would be used for the trip, you will need to inspect it carefully and see if there are any parts that require maintenance or replacement. It is no fun to get into any technical problems with your bike while being on the road.
If you are knowledgeable about bicycle maintenance or fixing, you can totally do it at home. If you are not quite confident about my skills, ask a skillful friend to help out or bring your bike to a repair shop for check up.
Step 4: Do some training
If you ride bicycles a lot everyday and are used to long commuting, a weekend trip on bicycles might be just a piece of cake for you.
But if you don't cycle quite often, I'd recommend you to at least practice a month before the trip to strengthen your stamina and skills.
Also if this is just your first trip, don't take risks by choosing rough cycling routes. Try to plan an easy, flat and paved route to help yourself.
Step 5: Pack your stuff
It would be so easy if you just get on a plane or a train and head straight to the destination. But no, travelling with a bicycle will require you to plan carefully of what to pack and not. This can be fun yet quite intimidating because you may end up under or over packing.
There are a few main things below for you to consider when packing for your trip. Packing is actually quite versatile depending on each individual's needs and wants. But probably you should only carry what you actually need, not what you want, otherwise heavy packing might tear you.
- CLOTHING: take one set of suitable outdoor clothing that I will wear while cycling. If the trip is longer than a weekend, I might consider taking two sets. Also waterproof jackets and trousers are my priorities in the clothing list. Weather is also an important factor that decides how you should pack your clothes, so check the weather forecast for better preparation.
- EQUIPMENT: It is wise to carry a tool kit just in case you need to fix your bike while there is no repair shop around. If your cycling route is rough, you might want to take a spare tire.
- FOOD & DRINKS: If you plan to stop by restaurants, it is still necessary to pack some snacks. Plenty of water is also needed to keep you hydrated all the time.
Check out this video below for more packing ideas:
Above is a few quick tips you can absolutely apply for preparing a weekend bicycling trip. There are probably more things you need to consider but these are at least the most basis. If this is your first trip, it's more recommended to do it in a small group of partners so you always have somebody back you up. And after a few trips, you will get more experiences and then can totally ride down the road by yourself. Enjoy!