Cycling Holidays for Beginners
For a lot of our customers this will be their first ever cycling holiday especially in France, in fact that was one reason Breton Bikes was set up as it is – to encourage people to try something that may get them hooked so that in the future they set off on their own. But there are beginners and 'beginners'...
Some – in fact quite a few of our customers have not only never taken a cycling holiday, but don't even ride a bike regularly - many have never been to France! – though the customer who arrived some years ago who couldn't ride a bike at all was pushing it a bit (though she got hooked and came back three times...).
For these people a cycling holiday is inevitably daunting, but however much of a novice you are we do have something for you. For total beginners who rarely cycle, there's a lot to be said for choosing one of the fixed centre options – either camping or in one of our gites. In this case you have time to find your feet, do easy wobbles up the canal towpath or the nearby cyclepath and generally break yourself in gently. On the other hand, such beginners often find themselves a lot more capable than they expected – especially if they are regular walkers, play sport or are generally fitter than most – and again the fixed centre allows you to really spread your wings and go further afield if you find you are capable as we supply lots of routes from very, very easy to quite 'sport'. It also allows you to try different equipment – like a go on a tandem – all included in the basic cost.
If that doesn't take your fancy, or if you really want to try moving on camping for example then we have several suitable routes. However it will be a huge advantage if you do get on a bike and do some test runs to see what you are happy doing in a day. If you book a really short route like 'Easy Rider' and find you do each day's ride in an hour then you're really not making the most of it. With camping this is less critical as you can modify routes right up to the last minute, but with a hotel tour the hotels are all pre-booked so you really are limited to the original route. Equally this applies if you have overestimated your fitness – so get out and practice first;-)
As well as 'Easy Rider' our 'Two Chateaux' route is excellent for beginners. All of it is on very quiet lanes and cyclepath and much of it is flat. But despite this the rides are long enough for you to cover some interesting and varied countryside and some lovely towns – it makes a very good compromise.
Otherwise none of the published routes are arduous – and few will have much in the way of traffic so they are suitable for beginners, but not really for those who are unfit and don't ride – only you can tell.
France is of course ideal as a place to start out - it's friendly, easy to get to, shares a simililar culture and has some of the easiest cycling you'll find.
Lastly carrying gear – we expect you to carry all your own stuff. Trust me – it doesn't make much difference to your progress, but makes a huge difference to the feeling of independence that cycletouring is all about. Companies that do offer luggage transport are catering to people who have no idea how easy it is to carry stuff, or who cannot leave home without the kitchen sink, or to cover the fact that their bikes really aren't good enough for the job...