Cologne / Göttingen (DPA / TMN) – A successful bike journey begins with the choice of a bike. “It is very important that you feel comfortable on the bike and that its dimensions fit you,” says Kristian Neubauer, editor-in-chief of cycling magazine “Redtouren.” Experts recommend that anyone who has cycled only ten minutes to shop and back should try to commute several hours before starting a bike trip. “Anyone who drives forty, sixty or eighty kilometers will painfully notice whether the bike actually fits.”
The luggage rack is important – unless it’s a sporty bike such as a mountain or gravel bike. “Puncture-proof tires also make sense, for example with an additional puncture protection insert,” says Thomas Geisler of the Bicycle Press Service (PD-F). According to Geisler, a specialized touring bike for touring costs around 1,800 to 2,000 euros, with a motor another 1,000 euros more.
Whether motor or muscular strength: The bike must be road worthy, the bike must be checked before riding, at home or in a specialist workshop.
Sleeping mats, sleeping bags and tents should be kept away
As little and as much as is necessary is a rule of thumb when packing. This is important whether you are traveling with a tent or indulge in the luxury of an overnight stay. In the first case, you will need to bring a tent, sleeping mat and sleeping bag, thin or warm, depending on the season. “Plus, a small camp stove, utensils, plates, cutlery, especially a knife, because you can do so much with it,” Geisler lists for everyone who wants to cook for themselves.
If you can usually get food or groceries on the go in Germany, for example, it’s more difficult in the Scottish Highlands. Instead of canned food, lighter items with a higher energy density should always be in the luggage: “trail mix, muesli bars, hard sausage or freeze-dried food,” Neubauer says.
Sufficient water is also important, a bottle that can be attached directly to the frame or handlebar stem is appropriate here. In Germany, it’s usually not a problem to refill your water supply, Geisler explains.
be ready by all means
The right clothing always includes a rain jacket and trousers. “If you spend the night outside, you should always have a warm jacket with you,” Geisler advises. In addition, clothing adapts to weather conditions: “People who cycle in Crete in August have different things in their luggage than they would in Denmark at the same time,” Neubauer says.
The necessary tools are essential, emphasizes Geisler. Thus, an air pump, repair kit and, if possible, a spare tube are included in the equipment. “Plus, a small device that fits everywhere to tighten loose again,” says the cycling expert. “If you’re on the road for several kilometers, it’s also worth carrying chain oil with you.” A workshop visit should be made for major repairs.
It turns the bike into an ass dragging
If you don’t want to book luggage transport or take a trailer with you, there are several bags distributed around the bike. For most bike trips lasting several days, a backpack and a handlebar to the right and left of the bag carrier is sufficient, Neubauer says. The latter is worth the gold. “The camera fits in there when you’re taking pictures on the go, plus sunscreen, sunglasses, money – you have everything you need and you can carry around with your bag of stuff Don’t have to run.”
According to Geisler, the classic applies to long trips: “The so-called six-pack: two front panniers, two rear panniers, a handlebar bag, and a large roller bag atop the luggage rack.” Bikepacking is in vogue, in which bags are attached directly to the bike, especially for bikes without luggage racks.
Waterproofing the bag is the be-all and end-all. Otherwise, good quality is also worthwhile; two bags can cost 100 to 150 euros, Neubauer says. In general, heavy things go downstairs when packing, with equipment and rain gear on top to prepare for breakdowns and unexpected rain. “The main load should be behind the luggage rack, about 70 percent,” Geisler explains, explaining the weight distribution on the bike.
Where we go and for how long – it should be clear in advance
Route planning remains in place. Many underestimate themselves with daily distances, knows Geisler. “You should try beforehand how much you can do in a day.” There is also a difference in whether you spend only one day in the saddle or several days in a row. His tip for beginners: Find a place to stay overnight and plan tours from there. “It gives you the opportunity to feel your way.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210611-99-950914/2
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