This is a relatively new idea, which stems from the social aspect of cycling clubs, and with many riders joining together, it makes for a unique holiday. Cycling holidays have been around for a while, and to join a group is an enjoyable way to meet likeminded people. This socially driven activity goes hand in hand with social media, which has helped make this a very popular pastime. So, if you are fed up with the package holiday to Spain, or the annual trip to the Far East, consider a cycling holiday with a difference.
With a group-cycling holiday, you will be led by a professional guide, someone who knows the area well, which is ideal, as they will know all the routes of interest, and places to visit. The group-cycling holidays range from a long weekend to a three-week marathon, depending on how much time and energy you have. With carefully planned routes, you will experience the countryside in a unique way, with a guide who will give you historical details and useful information about the places you visit.
The rise in popularity led to the forming of cycling clubs spread across the country, with more than 70,000 members nationwide, andorganised rides that attracthundreds, even thousands of participants. Most are dedicated cyclists, and what better way to spend a holiday than on your bike. Large groups of cyclists will decide to take a group holiday, and they will often amalgamate with another group. This is one reason why group-cycling holidays are becoming popular, where all the riders know each other, and there is an air of familiarity.
Meet new people
The other form of group-cycling involves individuals, or couples, joining a program, not knowing any of the other riders. Ideal for those who like the company of others, and making new friends comes with the territory. The carefully chosen routes incorporate some of the most attractive English countryside, and with several online group-cycling companies, you will find the right destination. If you are not a regular rider, and would like to try your luck, there’s no better place to start than a group-cycling holiday. The riding will be at a relaxed pace, with the emphasis on the local attractions, rather than covering distance, and you can get the feel of riding at your own pace, while in the company of others. You can rent the bike and all the equipment, so there is no major expense in taking a cycling holiday, all you need is the desire to try something different.
Group-cycling reaches out into Europe, with tours in France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. These excursions are arranged by experienced operators, who are familiar with the logistics of group-cycling holidays, which takes the strain, allowing you to enjoy the experience of seeing Europe from a new perspective. A great idea for an adventurous couplewho enjoy meeting people when on holiday. The biking is organised, and you cover between 15 and 30 miles per day, with pre-arranged accommodation stops. Large groups of friends can plan a cycling holiday abroad together, with a range of exotic destinations available.
For the more adventurous, you will be supplied with everything you need including maps, and your luggage will be at your nightly accommodation when you arrive, leaving you to explore the trails unguided. You can arrive by plane, car, or train, and your accommodation will be booked in advance. Then you will be given your bikes and instructions, and off you go!
It is advisable to take an ample supply of riding attire, especially shorts and cycling jerseys, at least a couple of each. Sunscreen is another essential item to pack, along with a small first aid pouch, with some basic essentials for cleaning grazes should you have a fall. A phrase book might also help if you have any language issues. Some riders insist on taking their own bike, and with a roof rack on the car, you can safely carry up to three bikes. Camping is another option, and many people prefer this to hotel accommodation, and with camping an established activity in Europe, finding a good place to spend the night isn’t a problem.
Safety in numbers
There are advantages to group-riding, with several riders offering assistance at breakdowns. The traffic tends to stay well away from large groups of cyclists, which makes for a safer riding environment. This gives the group added confidence, especially when far from home in a foreign country. The driving laws are different, and we mustn’t forget they drive on the other side of the road. If you are camping, a group of people can share the responsibilities, which makes light work of setting up camp.
Go it alone
Of course, you may wish to just set off on your well-packed bike, and head out into the unknown. This is a more adventurous way to travel, and offers an element of uncertainty, which some people prefer. You could team up with a few friends or colleagues from work, and plan your own route, stopping where you please. Young people tend to prefer a little more freedom, and with a self-guided bike-riding holiday, you are on your own, so to speak.
A healthy holiday
Biking is one of the best ways to take a holiday, as it keeps you in shape. It is no secret that cycling is one of the most efficient ways to give your major muscle groups a workout; it is also very good for your heart and lungs. More and more health conscious people are looking at a cycling holiday as the ideal way to spend their downtime, and with the added bonus of being inexpensive; a cycling holiday allows you to really come in contact with nature. Much of the wildlife is used to cyclists, so you will encounter a range of animals during your trip.