Cross a country, a continent or even go around the world … by bike. They are more and more numerous to try the adventure. Economic, ecological, cycling gives the world its full dimension, invites introspection, arouses encounters .
And no need to be a seasoned athlete to carve the road on two wheels. In the saddle, everything is a matter of time … and preparation too a little.To know more travel tips find here at 10ion.com.
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Target your itinerary
If you have to take a constraint into consideration, it is certainly your availability. You have to settle for three weeks of vacation? You can undertake the crossing of a country for about 1000 kilometres.
Do you have unpaid leave or parental leave of one year? A transcontinental journey becomes possible. You are free from any obligation for 2 or 3 years? The world is Yours ! It remains to define precisely your needs and expectations.
What are your relationships to comfort, difficult weather conditions, isolation, relief …?In sum, to what degree of commitment are you ready to submit?
The requirements of a Pamir crossing in autonomy will be of a different order than those of a trip along the Loire.
It’s up to you to place the cursor in the right way by associating the physical challenge with other dimensions that matter to you: openness to another culture, authenticity of encounters, splendour of landscapes … In short, beyond purely geographical considerations, give a sense your way!
2- Choose your travelling companions
This is an opportunity to discover oneself. In this sense, a long escape alone will be conducive to introspection, taking a step back, and it can even serve as a spiritual retreat. To many, the deal will be different.
The others, confronted with unusual conditions, will not fail to reveal themselves in a different light for the better or … for the worse! With friends, even long-time couples, make sure you’re on the same wavelength.
The project should not be that of the one compared to the other, but the fruit of a common reflection.Identify the stumbling blocks and discuss them honestly.
Whatever links you have at the beginning, you will also need to form a team in the field. At the end of the day, a successful experience will lay the foundations for a lasting friendship, a solid union, a fulfilling family. Because yes, cycling with your children is quite possible. Their coping skills will surprise you and you will write together one of the most extraordinary chapters of your life.
3-Find the perfect mount
It’s a good time to pretend that the ideal bike is the one you already have. In the absolute, nothing more right. The story of the bike trip is peppered with extraordinary journeys on the handlebars of completely inappropriate frames.
However, unless you want to add a challenge to the challenge, it is recommended to pay particular attention to the choice of your bicycle. Three fundamental criteria to keep in mind: robustness, simplicity, comfort! With this in mind, most travellers choose a steel frame.
Resistant, with a longer life than aluminium or carbon, it has excellent shock absorption and vibration, essential for long distance. Particular attention will be paid to the wheels which will suffer with the presence of the luggage of important constraints. We will opt for strong rims and shelving. For tires, a reference: the Schwalbe Marathon range with a lifespan of over 10,000 km.
The 26 ” size remains the most easily found standard around the world. Side transmission, prefer developments that will allow you to mill (trays 48/36/26, tape 11/34 or shorter). Essential, take care of your position, with a saddle adapted to your morphology and well adjusted.
Ergonomic handles or even a butterfly hanger will relieve tension in the neck, shoulders and arms. favour developments that will allow you to mill (trays 48/36/26, cassette 11/34 or even shorter). Essential, take care of your position, with a saddle adapted to your morphology and well adjusted.
Ergonomic handles or even a butterfly hanger will relieve tension in the neck, shoulders and arms. favour developments that will allow you to mill (trays 48/36/26, cassette 11/34 or even shorter). Essential, take care of your position, with a saddle adapted to your morphology and well adjusted. Ergonomic handles or even a butterfly hanger will relieve tension in the neck, shoulders and arms.
4- Choose your porting mode
The most frequently used solution is to equip yourself with a complete set of saddlebags. We prefer them waterproof and bulky. We will associate a handlebar bag. German brands Vaude and Ortlieb are a benchmark on the market.
This device will fulfil the expectations of travellers in search of a large loading capacity on roads or on motorised tracks. But other solutions start with the innovative bike-packing system that allows you to get rid of luggage racks and roam on the handlebars of an ATV or a road bike, for example.
The concept: scratch elements that can be attached to the handlebar, frame or saddle. Ideal for those who want to travel fast and easy or venture on narrow or bumpy trails.In contrast, the trailer will increase its transport capacity or completely without saddlebags. If it counts its followers, it has some weak points: a detrimental inertia on the hill and its bulky tote bag that does not facilitate access to its equipment. An adapted trailer will be essential for families travelling with young children.
5-Select your equipment
Although it is quite possible to travel by bicycle with some change of clothes and its only credit card to pay the price of a hotel room, to bet on the complete autonomy will undoubtedly prove more intense humanly and above all more economical (unless you prefer the hospitality network reserved for cyclists ).
6-Buckle your panniers
To pack up is like an arrangement in a new apartment, you search for landmarks, you grope. To get hold of the desired object without having to search thoroughly each of its bags, it is necessary to organise thoroughly.
Put a separate sticker on each of them and assign them a role: the dressing room, the kitchen, the garage, the bedroom … You will always know where to look and avoid untimely openings.
This organisation should not disturb the overall balance of your load. The mass will have to be distributed equitably between the left and right saddlebags, preferably placing the heavy equipment at the front. You will gain stability. In general, the essentials (camera, repair kit, first aid kit …) must remain accessible in the handlebar bag or in the upper part of the saddlebags.
7-Test yourself in real conditions
In order to avoid unfortunate disappointments once dropped in the big bath, consider organising a test outing a few weeks before the big departure. A hike of two to three days will be enough to put you to the test with your equipment. Ideally, leave home so you can turn back easily, if necessary.
This rehearsal session will allow you to better adjust your bags, your position on the bike and to uncover any malfunctions that you missed. For the experience to be effective, play the game to the fullest and strive to use all of your equipment. You will gain valuable reflexes and start learning your life while roaming smoothly.
8-Anticipate the risks
Identifying risks is already helping to limit them. Without sinking into a counterproductive paranoia, it’s a good idea to take stock of the potential dangers that a long-distance bike trip can hold.
Wanting to remove them is Utopian, but accepting them and learning how to deal with them are essential steps to travel with peace of mind. Cycling has a lot of peril, the first of them being traffic accidents.
In this regard, the zero risk does not exist, but as far as possible away from the busy axes, by wearing an outfit visible from afar and if necessary a luminous signalling device (flashing LED), in s’ equipped with a rear-view mirror and wearing a helmet, it will be equipped effectively against the threat.
Other risks will be inherent to the chosen destination. Wild fauna, difficulty of access to drinking water, insecurity, diseases, we will carefully study the subject before leaving. On the spot, one will update one’s knowledge thanks to the advice of the authorities and the local populations more in phase with the reality of the field. The experience will distinguish sources of reliable information and fantasies or rumours.
9- Take the plane
Of course, a journey, even thousands of miles, can begin on your doorstep. What’s better on the ecological and economic levels? However, one can be tempted to begin his wanderings on the other side of the ocean.
The plane will then undoubtedly become the most suitable means of transport. Again, upstream intelligence will be key to avoiding unpleasant surprises at the airport. Some companies also systematically charge for the transport of a bicycle.
Others allow his presence by counting his weight on your luggage package. Similarly, some require the use of a carrying case. But most tolerate more artisan packaging solutions.The least expensive is to get a cardboard adapted to the size of your mount with a bicycle dealer.
It will first remove the wheels and pedals, deflate the tires, remove the saddle and fix your handlebars against the top tube of the frame. You will be careful to properly protect your transmission and any protruding parts that could cause damage to the carton. Bet on foam and bubble wrap! Then tape everything firmly.
10- Imagine your return
This may seem premature and yet it is necessary to think about his return even before leaving home, especially if you leave for a long time. Rather than look into the matter in the emotional and material precipitation of your landing on national soil, anticipate!
It’s not a question of writing your future step by step even before you start pedalling – the trip will certainly have changed and new projects have sprouted on the road – but to lay the groundwork for a landing slowly.Have you terminated your lease? Plan a hosting solution, even temporary, for the first weeks.
Also, make sure you have enough money to meet your needs while waiting for a business activity that may not be immediate. Also find out about the administrative formalities to be fulfilled (re-affiliation to social security, etc.). You will be armed at the very least to deal with the whirlwind of return.