By Win Y. – 3rd Jul 2021
Nowadays, people have developed an interest and passion for cycling as a perfect alternative for transport and leisure. No other sports equipment has been more in demand and ubiquitous in recent years than a bicycle. Boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become a trendy item to own in nearly every household!
Aside from being a healthy outdoor physical activity, cycling sets forth quite a few charms. It provides a taste of freedom in discovering new destinations – bringing you closer to the gorgeous scenery and experiencing unusual climates and cultures. It gives you a sense of fulfillment and taking home memorable stories to tell at the end of every trip. These are the intangibles that get many folks fascinated and hooked into cycling!
When everything settles, cycling on your vacation trip overseas can also be a delightful option to infuse a bit of an adventurous spin. And at the same time encouraged and supported by the government as a safe means of public transportation. Likewise, providing a platform for you to showcase and put your biking skills to the test while you explore new terrain and enjoy breathtaking sights. However, it is critical to conduct some research before you embark on your next exciting journey on a bike!
Here are six essential tips for you to know if you plan to cycle abroad.
Get travel insurance. The most fundamental rule of thumb for everyone and not limited to cyclists. As travel insurance comes with different policies and coverages, make sure the one you picked applies to your travel destination and check that the policy covers cycling activity.
Research your destination and familiarise with the routes. Cycling is liberating. It gives you free rein on the adventure of your own as you explore the not-before-seen destinations. For beginners, consider choosing a route with relatively quiet roads or areas with designated bike lanes. Study the path that you intend to take (even include packing the maps) before you depart. It is also good to know other details regarding your cycling trip: the distance to cover each day, the duration of the whole trip, the weather forecast, meal breaks or water points, even what kind of accommodation you will sleep for an overnight trip. With coordinated and practical plans in mind (but not overdone!), you will be in for a worry-free journey.
Always have a mobile phone with you. It is your best buddy! Make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone with an internet connection. Take pictures, hunt for food or cafes, get back on course if you get lost, and importantly, call someone in an emergency (remember to write down the local emergency number!). You do not want to be in a situation where you have no mobile signal with no idea how to get back.
Consider renting from local bike shops. Unless you have already decided to take your bike abroad and are pushing yourself to the maximum. Renting from a local shop is always a great option. It is convenient and straightforward. The shop will provide all necessary gear such as a helmet, a light, and a bike lock. Alternatively, if you are in a city with public bike-sharing services, consider renting a bike as a fun way to explore the city. But you may need to do some research or ask locals as services may require you to preregister or need to buy a local card for renting from the sharing service stations.
Photo Credit : Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort
Pack smart. When it comes to cycling tips for beginners, you may want to pack cleverly. We recommend carrying some water and extra snacks to give you the energy to explore more in between rest stops. And enough protective gear for different weather conditions such as a windbreaker, a raincoat, or a disposable poncho to ensure that unpredictable poor weather does not ruin your trip.
Plan to Be Flexible. Generally, most of us feel more familiar with a properly planned trip. Comfortable getting on an airplane and waiting for your local guide to pick you up. Whereas on the flip side, the unpredictability of bicycle travel, especially in unfamiliar environments, drives you out of your comfort zone. It forces you to relinquish control of the details and allows some improvisation along the journey. You may take detours and spend more time on unplanned spots. And that is the beauty of bicycle travel, making it all the more magical in an unfamiliar place. It nudges you to be open to changes, but at the same time, it puts you in control.
Now it is time to ENJOY !!
Cycling abroad is great fun with amazing views, exciting challenges, and satisfying achievements – leading to a pleasant and unforgettable experience at the end. It is well worth it, and you could not ask for anything more.
Finally, yet most importantly, be sensible and take a good amount of caution. Do not attempt to stretch yourself above your ability and limitations. We wish you a safe and enjoyable ride across the world!!!