First, why a cycling holiday?
If the cycling holiday idea is new to you, then the answer may not be too obvious, but if you compare it with a car-based tour (at home or abroad), the main plus point is that it gives you the freedom and time to take in the great outdoors at your destination. We’re not talking about 100-mile-a-day rides here, where you only see tarmac for your pains. We’re talking about a holiday with moderate rides. In fact some of our most memorable rides have been quite short. There’s really so much to see, which you miss completely when touring by car or bus.
We’ve explored the different types of cycling holiday and highlighted some pros and cons on other pages (complete packages, independent travel and completely independent). But most importantly for those planning a cycle holiday with family or friends, follow these tips for successful sociable cycling trips.
7 tips for organising a group/family cycling holiday
The bigger the group, the more people there are to keep happy, so:
1. Every bike has to fit the person riding it. An ill-fitting bike is uncomfortable (even dangerous), makes cycling hard work, slows the rider down and creates aches and pains. Just one person on the wrong bike will drag down the whole group as the holiday progresses.
2. Be realistic about rides – length and terrain – that all can cope with and enjoy (holidays are supposed to be fun, aren’t they?).
3. Include rest days (ie non-cycling days) in your itinerary.
4. Keep the group together at all times. Leaving someone far behind will create discontent, demotivation and isolation.
5. If you are taking your own bikes, then fit new tyres, cables and brake pads before you go, and consider a full service.
6. Pack any small specialist tools that you think you might need, as you’re unlikely to find these on sale in your average shop.
7. Plan to take along food and drink to keep everyone going to the next stop.