The time for summer, travel and vacations has come. Someone will not invent anything new and will go to warm countries. But, for sure, there are those who want to feel the extreme of the bike ride, to see other cities and countries not from a car window or an airplane window. Long distance cycling will leave memories for a lifetime. By spinning the pedals, you will see the most interesting places from the inside. In addition, such a vehicle solves many problems associated with a car, with parking, for example. Driving around an unfamiliar city, you have the opportunity to explore every corner. The opinion is fundamentally wrong that you can't go far on two wheels. The racer from Slovakia Marko Balo proved the opposite, having traveled 890 kilometers in a day. This person could very well overtake the car.
Every year the number of fans of long cycling trips grows. But don't think that buying a brand new bike a couple of weeks ago will drive 2,000 km. Long cycling trips are the result of training and endurance development. Of course, the vehicle plays an important role. There can be no trifles here, everything should be thought out: from mechanical components, for example, shock absorption on a fork, to sitting comfort. Do not forget to take care of a set of spare parts and tools. You have to pedal more than one hundred kilometers and you need to be ready for everything. It's good if the breakdown happened within walking distance from the service, but if you have the right bike plus things on your back?
Their technical characteristics are different. For example, road bikes are fitted with narrow tires and are lightweight. Mountain, on the contrary, are equipped with rough massive wheels. Disputes about which one is better to go on a trip are ongoing. Of course, real road models do not come with a trunk or wheels for carrying heavy loads. We will take a look at hybrid bikes.
BMX belongs to the mountain series. This is a highly specialized stunt bike. It has a number of features: wheels of small diameter - up to 20 inches, equipped with pegs, special additional stops. The design of the steering wheel allows you to rotate it around its axis, thanks to the installed hydro-rotor brakes. The system allows rotation without brake cables. BMX has a lot of weight, a massive frame and other characteristics of bike models for heavy loads. It is not suitable for long journeys.
A hybrid (cross bike) is a good choice for long distance travel. This is the result of the combination of mountain and road types. The bike has collected their main advantages. As a rule, they are equipped with massive, up to 28 inches, wheels. This size allows the hybrid to enjoy comfortable long journeys on the roads in the city, or off-road in the countryside. Disc brakes are installed on more expensive varieties of this class. The high frame provides a more comfortable fit, reduces stress on the spine and arms. Suspension fork, facilitates off-road driving. Often these bicycles are equipped with additional luggage racks and various lighting gadgets. They are made of reliable, durable materials, capable of withstanding heavy loads.
Travel bikes are equipped with extra racks
Touring bikes (cyclocros) are another good choice for multi-day trips. The massive frame of a touring bike and the same wheels make it possible to move around any terrain. They are often equipped with additional places for backpacks, trunks, reflectors. Cyclocross is similar to road cycling, however, it is heavier with a strong frame. It's hard to say which one is better for a long trip, touring or cross-country. You need to try it yourself. The first one will appeal to fans of mountain models, and the second - to road models.
Highway - well, you can't go to distant countries on this one. It is designed for high speed driving on very flat surfaces. Large, narrow wheels are unlikely to withstand off-road loads. Also, a special design of the steering wheel bent into a ram's horn. It provides the cyclist with the lowest possible riding position. Everything to achieve high aerodynamics and speed. Of course, this type is not intended for hiking trips. It is suitable if you decide to participate in city competitions.
All people love to travel, but some prefer to get to the place by transport, while others prefer their own power. These people can be divided into 2 categories - those who prefer to walk with a backpack on their back, and those who like to travel by bike.
Airplanes and trains will not bring the joy that they get while traveling on their own.
To experience all the delights of travel, enjoy the process and not miss a single landscape, it is best to move around by bike.
Cycling tourism has recently become popular not only in Europe, but also in Russia.
However, before you go on a hike, you should choose the right iron horse. The success of your journey will largely depend on the bike.
If you are preparing for a long journey, you need to prepare not only luggage, but also transport. At the same time, it should be understood that not every bike can withstand a long run.
In addition to reliability, a bicycle for a long trip must have suitable characteristics that ensure a comfortable ride, both on asphalt and off-road.
In addition, you need to choose such a bike so that in the event of a breakdown, you can quickly repair it or find a new spare part.
As you can see, in order for your trip to be crowned with success and leave only pleasant impressions, preparation is necessary.
Let's take a look at how to choose a bike for long-distance travel, and start with its varieties.
There are three main types of bicycles:
Bike tour - the opportunity to see more in less time spent. What could be better for a traveler looking for an exciting adventure? So that your goal is not a dream, but a reality, schedule a date for your trip and start active preparation. This is where our small note on useful tips for everyone who wants to travel by bike will help you!
The style of your trip. Some decide to take advantage of the offers of travel agencies, others decide to make an independent route, both in cities and along mountain paths. What will be your choice - you decide for yourself.
Your decision can be strongly influenced by the desire to relax in comfort in hotels, or you will be ready to stock up on all the necessary equipment, with camping nights, cooking over a fire, far from civilization.
Related article: Traveling by bus in comfort! Rules for survival on the trip.
The best weather for cycling is no cold, rain or heat.
At a temperature of +20, your trips will be very comfortable, but it is worth remembering about the wind, which has a huge impact on overcoming even the simplest sections of the road. Strong gusts and headwinds are a serious obstacle to travel. Before starting your trip, check the weather forecast and a map of the movement of atmospheric fronts. This will help you coordinate your route in case of unexpected weather surprises. If you have already hit the road, and the forecast for tomorrow does not bode well, split part of the route for other days so as not to be behind schedule and at the same time not be exhausted, resisting the weather conditions.
Related article: How to survive on a hike: secrets of camping in a tent.
The minimum set of tools. You should definitely learn how to do minor repairs yourself and be able to debug your bike. A set of wrenches, a pump, chain oil, spare cameras and patches are the essentials for your trip.
A minimum stock of tools will help tighten up the brakes and tighten the bolts.
Clothes. Your clothes should be comfortable and of high quality. A special sports bike uniform will allow you to travel with comfort, such clothes will not rub you and soar, but on the contrary, will allow the body to breathe, it will dry quickly and wick away moisture itself. Be sure to have waterproof closed clothing with you, a raincoat can only create inconvenience and develop in the wind, letting moisture inside.
It is equally important to have a headgear to protect your head from the scorching sun and prevent heat or sunstroke.
Hope readers of the kotovski site. et had time to read my report on the Rome-Pisa bike trip. Accordingly, some people have a completely legitimate question: why is it needed, if you can get on the car and drive the distance with much more comfort. This question, however, I receive with enviable regularity, as soon as we talk about cycling tourism.
I'll try to collect in one note all the reasons that induce me to engage in this strange hobby. Now, analyzing desires, I come to the conclusion that my passion for the road is not an acquired virus, but a congenital mental illness.
From early childhood I wanted to go somewhere, the anticipation of the road always brought the most positive emotions. I remember when I was ten years old, I almost made my first "bike trip", from the village where I was staying with my grandmother, home to the city.
Fortunately, the adults noticed and intercepted as I drove a few kilometers. We were surprised when we looked at the equipment: a supply of food for several days, a map and a tool.
In my adult life, there was no place for a bicycle, but the passion for the road did not disappear, which resulted in a long-term "tour" abroad, where I managed to live and work. Moving by car or public transport was pleasing, but there was always a feeling that something was missing. It's like playing a computer game: very interesting, but not really.
But one day I rediscovered the bicycle. And he rediscovered the world for himself. I will try to cover the main points of why I am now cycling. The list is not sorted by importance, since the importance of this or that item may vary at different periods of life.
I sometimes hear this opinion about my cycling trips: "You haven't seen anything, pedaled all day, your whole life passed by."
I try not to argue with such statements, because ten years ago I myself said something like that. I would just like to clarify: in my opinion, it is in the movement on a bicycle that there is life.
Imagine a narrow village road lost in the endless fields of Provence. You slowly pedal your bike, you are in no hurry, and there is only the horizon in front of you. Absolute peace and quiet.
Cycling is a great way to spend your vacation. First, while resting, you play sports. Secondly, eco-travel is becoming more popular every year. Many European cycling routes have been specially designed to provide cyclists with as many cultural and natural attractions as possible.
Many travelers refuse multi-day cycling trips, because they think that they cannot overcome all these kilometers. Every time I post photos from my trips or write reports, I get comments of approximately the same content: “Wow, you are athletes!”, “I definitely would never have been able to!”, “You probably took a long time to prepare for this?” In fact, cycling tours are available to every healthy person, you just need to follow some rules.
Cycling in Europe is practiced by young and old. Gender, age and even the level of physical fitness do not matter. While traveling, you can easily meet both a cheerful company of pensioners and a family with children.
If the last time you got on a bike was 6 years old (and it was “Kama”), then it is best to rent a bike and brush up on your skills. You can’t forget how to ride, but you don’t need to know how gear changes or the brakes work in modern models. A couple of days is enough to feel confident enough in the saddle for a bike ride.
If you have the time and desire, start skating several times a week. It is best to do this somewhere in the park so as not to bother passers-by on the sidewalk. Do not go out on the road unless you are on your bike after a long break! It is better to ride slowly, without making a race. Any other cardio workout will help you prepare for your trip.
By bike, of course! The only question is whether to carry your bike or use a bike rental upon arrival. If you take your bike with you, then you need to clarify the rules for transporting sports baggage with the airline. I personally prefer rentals, as my bike is not so cool and unique to carry with me. In addition, this entails certain inconveniences: somewhere you have to pay for a bike, the airline needs to be warned about such baggage, a large one needs to be disassembled and packed.
Many people swear at the quality of rental bicycles, but, firstly, you need to choose more carefully, and, secondly, not a single rental bike has prevented me from covering my 1000 kilometers per trip.
How to choose a rental?