Some questions you may have…
Q: Will I need any specialist gear?
A: Well, as with any new hobby there will most likely be a few things you need to purchase to get going. This might be a lightweight tent or some panniers (bicycle bags), or even a bike. The good news is that most of the things you need you will probably already have, and if not they can probably all be purchased for less than the money you will save by going on this kind of holiday! Then once you have the gear, every subsequent adventure will be savings all the way!
Q: Will there be lots of exercise involved/do I need to be fit?
A: That’s up to you! I am certainly not all that fit, although I tend to use these cycle tours as a way of getting fit. Remember, you control how far you go in a day, and there’s no rush. If your comfortable doing 20 miles in a day then only do that. If you prefer doing 100 miles, then go for it. Most people cycle at an average of about 10mph in my experience (with pannier bags on) , so 20 miles is only 2 hours riding and you could always stop for a picnic half way!
Q: Is cycle camping suitable for young families?
A: Absolutely! For younger children who aren’t able to ride for themselves yet, consider getting a bike trailer or a bolt on child seat. A trailer would be great because you could get one to fit your gear into too! Do bear in mind though, that there will be all the extra weight, so plan to go less distance each day and take “break days” more often.
Q: Is my bike suitable?
A: Well there are many types of bikes so I won’t cover all of them but most will do just fine. Specialist bikes such as folding bikes, BMXs or downhill bikes probably won’t be very practical for this. But most road bikes, town bikes, mountain bikes or hybrids will be ok. Even full suspension bikes and bikes with no pannier rack mountings can do the job (see pannier rack info). Essentially, and if you can get some for of rack on your bike and are comfortable riding it for longish distances with a bit of weight on the back then your bike will be fine.
Q: Doesn’t it require a lot of planning?
A: No not really. In fact I usually plan as little as possible because I like to be spontaneous.
- Plan any transportation to the beginning and from the end of your journey.
- Take a look at Google maps and pick out a basic idea of a route to to get an idea of the distance you want to cover.
- Get a good map with campsites marked on it!!!
- Go for it and decide the exact route to take as you go along.