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Getting ready for a cycling staycation

Words by Cycle Solutions

on 18/03/2021 11:00:18

For those of us not heading abroad this year, staying closer to home and exploring what the UK has to offer is a great option. We have so many beautiful spots and some great riding. The weather may not always be the best, but sometimes the best memories are made when things don’t always go to plan.

So what do you need for a staycation, especially when you’re bringing the bikes along? Here’s an idea of what to do when you’re getting ready to head off on a trip with your bikes.

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Where to go on your cycling trip?

There are now more options than ever, for every kind of rider, person and ability. You can choose to go on a gravel cycling holiday, a mountain bike tour, a bikepacking multi-day adventure, or road ride across the country. Whatever kind of riding you prefer, whether you have a challenge in mind, or want to go and see a new part of the UK, there is no better time. Cycling infrastructure is improving, there are more cycle routes, trail centres and options available and more tour providers and holiday companies that cater to those of us who like to see new things by bike.

Plan your trip around what you want to do, who is coming, how you’re getting there, the budget you have, and where you want to visit.

Don’t forget..

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How are you getting there?

If you’re riding to your destination you’ll need to plan out things like public transport, bringing everything you’ll need and route planning. Then there’s things like considering where you’ll stay during each leg of the journey.

If you’re driving, you’ll just need to make sure you’ve packed everything, and consider which way you’ll transport your bikes, whether that’s a bike rack, roof rack or packing them into your car or van (you may want to use a bike bag for this).

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Your accommodation

There are lots of bike friendly accommodation options available throughout the UK, make sure you check whether they have secure bike storage facilities, or you may have to keep your bikes locked in or to a vehicle (check your bicycle insurance requirements to check you’re covered).

For mountain bikers, you may want to check if there are facilities like a bike wash available. It’s also a good idea (if you’re not confident working on your own bike) to check out where the closest bike shops are to where you’re staying, it’s not good to be caught out if you need spares or don’t have what you need to be able to keep riding.

Who you ride with

Cycling holidays can be great fun with friends and family. If you’re not going with a guide or tour company, it’s a good idea to create your own itinerary to make sure everything is planned out, especially if you’re bikepacking, gravel riding or going on long road rides. The last thing you want is to be caught out, lost, or finding you’re not able to travel the distance you’ve planned.

If you’re going with family, having a kids’ seat rather than a separate bike for your little one can be good if you plan to ride quite far, or think they may get tired. There’s also towbars or trailer options.

If you’re riding with a group, it’s a good idea to talk about what everyone wants and make sure the rides are within everyone’s abilities. The last thing you want is someone to get injured, or not feel they are able to keep up.

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Before you go

It’s worth working on your fitness before you go, especially if you’ve not been on your bike much. Not everyone is going to go and be out riding all day, some will choose to cycle and mix it up with other activities, but you want to make sure you’re prepared, and your bike is in good working order before you head on holiday.

Make sure you leave enough time before the start of your trip to get your bike (s) booked into a local bike shop. They may not have availability for servicing or repairs, so make sure you book in advance and give yourself, and them enough time.

It’s always worthwhile checking out the weather forecast before you go. It’s hardly a science, but being prepared for everything will mean you’re not left short or unprepared if it happens to rain or get cold whilst you’re riding. Things like a small, packable jacket, arm warmers, leg warmers, a base layer or gilet are good options to consider. For mountain bikers, think about what you can comfortably carry in a bag.

It’s also a good idea to check your insurance, make sure your bike is covered. If you have a specialist bike insurance policy, give them a call to check your cover. Likewise with certain home insurance policies, if your bike is on your policy, check everything is covered, what the requirements are and if you’re covered away from home.

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Make a packing list

Who doesn’t love a good list? (sorry, if you’re not one of them). Make sure you’ve got everything you need; bike, kit, spares, accessories. Packing will depend on what kind of riding you’re doing, and the kind of trip you’re going on. If you’re mountain biking and staying in accommodation near a trail centre, you’ll likely only have to pack fairly light. If you’re going on a multi-day bikepacking trip, you’ll need a lot more, including things like camping gear, lights and additional clothing.

It’s really easy to forget something, so just think about the trip, the time of year, and whether you’ll have access to things like washing facilities where you’re visiting. Don’t forget the essentials like medication, your helmet, cycling nutrition and everything you’ll need to keep you safe and stay prepared.

Some top staycation essentials for transporting your bikes (or little ones)..

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