“What are your plans for the weekend?” – This is one of the most common questions we ask family, friends, co-workers, and sometimes even ourselves. As each weekend approaches, and you plan your next adventure, here is one great option to consider: adventure cycling.
Besides, as micro-mobility continues to evolve, bikes have also been gaining popularity. Who knows, maybe a bike will really be your next car. And you may want to begin exploring all possible facets of its use, including adventure cycling. Ready to learn more about it?
What is adventure cycling?
Adventure cycling may sound like a fancy concept. But, in reality, it is simply riding your bike longer-than-usual, following an itinerary of your choice.
A bicycle, some minor supplies, and the spirit of adventure are the key ingredients for this experience. Mother Nature will assist you with the rest. Let me guess – a gamut of questions is rushing through your head right now.
Where to go for your cycling adventure?
The sky is the limit when it comes to destinations. Make this adventure YOURS by choosing your favorite and most convenient roadmap. Do you prefer mountains or flatter areas? Is there a national park that you would like to visit? What about the remote areas around your city, with those narrow streets, where you cannot normally drive? And what about biking along the coastline, while breathing in the sea breeze?
It all depends on how adventurous you are, and also how comfortable you feel with cycling on rough upward terrains. The Adventure Cycling Association is a good resource for selecting your biking route.
How long should my biking adventure be?
There are no written rules on the length of adventure cycling. It all depends on the free time you have. You can spend one night, one weekend, or more exploring different places. Another factor that may impact your choice is how long you are willing to live without creature comforts.
One way you can test this is by recalling the last time you went camping. For example, if it was for two nights, did you enjoy it? Did you feel comfortable sleeping outside? If you are not particularly fond of camping, but still want to spend a few days adventure cycling, then you may arrange for sleeping indoors. For instance, you can book an Airbnb room or find other nearby accommodations.
How expensive is adventure cycling?
If planning your vacation budget gives you headaches, I have good news for you. Adventure cycling will cost you very little money if you plan ahead.
As I mentioned in the beginning, the first ingredient of this experience is the bicycle itself. This is where you may want to invest most of your planned budget. Make sure that your bike is in good condition, and don’t forget to take a bike repair kit with you. You do not need the latest and most expensive model to go on this adventure. What matters is that the bike is properly maintained.
Depending on your budget, you may spend your nights in camping sites, hostels, or hotels. If you don’t want to spend much in this category, then you can use the “Warm Showers” to find nearby houses that are willing to offer you accommodation for free.
What about the food? This is also up to you. If you prefer to stay frugal, you can alternate between cooking your own meals and eating out at local budget restaurants. This will help you stay healthy and on budget.
Five reasons to go on an adventure cycling trip
Now that you know what adventure cycling is all about, let’s explore some of the reasons why to embark on this journey.
Get to know yourself
I still remember the time I learned to ride a bike. I was five, and, at first, I was cycling using a bike with a couple of auxiliary wheels, until one day, my dad took them off. It took me a while before I realized that I was cycling on my own. No auxiliary wheels, no one holding me. It was a fantastic feeling of freedom and independence, which I still cherish with a smile on my face.
I have biked short distances several times during these years. I remember once biking through the forest with friends. Even though pedaling uphill was challenging, the satisfaction I received on the way down made it worth it. As the wind was playing with my hair, the image of the trees passing by, and the smell of the woods all made me feel part of nature. Now imagine experiencing this a few days in a row, while combining it with meeting other people and visiting new places. No doubt, you will truly get to know yourself and test your limits.
Save the environment
No need to say that biking is a zero-carbon emission activity. As such, it does not pollute the environment. This is also a reason to feel proud of being an adventure cycler. After all, it is a win-win situation: you get to experience a fun weekend, and the environment is saved from the CO2 emitted by fuel vehicles.
Enjoy a flexible mobility
Recall all the times that your flight was canceled, rescheduled, or all those hours of sitting in traffic while driving to your vacation destination. I have also been through these experiences, and the feelings of frustration are not easy to forget.
You will not have to think about all of these in adventure cycling, though. You can bike according to your pace, rest whenever you feel like, and then resume your trip.
Besides, you can park almost anywhere and explore paths that are not accessible by cars.
You are your own boss and make your own rules while biking. After a long working week, it is definitely rewarding to have some control over your routine, isn’t it?
Embrace a unique experience
Adventure cycling allows you to experience the lifestyles of locals anywhere you visit. Forget about the cliché touristic spots and give yourself the chance to meet new people, make new friends, and learn about their culture. You would be surprised by all the little things and all the human stories you will uncover.
“The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind,” says William Saroyan, an Academy Award prize winner. I think that its nobility is not only related to the low environmental footprint but also our mental and physical health. The combination of the sense of freedom, experiencing nature, relaxation, and adventurous encounters, produce feelings of accomplishment. At the end of a successful adventure cycling trip, you can proudly say: “I made it.”
Not only this, but your body will also thank you, as cycling is considered one of the healthiest sports. According to a Harvard Medical School publication, “Going for a ride is good for your heart and muscles, and it may improve how you walk, balance, and climb stairs.”
As you saw, adventure cycling can offer you first-hand experience of nature and new lifestyles, while embracing feelings of empowerment, freedom, and healthy achievements.
Are you ready to get yourself a bike and pedal towards the adventure? Feel free to share your story with us. We can’t wait to hear about your cycling adventures.