Cycling

Top Tips for Preparing for your Cycling holiday

A cycling holiday is a hugely rewarding and exciting way to explore the world. Read on for a guide to choosing the right kind of trip. We also take a look at training and packing considerations.

Cycling holidays

Cycling holidays are a unique way to discover the world. Cycling offers the chance to explore further than the usual tourist trail, but at a faster speed than walking or hiking. Cycling holidays are usually enjoyed by keen cyclists, but even occasional cyclists can think about taking a cycling tour. So if you’ve considered it and the thought is already sending those endorphins to your brain, then read on with this guide to planning, training and then packing for your cycling holiday.

Type of Trip
Cycling holidays are not as prescriptive as you may think and providers can usually offer a range of trips. The first choice to make is whether you take a tour or a self-guided trip. Singles looking to go on group adventure holidays may want to choose a road tour whilst those who want to explore the world for themselves can opt for a self-guided tour. Really it depends on your personality type.

Cycling holidays are usually split into grades going from leisurely or easy to tough and challenging. If you have good fitness levels and are an accomplished cyclist then obviously you can take the more challenging options, but if you’d prefer to take it easy then you’ll find you still get plenty out of the leisurely options.

Training
Most cycling holidays do involve a few hours of bike riding every day. It is best to get yourself into a good level of fitness before you go so you can get the most out of your trip. Obviously most of us don’t have the time to go for a few hours of cycling every day but providing you are enjoying a decent amount of fitness every week you should be fine.

You will also need to be up to speed on bike repairs and maintenance. If you are fairly new to cycling make sure you understand the basics such as changing a tyre and adapting your seat.

Packing
Holidays will nearly always provide you with a choice of hire bike which you can research and book in advance. But many cyclists like to use their own bike which they know and understand already. Obviously if you take your own bike remember to check it is covered by your travel insurance.

Clothes wise you need light clothing which keeps your skin covered to protect you from the sun, but also pack plenty of high factor sun lotion. Lots of socks, decent shoes, a suitable day bag and waterproof clothing are all essential too.

A cycling holiday tends to offer a great mix of exercise, sightseeing and socialising whilst giving you the chance to cover a lot of ground and catch the hidden gems. Plan carefully as to which kind of holiday you want to take and what you need to pack.

AUTHOR BIO:
Anna Mathews is a regular writer for adventure travel blogs. She enjoys cycling and group adventure holidays and fits in as many as she can each year.

Amsterdam Cycling

Most could summon up half a dozen adjectives about Amsterdam’s culture or people without ever mentioning the cycling. It might even come as a surprise that on a city break to Amsterdam, you’re truly in a cyclist’s city. A hardy breed of cyclist, come rain or ice, snowy or slush Amsterdammers are out on their bikes.

Amsterdam Cycling

If you’re a bit wobbly on your bike, it’s probably best to stick to the summer months (when there’s less chance of you falling into the canal). There are plenty of bike rental shops around town; Orange bikes are one such company, based near to Amsterdam’s centre in Singel.

Everywhere you look

Readily available everywhere within the city, and something of a cultural emblem, there are an astonishing estimated six hundred thousand bikes in Amsterdam. Between 6,000 and 10,000 of these bikes are dredged out of the city’s famous canals every year by the city’s municipal service. Many a local will stress the importance of locking up one’s bike wherever you are in the city!

The fastest way to get around

Compared to cyclists and motorists in the UK, who live in uneasy coexistence, as many as 40% of Amsterdam’s city dwellers cycle on a daily basis. A visit to the ‘Venice of the north’ will show any motorist that getting about in the city’s charming historic infrastructure is in fact made far easier (not to mention quicker) with the use of a bike.

Make a statement

All year long around this city you will likely see cyclists whizzing by, not a cycling pant or (regrettable in some cases) a helmet in sight. An international fashion capital since 2004, the locals take being seen on bike very seriously, so get into fashion mode when you’re cycling around. A bold statement colour or patterned winter coat will ensure pedestrians see you coming, and decorating one’s bike accordingly is a must too. In Amsterdam the style is casual, but still eye catching – no lycra here. Save that for the clubs.

See it all

Renting a bike in this wonderful city you’ll find you get around see more of it. Within the inner city area (centrum) Amsterdam is dominated by her beautiful UNESCO-listed canals, meaning cars are not afforded much room at all. In fact getting around by car takes twice as long on average as it would do by bike, and parking a car in this city of hardy cyclists doesn’t even bear thinking about.

Stay in…

The Okura Hotel Amsterdam, with its panoramic views from their Michelin star restaurant, you’ll get an eyeful of the city herself with easy access to both the museum quarter and Vondelpark. 3 nights from £231pp.

Top tips for cyclists:

Because the city of Amsterdam is a relatively small, you might be able to circle the entire canal ring in an afternoon – failing that, both gorgeous Vondelpark and Hortus Botanicus (botanical gardens) will give you a taste of the great Dutch outdoors.

Booking with easyJet holidays the flights and hotel are both included in the price – so you can spend your cash on something cool in one of the city’s fantastic markets.

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