If, like us, you dream of coasting through beautiful countryside, charging up unknown hills and speeding back down the other side, then a cycling holiday is well and truly on your bucket list. So how do you go about planning a decent one? Libby, Robert and Mo from bespoke cycling holiday company Cycology Travel Ltd help us out with a few must-follow rules
Rule one: weather and terrain are key
It’s not always the distance that causes the damage, but the elevation that can really tire a client. If you’re not used to climbing hills for any significant duration it can be physically draining, especially in scorching heat. Pick the time of day you venture out and take plenty of fluids and nutrition – ideally, go early morning when it’s cooler.
Rule two: short haul trumps long haul
If you have a really long flight or transfer time from your airport it can be a draining experience, and put a dampener on your holiday before you even start. Short-haul destinations might be a better way to go.
Rule three: consider what help you might need
Find out what support is on hand when you get to your destination – for example, you may need a vehicle to transfer additional food and drink or luggage from hotel to hotel. Or you might wish to hire a local guide to help you navigate the area.
Rule four: don’t forget your insurance
This is key! We recommend that all our clients take out additional insurance, not just to cover the bike you may have or be bringing but to cover unforeseen events, illness, cancellation and so on. A standard home policy will not normally cover you for a cycling trip.
Rule five: check those credentials
Make sure that your tour operator is ABTA registered – important, as ABTA work with the Foreign Office, who will help with any crisis, help you understand your rights and let you know if the government implement any travel restrictions. Also, are they registered with Companies House?
Rule six: don’t forget about your significant other (YSO)
We have a Your Significant Other section dedicated to just this. At Cycology we believe good accommodation and food are key. Our YSO programme includes sightseeing, shopping concierge, spa treatments, wine tours, helicopter rides or yacht trips to help keep loved ones happy. Remember your YSO is on holiday too, so please do spend some time with them!
Rule seven: prep your kit
If you’re bringing your own bike, ensure everything works. If it needs replacing (old cables, breaks not working, tyres looking worn) then replace it prior to departure. You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road with a mechanical fault you could have fixed at home. More advice can be found on our ‘what to pack’ page.
Rule eight: prep your body
Depending on terrain (hills or flats) and how many miles you want to ride per day, we would recommend you try to get out for three rides a week – more, ideally – in the run up to the holiday. It’s the consistency that helps. When you go on holiday, you’re riding nearly every day and the physical load on your body increases significantly. Your prep should include consistent mileage and hills. Each week, add up to 10% more mileage and, if you can, try to get out on two consecutive days, which will help increase your endurance and get you used to the feeling of fatigue. Finally, learn to love hills – they make you stronger.
Thank you to the team at Cycology for their brilliant tips and advice. Visit www.cycology.co.uk for details on bespoke cycling holidays for all ages and abilities.
And don’t forget that Bikebox Online offers safe, economical bike transport to help take the stress out of transporting your kit. Read all about it here