Going on a cycling holiday overseas is great fun, but how easy is it to organise? We take a look at the elements you need to consider to make a success of cycling when you’re away from home…
Unless you’re setting off from your front door with panniers packed, you’re going to need to get to your cycling destination of choice first. You could drive, or if you pack your bike down into a bike bag or box (this often requires little more than removing the wheel, turning the bar and protecting the frame and components) and it will be welcome on most flights and Eurostar trains.
The alternative to taking your bike is to hire one when you get there. If you’re going for a city break then municipal bikes are often available, such as Paris’s Velib bikes. If you’re basing yourself in a cycling hotspot such as the Alps or Pyrenees, then most cycle-specific accommodation will have road bikes for hire, and often the local bike shops (who are geared up for tourists) will too.
Where to stay
Whether you’re planning to tour or base yourself in one location, it is worth checking out the accommodation options first. Many hotels allow bikes in the room, but there are cycle-friendly locations popping up in cycling destinations that have bike storage. If you want true freedom, pack a tent, but you might still want to book ahead if you’re camping in July or August – or you might end up cycling quite a few extra miles to look for a campsite with a vacancy.
It’s important to ensure you have travel insurance before you go on holiday, and if you’re going to be cycling on open roads or mountain trails, then it’s even more important to be covered – and check that cycling is included. If you’re touring, and the bike will be your main mode of transport, get even more picky about your policy: will it cover cycling as more than an incidental activity, and how long can you be away, for example?
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