Get into... a cycle challenge

Cycle holiday

Need a bit of extra motivation to keep riding this winter? Why not plan some cycle touring, or find a cycle challenge, to train towards next summer?

Sometimes at this time of year – when it’s dark when we leave the house and dark when we get home in the evening – it can be hard to keep riding. But don’t leave your bike dusty and unloved in the shed!

A cycling holiday or challenge gives you something to look forward to, and is great for keeping you motivated. There are loads of specialist holiday companies offering cycling trips for every level of rider; whether your priority is relaxation with a little cycling thrown in for fun, or whether you’re after the challenge of a lifetime in the Alps or Pyrenees.

Tips to bear in mind when booking your trip:

  • Group size – make sure you’re happy with the amount of people in the group. A large group can be a great way to meet new people, but can also slow things down.
  • Insurance – make sure your travel insurance covers you for cycling holidays if you’re abroad. Policies often cover day trips on a bike, but if you’re ‘cycle touring’ you may have to arrange additional cover.
  • Transporting your bike – if you’re flying with your bike, it’s well worth investing in a good sturdy bike box to transport it. These can cost between £150 and £300, and the carrying cost on the plane is around £50, so if you’re going to Europe it might be cheaper to drive!
  • Support team – if you’re cycle touring, make sure the company offers enough mechanical support if you aren’t confident with this yourself. Often touring companies will have a van which travels with you while you ride, which saves you carrying too much around with you during the day.

Cycle challenge

Check out these links for some inspiration or to find your perfect cycle holiday or cycle challenge for next summer:

Keeping riding

There are lots of ways to make sure you’re in shape for your tour or challenge when it comes around. Joining a Social Cycling Group or a cycling club is a great way to ride regularly in a group. You might also consider trying a shorter sportive or challenge ride first.

Good luck!

Also worth a read:

Top charity bike rides for 2014

Organise your own charity bike ride