Do you like camping? Do you love to travel by bike? It is possible to combine these two passions, i.e. camping and bicycle tourism. The marriage between these two concepts has given rise to what is called cyclo-camping. What is cyclo-camping? What are the steps to follow? In a nutshell! Find below the essentials you need to know about this famous cyclo-camping.
Cyclo-camping: what you need to know
Cyclo-camping is a leisure activity that reconciles the practice of cycling and the love of camping. The aim is to have fun on the road with your bike and at nightfall, you will be provided with the appropriate camping equipment. The duration of the trip varies from a few days to several years.
More and more people are starting to practice cyclo-camping, especially cycling enthusiasts. In the past, the goal of cyclotourists was only to travel around the world to discover new landscapes. Now, we even have fun camping.
Generally speaking, cycle campers are self-sufficient in every way. In case you want to embark on this adventure, first think about starting in a group to gain experience. Then, start little by little in the short trips and gradually increase the pace.
However, your experience will depend on the type of bike you choose: bicycle, tricycle, electric tricycle, etc.
What type of bike to choose?
This is the question for people who are new to cycling. The first thing to define is the budget. The choice depends on the budget you are going to allocate to the purchase of your bike. The latter is equipment such as bags, tents, etc. so you have to think about selecting the best one.
Be aware that bicycles with high prices are not the best. Nor are those with low prices perfect either. Find the right balance between the two. How do you do this? Check the prices of spare parts, because this is where you will quickly determine the reliability of the manufacturer.
But let’s take a look at the technical sides of the perfect bike for cyclo-camping:
– Choose an aluminium or steel frame: Aluminium is lighter and cheaper than steel. However, steel is still the strongest of all bicycle frames.
– As far as the transmission is concerned, even an entry-level product will suffice. On the other hand, you must do periodic maintenance.
– Opt for 26-inch wheels because they offer stability and strength at the same time.
– For the braking system, give priority to rim brakes or what’s called V-brakes.
– You won’t need a bike with suspension. This equipment will only increase your loads in case of breakdowns.
– Finally for the saddle and handlebars, you will choose them according to your riding position. Try different positions to find the posture that suits you.
In addition, a variety of cycle campers opt for the tricycle. There are even some people who choose an electric tricycle for adults.
Essential camping equipment
To simplify your preparation, here are the lists of the necessary equipment for camping by bike:
– A tent where you can enter and stand. The tent will also serve as a shelter for the bike, so size plays a big role. Then, choose the ones that are easy to set up.
– For mattresses, choose products that are thick to ensure maximum comfort. Sleeping is very important for recovery, so you should not under any circumstances minimize your choice of mattresses.
– Inseparable with mattresses, you should use under-mattresses.
– In order to stay warm, remember to carefully select your duvet, but pay attention to its weight and size.
– Buy a camping table for dinner.
– After a long trip, folding chairs are effective for resting in a seated position.
– Equip yourself with a good stove as well as various electrical equipment. Near camping areas, power outlets are often available. It is therefore necessary to have equipment to bring power to the tent.
– Finally, to carry everything, you have the choice between saddlebags and trailers. On the other hand, select them according to the varieties and the number of equipment to bring.
Cyclo-camping: the preparations
Preparation is very important for a trip. After having seen the essential materials, it is time to see the steps of the preparation of a bike trip to make your stay perfect.
First of all, you need to set out your project on paper. Set your goal and what you expect from the trip. For example: You want to go to Spain by bike to discover the riches of the country. Next, you should write down all the steps you need to take to reach your goal on the same piece of paper. Tick off the steps progressively as you progress.
Secondly, find a way to finance your adventure. It depends on the journey you want to make. The expenses to be paid for a Tour de France will never be the same as those for a round-the-world tour. Compared to the type of trip, you should therefore save up in advance.
Thirdly, prepare all the equipment mentioned above (bike and camping equipment). If this is your first time, ask for help from your relatives or competent people in the area. If you are going with your family, don’t forget to prepare the children’s bikes.
Then, organise your departure as well as possible. Think about all the administrative procedures if you are going to cross a border for example.
Finally, do some training sessions. Why do you need to train? If you are not used to travelling or riding a bike, you may feel pain after only a few kilometres. Therefore, you should prepare your body physically well.
Where to sleep in order to combine camping and cycling?
In order to enjoy cycling and camping at the same time, it is necessary to find a comfortable place to sleep so that you can rest freely. That is to say a place with :
– Discretion: That is to say in the shelter or under the woods and behind the vegetation.
– Respect : Set up the tent in a quieter place, more precisely in a place outside the village and far from the houses.
– Comfort : Choose the flat ground to position the tent well. Avoid thorny places.
– Safety : Safety is the first concern of tourists. Faced with increasing insecurity, it is preferable to stay close to the path, with that you will not also lose your route and can easily continue the road at daybreak.
From what we have seen, cycling and camping can go hand in hand. Just remember that the success or failure of your cycle camping depends on your preparation. So think about the smallest details.
On that note, have fun and stay alert!