Types of Bicycle Tours – A Wonderful Experience
If you are planning to start holidaying on a bike, that’s a fantastic decision. Touring on a bicycle has a number of benefits, like enjoyment of Nature’s beauty in a true sense in fresh and open air, meeting new interesting people on the way and more. Plus there are tremendous health benefits. But do you know that you can enjoy your bicycle tours in many ways? Yes, there is a variety of bike tour types. Here are some.
Guided Bike Tour
This is a type of bike touring wherein you pay for being escorted along a pre-planned path by an experienced bike touring company or guide, and your luggage is carried in a vehicle which you can meet at various checkpoints along the path.
These tours consist of 2 to 20+ people who belong to various countries in the world.
Support and guides vary from company to company, but usually one guide rides along with the bikers’ group while the other drives the van carrying everyone’s belongings. If the group is very large, there are more than 3 guides to escort the bikers. The tour van which carries the luggage can also be used by the bikers to bridge the tougher and/or less attractive parts of a route, if needed.
While the bikes used during the trip may or may not be comprised in the overall cost of the tour, most tour operators provide you with a bike of some type if you don’t bring your own (though there may be an extra charge for renting the bike from the company). A comprehensive list is also provided by the company along with itinerary details and a package of information of sights, scenic spots and cultural highlights which fall along the route.
A guided bike tour is the best suited to you if you enjoy meeting new people, traveling with a group, riding with an experienced guide and having a schedule pre-structured for you. The guides will inform you about the places of interest, conduct excursions and activities, and are there to help in the situations of physical, mental or mechanical breakdowns.
Self-guided Bike Tour
This is similar to the guided tour in that the pre-designed route, accommodation and food are all taken care of by a touring company for you. The difference is, there won’t be an experienced guide with you. You have to navigate the route on your own, while carrying all your belongings with you on your bike (however, there are some companies which will transport your belongings every day from one hotel to the other).
While foods may or may not be involved in the cost of your tour, self-guided tour is much cheaper than the guided one, as there are no guides included. This type of tour also offers a lot more freedom to stop on the way and lose oneself to the magical surroundings.
During a self-guided bike tour, you should think upon your comfort level with exploring through a different country, using a foreign language, reading signs and maps, ordering meals and dealing with flats, or other small emergencies.
Self-guided bike tour is apt for you if you want an inexpensive tour option, your tour details are taken care of for you, but you can enjoy the freedom of riding at your own pace with your choice of companions.
Self-supported Bike Tours
Lastly, you can have a self-supported bike tour wherein you have to travel alone carrying all your luggage, including tours and gear you may need, and go on for days, weeks or even months. Such a tour is also known as “fully-loaded bike touring” or “traditional bike touring”.
Self-supported bike tour is the least expensive tour but needs a lot of planning, skill and preparation. You should be well-versed with navigation, finding food and water, communicating with locals, repair and maintain your bike, cope up with all sorts of traffic (with the heavy luggage) and finding an accommodation at night.
In spite of the education and skill required to plan your first self-supported tour, this kind of touring is one of the most popular ones.
For all the above and many other types of cycling holidays, Booking Bike Tour is an excellent option. This company conducts a variety of bike tours and cycling holidays, including Mountain Bike Tour, Segway Tour, City Tour and more. You can hire bike and segway with them and also have self bike guide. They conduct bike tours in Italy, South Africa, and more. Take a look at the fabulous photos in this article which are their courtesy.