How to use a bike to change the way you travel

When we’re traveling it can be hard to stay fit. While most of use would like to stay healthy and active, when we’re confronted with curries in Thailand, cheese in France, and Gelato in Italy, we can quickly find the pounds piling on.

When we’re traveling we’re not visiting the gym, and we’re usually eating and drinking far more than normal. A lot of the time people think they’ll need to either use public transport or hire a car in order to see a city, however biking is a great alternative.

Many cities have bikes for hire, and if you visit a country like Holland or Finland you’ll find that a large percentage of the locals use their bikes to get to work every day. Because so many people bike in these countries, the roads are easy and drivers are used to looking out for cyclists, making it a safe and convenient way to get around.

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Tour companies have also woken up to the fact that many travellers want to stay active, and exercise while they explore a new city. Many cities and towns are now offering bike tours as well.

Exploring a new city by bike is both faster than walking and a better way to explore than by subway or car. You can get up close to places you might not see if you’re simply traveling from place to place, and if you find you don’t love a place you can then easily move on to somewhere else.

It’s a good idea to get a road bike as you’re unlikely to need to go off-road very often. You’ll probably find your fitness will improve and you’ll be able to justify that second serving of pasta. Hiring a bike allows you to get lost and find different places which you may not have seen otherwise. Some of the best places we find while traveling are those which no one knows about, and you’re more likely to find good, local places to eat and shop if you stay away from the typical tourist destinations.

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Pub crawls are always good on bikes, just be careful not to drink so much you end up with the wobbles. Often hostels and backpackers will organise fun bike pub crawls.

When you’re hiring a bike overseas, ensure they give you a lock so it doesn’t get stolen. They should always give you a helmet as well and explain any road rules that you’re not sure of. If you’re going to be driving on the other side of the road you’ll need to practice, so choose a quiet street where you can learn and get used to the way the traffic works.

If you’re going to be staying in a country for a long time, it can be a good idea to buy a bike. If you haven’t biked for a while, it may even be worth getting one before you leave so you can practice biking.

You should always take travel insurance when you’re traveling, and especially if you’re hiring a bike. If you have an accident and need medical attention overseas, you could be out thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars if you’re seriously injured without travel insurance.

 

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