August 24, 2014

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The Attractions of Cycle Touring

After deciding to go on a cycle tour there are two parts to the process both of which I find enjoyable. Firstly there is the planning of the route and finding out everything you need to know before commencing your journey. The goal when planning your ride is to find safe and interesting routes which if possible are well away from the main roads.

The second part is that when you are on the ride what you do each day is usually very flexible. In this way you can remove the need to be at a particular destination each night for booked accommodation. If you have to keep to your timetable this adds pressure and takes away from the possibility of changing your plans if you find an interesting place to spend more time in.

When you are cycle touring all you have is in your panniers so especially if you are camping you do not carry anything you do not need. The art of packing your panniers is important to a cycle tourist.

While you are always on the move when cycle touring you become well acquainted with the local topography and landscape in a way that is not possible in a car. You remember the hills but these are not to bad if you travel light and give yourself plenty of time. Food is your fuel so visiting cafes and cooking your meals each day are an enjoyable part of the ride as well as the odd glass of beer at the end of the day.

A question that is often raised is that cycle touring is to dangerous? In my view it is not dangerous if you plan your ride well and obey the laws of the road. On occasions you may have to get of your bike if you think it is unsafe and wait until for example the logging trucks have gone by.

In cycle touring there are classes of riders. You may be a cycle tourist who left your country two years ago and you are on your way around the world. On the other hand you may be doing the Otago rail trail and be doing only a few kilometres in a day. In both cases you will enjoy the freedom and challenges that cycle touring offers.

I started my rides a few years ago and I have enjoyed visiting towns especially in the rural areas all over New Zealand and I have a lot more territory to cover. As they say get on your bike!


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