The challenge: Take your next cycling trip to a whole new level by adding a pinch of adventure and creativity
Organized bike tours are cool, but it’s much more exciting to plan your own bicycle adventure. You only need a good idea and a good friend/partner to join the party (although at least once a year I take my bike and go somewhere for the weekend by myself, which is just as good). Here are a few bicycle trip ideas for your next free weekend:
#1 Ride your bicycle slowly between villages or small towns
With a smile on your face, cross villages and talk to locals about this year’s apple harvest and how much a piglet costs (I bet you have no idea). Have a beer with one of those locals who spends the day scanning passers-by in cafes on the main square.
#2 Swap the bike lanes and village roads for dirt tracks
You can enjoy a little bit more seclusion by escaping the main roads and hitting the dirt tracks. Some people prefer a preconceived route, but personally I’m happy to just head into the forest and see where that seductive trail leads.
#3 Try to bike as far as you can in a day
You don’t have to cycle so hard that you drop dead at the end; just keep it pleasant but still challenging. If you’re in the mood to push yourself, however, try riding as fast and furious as you can.
#4 Try mountain biking
The exciting thing about mountain biking is that a smooth descent can turn into an adrenaline-fueled obstacle course in a heartbeat. If you’re trying it for the first time, you might be about to discover your latest passion.
#5 Organize a themed day tour in your city/neighborhood
We often forget that our own neighborhood is someone else’s tourist destination. Pretend to be a tourist and choose a theme (cathedrals, museums, historical buildings) around which to rediscover your surroundings. Calculate the cycling route that best allows you to visit several attractions in one day. Plan a lunch stop in a park or try out a new eatery.
#6 Organize a bike picnic
Choose a green picnic spot not far from the city and ride there. Load your backpack or basket with plenty of water, a bottle of wine and some sandwiches. Here you can find a list of creative themed picnic ideas.
#7 Bike for the sunset
A memorable sunset is a great reason to hop on your bike and head to a beautiful vantage point. Don’t forget lights and a headlamp for the way back.
#8 Cycling & camping
Mount your bike on your car rack (or transport the bike by train or bus if possible) and go to a secluded spot where you can spend the rest of the day cycling. When night falls, instead of rushing back home, pitch your tent or go to a campsite. Let the chirp of the crickets soothe your mind. Get the authentic cycling information from the Experts here.
How to really immerse yourself in the moment: For a moment, simply imagine what life would be like if you stayed home and slept in your bed every night instead of occasionally venturing into the wild. Listen to all the noises and soak in all the sights that you’d never have otherwise seen: the starry sky, the smell of the pine trees, the sound of the creek flowing by…
#9 Bike your way to a musical venue
Most open-air concerts and festivals have special bike parking zones where you can safely stow your two-wheeler while you enjoy the night. It’s good for your health and the environment!
#10 Load up with vitamins while you pedal
Your weekly fruit and vegetable shop might turn into an old-school, French-inspired experience if you don a beret and load your basket with goodies from the nearest farmer’s market.
#11 Join a quirky ride (vintage bicycles in Tuscany, anyone?)
Why not take part in a vintage-themed cycling event, or an eco-friendly bike race? This isn’t really DIY, but these events are so cool that they’re worth mentioning. Just check your local calendar for the next notable cycling event near you.
L’Eroica, Tuscany. Every year, thousands of cyclists put on vintage leather pants, hop on their vintage bikes, don a fancy cap and embark on a journey into the past. L’Eroica vintage bike ride is one of the most exciting ways to get to know Tuscany on two wheels. The event aims to preserve the romantic beauty of cycling’s past, without the competitive aspect. Eroica cycling events are also held in other places around the world, including California, Japan, Spain and Great Britain.