If you are thinking about taking a biking tour holiday this summer, you are in good company. More and more people are discovering the pleasures of this kind of active holiday. For most people, sitting on the beach getting burnt and putting on weight isn’t what they want to do for a week. We want to be active, and we want to see more of the countries we are visiting. Cutting out all the travelling by car also makes for a cheaper holiday.
Having a cycling holiday in France is a great way to help boost your fitness or weight loss program. There are packages available from places like www.thechaingang.co.uk to suit most keen cyclists. You can also find cycle tours to suit those who don’t cycle very often. Some routes have several choices. You can choose the shorter, flatter routes, or take on a challenging, rugged and longer distance track. The choice is yours. Of course, there are always plenty of wonderful things to see along the way.
If you are taking your own bicycle rather than hiring one, there is plenty of kit you can buy to make your holiday easier. If you are making your own tour instead of booking with an operator, you will need to manage your own luggage. You can try panniers, but some bikes cannot take the bolts to secure them. If you are more of a racer, a trailer may not be your cup of tea either. Rucksacks are the traditional choice for carrying your belongings while riding a bike, but you can get an uncomfortable, sweaty back. After a week of this you may start suffering skin complaints too.
Think about the tyres you are going to need, and ensure they are fully inflated. For most tours, road tyres are the best option. Many people prefer a completely different bike frame for their off-road mountain biking anyway. Check the brakes are in excellent condition and working well too. You will be on unfamiliar tracks and roads so you may need to use them once or twice. Also, make sure the gears are in good condition and changing nicely.
Your choice of clothing while on a bike tour may make the difference between a two-day ride and being able to keep going all week. Lycra shorts are the best choice, even if you hide them under other clothes. They avoid chaffing and don’t make you sweaty like heavier materials. You will need sunglasses and your cycle helmet too. Consider keeping your shoulders covered as you can be very prone to sunburn when riding your bicycle.
Pack an emergency toolkit in case the bike suffers some wear and tear on the journey. You’ll need a puncture repair kit with a tyre lever and spanners for each of your bolt sizes. A chain tool and Allan key set are always handy too. Pack a towel to dry off your bike should you get caught in the rain. Also, remember your high-visibility gear and bicycle lights should you need to move after dark.