As adventurers, we’re not ones to sit on our laurels when we go traveling. When we go on a cycling trip, we want to take our bikes and get to know a new area, explore new roads, and reach new heights, both in terms of fitness and literally. Whatever our cycling trips might entail, it’s always fun to take some friends together and go as a group, but it’s not always plain sailing.
Read our '10 Things That Happen On Every Cycling Trip' so you can avoid the pitfalls and know what to expect. How many of these do you recognize personally?
You’re lucky enough to be traveling by plane, which means you’ve carefully taken apart your precious cargo and packed it into a bike box filled with extra padding and clothing to prevent the worst from happening. And, then, you go to pick it up from the conveyor belt, but wait… where is it? Now clothes- and bike-less, with your steed in a faraway destination you have nothing to do with, it looks like it might be time to splurge on a fancy hire bike. Cannondale SystemSix anyone?
In a bid to outdo your buddies and try and rack up as many miles as possible, you all over-egg how fit you are and end up doing way too many miles on the first day. This is easily done in the over-ambitious planning phases of cycling trips, but often leads to everyone being in bed just after dinner.
Make sure you pack plenty of nutrition and recovery products with you.
We all know the weather can change at any moment – especially in the mountains – but it's a good idea to have a quick look at the climate of your destination, lest you end up looking like a lobster or a drowned rat.
Check the wind, too. There’s always time to invest in a quality piece of windproof gear.
By day three, your legs are working as they should, the miles are rolling in, and nature is all around you. You begin to feel peaceful and embrace your trip as the reconnection to road cycling you needed.
There's always one friend that doesn't know their limits, let alone when you've all planned a 100-miler the next day. Needless to say, they don't appear for breakfast and you have to choose whether to leave them or bring them along for some tough miles. Either that, or they’ll spend the day feeling very sorry for themselves and likely leave at least one meal on the side of the road…
The friend that always has something to complain about: 'My saddle is squeaking'; 'my brakes are rubbing, that's why I can't ride up hills very fast'; 'I didn't train enough'. It's like having a toddler on the ride with you, so make sure you either shut them up with some food or stick them at the back of the group and hope they tire themselves out.
It’s funny how we rely so heavily on technology these days, yet we never seem to learn that it can (and will) fail, leaving you completely lost in an area you’re unfamiliar with. Make sure you all share GPX files before the trip, or even take some paper maps – remember those? And let's be honest, computer failure usually means user error.
There’s nothing like being prepared on a cycling trip, especially if you know some of your buddies aren’t exactly the most organized, when it comes to tools and replacement parts. Pack as many tubes as you can carry so you’re not left stranded or walking home while your group rides on.
You've just spent a week reconnecting with your buddies and riding in incredible places – of course you have stories to share! It's not your fault that Dad doesn't care how many bears you may or may not have seen from a very great distance, nor how much elevation you rode
Your legs are aching, you can barely walk, and let’s not talk about your backside. But you’ve had a great time, and soon you’ll forget the pain. So let’s all meet up again next year, eh? Maybe this time with some extra inner tubes, and less wine… Who are we kidding, we’ll never learn.