Introduction to cycle touring, where to start, what to pack

Have you set yourself the target of holidaying abroad with your steed in 2014? Not sure about where to start? Juliet Elliott, who's planning a cycle touring trip to Japan, tackles those initial questions on how to make riding abroad a success.

For me, cycle touring is the ultimate bicycle based adventure: the pinnacle of free and easy living, where the simple pleasure of riding a bike is amplified ten-fold.

Fancy touring yourself? Check out our Cycle Touring: Everything You Need to Know for all the info you need to get on the road.

Now that is a view to wake up to!

The thrill of the open road: nothing but you, your bike, and the wind in your hair. Well, that and a couple of panniers stuffed with essentials. You’re immersed in the scenery, an extension of the landscape as you feel the earth’s undulations underfoot, or under wheel. The journey is the reason for your trip, rather than a means to an end.

It’s the only way to explore – slow enough to inhale your surroundings with gusto, but sufficiently fast that you can cover large swathes of your chosen country.

Cycle touring offers freedom and flexibility; pull over and stop whenever and wherever you please, linger over campfire cuppas or gourmet lunches. Why not sleep out in the wilderness, hang your hammock in an orchard or check into a boutique hotel?

There’s so much pleasure in giving in to the whims of the weather, your body (and your bike!) and just ‘going’ with it.

However, that’s not to say that a little bit of planning wouldn’t go amiss. To help ensure you draw the maximum pleasure from your time on the road, we’re going to show you how to get started.


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