More than once we happened to answer a question about our vacation plans and observed the strange face of the questioner. The direction is cool, but why by bicycle? After all, by car you would see a few more towns, you could take more luggage, and in general-why get so tired?
Well- when bicycle tourism is so cool! On our list, everyone will find a reason that will motivate them. No excuses, hop on the saddles! In front of you 9 and a half reasons why we love bicycle tourism!
You see more-neither too slow nor too fast
Cycling pace, in our opinion, is really ideal for quietly seeing new places. You can cover up to 100 kilometers a day on two wheels, but riding quietly – so nothing escapes your attention. Moving along local roads allows you to peek behind a fence, look at people, hang your eye on some architectural detail or stop at a cool view. With a bicycle, you’ll see what you can’t see from the expressway and from behind noise barriers.
More than once we happened to talk to friends who went around the same region by car as we did by bicycle-feelings and observations we had were completely different! It’s worth it sometimes to deviate from the main road and travel slowly :). Besides, remember that by bicycle you go to places inaccessible to cars….
More useful travel information can be found here.
Testing new routes
There has been a real cycling awakening around the world – more and more tourism organizations are realizing that there is no shortage of beautiful and interesting places for cycling, but the shortcomings, yes, appear in infrastructure, safety and trail signage. Fortunately, more and more modern cycling offerings are popping up every year, and we’re looking forward to them!
Places for resting or minor bicycle repairs are appearing along the routes, agritourists are opening up to cyclists, and new trainsets are professionally adapted to carry bicycles. In a word, planning a bicycle trip is becoming easier and easier, in fact, you can go “at the ready”.
Getting to know towns and villages
Do you associate with the type of bench reality contemplators? We bet you do, after all, it’s not hard to meet them both in the city and along country roads. They squat on a bench or under a store, leaning against a wicket or measuring the performance of cleaning works, actually looking out at their neighbors and carefully observing their familiar surroundings. Silence, stillness, nothing is happening, and soon a pee-pee, a cyclist with panniers passes by. He looks professional! How much is he carrying?
Heavy must be such a bike, huh? It must be tiring! And all of a sudden, he pees, what do you mean, there’s a girl riding behind him? And she is also pedaling? With panniers and a backpack? Uphill? And through our village? Not bad! This is more or less how we imagine this view through the eyes of “locals”, and the words of admiration or encouragement we sometimes hear along the way seem to confirm our feelings. So, if you want to inspire the respect of the local people, zap at it!
Wheels in motion, steam bang!
And now a didactic snot: recently there have been claims that, according to recent findings, a sedentary lifestyle may be even more dangerous to our health than stimulants or overeating bird’s milk. Many of us sit more than sleep during the day, we are talking quietly about 9-10 hours of sitting a day. So, for the sake of health and well-being, it’s worth at least choosing an active form of spending time on our days off.
The bicycle is perfect for this, and the combination of sport and touring is a great motivation to pedal. Almost anyone can hop on two wheels – cycling does not strain the knees, is not overly physically demanding, and will also work perfectly as an option for those who are overweight or less fit. Pedaling strengthens leg and back muscles and our dearest heart, moreover, it oxygenates the skin (youth!). In addition, movement in the fresh air toughens you up, so your resistance to infections and bacteria increases – meaning less frequent L4 and more strength to do cool things!
You are “fit”-all you can eat!
Did you know that just one hour of intense cycling means up to 500 calories burned! Let alone a whole day on the move… Such a large loss of energy should be balanced at the earliest opportunity – for example, tasting local specialties with impunity. Are you after regional cheese? Have you found an atmospheric café with baked goods that your mommy would not be ashamed of? Tempted by a signboard with a photo of butter-fried sea bream? A bicycle trip is a time of total relaxation for us. Of course, we know that in order to rebuild our strength we need to eat something nutritious, but we allow ourselves small sins and discover local flavors. And also the taste somehow sharpens after a day of riding….
Communing with nature- resting in the color green
Riding a bicycle along a busy exit road is no pleasure, in fact it is a cosmic torture. Road climates don’t turn us on at all, and even with Polish driving culture, they are not an overly safe idea for spending leisure time. He didn’t want to, so we take local, low-traffic roads, and choose rather unorganized areas for our trips. As a result, we can enjoy our efforts in the lap of nature, which Poland really (still) doesn’t lack – what’s more, which we consider one of the biggest tourist assets.
In addition, in scenic and national parks you can find extremely scenic bike paths, on which riding is pure pleasure. Research by American scientists (how else) shows that spending leisure time surrounded by greenery deepens feelings of relaxation and rest. On top of that, fresh air, sounds of nature, smells, new landscapes – all this allows us to relax perfectly.
You are eco-friendly bravo you!
Maybe the term, “eco” has been exploited a bit lately, but it is sometimes worth thinking about how our actions affect the environment. We are glad that our bicycle trips do not negatively affect the environment. Exhaust fumes are one thing, but when a crazy motorcyclist or a tuned Polonies passes us, we get annoyed by unnecessary noise, from which, after all, we are trying to rest. On a bicycle we move almost silently (okay, the animals can often hear us better than we can hear them anyway), and a few times we had the opportunity to chase a hare on a forest path or lurk on a herd of deer.
When we are intrigued by movement in the bushes or an unfamiliar bird singing, we quickly stop and lurk. We even have a few gestures with which we communicate without words in such situations.
Challenge yourself – get to know yourself
No one said it would always be nice and colorful. On the route you may be surprised by rain, the saddle will bruise the more delicate parts of your body, an unexpected climb will surprise your already tired legs, and the trail will suddenly break off when you least expect it. Such adventures are inherent in bicycle touring and naturally cause some discomfort. At the same time, it is an excellent test for yourself. How will I cope with the problem?
Will you be able to grit your teeth and make it to your destination? Or are those legs not as tired as you might think? We pedaled in the rain, overcame murderous climbs, carried the bike uphill and massaged sore body parts. Although sometimes it’s not easy, overcoming such obstacles really gives you strength-next time in a similar situation we will remember that, “you can survive”.
Spend time together- a family adventure or integration with friends?
Bicycle touring is a great way to spend time together. Long routes foster conversation on all kinds of topics, and exchanging insights and observations generates more. In places where coverage is hard to come by, it’s easier to make real connections and have deeper conversations. The mass of new impressions, the feeling of satisfaction from meeting a challenge or even less fun adventures on the route-lived together integrate and help create beautiful memories.
A bicycle escapade is an opportunity to test ourselves in unusual conditions and experience something different together. Families we pass along the route tell what an adventure it is for children to pitch a tent in the evening or ride the entire trail. In turn, we know from our own experience how much we have learned about each other during such trips.
Kenneth is a proud native of sydney, born and raised there. However, he pursued his education abroad and studied in Australia. Kenneth has worked as a journalist for almost a decade, making valuable contributions to prominent publications such as Yahoo News and The Verge. Currently, he serves as a journalist for The Hear Up, where he focuses on covering climate and science news. You can reach Kenneth at [email protected].