Article by: Sally Goodier
There are few better ways to experience this fantastic state than from a bicycle. You get all the advantages of being out in the open, and getting a fully sense-laden impression of your surroundings, but aren’t too restricted when it comes to speed of movement. You can go places cars can’t, and you’re doing yourself a lot of good in the process! However, for a tour of this scale, preparation is key. If you don’t prepare correctly, then your experience is not likely to be as good as it could otherwise be. Here, therefore, are a few tips for you as you prepare:
Rather obviously, a bicycle tour involves a fair deal of cycling. Of course, everyone has different abilities, and we try to cater for all levels of skill and stamina, but it still has to be said that you’re a lot more likely to enjoy the bicycle tour if you’re not struggling with its physical demands. If you’re a bit of a novice, but want to participate anyway – congratulations, and welcome to one of the most rewarding and exhilarating touring methods around! Your body and mind will quickly reap the benefits of your new commitment to cycling, but it is recommended that you put in a few training hours before hitting the roads with us. Experts generally recommend that beginners start training slowly and work their way up to bigger challenges incrementally. Luckily, cycle training is fairly easy – assuming that you have the right bike…
First of all, it’s essential that you have the right kind of bike for you. You want to get one with a frame that’s not too big and not too small, or else you’ll find yourself becoming distinctly uncomfortable on long-distance rides. Problems which may seem minor on whizzes to the store and back make a huge difference when you’re saddled (literally) with them for hours. Size-wise, your bike frame should ideally have at least two inches of clearance between the top tube and your groin when you stand over it. Much more or less will make for an uncomfortable ride. Also make sure that the saddle is positioned at a comfortable height for you when peddling. Training with your bike will help you to learn more about it, more about your cycling style, and more about what is comfortable for you. Make sure that the bike is in good condition, that the brakes are working at optimum, that the tyres are pumped up, and so forth. It’s also a good idea to get your bike insured – just in case something happens to it which you cannot fix.
Bicycle tourers are a friendly bunch, and if something fixable happens to your bike then they’ll be glad to help out. Bicycle Tour Colorado also has a very good team of helpers who will be more than able to aid you in the case of a breakdown. However, it helps a lot if you’re up to a bit of roadside maintenance yourself. Bicycle maintenance is easy to learn, and will help you not only to fix faults when they arise, but to keep your bike in good condition throughout the ride. This naturally means that it’s less likely to break down in the first place! It also gives you more of a ‘feel’ for your bicycle, which makes the riding experience better in general. Having a good bicycle repair kit on you is also a great idea. It need not bulk out your luggage too much – there are some great products out there which have been specially designed to keep weight and bulk to a minimum without sacrificing effectiveness.
Bicycle Tour Colorado provides baggage transportation, meaning that you don’t have to lug your luggage around on your back. However, this doesn’t mean that you should go completely nuts and pack everything. Items which can be easily packed up and away every day is ideal, as there’s a lot of moving from camp to camp. You’ll also want to pack things which you don’t mind getting a bit scuffed and dusty – leave the high heels and tuxedos at home!