How to Prepare for a Bicycle Tour
With the right preparation, multi-day bicycle touring is an immensely enjoyable and rewarding experience. If you are a recreational road cyclist at the intermediate level or higher, you likely have a suitable bicycle and most of the equipment and clothing needed for a bicycle tour. Add some logistical planning, a bit of mental reconditioning, and a slight adjustment in physical training to your existing routine and you will be well prepared for a vacation of a lifetime.
When traveling with Via Bike Tours, we take care of tour logistics so you don’t have to. We arrange lodging, food, baggage transfer, support, and route planning for the tour. After booking a tour, you will receive a detailed information packet with a packing list, route maps and descriptions, and a host of tips to prepare for your bicycle tour vacation. We’ll also provide information on lodging and transportation so that you can make your arrangements to get to and from the tour.
Via Bike Tours gives you the option to bring your own bike or rent one from us. If you bring your own, at a minimum it should be a mid level, lightweight, road or hybrid bike. Make sure the gearing is low enough to get you over the hills. Your tires should be at least 25mm wide. You will be more comfortable on a bike with frame geometry that puts you in a slightly upright touring position, rather than an aggressive racing position.
We carry your luggage, eliminating the need to outfit your bike with racks. However, you may find a handlebar bag or trunk bag useful for carrying a camera, phone, wallet, clothing, lock, sunscreen, snacks, etc. They are easily detachable to carry away with you at stops.
One of the greatest joys of bicycle touring is exploring the new and unexpected. This usually means getting off the bike and walking. If you use clipless pedals, we highly recommend touring or mountain bike shoes with recessed cleats. If you have racing shoes, carry a pair of walking shoes in a handlebar or trunk bag to use for off-bike excursions.
To maintain a level of comfort on a multiday tour, condition yourself to ride at a relaxed pace and plan to stop frequently. For some, this will require a shift in riding style from that of speed to that of endurance. A physical training routine that includes rides of consecutive days is a great way to recondition your mind and body to a different style of riding.
Before you start training, let your physician know your plans and get a checkup. Once you receive the thumbs up, begin physical training as soon as possible. Start slow, work up to multiple rides of various lengths per week, and then add rides on consecutive days. If you can ride 40 to 60 miles on back-to-back days, you will do fine on a Via Bike Tours trip.
Feel free to call us at 1-541-292-6220 to speak with a tour representative if you have any questions.