Bike Touring provides an exceptional way for individual adventure travelers to find new places, meet new people, and confront new personal challenges anywhere in the world. There’s absolutely no feeling on earth like barreling down a tall mountain keeping pace with the visitors while the world around you turns into a blue and the wind becomes loudly. Bike touring is definitely not for everyone, here is a fast look at a few of the benefits and challenges of visiting the world on two wheels on your power.
PROS: Why bicycle touring is the best way to see the world
Bikes cause you to relatable and eloquent: Just about everyone everywhere on earth has had or now has a bike. Much more universal than cars or busses, everyone remembers the feeling of liberty they felt the first time they rode with no training wheels, the magic of an expanded universe their first bicycle offered them. On a bike tour, you can expect to be greeted with wonder and joy by complete strangers every single day of your journey. People are going to want to know where you are going, where you’re, just how much the bike weighs, and more. And behind every query, you will discover a combination of admiration and disbelief in addition to the nagging occasionally unspoken thought -“I wonder if I could do this” More than anything else, traveling to a bike is a fantastic way to meet people.
On my travels, I have had lunch with bikers, truckers, farmers, and scientists all attracted to me from the website of my loaded touring bike outside a diner and my helmet sitting on the table. If you like meeting people, bike touring is the best way to determine and meet the entire world around you.
Traveling by bicycle is quite cheap: there’s a joke among touring cyclists that people make poor candidates for would be thieves since everyone”knows” no one with any money whatsoever would willingly ride a bike that way. It’s mostly true also. If you travel by bike you save on rentals, gas, parking, insurance, maintenance and a host of additional fees the car tourists need to pay. As a result of low price hike/bike campsites, and touring cyclist networks, even home costs are less costly compared to people who travel by automobile. For anybody traveling on a budget, a bike is the cheapest and best way to go around.
On a bike excursion, you are able to go where cars can’t: Bicycle travel is growing more and more accessible every year. Many cities and nations in Europe are particularly well suited to bike travel, and even in the car-centric US, several long distance bike trails, and bike-friendly routes have been developed. The”Rails to Trails Conservancy” in particular works to convert older unused train and canal grades into multi-use paths ideal for biking. Two of the best are the Katy trail in Missouri and also the GAP/C&O route that runs 350 car-free miles out of Pittsburgh all the way into downtown Washington DC
You may go slower and find out: In a world where cars are too quick, and walking is too slow, Bicycle travel moves in just the right place. Seeing the planet in 10mph gives you time to observe the little items that get lost in the blur from inside a vehicle. You can view more, odor more (maybe not always a fantastic thing) and hear much more than you’d otherwise, and when you happen upon something quite cool – like a lot of Elk standing in a field – you can just roll off the side of the street, stop and watch them for some time. Nearly everyone wants to slow down and appreciate life a little more – on a bike you can.
You might even get in shape: Probably the most obvious component of cycling is general fitness. On a tour you will ride anywhere from 40-60 mph – maybe, even more, when you get in the groove – and even when you’re not riding you’ll spend more time walking from place to place. You sleep better get more fresh air and burn off hundreds of calories supplying you with guilt-free dishes at the close of every single day.
Yep, bicycle touring is a hell of a fantastic way to see the world. Before you begin packing your panniers though, there are a few disadvantages to traveling by bike, be sure to consider it over and determine if bicycle touring is right for you, here are a few of the drawbacks.
CONS: Why bike touring sucks.
You may cover less ground daily: If you’re in a rush, or the kind who feels that the ideal travel is one which crams the maximum sightseeing into daily, bicycle touring will not be for you. When some cyclists do put in rather large mileage times, for most, the delight of watching and riding the world in a leisurely pace is what bike traveling is all about.
You might don’t: Especially for people on brief excursions, you’ll most likely take in fewer”touristy” things. If you are already in great biking shape, exhaustion will be less of a variable on all but the windiest or hilliest of days, but because the purpose of a bicycle tour would be to ride a bicycle, overall you will have less time to spend ‘normal’ tourist activities.
Security will likely be a concern: motorcycle theft is a fact when everything you require for your excursion is on the back of your bike you’re much more vulnerable to thieves. Theft gets less of a problem in rural areas than in cities, as well as in towns a heavy, fully loaded touring bicycle is not a fantastic opportunity for would-be thieves, a lot of whom are searching for an easy quick grab and move targets. Fantastic locks and mismatched equipment are excellent theft deterrents, but when everything you need to get through the day is strapped into a bike, some part of your brain will always be thinking if it’s secure whenever it’s from sight.
Not anywhere is put up for bicycle travel: While the streets in the US are getting more bike friendly, and paths and bicycle routes abound, this is still the land of the vehicle. In rural areas there may be long distances between cities and in the city traffic congestion and annoyed or careless drivers may make cycling a struggle, to say the least.
Bike touring is harder than motorized traveling: On a bicycle, everything has a possible impact on your day, sudden storms, mountains, street closures, and wind can all change your plans in an instant, and flaws that may affect car travel plans by one hour or two may cost you a day in extra riding. Many seasoned cyclists learn to simply’roll with it’ knowing that the unexpected is a part of the joy of a journey, but if you have limited time to your journey, a long detour, foul weather, or busted gear could dramatically change your plans or even end the trip prematurely.