Traveling by bike, not that complicated!
“If you can cycle one day and camp one night, you can cycle around the world. It doesn't get any more complicated than that,” according to two-wheeled globetrotter Jonathan B. Roy.
Small deficiencies in equipment should not put a stop to the adventure, however brief or ambitious it may be.
The one who cycled around the world, riding 40,000 km in 40 countries and on three continents, met people “crossing a continent on bikes that I wouldn't even have taken to go to the convenience store. ;”, he said. Nothing is impossible, therefore, whether you travel the planet or the regions of Quebec, as many cycling enthusiasts will certainly do this summer.
According to him, “the best bike is the one you already have”, for an economic reason, but also because you can modify it. Changing the saddle or simply changing its position will improve comfort. Just like favoring wing-shaped handles to multiply positions and maximize support, then adding layers of handlebar tape to “absorb vibrations”.
What about there equipment?
Mr. Roy also advises getting wide tires and lowering the pressure inside them to better “absorb the roughness of the road”. Opt for “clip-on” pedals that promote energy saving or choosing wider pedals that distribute the weight over the whole of the foot are also part of the sensible modifications.
On the other hand, if the purchase of a bicycle is required, the author of the books Stories to Sleep Outside published by Vélo Québec Éditions, recommends the Panorama Cycles Anticosti gravel bike with a steel frame.
“I love bike gear and read all about it. But I realized that you could travel minimally in South America, when I met cyclists who, as panniers, used cut plastic barrels. It puts things into perspective,” says the speaker.
As few things as possible
“We are looking for the best bike and the best equipment to reassure ourselves, but in fact, is it really necessary?” Questions this optimist, who believes that he is never completely independent when travelling.
As an example, he recalls that in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan, a screw in his luggage rack had broken and someone had immediately jumped up to fix it. help.
Mr. Roy is not dragging a spare tire, but rather an inner tube, a patch and a multi-tool. “It doesn’t help to take the fun out of having too much baggage. I prefer to bring as few things as possible and one unnecessary thing. For me it's my electronic gear, but for someone else it could be a pillow, a kite board, a guitar,” he says.
A few tips in bulk
Bring a day set (two cycling shirts and quick-drying shorts), an evening set (one or two merino wool shirts, light long pants), cycling shoes (clipped or not), sandals and hiking shoes.
Choose a mix of panniers and bags adapted to your bike, which will allow you to distribute the weight evenly at the front and back, left and right.
For orientation, Mr. Roy suggests the Organic maps application.
And since in the word cycle tourism, it there is the word cyclo, but also tourism, he advises to make smaller distances daily, in order to enjoy the landscapes and to meet people. After all, the destination doesn't matter so much.