Small group cycling travel guide


You chat with your guide over a well-earned snack break and wait a few moments whilst a member of your group gets a puncture mended and another decides to jump into the back of the support vehicle rather than tackle the forthcoming climb. Rested and ready you succumb to the familiar comfort of your saddle and grab one last sup of water before following your guide to what you've heard is going to be one of the most incredible views imaginable.
It's moments like this that make small group cycling vacations such a wonderful prospect; and no matter whether you're cycling through the tropical landscapes of Asia or you've opted for the desert inclines of the Middle East, one thing is for sure, this is one of the safest ways to get a deeper understanding of a remote region whilst also being able to relax and enjoy the ride.

Go on a small group cycling vacation if…

… you like to switch off when you cycle. As you're cycling alongside an experienced tour leader you can really start to soak up the views and turn off your mind rather than having to think too much about logistics.

… you want to share an experience. Cycling, unless via a tandem, is by nature a solitary activity. However, that moment when you take a breather or stop to explore on foot can become all the more memorable if experienced in the company of like-minded others.

… you want cycle away from civilisation. Accompanied group trips are idea for exploring much more far flung regions on two wheels, with someone to take care of the tricky bits that are all part of traveling in Taiwan, Tanzania or Thailand.

… meeting local people works for you. Bikes don't have windows so you're already physically closer even before you've stopped for a chat.

Don’t go on a small group cycling vacation if…

… you're completely unfit. You know your own body and what you're going to be comfortable with. Choose your activity level sensibly and put in some practice prior to proper pedalling.

… you're hoping to smash your PB. Getting your nose to the handle bars and bum out of the saddle may be ok for Wiggins et al but if you're cycling as part of a small group then you need to remember that it's not all about you.

… you just can't stand waiting for others. Again, even if you're not going hell for leather, it's worth remembering that not everyone in your group will be cycling at the same pace. Practise your patience and savour the chance to rest and soak up the views as you wait for others to catch up.

… you prefer your independence. Hey, if you prefer to go fast or slow and be with your own thoughts then a self-guided cycling tour is probably going to be a much better option.

The best time to go cycling


It's definitely advisable to be aware of the heat factor when it comes to cycling, especially during the middle of the day or over the course of the summer. Spring is often considered the best time to go cycling as temperatures are fresher and landscapes are starting to show signs of life as they wake up from winter.

Winter, although cold, offers far more peace and quiet although it's worth remembering the lack of daylight and icy conditions can hamper a cycle tour. Autumn also tends to be a quieter season to go cycling and is certainly not without its charm if you're looking for cooler temperatures against a backdrop of colourful foliage.
Photo credits: [Best time to go box: Phil and Pam Gradwell] [helpdesk box: Colville-Andersen]
Written by Chris Owen
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