The rise of the staycation has changed the vacationing landscape for good. Many people are no longer satisfied with traditional holidays – they want adventure and excitement. Many vacationers also want a budget-friendly way to get out and explore the world without going abroad. This is what makes cycling staycations so appealing. It is perfect for any thrill-seeker while going easy on the bank balance: a win-win.
Here are a few of the most important things you need to know about cycling across America.
Choose Your Bike Wisely
Whether you’re a bike fanatic or someone who only rides occasionally, choosing the right bike for your journey is crucial. Before you embark on your ride, you should consider how far you will be going, what the weather, humidity and temperature are likely to be, and your own fitness levels.
Your bike should be of good quality, well fitted to your size and body shape, and comfortable to ride. You will be riding your bike for hours at a time on a trip across the US, so it’s a good idea to take your bicycle out for some long journeys before you go, to ensure that it is the right fit.
If this is your first time on a long-distance bike ride, it may be worth considering your e-bike options. These bikes have a battery-powered motor that helps to take some of the burden of powering the bike from you. This type of bicycle can be helpful to prevent overstraining yourself, and reduce fatigue on your trip. If you think an e-bike would suit you it is worth remembering that you will need to charge it as you go, so won’t be ideal for long journeys off the beaten track.
Preparation Is Key
Before you set off, you should ensure that you have everything you will need for your trip. Make sure that you are only taking your essentials – you don’t want your pack to be too heavy. You should include food, water, clothes and a tent. Taking food that will keep is essential, so energy bars, dried fruit and cured meats are perfect.
If you are camping on your trip, then a specially designed bike tent could be perfect for you. These are compact, lightweight, and can be put up using your bike’s frame as part of the structure.
A small bike repairs kit will also be crucial for your trip. You should pack a puncture repair kit, spare tubes and a multitool that can help you repair any minor damage on the road.
Maintaining Your Bike On The Go
After every ride, you should ensure that you clean off your bike where possible. Any dirt or damp on your bicycle can weaken it and cause damage further along the line.
Check your bike over at the end of every day for any rusting, damage or punctures in the tyres. Anything you notice should be fixed immediately, either by you or by a local bicycle mechanic.
When setting up for sleep, you should ensure that your bike is stored correctly. This will depend primarily on whether you are sleeping inside or out, in warm, cold or wet weather. Check out this article from Velosurance for a more detailed guide on how to store a bicycle.
There are two reasons that you should regularly stop: to keep you from getting overly tired and to ensure you see all the sights. It might help for you to try stopping every couple of hours. You can have a drink and something to eat, look your bike over and explore where you’ve come to a stop.
Stopping at intervals of every hour or two will help ensure that you get enough water and food to keep you going. It would also help during your breaks to ensure that you’re topped up with sunscreen.
Your cross-country bike trip is one of the best chances you will have to explore the country. While you may have a list of places you want to see and do, often it is the places we find by total accident en route that are the most memorable.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
If you’re taking one of the most popular cross-country routes across the US, then you will likely encounter other cyclists. This can be a great way to make new friends, and team up if you want a bit of company for your ride.
Other cyclists on the road can also be a great source of help and information. No matter how experienced you are with cycling, it can never hurt to have advice about the road you’ll be travelling or different weather or terrain you might encounter. If you have any questions, you’ll likely find someone on the road that will be more than happy to help you out.