For those who love biking and want to travel, a cycling trip overseas is the perfect vacation option. There’s nothing like visiting a beautiful foreign land while enjoying your favorite hobby. But there is a lot of training to do and preparations to make before embarking. Here’s a simple guide on how to prepare for an overseas bicycling trip.
Packing the essentials
You’ll need more for this trip than just your bike and spandex shorts (although you’ll need those, too). Spending most of the day on a bike means you’ll want to stay comfortable and hydrated. Bring typical cycling clothes, like synthetic shorts, T-shirts, underwear and a helmet, and bring long-sleeved shirts, long tights, waterproof socks and a rain jacket in case bad weather strikes.
Pack bike repair gear as well, including an air pump, chain lube, brake pads and a screwdriver. Always keep an emergency first aid kit with you, and obtain an international health insurance policy in case you have a major accident and need to be hospitalized. HCC Medical and other insurance providers can help you find the policy you need to stay healthy and safe while out of the country.
Prepping your bike
You can get away with riding an ill-fitted bike when cycling at home, but when cycling long distances, properly configuring your bike is imperative if you want to stay pain-free. The most important parts to set up correctly are the handlebars, frame, saddle and pedals. Consult a professional who can adjust your bike according to your riding style.
Prepping your muscles
Even if you’ve been biking regularly for a while, you still may not be prepared for a cross-country cycling venture. Training for a cycling trip is different from training for a race – instead of attempting to build up speed, you’re trying to build up stamina to withstand hours of riding. Start training months in advance of your trip, and slowly build up the distance you can ride to increase stamina.
Working certain muscle groups can help with cycling as well. Your core, glutes and legs are the main muscles at work during a bike ride, so incorporate strength training exercises that target these areas. Don’t forget to eat a proper diet and stay hydrated, too, to avoid fatigue.
Cycling your way through a foreign country isn’t for the weak. It takes a lot of training and endurance to spend hours on a bike, even if biking is your favorite pastime. But with enough preparation, you can conquer the open road – or the open trail – with ease.
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