Adventure and sporting vacations can be a great way to travel and are good for the mind, body, and soul. Exploring the world by bike is becoming an increasingly popular way to travel and there are many cycling holiday destinations to choose from. If you’re planning to take a biking tour, here are some tips to help you stay safe when cycling abroad.
Other countries may have different laws, rules, and cultural expectations regarding cyclists, so it’s important to check before you travel so that you know what to expect.
Make sure you know internationally recognized hand signals for cyclists so you can make other road users and pedestrians aware of your intentions when cycling on the road abroad.
If you plan to take your bicycle with you when traveling abroad, you’ll also need to make sure it meets the internationally agreed specifications set out in the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.
It will need a:
- Working brake
- Red rear reflector
- Red rear lamp
- White or selective yellow front lamp
The Right Equipment
It’s vital that you pack the right equipment for your cycling trip and that everything is in excellent condition ready to use during your travels. A high-quality helmet is essential to protect you from serious head injuries in the event of an accident.
Road bike users will want to choose a helmet that’s both aerodynamic and sturdy as well as offering good ventilation. If you intend to cycle off-road, you’ll want to opt for a helmet designed specifically for mountain biking.
You should also ensure that you have adequate insurance in place before you travel, to cover both your equipment and yourself whilst cycling abroad.
The Weather Conditions
Check ahead of time what the weather will be like during your trip and pack clothing and cycling gear accordingly, for example, waterproof clothing if you’ll be traveling during the rainy season, or UV protection if you’ll be cycling in warmer climates.
Don’t underestimate the difference that temperature and weather conditions will have. Even experienced cyclists will find it a challenge to cycle under vastly different conditions so allow yourself time to acclimatize when you arrive and ensure you’re confident in your capabilities before you embark on a trail.
Know the Area
Riding in a foreign country can be daunting, even more so if you’re unfamiliar with the roads and language. A bit of research ahead of time can help your trip go a lot smoother.
Plan your itinerary ahead of time, and opt for tried and tested routes where possible. If you’re a novice rider or feel anxious about cycling abroad, then guided tours are ideal. There are many biking tours in and around Europe that you can join, where you’ll benefit from the experience and expertise of locals. These are often tailored to your experience level and help you make the most of your trip while staying safe.