How to Start Traveling by Bike

Debra Pamplin
By Debra Pamplin 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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Traveling by bike not only provides a solid workout and fresh air, but it allows people to get a closer look at their surroundings. Plus, the variability of choosing challenging or easy routes makes the excursion more hands-on.

Whether you’re out for a short leisurely ride or an overnight camping and bike adventure, here are five tips to make sightseeing from behind the handlebars easier.

1. Learn the basics

Getting started is sometimes the hardest part. Harriet and Neil Pike, the writers behind Pikes on Bikes, are here to help. Their guidebooks include everything from choosing the right bike for your budget to the best route for your skill level. They provide practical advice for everyone from the novice to the advanced cyclist.

2. Let an app be your guide

When exploring new areas or paths, let your cellphone guide the way. Whether searching for the smoothest bike trail, most beautiful scenic path or just the most cyclist-friendly route, there’s an app for that. Tom Allen, the blogger behind Tom’s Bike Trip, reviews apps to show you the road less traveled.

3. Make it a family outing

Though the idea might seem difficult, with a bit of planning and organization, a family trip can be one for the memory book. TravelingTwo bloggers Friedel and Andrew Grant take their two kids on short bike rides and discuss what they need along on the route. And Mirjam Wouters of the Cycling Dutch Girl blog writes that overnight bike camping trips with a toddler are doable, and her daughter, Tara, has already camped five times.

4. Start with a weekend trip

Being out on the open road with just a bike and tent can sound a bit scary, but adventure-seeker and blogger, Stephen Fabes, who has camped just about everywhere, shares practical tips, anecdotes and cycling touring advice on his blog, Cycling the 6.

And when you’re ready to take the leap, My Life on Two Wheels blogger Heike Pirngruber lists all of the must-have equipment.

5. Build up to long-distance routes

While of Annika Wachter and Roberto Gallegos of Tasting Travels took a five-year bike journey around the world, you definitely can plan a simpler trip to start. Path Less Pedaled bloggers help you think smaller with overland bike trips that are sure to pack a lot of adventure into a shorter trip.

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