Monthly Cycle Touring Tip
We’ve received a lot of emails and messages over the past couple of years from people wanting to embark on their first cycle tour, but not really sure where to start or what to consider. To help you out, we’ve decided that each month we’ll post a cycle touring tip to help you prepare for your cycle tour.
These tips will be a collection of things we wish we knew before we started, or have just found really useful. They will all be completely from our experience while on the road. However, remember there is no wrong or right way to cycle tour – so if these tips don’t work for you, no worries!
Tip #1: Don’t Listen to the Negativity of Others
If Michael & I listened to all the people that told us we couldn’t cycle from France to China, we never would have left France. Sure the odds may have been against us – we both weren’t cyclists and we both had never done anything like this before. However, we didn’t let this stop us.
It’s easy to start doubting yourself and your ability when others start telling you you’re crazy or you can’t do something.
You could always respond with, “Maybe you’re right, I won’t be able to do it, however I’ll never know if I don’t try.” Which is 100% true. Your trip likely won’t pan out the exact way you had planned. But, that’s ok. Plans can change. This shouldn’t prevent you from going. And if it doesn’t work out – at least you tried. There is no shame in that.
Negativities during our France to China Trip
I certainly started to doubt myself before and during our France to China trip – and maybe it was just me being stubborn that lead to us continuing with the trip. Loads of people told us we couldn’t do it. Actually, I’m not sure anyone told us we could do it. And when we started the trip, more than once, I stopped on the side of the road and asked, “What am I doing? I’m not really a cyclist – I can’t do this.“
Just try and remind yourself that you’ve got nothing to lose. This is something you wanted to do. And if it doesn’t work out – it’s fine. You can only do your best. And, if it does work out – you’ve ticked something off the bucket list. Win, win.
Other negativities I came across before or during the trip – you can’t cycle through Iran as a woman. You can’t cycle tour as a woman. You can’t wild camp. Aren’t you afraid you’ll get attacked/ mugged/ killed?
There will always be an element of risk – but there is with most things in life. As long as you use some common sense and take the right precautions you’ll likely be fine. As I tell most people – I’ve had more bad things happen to me in my home town than anywhere else in the world (and I’ve not spent much of my life in my hometown).
You can listen to and consider what people are saying – however don’t let those comments put you off. You’ve done the preparation. You’ve done the research. You likely know more about your trip than an outsider that has just found out about it. Obviously, if your research suggests that person might be right, then maybe take it into consideration. However in most cases, this won’t be the case and if i is, then there are likely other options. Maybe taking a slightly different route for example.
This is the first of our monthly cycle touring tips – check back next month for our next time.
In the meantime, if you’re after more we’ve previous posted about picking travel insurance and sleeping options for cycle tourists.