This week’s guest post is from adventure couple Kathleen and Brock who run the travel blog “Our Favorite Adventure“.
REASONS YOU SHOULD GO ON A BIKE TOUR
So you want to go on a bike tour? Make it a reality and you will have the most fun you have ever had in your life…guaranteed! Don’t know what a bike tour is? It’s a two-wheeled, man-powered road trip that involves riding, camping, and slowly following whatever path you decide to lay out before you. Put simply, it’s a long-distance ride that lasts a while, usually a few weeks to couple of months. There are literally hundreds of reasons that you should load up your bike, grab a map, and head down the open road. Here are the 5 best, potentially life-altering reasons:
1.It will restore your faith in humanity
So this sounds a little funny, but you will meet so many amazing people and be blown away by their kindness. You will inevitably find yourself in some sort of pickle and need help. Then, out of now where, all sorts of wonderful people will come to your rescue. You will be invited into homes for dinner, have meals paid for at diners, and have people stop on the side of the road just to talk with you a bit.
2. Touring is for EVERYONE!
If Kathleen can do it, you can do it! That’s right, my wife is a wuss when it comes to riding on anything besides a flat paved sidewalk. Somehow, some way she was able to climb up and over Hoosier Pass at 11,542ft! We rode through the entire Rocky Mountain Range for over a month! The point of this is that bike touring is for everyone. Young and old, cyclists and newbies. Everyone can take a bike trip and do it successfully. We met a woman on the TransAmerica Trail last summer that was going to finish her 4,300-mile trip on her 70th birthday! It will be one of the most rewarding experiences that you ever have.
3.Bike touring forces you to travel slowly…. really slowly
This is a good thing. Often in today’s rush rush zing zing lifestyle we don’t take the time to explore everything around us. Maybe we would whiz by a small town that has so much to offer, maybe there is a sweet farmers market that you just passed by. Bike touring connects you with regions, towns, and people that simply isn’t possible through other forms of travel. Traveling on a bike immerses you in everything. You can’t just speed away and in an hour be in a different city or town. Slow travel will creep into all aspects of your life and you’ll learn to play in creeks again…. and sit by a morning campfire until well past noon!
4.You get to play on a bike….. everyday!
Some people in various parts of the world (Kentucky) will be amazed that an adult is riding a bike and shout strange things as you pass by. You might even hear…”that’s a grown ass man on a bike!” Like, we aren’t allowed to ride bikes after 12 years old? Riding a bike is awesome, no two ways about it. It is an absolutely amazing to barrel down a mountain pass and hit 40mph. Jump in the saddle and get back to that blissful riding that you have missed for so long!
5. Ride, eat, camp, repeat.
Sounds pretty simple right? You only have to worry about where you will be cruising off to tomorrow. It is quite liberating not worrying about much else besides riding and having fun. You only have to focus on the present and having fun in the moment. All the other mundane, trivial things in life seem to fade away when your whole existence is built around riding a bike and finding a place to camp. When you get to camp you can relax with the stars over head, often times in the middle of the mountains, and realize how amazing life really can be.
Bike touring can be something that truly reshapes your outlook on the world at large. It will help you to slow down, get in touch with yourself and your surroundings, and have amazing adventures that other people can only dream about. If you want to take an epic trip that you will always look back on and smile, dust off that old bike in your garage and slap some panniers on it and hit the road!
Read more about Kathleen and Brock’s Two Wheeled Trip.
This has been on my list for a while, I have dreams of doing a bike tour through old East Germany and seeing the old remnants of walls, and such. Thanks for the inspiration!
Bike tour through East Germany would be amazing! I would love to do a bike tour through Africa – I just have to check on the safety of it first :D
Great post! These two have inspired us to take to two wheels and explore! thanks for sharing Meg!
Us too! We’re looking at taking our bikes with us next year through Central and South America – will see how we go lol!
Oh man, I would absolutely love to do a trip like this. I absolutely love biking, but I’ve never gone on rides for more than a few hours at a time. How much do the panniers hold compared to a traditional backpack? I see you managed to fit your tent in without much problem! What about food/fuel/sleeping gear? Do you just pack super light or do they hold more than it seems?
Hey Jessi! Great questions! Bike touring is such a cool way to have an adventure, even a short one just puts a whole new perspective on a familiar area :)
The panniers we carried on our rear wheels were each 20 liters. To give you an idea 40 liters is a decent sized backpackers backpack.
To answer the other question, yes, they fit more than they seem. For several months between the two of us we only had the rear panniers (we sent the front ones home partially through the trip) and we fit the tent, sleeping gear, all of our food and cooking supplies, electronics, toiletries, clothes and bike gear just fine. For the record we pack relatively lightly, but there were others we met with way less stuff than us even!
Once we got into colder weather and needed jackets, rain gear and our heaviest sleeping bags we added the front panniers to Brock’s bike to hold the extra stuff. I believe they are 12.5 liters each.
Hope that helps! Hope you get off on a bike tour someday soon :)
Your comment about taking it slow really hit a cord with me. Our lives are fast paced and we often miss the most obvious things around us. Sometimes you have to stop to smell the roses!
Absolutely Mark – I think that’s the true beauty in this kind of travel. It forces you to slow down and really appreciate the aspects of life we take for granted and miss :)
My husband and I have been thinking about doing a tour on bikes on our next vacation. I like that you mentioned being able to see a lot more when touring on bikes. My husband and I both love adventures, and seeing even the smallest details of a new place would be perfect for us.
How exciting Leyva! Yes, you can definitely see a lot more of a destination this way, you miss most of the countryside when you fly between cities, and this is often the most beautiful and interesting part :)
Wishing you both an incredible bike tour!
Well, there is no special reason for bike tour lovers to go for a trip. I never want a reason to go with my group on a cycle trip.
We enjoy our rides and finding new routes for the camping. Spain and Itlay are my favorite places.
One should definitely go on Self Guided Bike Tours
Cheerrss :) :)
So glad to hear you’re a fan of cycling too! I totally agree, if you enjoy riding, you definitely don’t need an excuse :)
Spain and Italy sound like wonderful places to go on a bike tour – self guided is definitely the best.
Thanks for stopping by – happy travels!
I love biking but doesn’t go any tour. But after reading your blog now I am very interested in a bike tour. Thanks for sharing a great thing.
Glad we could inspire you towards a bike tour Rose :) Happy travels!
WoW!!! Sounds like something adventurous. Means that me and my bike together again for some new freshest moments. my bike is my best friend.Either I take it along everywhere – or it takes me.Thanks a lot for sharing your great thoughts through your amazing post. Looking forward for more from you.
Absolutely – a great way to get back to nature, and a fantastic choice of adventure if you enjoy spending time on your bike :)
Happy travels! We hope you’ll consider a bike tour.
I love experiencing a new culture, landscape, and people but I’ve never traveled by bike and you’ve inspired me via the post.
“3.Bike touring forces you to travel slowly…. really slowly”.
From now, I will call “slow travel”. So how to choose the tour and what’s my budget, Meg?
Thank you so much for your sharing. Great post!
I think around $2,000 for a brand new and fully equipped model but a reliable second hand bike can cost around $200 – $400.
However, it depends on your plan to ride on pavement or ride off road.
So glad you’ve been inspired to bike tour Betty! If you’re just starting out for the first time, you can maybe choose a bike route through your own country, and then look at different international destinations once you get used to it / decide if you like it.
What Bob said is a good gauge for budget for a bike. Above that, your overall touring budget will depend on things like whether you’re camping or staying in hotels, how long you’re on the road for, and whether you eat out or buy food from markets and grocery stores etc. It can really be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be :)