Bike Holiday – Choosing the right holiday for you
Ask anyone why they cycle, and one of the responses is invariably because they get to see things they wouldn’t normally appreciate from the car.
When it comes to a bike holiday, this is certainly the case. Whether your bunch is heading off to conquer mountains, you’re planning more of a gentle amble, or anything in-between – a cycling holiday will certainly enable you to get out and appreciate the scenery, the weather and the people. And let’s not forget – tucking into some sensational local meals is not only a pleasure, it’s a necessary fuel stop!
So – what things should you factor in when determining the right bike holiday for you?
A smashfest or something more sedate?
Be realistic about your fitness level. There’s surely no better motivation than an amazing cycling holiday to get you out of bed and on the bike to train. But if you haven’t put in the preparation, don’t expect to be able to scale massive mountains or keep up endurance levels across several days. Plan a bike holiday that you know is achievable, otherwise things could go very pear shaped once the spinning starts, and your enjoyment could be compromised.
How much do you have to budget for the cycling holiday? In most instances a bike holiday overseas is going to cost more than something regional or interstate. A fully catered for, fully supported bike tour that includes everything from meals to airport transfers might seem expensive. In fact it’s worth crunching the figures as it could end up being more affordable than a base-level package that sees added extra costs creep in on a daily basis.
Do you want to join an established bike holiday tour company, or are you planning to organise everything yourself? Sometimes the cost in time spent organising every minute detail can actually be overwhelming, particularly if the trip is to an overseas destination you’ve never visited before. Remember to factor in essentials such as bike holiday insurance – not all standard holiday insurance policies may cover certain types of cycling (e.g. anything that involves an official bike race or perhaps off-road mountain biking etc), so it’s wise to do your research and make sure you’re fully covered. Another cost to be mindful of is the potential for your air carrier to charge extra for bike handling.
The season in which you’re traveling could also impact the cost of your bike holiday. For instance, if you plan to revolve your trip around a major bike event, such as any of the three Grand Tours in Europe, then anticipate higher costs for things such as hotel accommodation. If you are planning this sort of a trip, then factor in the enormous international popularity of such events and organise things well in advance, otherwise you may find yourself sleeping out in a field with your bike!
Short and sweet or something extended?
It goes without saying that the duration of your bike holiday is something to consider. Firstly – will the entire holiday be spent cycling, or would you prefer to dice things up a bit and do some driving, or catch a few trains etc? Perhaps you’re planning quite a lengthy trip, but only a small portion of it will be spent riding? Alternately, you may be organising a bike holiday that is 100% cycling. If this is the case, then again depending on your fitness it could be worthwhile factoring in some rest days or at the very least some lighter bike riding sessions.
Bike holidays can be some of the most inspiring, invigorating, memorable trips you can take. So whatever type of bike holiday you’re planning – have a ball!