Anyone who has ever packed up their bags and gone on a long-distance bike ride has had a moment where they realised that it was exactly the right thing to do. Although cycling holidays offer different experiences to different people, here are just some of the reasons why a bike tour could benefit you and your group:
It can change your perspective in ways a short holiday cannot
Riding across the United Kingdom – encountering beautiful landscapes, exploring a different location each day, meeting friendly locals and trying many different foods – may help you to appreciate the importance of breaking out of your everyday life every so often. In order to feel truly refreshed and reinvigorated, try pushing yourself out of familiarity and take the time to experience what is available outside of your usual routine.
It can reveal your sense of adventure and enhance your self-reliance
We are all born with a sense of curiosity, a thirst for independency and a mind capable of learning just about anything; however the stresses and routines of everyday life can stifle these aspirations. Indulging in a long-distance cycling holiday can re-awaken your true sense of adventure and self-reliance by offering you the chance to really get back to nature and explore some of the world around you.
“Bicycle touring is heightened awareness and self-reliance. It’s the difference between microwaving and cooking a meal from scratch. It’s the difference between standing awe-struck in front of a painting and clicking past it on the internet. Now imagine this feeling every day, all day. Something as simple as THE GROUND becomes very important. Is it level? Soft? Wet? You really begin to SEE the ground. You see people. And landscapes. And food. You might even see yourself.”
– Rebecca Jensen, long-distance touring cyclist.
It can reduce your stress levels
It is a well-known fact that exercise can help to significantly reduce stress and anxiety. Long-distance cycling holidays can also help the brain to become more resilient and protect it from depressive symptoms, due to the stress-busting combination of physical exercise, fresh air and exhilarating opportunities for exploration. Getting on a bicycle – much like with any form of exercise – has proven to be an effective method for good mental healthcare as well as physical fitness. Cycling is an easy way to improve your overall wellbeing.
You can explore places you cannot visit in a car
Often in today’s lifestyle we don’t take the time to explore everything around us. When you travel by a car for example, you may miss a small town that has so much to offer; there might have been a hidden farmers’ market that you just passed by, offering you the chance to meet many amazing people and sample countless delicacies.
Long-distance bike rides connect you to regions, towns, and people that you wouldn’t have found through other forms of travel. Travelling on a bicycle immerses and connects you to everything around you. Instead of simply speeding away to a different city or town, travelling by bicycle will help you to see more, learn more and appreciate more.
It can help to sharpen your mind
A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that cycling can boost your brainpower. The researchers found that after a 30-minute ride at moderate intensity, the participants scored higher on tests of memory, reasoning and planning – and they were able to complete the tasks faster, too. Taking part in an explorative cycling holiday could well offer similar mind-boosting benefits to you and your group, all while you are busy enjoying the sights and scenery.
It can improve your health and immune system
You may be aware that exercise helps your heart and body, but some may not know that breaking a sweat can actually improve your immune system too. Long-distance cycling can help to boost your resistance to illnesses while having a lower impact on your body than intense running. So if you feel like you’re always ‘coming down with something’, consider taking a cycling holiday!
It can make you feel happier
Aerobic activity increases the production of ‘happy chemicals’ like serotonin and dopamine in your brain, so going on a long-distance cycling holiday will help your endorphins kick into a high gear and you’ll feel even better! Not only that, but a recent study found that cyclists have better moods than people who use other modes of transportation.