Ever tried Adventure Cycling? If you’re keen to get out on your bike and explore, you’ll likely be the perfect candidate. While reports indicate that the so-called ‘cycling boom’ in the US is no longer, there’s no denying that many people have found freedom through cycling. Some may be itching to learn how they can get more involved. Here’s what you need to know about Adventure Cycling.
What is Adventure Cycling?
The Adventure Cycling Association is a nonprofit member organization with a focus on travel by bicycle. It creates cycling routes and publishes helpful maps and guides to encourage cyclers to get out and explore. Plus, you can even attend guided trips. The main goal is to get more people out on their bikes, while helping to ensure there’s a widespread understanding of road safety.
The essence of Adventure Cycling is to romanticize riding your bike as an enjoyable pastime. If you’re riding a bicycle and leaving home for a night or more, this counts as bicycle touring in their eyes.
Some cyclists may choose to embark on epic European cycling tours, while others might choose to explore their local surroundings. It doesn’t discriminate against anyone or their trip, whether you’re staying at a flash hotel or a standard campsite. You’ll likely want to get booked onto an all-out cycling vacation once you get the adventure cycling bug!
Types of adventure or bicycle touring
There are several different types of bicycle touring to allow for varying preferences in the cycling community:
- Supported Bicycle Touring: This type of tour involves group sizes and levels of support, allowing cyclists to choose smaller or larger groups, and at a level that suits their abilities. They tend to feature SAG (support and gear) wagons, as well as a luggage transfer. You can even get meals! This way, you can concentrate on riding rather than handling logistics.
- Self Contained Bicycle Touring: These tours can take place virtually anywhere, whether on paved roads or trails. However, you’ll be carrying your own equipment. This might involve carrying camping and cooking gear in rack-mounted panniers or handlebar bags. Some may see this as somewhat more ‘traditional’ bicycle touring.
- Hybrid Bicycle Touring: As the name suggests, this is a combination of the two. You can combine inn-to-inn and self-guided tours without having to carry everything.
How to choose the best route for you
When it comes to choosing the best route, there’s plenty to consider. At the end of the day, you want to get the most out of your cycling adventure.
Here’s what you should think about:
- What style of touring do you prefer?
- How long, in both days and miles, do you intend to be on the road?
- In what part of the country or the world do you wish to ride?
- Do you want a researched, mapped route, or are you more of a DIYer who would prefer to find your own way as you go?