Top 12 Reasons to Take a Cycling Tour

By Theresa Russell
November 13, 2014

The scents and aroma of a new country.  Interacting with the locals. Sampling the regional foods. Fully enjoying the open road and savoring each day's accomplishment,

What more compelling reasons could there be for touring by bicycle? Here are our top 12 reasons for choosing an organized tour with a bicycle touring company:

1. No planning needed. Remember that old commercial that said leave the driving to us? Well, how about leaving the planning to us? What a luxury to not have to spend hours of time poring over maps, researching destinations and finding which routes are suitable for cycling. That in itself is a huge value.

2. The wheres and whens. Bicycle touring companies choose the most bicycle-friendly destinations to tour and know the best times of year to ride.

3. Route tips. Bicycle touring companies extensively research routes and know them inside and out. They can tell you where the hills are, where the best pubs or bakeries are, and where to watch out for those cows crossing the road.

4. No heavy lifting.  You needn't carry any of your gear. The joy of not being encumbered with the weight of your worldly possessions on your bicycle ranks among the top reasons to tour with a company that will transport your gear from start to finish. Not only does it save you from lugging along those extra pounds, but it may also allow you to travel with more than the bare essentials.

5. Mechanics aboard. Do your mechanical skills leave much to be desired? Do you not know the difference between an Allen wrench and a pedal wrench? No worries when you have the support of those who can change a flat in a flash or adjust your seat in record time. And just think of the weight of the tools that you would have to carry if you were on your own. Should your bicycle experience a serious problem, your tour operator will assist with getting you back on the road.

6. Relief is at hand. You thought that 30 miles would be no problem, but you just don't feel at your best one day and that looming 500 foot climb has you in a tizzy. Not to fret. Tour companies offer van support for those who may not be feeling in their element for the day or those who just don't enjoy hills or inclement weather.

7. Congenial company. Cycling with a tour company usually means traveling with a group. Already, everybody in the group has one thing in common - a love of bicycling. And aren't cyclists exemplary types of people?

8.  Lunch? No worries. What's to eat? The catered meals on the trip simplify your day. No concerns about whether there will be a restaurant in the next town or if you will make it there before the restaurant closes.

9. Lodging assured. Will there be a place to stay?  Don't worry about having to stealth camp because a hotel recently closed down. Bicycle tour companies plan their routes to include interesting accommodations spaced at an adequate cycling distance. Best of all, your luggage will be awaiting your arrival.

10. No airline hassles. Not only might you encounter extra airline fees for transporting your own bicycle, but you will face various restrictions by bringing it along on your flight.  You’ll need to fit it into a certain sized box, you’ll need to remove your pedals (do you have a pedal wrench?), you’ll have to wait for the oversized luggage to arrive at your destination carousel, and other nuisances.

Most tour companies either include bicycle rental in their base price or will rent one to you for less than what it would cost to transport your own trusty steed.

11. English-speaking guides. Is there a language barrier between you and your bucket list cycle-touring destination? You won't need to worry about that with a company that will have guides who speak the local language as well as yours.

12. Travel at your pace. On a bike tour, you generally are able to ride at a pace that’s right for you and allows you to truly experience your surroundings. If you want to race ahead -- great. If you want to take it slow for a while, that’s fine, too.

And while the physical benefits of a week-long bike tour are obvious, the intangible benefits become lasting memories.

On a cycling tour, some of the little things become big: a hot cup of coffee in the morning, a warm shower after a long day, or a pleasant chat with a local.

Now, that's what touring by bicycle is all about – and Stride can help you get on the road with minimal hassle. 

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