The Benefits of Travelling in a Group for a Cycling Holiday
Cycling solo has its benefits. You can ride at your own pace, go where you want, and you do not need to wait for others or be self-conscious about your performance. But travelling in a group, particularly during cycling holidays, comes with its advantages that those travelling alone by bike will be missing out on.
Is A Group Travelling Right for Me?
There is no question that riding by oneself has its benefits. Many cyclists choose to head out on their own adventure by themselves simply because they enjoy the peace and quiet. Several cyclists of all levels have said that they find hitting the road on their bike without others around to be meditative and relaxing.
Another reason why cyclists may choose to ride by themselves is because it tests their self-sufficiency. This may not seem appealing to all cyclists, but to a select few this is an important part of their ride.
Group travelling is often the preferred way to go on a cycling holiday, particularly for those who:
- Are not familiar with the area or the terrain; and
- Are not expert cyclists
Riding alone can be an intimidating and even frightening experience for some. Riding as a group, however, is often comforting and makes for a more fun and enjoyable ride for cyclists of all levels.
A lot of cyclists find riding alone, especially when experiencing a new destination like France or Italy, to be very lonely and even downright miserable. Travelling with a group, however, means being able to share experiences with others and to have someone to tell tales about that excruciating uphill ride you all just experienced together. Many individuals who plan a group cycling holiday to find that they have made lifelong friendships after their trip.
Even the most seasoned cycling tourists can learn a thing or two from another. Beginners benefit in a major way by investing in a group tour as they are able to learn the ins and outs about touring, such as:
- What items they should pack and how to pack light
- How to discover new routes
- How to repair their bikes
When you travel with a tour group, the guide will also impart invaluable information about each local destination you reach. They will also share with you some hidden gems that, if travelling alone, you’d sadly miss out on.
Most cycling tours go seamlessly, with all travelers making it to and from each destination unscathed and with a well-functioning bike. In the event of an emergency, however, those travelling with others, know they will not have to go it alone. Your group is your team, and they will make sure that anything you may need help with – from repairing your bike to setting up your tent for the night – will be done.
A cycling holiday can be both emotionally and mentally taxing at times, especially if you are climbing the tenth steep hill of the day. Your group will not only instinctively force your competitive juices to kick in, but they will also be a source of positive motivation as you ride. They will continue to verbally push you until you reach that summit, at which point you will be too distracted by the breath-taking cliffs and vistas to notice the burning pain in your thighs.
When riding alone, cyclists tend to stick to the path well-travelled. This is a smart move on their part, for if they end up in a risky situation someone will hopefully see them and come to their aid.
Travelling in a group frees you from that worry. A group of cyclists will be far more likely test new routes and paths. You will feel more comfortable being adventurous and discovering all of the new routes that you may have never known about. Better yet, a member of the group or the group leader will likely know of some of the best yet unknown routes in the area, giving you the optimal cycling experience.
Group cycling isn’t all about psychology. There are performance benefits that come with travelling as a group too. Experienced cyclists know full well the benefits of being able to “draft.”
If you have ever watched the Tour de France or any other cycling competition, you will have likely noticed one cyclist in the lead by one, two, or more cyclists riding closely behind them. This is known as “drafting.” The lead cyclist is taking the brunt of the force of air against them, resulting in less resistance for the cyclists behind them to fight against. If you have a large enough group travelling with you, you can save 40% or more of your energy simply by drafting.
Depending on the tour and the outfit you choose to tour as a group with, you can save a lot of money on your holiday. By travelling as a group, you are able to split costs rather than entirely pay your own way. Cycling holiday group tours often also have the benefit of receiving premium rates for dining, accommodations, and entertainment. These savings are most often passed down to the tourists within the group to take advantage of.
Explore Your Options
The best cycling holiday is one that is well planned and is made with all options taken into account. Some cycling groups may allow cyclists some freedom in where they travel or how soon they need to leave a destination. Others may allow you to add additional tours for you are interested in your itinerary, or you can string them together yourself to create your own multi-day experience.
Make a list of everything which you hope to experience during your cycling tour, and give a group cycling tour company a call. Many are able to accommodate travelers in ways which they will not have mentioned on their website, but will allow you to experience the cycling holiday you have always dreamed about.