Hands on the handlebar, meeting new people, discovering new landscapes each day, and doing it all over again the next day- that's the promise of bike travel. Travelling by bike is a human adventure that is accessible to all, allowing us to slow down, get back to basics, and taste the freedom of a nomadic lifestyle. So saddle up and find out everything you need to know about bike travel!
Bike travel starts on your doorstep, a train station, or a faraway airport. By deciding to get on your bike, you're deciding to travel slower, to "cover" an area, region, or country at a relatively slow pace. Bike travel means changing your perspective. You aren't simply visiting somewhere anymore - you belong to every place you cross. One pedal stroke after another, you move, observe, listen, and feel the landscape unfurl around you. As the distance adds up, biking stops being a simple mode of transportation and becomes a true tool for freedom!
Freedom is in the DNA of bike travel. Freedom to choose your route, to take a nap by the sea, to camp under the pines... biking provides an autonomy that offers the luxury of exploration and escape on a daily basis. Say farewell to train schedules and forget about traffic jams, you can go where you want, when you want. Bring a tent with you, and the world becomes your bedroom. From a short trip through a local region to a great, years-long voyage around the world, bike travel can be done however you like.
By putting attaching rucksacks onto your bike, you're no longer a cyclist, you're a traveller. This state of being a world visitor invites new encounters and builds curiosity. Bike travel is inseparable from meeting new people. Because you're travelling with the strength of your legs, locals will respect and take care of you no matter where you are. No panic if you don't speak Spanish, Persian, or Japanese - biking is a universal language!
Your bike is your new home, just a comfortable, portable one with a new view every day. However, it isn't very spacious of setups. When travelling by bike, you prioritise water, food, clothing, tools, and a first aid kit in your bags. But since they can't stretch forever, you need to make choices and list your belongings based on their degree of necessity. Focusing on the essentials is one of the essentials of bike travel! Pack based on your expectations. A traditional configuration, with four bags, provides greater comfort and autonomy. If you’re looking to get out of your comfort zone, then opt for the light weight, manoeuvrability, and minimalism of bikepacking bags.
When you think about bike travel, you might imagine pedalling through the misty mountains of New Zealand or on the beaten tracks of the Atacama desert in Chile. But there's no need to go to the ends of the earth or have an adventurer's equipment to travel by bike. It's no sin to sleep in hotels and not cook over a camp stove. Happiness is at the ends of your handlebars, no matter where you go and for how much time. Everyone can travel by bike, you just need to adapt your pace and travel with a light heart, without any performance goals. Starting out from your own home, the greatest trips are the ones that help you rediscover a place you thought you knew. Little by little, you can expand your horizons and travel further and for more time. Travel is not a race, it's a joyful tour around the world.
Now you know (almost) everything about the principles of bike travel. Let your bike carry you away into an infinite playground with its fantastic powers!