What is bike touring?

I want to ride my bicycle, bicycle, bicycle…

Bicycle tourism is steadily on the rise around the world. And those of us lucky enough to be in the industry are delighted to see that it’s not just a fad.

As more people choose two wheels over four and active lifestyles to sedentary ones, the business of bicycle tourism has propelled itself into the fast lane.

Cycling is for just about everyone—people of all shapes, sizes and ability levels. Opportunities abound for children, who can now ride behind Mom and Dad in a bike trailer, tag-along, or tandem. For adults, there’s the choice of road bikes, mountain bikes, and the increasingly popular hybrid (sometimes called trekking) bikes. There are electric bikes for those of us who need a bit of a push, tandem bikes for lovers, and recumbent bikes for recliners.

Our team here at BikeTours.com is a good composite of the new bicycle tourist: some of us are fast, some of us are slow, some ride road bikes, some ride mountain bikes, and some simply rent bikes. Some like adventure, some like leisure. But one thing we all have in common? Our passion for exploring the world on two wheels!

Put simply, there is no better way to see a new country or place than by bicycle. It’s called slow travel, and it’s the best possible way to experience a new culture, landscape, and people. It’s the antidote to mind-numbing bus tours and mile-a-minute travel itineraries. It’s a chance to discover a new world by pedaling through it, rather than flying over it.

It’s flexible. You can leave from your front door or fly across the world. There are one-day rides and weeks-long routes. Trips that are organized for you down to the last detail and adventures you can plan along the way. You can choose routes that meander along a scenic route or roads that race you from town to town.

You can choose from tour programs that offer short distances or full-day rides, leisurely riding or hardcore cycling, and terrain ranging from flat bike paths to steep mountain climbs.

It’s just plain fun. It’s not a means to train or get in shape (though you can certainly do both) but rather to create the best kind of souvenir, a lasting sense of the road you traveled and the places you visited. It's a way to capture the spirit of your destination rather than record a new race time.

So — do it! Go ride your bicycle. Go ride it where you like.

What’s next?

Learn about benefits of bike touring, types of tours, and resources to get you going.