hotel

In rain and sun, the BRAIN Dealer Tour comes to Colorado’s Grand Valley

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (BRAIN) — The BRAIN Dealer Tour is visting stores and suppliers here this week, pedaling between stops in glorious sun and cold rain. So far

In rain and sun, the BRAIN Dealer Tour comes to Colorado’s Grand Valley

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (BRAIN) — The BRAIN Dealer Tour is visting stores and suppliers here this week, pedaling between stops in glorious sun and cold rain

How to plan a cycling holiday on a budget

Cycling overseas need not cost an arm and a leg. Tom Allen, overseas cycling adventurer and writer (TomsBikeTrip.com), talks us through touring on a budget…

  • How to pack your road bike for a trip abroad
  • How to pack your mountain bike up for travel

Set your level

Start by asking yourself what level of comfort and support you want and can afford, advises Allen. In between the fully organised tour and the entirely self-sufficient one there are ‘self-guided tours’. With one of these, the tour operator organises the hotel reservations and transfers your luggage from hotel to hotel, while you ride a marked route each day on your own. Alone but not necessarily unaided, though – many operators offer a helpline in case you encounter emergencies or problems en-route.

Camp it up

Camping while you cycle is the cheapest way to tour overseas. “Check out where to camp along your route via Warmshowers.org, which lists campsites for touring cyclists across Europe and the world,” says Allen. But be aware that ‘free’ camping is outlawed in some countries.

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“Hire or borrow camping gear, or buy it cheap through eBay, the Outdoor Gear UK Facebook group or charity shops in outdoorsy regions. Recycling centres directly after large music festivals are another good place to look.”

Count the cost

“If you’re looking to ride and camp in Europe, you can get by on a few Euros a day,” says Allen. Self-tour cycling groups can provide links to accommodation but you won’t have the mechanical back-up some tour groups offer and there’s also the initial cost of taking your bike overseas to consider. Most airlines charge for transporting bikes and you’ll need to pack it properly, which may mean dismantling and re-assembling it. Hiring a bike is the easier option, but costs upwards of £50 a week.

Hike with a bike

“If you’re heading over to mainland Europe you can get in the saddle almost as soon as you set out by taking the National Cycling Network routes 1 and 16 all the way to Dover. Once you get to the channel crossing, and if you feel confident in doing so, you can wait by the ferry queue with your thumb out until a kind soul in a big enough vehicle offers to give you a free ride to Calais,” suggests Allen. If that option doesn’t float your boat, then it’s £19.50 with P&O to get the ferry over to France.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

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