Five Tips for a Great Bike Trip When You and Your Partner are on Different Levels
Posted on: January 3, 2019, by Jill Murwin
My husband and I LOVE to travel together, and we like to be active on our trips. Cycling is a great way to see the countryside, get from one place to another, interact with the local culture, and burn enough calories so that you can enjoy delicious food and wine of a region – without the gilt!
But while I enjoy a leisurely stroll and to break up my 25-40 daily miles into pieces stopping for local coffee, a gallery visit, or just to take in the scenery, my partner considers anything under 60-80 fast and hard hill-filled miles a day a pleasure cruise. We are different riders, but through Chasing Atlas, we found a way to experience unforgettable trips together while allowing each other the freedom to ride as we wish. We begin our day with a wonderful breakfast, and with our own personal guides, we take off on our bikes and meet up for coffee, lunches and afternoon exploration. During dinner, we share our experiences – which are often not that different – and feel content knowing that we are able to get exactly what we wanted out of cycling trip.
This formula is not for everyone but listed below are 5 ways in which to have a great trip while satisfying everyone’s needs.
1. Go on a group trip that caters to different levels. There will be more than one guide with different options for the number of miles and the difficulty of the ride. Often, the more experienced riders will ride the same routes as the less experienced riders with an added loop or hill climb. Of course, they will be much faster than the novice riders, but hey, who’s counting? Sometimes there will be a shuttle option to take cyclists who so desire over a long steep hill while those opting for more of a challenge will meet up with you at a local café in the next village. While they are out there pumping their legs, you may discover a local gallery, bookstore or winery. Or you can simply take the time to explore your surroundings.
2. One or both of you can use a GPS and/or share a guide. If you feel confident in your skills to follow a map, this is a good option for you. Maps will be pre-loaded onto your phone or bike computer. If you happen to get lost, you can use that very same phone to call your guide, who can lead you to the next stop. It’s all part of the adventure.
3. If it’s a private trip, and you can hire 2 guides, do it! This is my personal preferred option. If there is one thing (amongst 100’s of things) that Chasing Atlas is great at, it’s matching guides to the riders. My guides like to stop and smell the roses, enlighten me on local history and culture, point out the best shops, and make sure that we meet up with my partner for lunch. On the other hand, Dann’s guide is often younger and stronger than him and he keeps him challenged throughout the trip. Ain’t no mountain high enough.
4. Rent an E-Bike! Once you go E-Bike you don’t go back! EVERYONE in Europe rides an E-Bike. OK, let me just dispel the myth right now. An E-Bike does not do the ride for you – it is not a moped. You have to pedal in order to engage the motor AND you still have to work. BUT it sure does make the hills easier! I have been known to turn it up all the way on a hill, but I also turn it off on the flats. Unless I’m tired of course, and then I sneak it onto the lowest assist level.
PS. I ride a regular (non-motor assist) bike at home, but I really really really want an E-Bike!
5. Blend all of the above! Having done every one of the above-mentioned scenarios, I have admitted, my favorite rides are the ones where I have the most flexibility. Whether I am in a group or alone, I like to switch it up a bit. I like riding in the mornings, meeting up with my partner for coffee or beer in the villages, unless of course, he is on a category 2-3 climb, and gathering for lunch at a local cafe. The point is, even if though you may have different cycling abilities or wants out of a cycling /adventure trip, there are many ways to make it work so that everyone has the trip of a lifetime!
Author: Deanna Byck.