Every time I get on my bike, I feel I’m stepping into a new world. ‘Adventure cycling’ is my escape from the daily grind. Be it navigating through busy city traffic or cruising down a hidden trail, I never know what I’ll find around the next bend. And that’s the best part – each ride is full of surprises and is pure fun.

In this post I’ll share a few tips how you can take your bike trip to the next level and make it exciting & fun.

How to prepare for an adventure cycling trip

Often getting ready for a trip is almost as thrilling as the trip itself. The same can be said about a bike ride. Planning, anticipation and making sure the bike & gear are ready to go already brings a lot of excitement for me. When I’m well-prepared, I can head out confident knowing I’ve got everything I need to have a great time and handle whatever the road throws at me.

Adventure cycling

#1 Choose the right ‘adventure bicycle’

Picking the right adventure bicycle is key to a comfortable ride. Incorrect size or a bike that is not able to handle the terrain you chose will make your trip less enjoyable (and tough).

If you’re mostly riding on paved roads, choose a road bike that fits your needs. They’re built for speed and handle smoothly on asphalt. Love hitting rugged, wild trails? Then you definitely want a mountain bike—they’re durable and can handle the rough stuff. If you like mixing it up between streets and trails, a hybrid adventure bike is perfect and gives the best of both worlds.

Read also: MTB Training Tips – How To Get Strong In Mountain Bike Racing?

#2 Pack light and don’t forget safety gear & essentials

Whether you’re participating in an adventure race or taking a leisure spin, always come prepared and never compromise safety. The good news is that there’s not much room to overpack on an adventure cycling trip, so do focus on essentials, including:

  • Helmet: Always wear a helmet and make sure it fits right. It’s your best defence against head injuries.
  • Gloves: Choose gloves that are comfy and offer good protection. They’ll help you grip better and soften the vibrations.
  • Reflective Gear/Lights: If you’re riding in dim light or at night, make sure you’re visible. Reflective clothing and lights are a must for staying safe.
  • Eye protection: Whether it’s bright and sunny or you’re whipping past branches, a pair of sunglasses or clear lenses will keep your eyes safe from UV rays and flying debris.
  • Repair kit and portable pump: Always pack a spare tube, a patch kit, tire levers, and a multi-tool. You’ll thank yourself if you ever need to make a quick fix. Also, don’t forget a pump or at least a CO2inflator.
  • Hydration: Always carry enough water, especially on long rides. A water bottle or a hydration backpack is essential.
  • Energy Snacks: Don’t forget to bring some energy bars or gels, especially for those longer rides.
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How to add adventure to your ride

Are you ready to level up your ride? Adding a few simple ideas to your ride can challenge you and make it exciting. From the paths you choose to the activities you incorporate, each decision can turn the familiar into the spectacular.

#3 Get off the beaten path

Don’t go where everyone else is going. Challenge yourself and explore unpopular trails. Of course, do this with your safety in mind.

  • Look up local trails: Visit sites like Trailforks or MTB Project to find trails that see less traffic. These paths often bring the best surprises.
  • Mix up the surface: Tired of smooth asphalt? Try a gravel road. Changing the terrain can refresh your routine and challenge your skills.
  • Plan for ‘natural features’: Go for routes with water crossings, rocky stretches, or steep hills. They’re fun and can offer exciting challenges.

Read also: 30+ Best Travel Planning Websites To Get Inspired & Plan Your Adventure

#4 Try geo-caching or scavenger hunts

Have you heard of geo-caching? It’s like a modern treasure hunt that you can incorporate into your bike rides. Use a geo-caching app to you locate secret caches hidden along the route. These small treasures left by others add an element of surprise to your ride.

If treasure hunting isn’t your thing, why not create a scavenger hunt instead? Sure, it’ll take a little more time, but can be quite exciting to complete with a group of friends or family. List specific items or landmarks to find as you pedal. Spotting a unique bird, a rare type of tree, or discovering hidden architectural gems and historical markers – anything, really. It turns your adventure cycling into a playful experience.

adventure bicycle
Source: depositphotos

#5 Take photos, make a video or start a journal

Grab your camera as you ride away. And no, you don’t necessarily have to bring a bulky one. Your phone is enough! This is a great way to document the scenery that unfolds as you ride and maybe even create a mini video of your trip later on. Isn’t it nice to have something to look back to?

Stop at scenic points to take photographs and make videos along the way. Consider different times of the day for various lighting conditions, such as dawn or dusk. Use apps like Instagram or Facebook to share your stories and photos or combine them into a single video you can share with friends.

A ride journal is also a good idea. Write down thoughts, experiences, and anything unusual you notice along the way. This can be an effective mindfulness exercise and can help you remember routes and think about what you’d like to try next time.

Read also: 5 Ways A Training Diary Helps Athletes Train And Perform Better

#6 Be social and engage in communities

Most of the time, I am alone when I’m on a bike. However, adventure cycling doesn’t have to be a solitary activity. It can be even more fun when you do it with your friends. Imagine being around people who share the same passion and energy. Exciting, right?

  • Join local clubs or online communities: These can provide information on group rides and events that might suit your interests.
  • Organize your own group rides: Get on social media and invite other bikers for a group ride. Take it up a notch by adding themes to the ride, such as biking through historical sites. You can also plan a long coffee ride with the group and stop along the way to try different cafes or restaurants.
  • Take part in charity rides: Bike with a purpose and join events like MS Bike, Ride London, and Pan-Mass Challenge. They make cycling more meaningful.

Sprinkle technology on top

You might wonder, what does modern technology have to do with adventure cycling? Well, it can help you track your progress and engage in virtual challenges. Besides helping to improve performance, technology can also make your biking trips more exciting, of course.

#7 Use fitness & performance trackers

Devices and apps that monitor your physical performance are very useful in helping you understand your capabilities and set new goals:

  • Wearable devices: Invest in a fitness tracker or smartwatch to monitor heart rate, distance, and pace. These insights can help you optimize your training and recovery.
  • Cycling apps: Apps like Strava or MapMyRide track your routes, speed, and elevation, allowing you to analyze your performance, trends over time and compete with friends.
adventure bikes
Source: depositphotos

#8 Join a virtual challenge

Imagine doing an indoor ride, but this time, you’re not alone. Picture yourself joining cyclists from all corners of the globe, competing in virtual races or challenges that get your heart pumping:

  • Join virtual races: Platforms like Zwift or Rouvy transport you to virtual environments that feel just like the real deal. Access virtual worlds and bike in places you’ve never been before.
  • Set personal challenges: Want to conquer a certain distance each month? Or maybe, you’re aiming to conquer that intimidating hill you’ve been eyeing for ages? There’s an app for that! Set your goal and watch yourself slowly achieve it.

Wrapping Up

Next time you’re on your ‘adventure bike’, do not settle for your usual ride. Pack a curious mind and an adventurous spirit. Whether it’s hitting an unfamiliar trail or trying a scavenger hunt, there are many ways to transform the ordinary into extraordinary.

Stacey Peterson

Stacey is a passionate health and fitness writer dedicated to inspiring others to lead a balanced and vibrant lifestyle. When not immersed in researching and writing, Stacey can be found exploring nature trails, experimenting with nutritious recipes in her kitchen, or engaging in invigorating workouts.