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What should you think about before going on a bike trek?

More and more of you are attracted to this new mode of travel. Before you take the plunge, it's important to be meticulous.

These are obviously not the kind of trips you can expect out of the blue. Bike trekking or "bikepaking" is something that should be planned well in advance and in which every detail should leave as few surprises as possible. To put it simply, you can challenge yourself on a whim with friends, couple or family, but out of the question not to prepare for it once the decision has been made.

It seems obvious that the first thing to take into account is your bike. A bike suitable for long rides and kilometers swallowed day after day is essential in this practice. Some brands offer ranges adapted to this one and it is not impossible to "model" your cycle according to your preferences. The three main criteria must however remain the same. It must be comfortable, must be able to accommodate a lot of storage and must be able to slide its wheels everywhere. Routes generally vary between trails, paths and roads, so wheels and tires must adapt to these variations in terrain.

You can easily find lists of must-have items by chatting with other enthusiasts or by asking specialists. Regarding your accessories, consider taking spare batteries or cells, especially for your lights, which are vital for your safety. Repair equipment is also necessary while remaining as minimalist as possible because the on-board weight will necessarily be significant; but do not think that you will fall through the cracks by not having to replace an inner tube, for example. For the same reasons, take spare patches and tubes.

Your personal belongings should allow you to cope with any type of weather, day or night, in the tent or on the bike. It will be necessary to find the compromise between essential business and the weight of the bike. The rain, the sun, the coolness or the heat will inevitably come together and you will have to be able to adapt to it.

Regarding the itinerary, it must be precise. Do not get in trouble in a region or country that you are discovering. To avoid unpleasant surprises, set up your itinerary before departure. Whether you sleep in a tent, in a hotel or with a local, it is important to know the route of the day to anticipate fatigue or possible injuries. A safety stop can also be scheduled if it is difficult to reach the desired point during a day.

Most of these expeditions take place abroad although it is quite possible to discover your own country from the inside through it. It is therefore a real expedition if you have to leave the territory and the notion of travel asserts itself. Some papers therefore become mandatory, such as your passport, of course. In some countries, vaccination will probably be compulsory, so carry your health record in the event of a check-up or a small physical problem.

Even if this kind of trip is done at an overall slow pace, the kilometers swallowed are very numerous at the end of the trip. Extensive training is then necessary and it is essential to leave convinced that you are physically ready. The reverse could lead to psychological deficiencies and make this supposedly pleasant trip a real ordeal. So you know what you have to do!


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