5 tips for a self-guided tour

When we accumulate some bike touring experience,  the idea of going on a tour by ourselves is surely appealing, without the need for guides, just looking for new landscapes, trails and mythic roads. Still, there are some points we should look out for, and that’s what this article is about.

1 – Bike choice

If you’re going on a tour to somewhere you’ve never visited, where you want to discover every possible roads and sceneries, you should choose a versatile bike, one that balances comfort between mountain roads or coarser trails. A mountain bike is always a good choice in these cases.

2 – Weight distribution

Balance is paramount for a good experience on your bike, and hence also in your tour. With that in mind, avoid placing all the weight in the back panniers, as that can tilt your bike in steeper climbs. A backpack is also not advisable, as it’s uncomfortable and increases stress on your back, shoulders and hands. Ideally, you should distribute the weight evenly across the bike, freeing your body from it.

Equally important for your comfort is a good saddle adjustment. In our “Do you know how to adjust your saddle?” article, you’ll learn how to set it perfectly for you.

3 – Know your limits

This may sound somewhat esoteric, mas it really isn’t, it’s very physical and important. A good way to get to know your limits, in terrains you’re not familiar with, is to start with shorter stages, where you can gauge how far you can go and how much you can take without experiencing extreme fatigue. Then you can adjust your tour days according to what your body tells you. As with almost everything in life, in your tours you you should keep this motto in mind: it’s best to go slow and right, than quickly and wrong.

4 – Mind your safety

Take everything you need to insure your safety and keep an eye on the trail and other vehicles. Our “10 tips for a safe bicycle ride” article can help you with this. Helmet, gloves and glasses are always mandatory. First aid basic knowledge, in a guideless tour, will also come in handy, as in the event of a fall or accident you’ll immediately know what you can or can’t do for someone who’s injured. Safety is truly of the utmost importance.

5 – Study your route

Even if you wish to bike into the unknown, that you long to be surprised by what the locations have to offer, or even if the goal is adventure itself, studying your route is going to be very important. The ability to understand beforehand if you’ll have a more stable or steep terrain, or if the climbs are many and intense, will help you be more certain and confident in your tour, and as such readier to enjoy what it has to offer.

If you’re eager for this kind of experience, we offer self-guided options in many of our tours, and we supply all the materials for it, like the bike itself, a GPS, cell phone, etc, so you can enjoy your experience with the necessary support. Get in touch via tours@biketoursportugal.com to know all about our services.