We’re increasingly becoming a global community of pedalling power, and this resurgence has extended not only to commuting by bike, but also holidaying by bike.
We’ve pulled together some easy background reading on cycling tours but our number one recommendation would be to consider travel insurance. None of us wants to go away expecting the worst, but we should all be prepared for eventualities as accidents can happen, especially if you’re riding on a different side of the road or through unfamiliar terrain/ landscapes.
Cycling Tours – The Snapshot
There is no such thing as a cookie cut-out cycling tour! The location you wish to ride through, the type of riding you wish to do and the effort involved will help inform the type of cycling tour you do. In most cases, cycling tours will take place on sealed roads, which is when touring cycles come in handy. These are designed specifically for the job of a cycling tour and therefore keep long rides as comfy as possible, but also enable you to carry luggage. Road cycles will normally be used for more challenging cycling tours that move at a harder/faster pace and are usually undertaken by intermediate – advanced riders. Those keen to finesse their skills off-terrain will be more suited to an off-road tour with plenty of obstacles and challenges.
Cycling Types – Guided or Self-Guided
Are you after a cycling tour that you pretty much do under your own steam (so self-guided), or one that is organised by others (guided)? These are the two key types of cycling tours. A bonus for guided cycling tours is they mean you pretty much step away from the organisation of things and the day-to-day running. You leave it in someone else’s hands and you rely on their local knowledge and expertise so you have a really authentic experience. That said if you’re the type of person who likes to change their mind depending on how they wake up, then guided cycling tours might not be the way for you (although that said there are packages that certainly provide down-time and/or the option to go off and do other activities). In contrast, self-guided tours really empower you to plan your cycling tour destiny! They also mean that you can make changes at the drop of a hat, but bear in mind other potential restrictions you can’t control, such as accommodation availability/ last minute cancellation policies etc.
Cycling Spots – Where to Go?
If you think cycling tours and straight away you think of France, then you wouldn’t be alone! This beautiful country is not only one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, but one of the world’s most popular cycling destinations as well! And why wouldn’t it be, when it is home to the most famous bike race on the planet – the revered Tour de France. One of the enticing features of this country is the choice in landscapes and regional diversity. You might choose to cycle incredibly challenging mountains, or you might prefer to spin your way through orchards and vineyards. Maybe you really want to get to know some historic villages and cities – France has it all.
Going overseas for a cycling tour doesn’t have to mean investing in a long-haul flight to Europe. Next door in Australia are some world-class cycling destinations, including the Great Ocean Road, the Victorian Alps, the red sands of the Northern Territory, the lush hinterlands of Queensland, the sweeping coastal vistas or charming vineyards of South Australia and West Australia. Tassie is also a terrific island for cycling tours – although that state can pack a punch when it comes to some spiky hills along the way!
But why even bother about a flight when we have such incredible options for cycling tours right here at home? Up there as one of the most stunning countries on the planet, New Zealand has plenty to offer the cycling holiday maker, including downhill biking, tours through pastures and valleys criss-crossed with those iconic crystal clear rivers and streams, magic snow-capped peaks in the background. It’s all right here on our doorstep and cycling tours can be one of the best ways to explore our country!