Enjoying the warm summer sun or winding along paths in colourful autumn forests - there's no wrong season for a bike tour. But no matter when and where you go, the right planning is essential for a successful tour. Find out how to prepare yourself and what you need to consider along the way.
Tips from the expert: Martin Moschek reveals what matters
The enthusiastic hobby cyclist Martin Moschek reports from his bike tour Biketour Global blog about his exciting trips all over the world. Since 1991 he has been on the road and has travelled 47 countries and over more than 58,000 km. In an interview, he sheds light on how to plan a cycling trip of several days.
A longer bike tour needs to be well thought out. The right preparation and planning will determine the bike tour’s success.
Choosing the right route
The question of where to go is the most important. Different regions present different challenges. Choosing the appropriate route is dependent on your fitness level and your bike’s ruggedness with different road surfaces.
No matter where the journey takes you: inform yourself in advance about the route.
Particularly on tours with children, you should make sure that there are cycle paths or that the route leads through areas with no traffic.
Mr. Moschek tells us which other criteria influence the choice of route:
Particularly on cycle tours lasting several days, the ride length will determine accommodations and where to stop for the night. Route destinations should be adapted to the route according to your personal fitness.
No matter where you go, good navigation is crucial for a successful ride.
Thanks to the altimeter and distance meter in Google Maps, routes can be planned quickly and easily in advance.
Practical smartphone mounts for the handlebars let you navigate on the move and save purchasing an expensive navigation system.
Plan B - When the weather doesn't cooperate.
One problem with planning a tour is not knowing the weather in advance. Unexpected showers or prolonged periods of rain can quickly thwart a plan. You should always have a plan B ready just in case.
Give Yourself a Breather
Be sure to give yourself days to sit back and rest. This helps you recharge your batteries and gives you time to take in the sights and other cultural highlights of the trip. The challenge is to create an optimal balance between recreation and riding.
So that you don't have to struggle to find a suitable hostel when dusk falls and pay overpriced rates, you should thoroughly plan the number and duration of your overnight stays in advance and find and compare appropriate hotel offers or campsites.
Be Prepared: The Right Clothing for Every Weather
The layering principle, putting on many layers and taking layers off as needed is perfectly suitable for cycling.
Thin functional underwear quickly removes moisture and keeps you from freezing when you sweat. Depending on the temperature, you'll want one or more layers of outerwear, such as a T-shirt or a thin sweater. The top layer should be a jacket made of a water-resistant, breathable material that protects you from both wind and rain.
With our online product designer, you can design your individual and professional sportswear in no time at all. Choose the design, colour and lettering you want and show everyone on the track what a great team you are.
The Right Equipment
The length of the bike tour determines how many bags you should take with you. If a simple backpack is enough for a day trip, you should upgrade accordingly if you are planning a cycle tour lasting several days.
The combination of saddlebags and handlebar bags has proven its worth. The correct weight distribution is decisive for riding comfort. Martin Moschek advises us as a rule of thumb:
What Should I Pack?
Whether beginner or experienced, you need to put special thought into packing. For group bike tours, you can split up the load between riders. Each rider should pack their own essentials, like money or phones.
The Maintenance Check
Adequate preparation for a bike tour must include a bike check, regardless of the length.
Noticing problems before they occur on the trail can take up valuable energy and time during a cycling tour. Your and other's safety is on the line.
Squeaky brakes, rusty chains or a poorly adjusted seat should be repaired and corrected in advance – a safety test before the start of the ride saves time and energy.
If you want to be on the safe side, take your bike to a specialist. Especially when it comes to multi-day tours, you’ll thank yourself.
Saddled Up: Let's go
Now get out the bike map and start planning. With our tips, nothing can stand between you and your trip. We thank Martin Moschek for the tips and tricks and wish him all the best.
Images: Cover image ©istock.com/ pong2519, Image 1,4,5 ©Martin Moschek, Image 2: ©istock.com/ piola666, Image 2: ©istock.com/ totalpics, Image 3: ©istock/ mihtiander, Image 6: ©istock.com/ humonia