If you are planning on going on a fun-filled adventure with your bike, then the first thing you need to know about is how to travel the world with a bike. Travelling from country to country might sound easy enough, but there are actually a lot of different factors that you need to take into consideration. You should also consider quitting your job before you head off because a trip around the world will take anything from months to years.
Step 1: Research
Before you can even begin to think about all the different places that you could visit on your journey, you need to start thinking about all of the technical details. These include border crossings between countries, the visas that you might need, the routes that you might take, the amount of money that you will need and the time that it will take you to get from A to B.
The latter is actually a really important thing to consider because it will go hand in hand with your visa situation. Most of the time, your visa will give you a set amount of time in each country and that will tell you exactly how many days you have to get to the border of the next country before your visa is no longer valid. This might mean that you have time to relax along the way, or it might mean that you really have to rush.
You should also take into consideration your health. If you are going to be spending a lot of time in rural areas, then you need to make sure that you get all of the vaccinations that you need before leaving your home country. You will not always be able to access medical care in rural areas and it is better to be safe than sorry.
Step 2: Train
You will have to do a lot of training with your bike before you can even begin to think about venturing out and enjoying a trip around the world on it. Unfortunately, this type of trip is not going to be as easy as cycling for a few miles around a forest would be. We are talking about a trail around the world that covers thousands of miles.
A lot of people do make the mistake of starting their biking adventure around the world without doing a lot of training. We have heard a lot of stories about people giving up after just a handful of weeks because of their inability to cope with all of the aches and pains. Training is the most important thing that you can do to avoid a situation like this.
We would highly recommend that you head out for a weekend on your bicycle. When you do this, you should make sure that you are carrying the same weight that you would have to carry on your trip around the world. This should be considered to be your ‘test run’. If your first run goes well, then you should arrange a second. You should try to tackle different time frames and different terrains.
This should give you a proper idea of your current endurance and the pace at which you can ride. These pieces of information will help you determine how long your journey will take. It is really important to be able to determine time frames because you will only have so many days to get through certain countries before your visa expires. For this, it may be helpful to get a helmet cam as it helps reviewing the footage of your training rounds.
You should also make sure that you learn how to do some basic maintenance on your bike. It would be incredibly difficult to find someone to fix it for you while you are on the move so it will be down to you to deal with any problems that arise. A lot of places hold courses on bike maintenance so you should consider taking part in one.
Step 3: Languages
Before your adventure can begin, you need to consider whether or not you want to learn any of the languages that match with the countries that you are visiting. Learning snippets of each of the languages is something that could really help you break down barriers along the way, even if it is just the basics.
If you have no intentions of learning a language, then you should make sure that you at least know how to say enough words to be seen as polite. For example, just knowing how to say ‘thank you’ in another language can really help shape the way that you appear to other people.
Step 4: Route
Planning the route that you are going to take is really important for a number of different reasons, including water. If you are heading out into rural areas, then you might find it difficult to find a water source without already knowing where one is. Due to this, we would suggest that you mark all of the possible sources of water along your route on a map that you can refer back to.
You should also think about carrying some water purification tablets if you are planning on gathering your water from natural sources. Make sure that there are no gaps along your route where you might struggle to gather water.
You also need to think about the type of map that you are going to use. A lot of people actually rely on electronic, offline maps. If you are planning on doing the same, then you just need to make sure that you are carrying a portable charger because electricity is not something that you will always be able to find. We would also highly recommend that you carry a tracking device that is capable of sending an SOS call, just in case you run into anything unexpected.
Step 5: Pack
When you have finished all of your planning, you need to get your equipment together. The first thing that you need to think about is your bike. Make sure that you are taking something sturdy that has a steel frame because steel is much easier to fix than aluminum if something does go wrong.
You should also make sure that you are carrying panniers that are waterproof and large enough to carry all of your gear. Your tent should also be large because you are going to have to store all of your equipment in there overnight. If you are planning on storing your bike while you explore, then you might want to consider taking the best bike travel case that you can find.
Other items that you need to remember to take include your helmet, your clothing, your phone, your passport, any visas that you might need, and all of your water and snacks. Anything else that you are going to need to take depends on your personal circumstances and the destinations that you are heading out to.
What are you waiting for?
Once you have done all of your research, training, studying, planning and packing, it is time for you to go on your adventure. Do not head out on your bike expecting a trek across the world to be as easy as a walk in the park, but do go out expecting to have the adventure of a lifetime.