Going on a bike tour can take your enjoyment of cycling to the next level in a safe and supportive environment. However, it is important that you fully prepare for your trip so you can have a safe and rewarding adventure. Below are some things you should do to get ready for your first bike tour.
Purchase a Comfortable Bike Seat
Some people like to ride their own bike on tours, while others are fine using a rental bike. Either way, you will be most comfortable if you are riding with a saddle you feel comfortable and familiar with. Most touring companies will allow you to bring your own saddle and put it on one of their rental bikes. This is an ideal option if you are traveling a long distance and do not want to ship your bike.
Follow a Training Schedule
Unless you are an experienced rider, you should not sign up for a bike trip that is right around the corner. Make sure you have time to practice riding a similar distance to what your average daily distance will be during the tour. Many companies will provide you with an appropriate training schedule to get you ready for the specific tour you register for. If they do not, make sure you assess how hilly the area you will be riding in is and train appropriately.
Learn Your Limits
It is normal to want to be able to complete the entire tour on your bike. However, there may be times when you suffer from exhaustion or get sick and do not have the energy to complete a daily goal. It is good if you learn your early signs of exhaustion so you will know when to stop riding and accept help from the support vehicle. During some of your training rides, push yourself to the exhaustion point so you can see how that feels and know what you should look out for.
Practice Riding in a Pack
Riding with other people is a different experience than riding on your own. Try riding with a friend and, if possible, riding in a small group. Not only should you practice safety such as riding close to another person and passing another rider, but you should also practice team techniques, such as drafting and pacing, which will help you when you get tired.
If you are unsure of how to prepare for your tour, talk to your tour operator. They will have suggestions for your specific tour. For more information, talk to companies like Bootdoctors.