How to prepare for a long bike trip?

As one prepares his car, before going on vacation to the other side of the country, one makes the revision and the necessary repairs to his bike before hitting the road. We grease a little here, we test the brakes, the quality of the pedals, we change the weakened or defective parts. We can also be pushed to change the saddle for more comfort.

Bicycle tourism

Ecology is not just a fashion but a spirit and a way of life. Going on a weekend or on a cycling holiday is a formula increasingly adopted by couples or families, even with young children. Cycle tourism allows you to experience the holidays at your own pace, without necessarily having a specific goal. We can sleep in a guest room or bivouac wherever we want. We travel without CO2 emissions except…our own!

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Itinerary

If the final goal is not always reached, it is still necessary to write down a route, it is safer, whether you are experienced or budding cyclists.

The purchase of the most recent IGN map of the region to be discovered is essential, unless you print the map. Several sites allow you to calculate a route especially for bicycle tourists: Francevelotourisme.com/itineraire; Veloenfrance.fr; Geovelo.fr/france/rides…

The plan will be inserted in a bag at the level of the handlebars. The GPS for the bike, for example, or the mobile phone equipped with the GPS option could be enough, but you can never be too careful, a loss of network or a weak battery would leave you in a bit of trouble.

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The indispensable

Whatever the circuit to be carried out, one needs a minimum of material.

For the bike

  • Spare inner tubes are a must if you haven’t opted for tubeless tyres. For the latter, do not forget the patches. *The bicycle pump, even for Tubeless tires.
  • The handlebar bag, to store the bike repair kit, the mobile phone charger and above all to have the map in front of you, well protected under the plastic film of the map holder.
  • Double or triple bicycle panniers to hang on the luggage rack. They are waterproof and have a very large capacity of up to 35 L.
  • A gel-padded anatomical saddle or saddle cover. Comfort is essential, whoever wants to travel far by bike prepares his seat.

For ourselves

  • An outfit in which you feel good and which does not risk getting caught in the rays. For long stages, cycling shorts are welcome. It can be padded with gel or simply very breathable with shorts.
  • A helmet is desirable but not mandatory for children over 12 and adults. On the other hand, according to article R. 431-1-3 of the Highway Code, wearing a helmet is compulsory for children under 12 who are drivers or passengers of the bicycle.
  • A hat or cap to protect the back of the neck from the sun during stops or while riding if you don’t wear a helmet.
  • A raincoat to protect against the rain. They often have the shape of ponchos and protect the cyclist from head to toe, only the hands and face are still in contact with the rain. Ponchos for children: rabbit, frog or duck should delight the little ones. Bike protection is also a good idea, Roofbi.com offers one. It is a hood that is installed on the bike when it starts to rain. It takes up little space and weighs 3kg, it can be installed in a jiffy, in 2 minutes. With waterproof pants, you find yourself completely sheltered. Even the little one in his child seat in the back is protected.
  • Sun protection and insect repellent are also very important. The 50+ index is appropriate when you have to stay under the sun for a long time. Body repellent is a good idea for the evening when the sun is down, otherwise it is better to spray it on clothes to avoid stains on the skin (photosensitization). You will be safe from mosquito bites.
  • Food and hydration are really paramount. It is necessary to hydrate and nourish the muscle to avoid cramps. You must drink to compensate for water loss due to perspiration and evaporation, otherwise you risk dehydration and dizziness or heat stroke. It is better not to abuse energy drinks that give a boost in the moment but not in the long term. *The massage cream is a plus to help relax the muscles after a day of cycling.
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The bike trailer

As with cars or even motorcycles, the bicycle transport trailer allows you to take a lot more stuff. Camping essentials for bivouacers or campers: tent, groundsheet, bowls, stove, etc.

As the Veloperf site, a site specializing in bicycle equipment, recalls, trailers for transporting children are ideal for short walks as well as for long trips. They are comfortably installed, with a 5-point belt and can even sleep or play during the journey. A removable hood keeps them sheltered from the rain or the sun. Some can convert into a stroller.

As they are equipped with reflectors and flags, they are visible from afar, thus increasing safety.

The animals are not forgotten, this trailer has all the advantages of the one for children, without the 5-point belts.

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