How to live your dream and enjoy a Cycling holiday.
If you’ve always wanted to experience the World behind Handlebars, dreamed of leisurely cycling with the sun on your back, the sights and the smells up close, being able to stop and enjoy the scenery when it suits you but always held back from making the ultimate commitment, maybe it’s time to revisit this wonderful way of travelling.
You only need a reasonable level of fitness and health for the introductory level, with a gradual increase in fitness dependent on the level of daily activity, hours of cycling, and terrain. The more challenging trips might include some walking and hiking or even the magic of a heli-cycle, being transported to a special area with your return journey by cycle especially designed for those who are looking for a more challenging experience or destination.
Most introductory and moderate level trips involve cycling at a slow and steady pace and could be up to 2-4 hours in one day. Most trips use well graded paths, trails and sealed roads. In general main or busy roads are avoided, but from time to time these thoroughfares may need to be used. So experience in riding on these roads is beneficial.
Cycle touring bikes provided are modern 21-27 speed hybrid vehicles, comfortable with good road wheels or mountain bikes, suited to the conditions you are likely to encounter. A range of different sizes for male and female ensure you ride the correct fitting bike. Certain guided trips have electric bikes which are perfect for those who want to participate but are concerned about their level of fitness or ability to stay with the group. Electric bikes are the perfect solution.
Each guided trip has a local guide, a back-up vehicle, driver and a support driver. And if you feel like it, you can opt out at any time and travel in the support vehicle. So you’re still enjoying and participating in what the cycling group are doing that day. Or, organise a cycle trip that is centre based, so that those of you who do not want to cycle, can do your own daily exploring, cooking schools, visiting gardens, markets or brocante fairs, whilst the cyclists can ride. If you want to make it a family holiday, there are vehicle free cycle trails in Europe. There are children’s bikes, bike trailers for the littlies and trail-a-bikes that can be attached to your bike, so your child can cycle with you.
Guided trips are designed for small groups, encouraging shared experiences, riding support and sometimes nurture life-long friendships. There are self-guided trips for those wanting greater flexibility, with route maps, instruction manuals and information on the local places of interest, wineries and historical sites and along the way the route is way-marked, making your itinerary easy to navigate. Private groups are another great way to travel, make up your own party, choose your own destination, then the route and best itinerary features are designed for you. These holidays can be taken as self-guided or as a guided group with the appropriate back up vehicle and pre-booked accommodation and sightseeing.
Cycling holidays are designed around the regions visited, seasonality and the best time to experience them. There are opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture, experience majestic scenery, from iconic trails to history packed pathways. Enjoy gourmet treats, art studios and picturesque villages. Cycle from the seaside to the mountains, combine your cycle trip with walking or trekking. Or indulge in a Bike and Boat holiday. Relax on board a barge or small ship after your day’s cycling, it’s the perfect match when your partner is not a cyclist and wants to relax but your idea of a holiday is a bit more active.
Best of all is home, we can cycle our Place at our Pace. Ride the new cycle trails of New Zealand, along disused railway lines, old coach roads, coastal tracks, quiet back country lanes and off-road trails. Cycle independently, create your own group or join a guided trail, such as the Otago Rail Trail. Bikes and equipment are widely available to hire. There’s a cycle trail for all ages and ability from the North to the South Island.
There’s a whole world of cycling and it’s all only a pedal push away.