In this post we present you a way of travelling that is booming nowadays: cycling tourism. Cycle tourism is the practice of cycling in a non-competitive way for recreational reasons. It consists of choosing the bicycle as a means of transport for tourism, in a relaxed way.
As you can well imagine, it is a perfect form of tourism to do the Way of Saint James. Here we explain everything you need to know to embark on this adventure!
What is cycling tourism?
The essence of cycle tourism goes far beyond the bike ride. It is a relationship between man and machine in which there must be collaboration and trust; an experience that will give you the freedom to choose, let go, connect and disconnect at the same time. This experience starts from the moment you decide to plan your trip. You will have to decide the place, plan the route you will take, study the terrain, plan where you will stop to eat or if you will bring the food from home, the stops you want to make to get to know the place… and of course you will have to get in shape!
Different types of cycle tourism
Depending on how we want to travel, there are different types of cycling tourism.
Self-sufficiency in cycling
It is the practice of cycling in an autonomous way. Consists of taking with you everything you need to stock up and sleep. It is a real adventure, since in addition to planning the route, you will have to look for the ideal place to camp. A real experience for the most adventurous!
This mode consists of carrying everything you need for the route, compressed in frame, front and saddle bags. It is designed to carry everything that is indispensable without the need to carry saddlebags, so as not to have any element that protrudes sideways from the bike. It is perfect for routes along narrow paths.
Light cycling or assisted cycling
These are the options in which we contract a service of luggage and accommodation with a travel agency. Currently, this is the most practiced modality in Europe and the one that best suits the Way of Saint James. Very comfortable for bicycle trips of a few days’ duration!
What is the best bicycle for cycling tourism?
If you are considering investing in buying a bicycle for cycle tourism you should take into account the following:
-Look at the frame: better if it’s steel than aluminium, as it’s more solid and cheaper. The more bottle holders the better. Finally, take into account the size.
-Fork: better if it is rigid and made of steel, and if it has holes to install the front grill.
-Wheel size: 700C wheels, ideal for overcoming obstacles and going faster. Of course, very resistant.
-Handlebar: the most comfortable is the road handlebar, as you have many different positions to hold on to.
Keep in mind that the characteristics of a bicycle that will be your legs for as long as you decide to travel, must be good. The bicycle must be resistant, since you will spend many hours on it and it will be loaded with extra weight because of the things. It also has to be comfortable and agile when it comes to moving forward, so that you will be as comfortable as possible.
The “bicigrinos” cyclists
Despite the recommendations on the perfect bike for cycling, keep in mind that you don’t have to buy one to practice it. You can always rent one. In fact, an increasing number of bikers take up this adventure every year, and most of them do so by renting a bike.
If you are a bicycle lover, the Camino de Santiago is the perfect option to travel this summer. Freedom of movement in the open air through beautiful landscapes, sounds good, huh? It also has all the necessary services and is increasingly adapted to “bicycling”. You will be able to pedal in comfort by hiring the management of accommodation and luggage transport with agencies like us!
Equipment, material and preparation
Depending on the type of cycling you are going to do, you will need different materials and equipment. Although it also depends a little on personal taste and comfort. For example, on the Way of Saint James, if you do the route with the hired luggage transport, you can choose between carrying saddlebags or frame bags for the stage, according to your personal taste.
If you are going to do self-sufficient cycling, you will have to manage to take everything you need for the day and to sleep on the bike. In our post about the bike path, you will find all the recommendations about what to take and about the maintenance of the bike on the road.
Of course, you will have to prepare yourself physically for the adventure. This experience is to be enjoyed, so set yourself goals according to your physical condition, and pedal!
Finally, you must take into account the details that can make the journey unpleasant, but you must also keep time for improvisation. Whether you’re an experienced traveller or not, we’re going to let you in on a little secret that you probably know: “the best thing about travelling is the surprises, the detours you decide to take at the last minute or the wonderful people you meet along the way”.
Our goal here is to encourage you to live new experiences, we do not want you to stay with the idea that there is no information necessary to travel by bike. From viajes camino de Santiago we offer you an endless number of possible routes and necessary recommendations to travel comfortably and safely. Also the possibility of traveling with your pet.
Dare to be bikefriendly, a bicigrino!