A bicycle tour gives you the immediacy of walking with a lot more speed and comfort than you get traveling on foot alone. Whether you want to explore a city for a couple of hours from a wide-seated cruiser, or if you're looking for something more thrilling, a bike tour could be just the thing for you. Choosing one takes a little time and consideration, but when you're cruising along under the sun, you'll be glad you made the effort.
- Decide where you want to go: Are you interested in seeing the countryside? Or would you rather incorporate an afternoon of cycling into your urban adventure? Bike tours are offered everywhere, from the streets of Berlin to the islands of Hawaii; the important thing is to choose whether the cycling will be the focus of your trip, or one of several activities.
- Decide when you want to go: A little research into the weather patterns of your travel destination could mean the difference between getting tan and getting waterlogged.
- Assess your ability: While being in peak physical condition is not a requirement for riding a bike, tours of a day or longer will require more energy and stamina than ones designed to last a couple of hours. How fit do you feel? How about your traveling companions?
- Get a book: Visiting the Travel section of your local bookstore, or looking on an online book retailer, can provide you with lots of bicycle tour guides. Most are written about specific geographic areas and authored by people who've traveled the trails they're writing about.
- Google: A simple search for "bicycle tours" produces about 10 million hits. Narrow the scope by searching for the place you want to cycle, and check out the company sites that you find.
- Comparison shop: Once you've gleaned all the information you can from travel guides and the internet, it's time to make contact with the companies that interest you. Call or email to get current rates and schedules if they haven't already provided them. Don't be afraid to ask any questions you may have, either; you can't make an informed decision with insufficient information.
- Book it: Now that you have your ideal bicycle tour all planned out, the final step is to book it. Call the company of your choice, make the reservations, and get ready for your trip!