Millions of Europeans take their holidays by bicycle every year - and the trend is rising. The fact that this form of travel is becoming more and more popular is hardly surprising. Compared to other means of transportation, your holiday starts right at your doorstep with your bike. Although not luxurious, your first bicycle trip will be an unforgettable experience, full of adventure and surprises. In order to be prepared for all spontaneous changes, such as inconsistent weather or flat tires, there are a few things you should be aware of.
We'll tell you what you need to know as a cycling tour newbie: what you should (or shouldn’t) take with you and most importantly, how you should carry it. Let’s get started!
#1 Store properly
If you spend a few days on a discovery tour, you will of course need luggage. So as a first step you have to consider what kind of bike you are riding and choose the bags accordingly. In general, two large panniers belong at the back of the bike (if possible). If you’re packing more, you can also put two low rider bags on the front of the bike, as long as they are waterproof. Also very practical: a handlebar bag with map pocket. Tent, sleeping bag or sleeping mattress are best stored in a pack bag, which you attach to the carrier.
We all know the weather situation in the Netherlands, so it's best to take multifunctional clothing with you, such as practical trousers and a multifunctional shirt. Also warm and rain- and windproof clothes should not be missing on your trip. And of course bathing clothes and warm sleeping clothes to cool off by the lake and a good night's sleep. Must-have: good sunglasses! These do not only protect your eyes from the sun, but also from wind and insects. Also very important: If you don't feel like wearing bib shorts, you should definitely wear padded underwear to sit comfortably even on longer trips. In general, it is better to take less with you and wash on the road than to carry too much
When it comes to shoes, one thing should be decisive: They must be comfortable. Because what could be worse than aching feet or blisters on your first tour? So it's best to just grab your favorite sports shoes. When it starts to rain, just put overshoeson them and your shoes are waterproof.
As with all means of transport, of course, anything can happen when riding a bicycle. To be on the road safely, a good helmetand cycling gloves are absolute must-haves. A small first-aid kit can also be very useful, containing bandages, disinfectant, nasal spray, painkillers, insect repellent.
Bike-mounted USB chargers that power your electrical devices while you ride are very convenient. External USB chargers, which you can charge at the wall socket in the evening, are also useful as an alternative. A USB socket is also recommended.
You need a lot of energy when you’re riding all day long. Bars, bananas and breads quickly provide you with important carbohydrates and are also easy to store. Basically, you should bear in mind that you need more carbs than in your everyday life because you burn more calories through exercise. Noodles, rice (both also as wholemeal products), wholemeal products (wholemeal bread, cookies, muesli in all variations), potatoes, pulses (beans, peas), vegetables and fruit as well as fruit juices are excellent healthy carbohydrate sources.
#6 Hygiene products
Here too, the rule is: as much as necessary, as little as possible.
If you have thought of all this, now all that is missing is the equipment of your bike:
Secure bike lock
Spare hose, air pump and repair kit
Tools (Multitools, etc.)
Drinking bottles + holders
You are still unsure whether a bike trip is the right thing for you? We have compiled the top 5 advantages of travelling by bike for you:
Inexpensive: Hardly any other form of travel is as affordable as travelling by bike.
The journey is the destination: If you want, you can start your tour right from your front door - and get the most out of your holiday without the hassle of travelling.
Good for the environment: You don't need any fuel that is harmful to the environment.
Physical & mental health benefits: Exercising in the fresh air and the natural environment does not only make you fit, but can also reduce stress.
Uniquely special: everybody can do package tours, but no bike tour is like the other and will definitely remain unforgettable