Bike touring for beginners: tips and advice for the amateur cyclist

The thrill of adventure is alluring to the seasoned cycle tourer. Following much preparation for the tour abroad, including hours on the turbo trainer, it's about getting your kit and bike set up ready for the day long rides. Saddling up has a whole new meaning when crossing the ferry or catching a boat or plane to start a new cycling adventure.

What kind of road touring holiday do you want?

Sounds simple enough, get a bike, buy a tent, off you go. You could do this, but before planning or not planning a tour it is important to consider what you want from a bike tour. Do you want an epic 1000 mile adventure when you spend most of your day on a bike, or do you want less time on the bike to take in some sights off the saddle, take part in a cooking course or sample the produce of local vineyards? There are a variety of cycling tours organised or led by companies that can cater to all tastes.

How much does a bike tour cost?

Well this all depends on what you want to do, it could be £1k up to £10k. Again like shown above it depends on what you want to do. You might want the lap of luxury, to travel lightly and sleep in fine Egyptian cotton every night or alternatively rough it under the stars.Your choices will define the costs and the preparation involved.

You might be a seasoned rider, but can you manage cycling with two sets of panniers and heavy packs of gear including a tent? If not it will be important to practice this with the likely amount of day to day cycling required.

Cycling kit can make or break your adventure, so if you aren't sure then a guided and supported tour might be right for you. This will also depend on whether you are going solo, with a group of friends and/or family and where in the world you are. Abilities, affordability and preparation affect what your priorities are in getting out on the open road and taking in some scenery.



  • Leisure
  • Long Rides
  • Road