As with anything in life, preparation is the key to success and ultimately enjoyment, if you prepare for your cycling holiday you are more likely to enjoy it more and get more from the whole experience. There are many different facets, but I will just look at some of the key ones in this article.
Find the right cycling holiday for you
The first main point is picking a cycling holiday that is suitable for you, so if you haven’t done it before, look for something that is suitable for a beginner. Freewheel offers a large number of tours that will fit a complete beginner to an expert leisure cyclist. Think about a country you would like to visit; Central Europe offers a wide range of cycling with a variety of scenery and places to visit. Freewheel make it easy for you by doing all the organising for you. From your bike to the hotels, route maps, and support if anything goes awry. This means you can focus on enjoying yourself and making memories to take home. When doing your research, remember to look at the different levels of difficulty of each tour and read the descriptions carefully. I would suggest making a list of things that you want to include in order to help you choose – such as city stop, wine area, mountains or lots of for a foodie! This way you can tailor your holiday to your needs.
Once you have a tour in mind the next main point is being physically prepared. This doesn’t mean you have to set a tortuous fitness regime, but maybe setting yourself a target of doing a few rides per week. It’s a good idea for some of those rides to be on concurrent days and of the distance, you would ride on the tour (c.a. 50 kilometres per day). This way you know how it will feel to ride the distances and how your body will feel the day after. Doing it this way also has the advantage that you start the cycling holiday knowing you can cover the distances because you’ve done it already.
A key area is the comfort of your posterior. If you have a sore behind then the whole experience will be impacted and the fun factor dramatically reduced, so with a bit of careful thought beforehand this potential problem can be removed. Saddles are probably the most important and I will not go into detail here, you can see other articles I have written at www.ebike-europe.com which explain the points to consider. My top tip would be to buy proper cycling shorts that will keep chafing to a minimum and are a good fit for you. Other clothing you might consider buying are breathable shirts, jackets and comfortable shoes. Rainwear might also be a point to consider depending on the climate where you are going.
It is also good to acquaint yourself with the route of the tour, so as you know how long the days are, where the hilly sections might be but also what are the interesting points along the way. There might be historical or cultural areas you may wish to take a bit more time to look at. I particularly enjoy this part as it starts the excitement and anticipation of how the holiday will be.
Small detail preparation
Finally make a list of all the small but important extras such as a water bottle, camera or mobile phone for taking pictures of those amazing views, sunglasses, energy bars, tissues, lip salve, and sun cream. A little purse for cash, cards for smaller amounts are not always accepted in European countries. There are numerous small items that will be personal to you but a nuisance if forgotten.
As I said at the start, a little bit of time invested before you go will pay dividends on your cycling holiday. It also gets you into the holiday mode and excited about what is to come.