First weekend by bicycle: how to organize it
Here we are!
This is the first time we talk about the organization of a cycling weekend.
Probably, this is one of the most interesting topics.
The adventure of staying out overnight and taking only the essentials with you is intense and very personal.
For that purpose, I think this philosophical trip should be done alone.
However the company of a friend or a partner, is always appreciated too.Now let's start with some indications for the journey.
1. Plan the path
Planning the path is basically the first thing to do.
This may seem easy but it can change according to the destination we choose.
For example, going to Rome is different than going to Turin.
As we said, it is not as pretty easy as it sounds.
In the world there are easy roads that can be done by bicycle without any problem.
On the other hand there are roads can be more hostile, especially in Italy, since we do not have a widespread cycle network everywhere in the country.
So the first thing to do is really decide where do you want to go.
Keeping in mind the heights we are going to do, the period, the time we are going to stay out, how many kilometres we want to do or don't want to do, the differences in height, and so on.
2. Do not exaggerate with kilometres
Do not overestimate your travel speed.
For example, a cyclist who is used to riding on Sunday mornings, could easily say that he averages 25km / h.
The average drops drastically when you do a pause.
Obviously, it is logical to stop to fill the bottle with water.
You can stop for a sandwich.
You can stop for a coffee.
You can stop for lunch.
One person can average 25 kilometres per hour, another could have an average of 18, or less, kilometres per hour.
My suggestion is to truly evaluate how far you can go in a day, before you undertake a trip of this kind.
I must definitely be careful not to overestimate or underestimate my performance.
In my opinion, if a person is used to pedaling every week, he should face this adventure with great serenity, without overstate.
Let's say I want to be away two days and do 300 km, I can easily split in two days the kilometres, so 150 km one day and 150 km the other one.
But, if I wanted to make 500 km instead of 300km in two days, well it is way more challenging.
From this point, I connect another topic: the concept of fatigue.
Travelling 150 kilometres is completly different from travelling 300 kilometres, or 450 kilometres.
The fact you can reach 150 kilometres a day is true, however you should also consider that our body needs to recover and therefore that rule does not apply anymore.
We can take as example the car, we can not consider enough just putting "gas" (food) in.
Muscles also need to rest! You should definitely consider it when you plan a long trip.
3. Where to sleep
Another thing to consider is where to sleep.
Now, the place can changes drastically.
Also the luggage can change if we decide to sleep in a bed and breakfast rather than camping.
Obviously this is a personal choice. For example, some people prefer to have an adventure, so they want to sleep in a tent or a sleeping bag.
As a first experience, I suggest you to sleep in a bed and breakfast because it is easier to manage. We can have a shower, and moreover, we carry less weight behind while we are cycling.
Another tip is to leave everything you don't need at home, and when I say EVERYTHING YOU DON'T NEED, I really mean everything you don't need.
I am used to look at my wristwatch when I want to know the time, but I can also see it from my mobile phone, then I leave the wristwatch at home.
I should take my house keys away, but at last I can give them to my neighbor or to a parent.
I conclusion, you have to make the effort to leave everything you don't need at home.
Otherwise people always bring that, bring the other…and it becomes an infinity of stuff that is never enough.
The question is: how many bags I need? What kind of bag I should take?
For example, we stay out three days. Let’s take with us three bag: a handlebar bag, a frame bag and a saddle bag. They are more than enough.
The amount of stuff you decide to take with you changes according to the purpose of the journey.
If the purpose of the trip is to cycle and look at the landscape and enjoy nature you can stay lighter. On the contrary, if you would like to participate at festivals, maybe you will take away a pair of sneakers, a pair of jeans a t-shirt to wear.
In this case the luggage will increase disproportionately and thus i will also the weight to carry.
Personally, having the backpack does not disturb me.
There is another fact that we should take in into account: the backpack is a back protector.
Knocking on wood, there will no need to wear it. However, had a backpack in case of a fall can really protect your back.
5. Choose the right frieds
Another point to discuss is whether invite friends or not.
If you have a feeling with your friends as pedalling side to side for a long time and face the efforts together, it will end as a deep adventure shared.
On the other hand, if you want to invite a person with whom you are not used to going away there is the risk that the bike ride will become a walk.
I have nothing to the contrary with the walks but, in this case it will be much more difficult to manage a long distance.
What kind of equipment should I bring in a bike ride? What should I not take away?
Firstly, the sunscreen is a must, moreover it should be put on even in winter.
Secondly, eye protection.
Another precious advice is never riding bikes wearing sandals. The feet are so close to the ground that if it happens to slips you will end up hurting yourself.
However, let's also avoid talking about putting one foot on the ground and slipping, because it's a bad scenario. In my opinion, always wear shoes for cycling gymnastics.
Another thing you should absolutely take away is a power bank, which may be carried in the top frame bag.
Thus, take away your cell phone.
Personally, I don't like using my mobile phon as a navigator, anyway it gives me a main idea of the path I am covering.
Finally you should be equipped with active and passive lights, absolutely.
I mean, we must have both remote controls lighting but also reflectors.
Here is a first idea for a bike trip.
I hope you enjoyed it !