A cycling vacation is a fun and active way to spend your free time and get outside. But can you undertake a cycling vacation when you have a foldable bike? Yes, although planning the trip will be slightly different. Take a look at our tips for going on your first folding bike tour to make sure you get the most out of future cycling holidays.
Choose your foldable bike carefully
Going on a cycling vacation is different from everyday cycling, so it’s important to choose a folding bike that is suitable for various terrains and conditions. Everyday commutes or short trips call for a more lightweight folding bike that is portable for carrying on and off transport, cycle touring requires more durability. A folding bike like Pacific Cycle’s BIRDY is able to withstand different surfaces and high usage, which means thicker wheels and more speed options appropriate for a cycle trip.
What kind of cycling vacation will it be?
Not all cycling vacations are alike, and you’ll need to consider what type of trip you’ll be taking. Will it be adventure cycling or an easy-going family cycling holiday? Cross-country cycling, a simple day trip, or perhaps a bike tour that spans multiple countries?
A cycling vacation means your trip can be basically whatever you want it to be, giving you the freedom to customize it as you go.
How is it different from a regular cycle trip?
A folding bike tour, while somewhat limiting in some regards, can actually give you a lot more freedom. A surprising benefit is that you can actually go further afield and take your bike to a lot more places using public transport, as it can fold up into a compact and lightweight structure that is easy to carry around.
Additionally, spare parts for foldable bikes, such as tires and tubes, tend to be smaller. This gives you room to pack more essentials, or the ability to travel lighter, and the low height of the crossbar gives you a lot more room to stack gear on top.
On the other hand, you should keep in mind that a foldable bike may not allow you to ride the same terrain as a conventional bike. Plan your bike tour route accordingly, avoiding difficult, technical terrain that is more suitable for a mountain bike.
Choose your location
Keep in mind all the pros and cons you have with a foldable bike. One of the main benefits is that you can pretty much carry them anywhere you want for on-foot travel, and taking public transport is easy when you can fold up your bike into a manageable size.
Even on a cycle tour, some public transport might be necessary for connections between destinations. You could opt for Pacific Cycle’s IF, with its 26” wheels that folds into a very compact shape. For smaller wheels, Pacific Cycle’s REACH provides a more compact variant.
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make for any kind of trip is over-packing. This is especially important to consider when you’re carrying everything with you on a bike and need to be as lightweight as possible.
Your packing list should include lightweight clothing that you can wash and dry quickly and easily, and a lightweight tool kit for your bike. Opt for spare tubes that are made of lighter, more compact materials and don’t take too many of them.
Consider the daily distance
If you’re going on a bike tour, chances are you’re in a pretty good shape overall. However, you should keep in mind that you’ll be carrying luggage and cycling daily.
With that in mind, going for 60-70 miles per day might be okay when you’re cycling casually, but maintaining that daily distance for a week, with your luggage on top of that, is going to wear you down and burn you out. If in doubt, plan less.
The last thing you should know is that spending a lot of money on gear before your trip isn’t the smartest decision. Instead, get just the basics, and purchase things that are replaceable in case something happens to them. A good bike lock is critical, for example.
So do you feel ready for your first foldable bike tour? If you’re looking for a foldable bike for your trip, or have any questions about folding bikes, check us out at Pacific Cycles.