The global lockdown situation may have prevented you from cycling your favourite and usual routes, which may have forced you to seek our brand new areas and locations to put your two wheels to use!
Naturally, this may have resulted in you tackling some cycling terrain you might not be used to. But now that the lockdown has been lifted to include as much exercise as you would like each day, in whatever form as you see fit (as long as you maintain social distancing rules) there’s nothing stopping you from trying out other types of cycling terrain too! Who knows, you might even find a new favourite or a challenge you can’t wait to conquer.
At Freewheel Holidays many of our amazing cycling holidays in Europe will give you the chance to sample a whole host of different terrains and we can’t wait for the day we get to take you to the destination of your dreams once again!
With this in mind here are some cycling terrains you may encounter:
This one is obvious, but it’s no surprise that many people simply won’t even entertain the idea of cycling on a road. Why? Safety of course.
Many cyclists who enjoy riding on more countrified routes will encounter far fewer vehicles than those cycling on an active road. But cycling on the road does come with numerous advantages.
Given just how important the roads are to cars travelling safely, it’s imperative that roads are kept in suitable shape for regular vehicle use so they don’t become a hazard to any drivers. This means many of the roads you’ll find yourself on, while open to vehicles, are often well-kept by the local council, or at the least better kept than some of the more abandoned routes you may find. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye-out for potholes though!
So if you’ve been putting it off, as long as you follow all the relative safety rules involved in road cycling, there’s absolutely no reason cycling by road can’t be an enjoyable and relaxed cycling experience.
Grass & hills
For something a bit more arduous you could try cycling further afield (pun intended) and swap your current track for some grassier inclines and declines.
Cycling over gloriously-green grassy hills is an idyllic image but is more difficult in practice than other terrains you’ll be used to. Depending on the length of the grass or the steepness of the hill, you’ll struggle to pedal much more and encounter considerable resistance to your wheels, which may not deal with the terrain very well.
This is why many people who enjoy off-road cycling often stick to more rugged wheels or even fat bikes to plough their way through almost any obstacle. If, however, you do end up cycling through some more out-of-the-way grassy fields, the spectacular views are often worth the extra effort.
Gravel & Stones
Those of you used to cycling along some more countrified routes will be used to this.
Gravel and stones have often been seen as an ideal foothold for walkers on countrified routes as they help mask any unevenness on the path. They’re pretty cheap, too. Much cheaper than having to re-pave entire stretches of walkways. They don’t, however, make it an easy ride for cyclists all the time. The consistent movement under the wheels can often make it difficult to control your bicycle, especially if you’re on a steep decline.
It’ll test your strength, too; The constant jagged movements of your handlebars and wheels will cause your muscles to contract to counteract the movement and keep you on the straight and narrow. Be sure your bike is suited to this type of terrain before you dive in, as thinner and flimsier wheels won’t handle it very well.
Speaking of which...
If you dared try to tackle thick mud in something like a road bike you may literally find yourself stuck in the mud!
When there is regular rainfall (which is commonplace here!) there is always the possibility of certain ground becoming sticky and stodgy, creating problems for countless cyclists looking to ride a particular route.
However, it can also be seen as a challenge and many cyclists the world over seek out these tougher conditions and use them to perfect their off-road cycling skills, build stamina and even test their mental fortitude. Trying to control an ever-altering terrain can be difficult (and messy!) challenge, but for those capable and brave enough to give it a go, it’ll be one more thing ticked off your cycling bucket list!
Want to experience some different cycling terrain on your next cycling holiday? Keep your eyes on @FreewheelHols for all the latest updates as to when we will be returning to our usual day-to-day activities!