COMPLETE guide to CYCLING HOLIDAYS

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1. introduction to cycling holidays

Do you dream of cycling along Italian coastlines or South American mountain ranges? Do you pine to pedal past crystal clear waters, through dramatic canyons and charming villages? All of these things are possible when you holiday by bike. 

Combining your holidays with some heart-thumping exercise can be the perfect remedy to cooped-up lifestyles. Cycling trips can help you make the most of your travels while maintaining a healthy routine and packing in some mood-friendly endorphins at the same time.

Plus, it doesn't matter what level you're at or your expertise, whether you’re after a relaxed-ride or high-speed holiday, cycling vacations let you travel at your own pace.

Not convinced? Our guide can help. Keep reading to find out the pros and cons of a cycling tour, some ideas of where to go, and an expansive list of what to take with you. Get road-ready with our top safety tips and find out why you should get travel insurance for your trike-trip.

Keep on track for your cycling holiday. Our guide gets you geared up and ready to go!

 

2. two-wheeled wanderlust; is it for you?

two wheeled wanderlust

 

Let's be honest, a cycling soujourn isn’t for everyone, whether you’re worried about fitness levels, early starts or if you’ll even enjoy life in the saddle. Keep reading to learn about some of the pros and cons.

Why go on a cycling holiday?
 

destinationto take a break

Unless you’re going for gold in tour de france, why rush! There’s no time or distance goals to meet, this is a holiday where you are taking time to relax and chill. Cycling from destination to destination is slow travel at its slickest. 

 

destinationto really see the sites

The slow pace of cycling holidays really lets you soak in your surrounds and learn more about the culture. Cycling around and exploring can be one of the best ways to site-see.

 

destinationTo be guided by a local

There’s nothing better than learning from the locals. Even if you’re cycling from place to place, look up your destinations cycling tours and join-in for the real-deal experience.

 

destinationto meet new people

Enjoy chatting with other people on your travels. Arriving into town on a bike is always a good ice breaker and conversation starter. 

 

destination

to get out of your comfort zone

Riding on the roads exposes you to the elements and the unpredictable. Whether you sustain a flat in an unwelcome location or have to deal with an inconvenient toilet stop, have the courage to take it all in your stride.

 

Why you maybe shouldn't...

 

crossyou're not fit

It’s a holiday, so don’t feel like you need to conquer the Alps....but know that steep hills often come as standard on cycling holidays. Work up to your trip by going on regular two-wheeled weekends and build up your fitness so you’re road-ready when it comes to your bike break.

 

crossyou dislike road-riding

At some point you're bound to have to ride on the roads, not just quiet cycle paths. If you are worried about fast cars, hair pin bends, foriegn road signs, register for a road safety course to get clued-up before you depart for your trip.

 

crossYou're not a morning person

If your idea of a holiday is to lie in and soak up the rays then a cycling holiday may not be for you. Early starts are important to avoid the hottest part of the day and often the morning is the most magital time to ride too.

 

crossyou hate chaffing

If the idea of sitting on a bike more than 10 minutes causes you to break out in hives then it’s fair to say a trike hike is not for you.

 

crossYou're incapable of packing light

If you have to pack 5 pairs of shoes and the kitchen sink on every vacation then you’re going to struggle up those slopes!

 

 

 

 

3. destination inspiration

amsterdam cycing

 

Do you want to amble your way through the Tuscany hills or explore the forgotten temples of Ankor? No matter if you want to meander or mission it on your mountain bike, we’ve got some inspiring routes for all types of two-wheeled wanderlusts.

 

  • Tasmania
  • Tasmania

    The extraordinary 400km, 6-day coast ride from Launceston to Hobart is like no other. Skirt peninsulas, dramatic landscapes, white sandy beaches, relict rainforest, historic villages, azure waters, and famous national parks. Visit the World Heritage site of Port Arthur, unspoilt coastline of Wine Glass Bay, see the penguins at Bicheno, savour superb food & delicious wines from the Tamar Valley and explore the beauty of Freycinet National Park. Compared to the rugged mountainous west coast, the east is blessed with a calmer, mild climate with ever-changing scenery which is sure to scintillate the senses.

  • France

  •  Paris

    They say Paris is the city of love, and for the ultimate romantic two-wheeled weekend you can’t beat Paris. Exploring cities by bike can be one of the best ways to get around. Ride your way around le gay Paris though the Champs-Elysées, visit Notre Dame, the Louvre the Pompidou Centre and Bastille. Stop at a iconic Parisian cafe for coffww and cake in charming Monte marte. #delicious. The city’s self-service cycle hire scheme “Vélib” allows you to pick up and drop off bicycles throughout the city at over a thousand locations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

  • amsterdam
  • Amsterdam

    Did you know there are over 800,000 bicycles in Amsterdam? That’s more bikes than people! Cycling is one of the best ways to get around, and no visitor should leave without experiencing the city's world famous bike culture. Do as the locals do and explore the city going along the harbour, through the intriguing Red Light District, alongside the Anne Frank house and over the enchanting Skinny Bridge.

  • vermont

  • vermont

    Whether you get your kicks out of cycling over gentle, rolling slopes or steeper, twisting climbs, there’s something for every level of experience at the Kingdom Trails in the hills of northeast Vermont. Around 160km of trails run across the west and east side of Darling Hill and over Burke Mountain, with the most popular including Dead Moose Alley, Fenceline, Pines, Pastore Point, Pound Cake and Sidewinder.

  • uk
  • UK

    Ride 200 miles in four days seeing coastline and castles in the ye olde land of Blighty. From Newcastle follow the beautiful Northumberland coast past Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Castle to the border at Berwick-upon-Tweed, once inland ride to Melrose and over the Moorfoot Hills to Edinburgh in Bonne Scotland!

  • tuscany

  • tuscany

    If cycling and Chianti are the stuff of dreams, then this is the ride for you it seems! Tuscany has some of the most beautiful cycling landscape in Italy. Ride through rolling hills covered in olive groves, stop at vineyards and savour a glass of chianti, pedal through tiny villages and pause to eat Tuscan food and delicious pizza. Make sure you digest before you drive, stich on the Tuscan slopes is fun, said no cyclist ever!

 

  • NZ
  • New Zealand

    New Zealand has a plethora of trails for bike enthusiasts, but the alps to oceans trail is one of our favourites. Soak up epic scenery starting at the base of New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki/Mt Cook, you’ll pass glacial lakes, rivers and down to the ocean. Whether you’re an advanced cyclist or looking for a family-friendly adventure you can choose a path right for you. Take it easy and cover 312km over six days.

  • cuba

  • cuba

    See Cuba from two wheels as you cycle around this laidback Caribbean island. Travel the colourful streets of Havana, along dusty roads past farms and tobacco plantations in Vinales, beside vintage cars and horse-drawn carriages and get a taste of Cuba beyond the rum and cigar scene. Swim in Cayo Jutias’ clear blue waters, explore Che Guevara’s former HQ at the Cueva de los Portales and cool off in the bubbling river pools in Las Terrazas. Soak up the best of Cuba as you traverse this fascinating country.

  • destination inspiration
  • cambodia

    A three-week Cambodian cycling adventure is a lesson in self-discovery and spiritual awakening.  Travel from Tonle Sap Lake, down to Phnom Penh and then south to the coast. Cycle through rice paddies, over dusty roads and vibrant city streets seeing sites along the way like the world UNESCO site Ankor Wat, the Killing Fields and finally finishing up at the sandy beaches of the south. 

  • chile

  • chile

    Wine enthusiasts rejoice. The Ruta del Vino through Chile’s Colchagua Valley is the perfect balance of easy cycling, vineyard visits, overnights stays in colonial haciendas and in the towns of Santa Cruz and San Fernando. Riding in-between the coast and the foothills of the Andes – you’ll view a backdrop made for the movies.

 

4. what to pack?

pack cycling holiday

 

If you’re planning to travel by bike, there’s no getting around it—you’ll be carrying all your stuff. If there’s ever a time to listen to the saying ‘less is more’, it’s now! Whether you’re going for a weekend, week, or annual adventure, there’s a certain amount of stuff you’re going to need to bring. Here’s our list of the essentials.

  • pack
  • Tools & spares

     

  •  
  • Tire levers/patch kit
  • Spare tube/tire 
  • Mini-pump
  • Blue Loctite
  • Electrical tape
  • Spoke wrench
  • Spare spokes
  • Allen wrenches
  • Screwdriver
  • Chain tool
  • Brake cable
  • Derailleur cable
  • Extra nuts, bolts, wire
  • Assorted plastic zip ties
  • Small chain lube and rag
  • Bicycle light
  • Rearview mirror
  • Hoseclamp
  • Spare brake pads
  • Spare clipless-pedal-cleat bolts
  • Duct tape
  • pack

  • misc

     

  •  
  • Toiletries
  • Travel towel
  • Pocket knife 
  • Lightweight lock
  • Water carrying bladders 
  • High vis
  • First-aid kit
  • Bandannas
  • Sunglasses
  • Torch
  • Sewing kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunblock
  • Nylon cord
  • Bungie cords
  • Camera
  • Passport
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
    Phone
  • Maps/GPS
  •  
  • pack
  • Travel clothing

     

  •  
  • Comfortable shorts
  • Waterproof shoe covers
  • Comfortable pants 
  • Underwear (1 to 3 pair)
  • Sandals, thongs
  • Hat
  • Fleece jacket
  • Gloves
  • Swimmers
  •  
  • pack

  • cycling clothing

     

  •  
  • Helmet
  • Touring shoes
  • Cycling gloves
  • Cycling shorts (1 to 3 pair)
  • Socks — wool or synthetic (2 or 3 pair)
  • Leg warmers
  • Short-sleeved shirts (2)
  • Light, long-sleeved shirt
  • Rain gear, jacket and pants
  •  

  

 

 

 

 

5. how to stay safe

stay safe cycling

 

Cycling holidays should be all about action and adventure. However, you cannot predict what’s going to happen when you travel. Situations can change very quickly but if you keep our tips in mind you can feel confident that you are a well informed traveller. The following tips get you geared up and road-ready.

 

Find the right bike
Don’t be tempted to hire quick smart and off you go. Spend some time making sure your hire fits properly. Whether the seat is too high, handle bars are too low, minor adjustment can make all the difference to your comfort levels. You’re gonna get up close and personal over the next few days so get it right before you go.
 
Learn how to fix a flat

It wouldn’t be fun to have a flat mid-mountain and not know how to fix it. Once your trip is locked in it’s time to get pre-trip practising.
 

Consider GPS

You may consider it cheating, taking away your sense of freedom and adventure. But GPS can be an excellent safety net should you find yourself in a strange land, lost and alone. As a minimum make sure you have local maps on you at all times to help guide your way.
 

Learn the rules of the roads

Road rules can differ greatly around the globe. Just as running red lights, cycling on footpaths and swearing at other road users isn’t acceptable at home, nor is it abroad. Make sure you learn all traffic rules, road signs and be ultra-vigilant when riding in an unknown area.
 

Wear protective clothing

Cut and bruises are not ideal travelling companions so make sure you wear a helmet and protective clothing at all times when riding. There’s no excuse for you to go risking your life! Plus, no travel insurance company is obliged to cover you if you incurred injuries when you were not wearing one.
 

Mind racy riders

The clue is in the name ‘Cycling… Holiday’. It’s not always about getting to the top first, or rounding that distant headland before everyone else. 
 

Avoid dangers

It can be hard to adjust to new road cultures. Beware of risky-riders overtaking, weaving in-and-out of lanes and vehicles driving in the wrong direction. Watch out for slippy sandy streets, potholes, unpaved roads, sharp hills, hair pin bends and even wandering stray dogs. Woof!

 

 

 

6. travel insurance for your trip

travel insurance

 

All activities can carry risks and cycling on foreign terrain can be tricky. While we’d all prefer to bring home memories as opposed to broken bones, the cost of a hospital trip overseas can send your budget skyrocketing (not to mention your stress levels). Making the time to ensure you're covered for your cycling holiday can give you peace of mind not to mention a smooth, hassle free ride.

 

what's covered?

  • medical
  • MEDICAL EXPENSES

    Should you fall off your bike and injure yourself TINZ will ease the pain by covering your medical fees, doctor’s appointment, x-ray and the cost of any medicine your require.

  • emergency rescue

  • EMERGENCY RESCUE

    If you have a serious accident and need to get to the hospital pronto. We will arrange for a medical transfer or evacuation to the nearest hospital for emergency.

 

  • personal liability
  • PERSONAL LIABILITY

    Should you crash your bike and cause damage to another person or property TINZ will provide protection for your legal liablilty.

  • luggage

  • YOUR STUFF

    Too often travellers can have their trip soured by a case of lost or delayed luggage or damaged or stolen personal items on their holidays. Insuring your treasured possessions is always the smart approach, when it comes to covering your high value belongings when you travel.

what's not covered?

  • cancellation
  • competitive cycling

    Unfortunately we would consider competitive cycling or racing as (gasp) adventure sports and won’t cover such events. Though you’d hardly consider yourself an adrenalin junkie, your timed group cycle through the French Alps may be a no-go.

  • cancellation

  • reckless riding

    If your definition of RPM equals “reckless pedaling madness” you may want to slow it down a notch. Intentionally putting yourself in danger on your bike will nix your chances of being covered by your insurer. Remember that without a helmet most insurance policies won’t pay up-so protect your noggin and you’ll be covered in more ways than one!

 

  • cancellation
  • unattended items

    It's essential to keep your eyes on your belongings to ensure they are secure and protected. We would not cover theft if you did not take reasonable care to protect your belongings. Your stuff is important, so look after it. 

  • cancellation

  • being intoxicated

    We all like a tipple or two, especially on holidays. However if you should have an accident or lose your belongings when you are drinking or taking drugs we may not be able to cover you.

 

 

 

 

 

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