If you’ve gone or are going on a bike tour, it’s probably safe to say you’re an adventurer. Or, at the very least, a traveler. So maybe we’re preaching to the choir here.
But if you’re new to the adventure game, read on to see how BikeTours.com’s former tour advisor Richie Daigle found a way to embrace the excitement on his recent bike tours.
1. Take a picture in the rain
On a recent tour, my group started riding with thunder rolling and dark skies approaching. We cycled to the top of an island where we were able to watch the storm roll through the Adriatic and the neighboring islands. We were rained on a little bit, but were able to take some incredible photos of the dramatic weather system.
2. Appreciate the wildlife
While riding through quiet countrysides, you are likely to have some wildlife encounters. On my last trip, we came across snakes, dolphins, deer, hawks, sea urchins, an assortment of fish, and a strange animal that I thought was a hummingbird, but was actually some sort of insect.
3. Talk to strangers
Most of the time, strangers are nice! Whether asking for directions, for the best place to eat in town, or for an impromptu discussion in a bar over a beer, take time to enjoy the people you meet along the way.
Usually, a hard ride up a mountain means killer rewards. Riding up a long climb often leads to views that take what breath you have left away. And riding distances that are a little longer than your comfort zone can take you past amazing sights you may not have seen otherwise. Not to mention, the food and beverage after long days in the saddle always seems to be the best meal or drink you’ve had in years.
5. Get lost
Wrong turns and getting lost can turn out to be the highlight of your tour. I missed a turn in Slovenia and ended up riding to Lake Bohinj. What a wonderful mistake to make. Lake Bohinj is gorgeous and, looking back, I am so happy that I made this mistake. On another tour, our group was in a small seaside village, searching for the right gravel road to take. We were gathered in front of a house while we took a break and regrouped. The owner of the house came out with a bowl of fresh figs for us and they were delicious!
While in Italy, I had to ask a local for directions to a hotel. While talking with him, I asked for a recommendation on where to eat. He gave me directions to a small restaurant hidden off the beaten tourist track. I had two fantastic meals in this ancient courtyard and I would have never known about it if I hadn’t got lost.