Some of the biggest cycling tours in the world require participants to undergo gruelling training for months beforehand – for those of us with fulltime jobs or enjoying retirement, however, this is not an entirely feasible ask. Although incredible amounts of time and energy are invested in preparing for a top-tier race, fortunately this is not the case for a cycling tour.
Instead, cycling tours should be an amazing experience, taking place in some of the most beautiful places in the entire world. For this reason, it’s important to choose a cycling tour that you believe will be most rewarding. It doesn’t have to be the longest, or even necessarily the most picturesque – at the end of the day, you’re undergoing something special and personal, so make sure to do your research and tackle something you believe will give you the most satisfaction.
Training for your tour
Even though those participating in a tour don’t have to train themselves to an elite standard, this does not mean that training should be ignored entirely – quite the opposite is true. Understanding the length of your tour, considering any potential ascents and descents that you might need to take (in mountainous regions, for example), and ensuring that you can cover this kind of distance consistently is highly important.
The beauty of the cycling tour is that you can take it at your own pace, which means you can effectively train by cycling regularly. If you’re just beginning, starting with a couple of rides a week and slowly increasing duration and frequency of your ride will ensure you’re able to manage your tour. Rides might be between 40 and 80 kilometres, so it’s an excellent goal to work yourself up to this level of fitness.
Know your equipment
Another benefit of riding regularly is the opportunity to better know your bike. Popped tubes and gear malfunctions will no doubt occur during your pre-tour cycling, which grants you invaluable experience in managing your bike, wherever you may be.
You’ll also be able to learn about what equipment you’ll need to bring with you – the right amount of water, spare tubes and oil, and any energy-dense snacks that will help you ride without fatigue.
Remembering to relax
At the end of the day, this tour is about your enjoyment. Allow yourself the time to relax, enjoy the food and drinks along the way, and savour the company of like-minded travellers you find along the way. Always rest when you feel you need to, and make sure to take in the stunning sights as you do so.