Ok, do you like the idea of a cycling holiday but do not know where to start? On the internet do you find too much information which is a little approximate and sometimes contradictory? Well, then here I will try to be schematic and concise with some tip about how to organise your first cycling trip!
The good news is that, for a simple trip for a weekend or a week, you do not need much, either in terms of money, nor organisational effort. The most valuable resource, as always in life and even more in travel, is time. Take the time to read something about your destination, study some maps and inquire as to what you might see or where to sleep. The same applies during the journey: do not run about too much, trying to do the most possible on the way, but try to take advantage of the “slowness” of the medium in your favor. Do not spend money, spend time.
So, coming to the point, what do you need?
1) The bicycle
Yes, granted. But what kind of bike? It is perhaps the most commonly asked question on the web, and unfortunately I often read absurd advice. Yes, 1000US$ (and more!) bicycles are indispensable for those who want to travel, and we already discussed about this topic few weeks ago…
Actually, the one that you have in the garage is probably ok. It’s enough to have a rack, some speed change, and intact wheels. If you do not have one, get a loan of one! To begin with, basically, the so-called “city bike” goes more than well (avoiding perhaps those for €50 that you find at the supermarket). If then you become passionate about it, there will be time to consider a more demanding purchase.
2) The baggage
When cycling, you carry the baggage in specific bags that attach to the side of the rack. Or there are those who attach a cart behind the bike, but it’s not exactly the easiest way to start. Forget backpacks, fanny packs or shoulder straps, you need the bike to carry the weight. Therefore, you need some travel bags. This is one of the few objects that really is worth spending a few euro more; quality bags are expensive, but they are very resistant to water, sun and wear, if kept well, you can leave them as an inheritance to your grandchildren. Buy them in sporting goods stores or online for those specific to cycling, where you will find the best brands more easily. With two bags of at least 20 liters you can do almost everything from short trips to long ones, and are perfect even going to the grocery store (I recommend it!). Cycling bags
3) A destination
There is no trip without a destination… but when cycling it is almost always what is in the middle of speeches. As a first goal, the ideal is not to go too far: go straight from home, or take a regional train (on which you can load a bike). If something goes wrong, you can easily go back. A weekend at the beach out of season can be a good idea, or a ride around a mountain lake; avoid big cities. Take advice on a route from a friend, search the Internet, or create it yourself with Google maps or one of the many online mapping sites; consider that 40-50 km a day is feasible even for those who have not touched a bike for months. Along the low-traffic country roads or long-distance cycle paths (unfortunately they are not very common in Italy). Try to go on streets that you already know and you have done with the car, on a bicycle they will appear completely different! A trip to the beach
Well, you do not need anything else. Load some spare clothes, a bag with soap, toothbrush, tube and bicycle pump, and set off without thinking too much about it! The best is yet to come…
Next week the second part of this article will be posted. Absolutely do not miss it! If you are starting your first trip this Sunday then it will be useful to analyze how it went and what you could improve.