As a fanatical amateur cyclist, you would like nothing more than to take your beloved racing bike on your family holidays and discover new challenging routes. But you also want your family to enjoy the holiday and you do not want a divorce when you return home. A cycling holiday with the family can be a great experience, but not every family is up for that. In this blog I give you tips for a carefree holiday that will satisfy both you and the rest of the family.
By Jim van den Berg, Founder & CEO of JOIN Sports
Tips for a carefree holiday for both the cyclist and the family
- Leave early: Make sure you plan your cycling trips early in the day, especially in hot climates. That way you not only avoid cycling in the heat but you also have enough time remaining to spend with your family. You can use the morning for a more intensive workout and relax together in the afternoon.
- Make sure you have some energy left: You have less energy in the swimming pool if you completely exhaust yourself for 4 hours early in the morning. Take it easy for the last 15-20 minutes of your workout. For example, drink an espresso on the terrace before you get back to your holiday residence. That way you can still play ‘sea monster’ with the children as soon as you get home.
- Think about the family activities: Make sure there is plenty to do for the family while you go on your bike rides. Look for areas with opportunities for hiking, swimming, sightseeing, and other activities the family enjoys. Avoid ending up in the middle of nowhere simply because you have the best cycling routes there. Also think about what the rest of the family likes.
- Combine rest days: plan your rest days together with the family so that you can all enjoy relaxation and quality time together. So communicate well in advance when and for how long you plan to go for a ride. Then other plans can be adjusted accordingly.
The 5 best holiday destinations to take (or rent) your bike
Of course this is a rather subjective and personal subject, but at JOIN we are not afraid to give our opinion. Good holiday destinations for cycling are:
- The Alps: The breathtaking landscapes and challenging climbs are a dream for most cyclists. The Italian Dolomites in particular have the perfect combination of Italian cuisine and heroic climbs.
- Mallorca, Spain: Known as a cyclist’s paradise with its beautiful coastline, quaint villages and varied routes for all abilities. The climbs are often no steeper than 5% and the asphalt is great. A little inland, the roads are not too busy even during the high season.
- Tuscany, Italy: Enjoy the Tuscan hills, picturesque landscapes and historic towns. Be sure to take the strade bianche, or the gravel roads.
- The Flemish Ardennes, Belgium: For those who love cobblestones, short, steep climbs and rolling landscapes, the Flemish Ardennes are a great destination.
- Provence, France: Known for its picturesque villages, lavender fields and hilly roads. It is a great destination for cyclists looking for breathtaking views and challenging climbs, of which the Mont Ventoux should not be missed.
Following your training schedule on vacation
It’s understandable that you don’t want to neglect your training schedule and intervals while on vacation. Here are some tips to keep you in shape, even when you’re on vacation:
- Plan your training in advance: Check your holiday schedule and adjust your training schedule accordingly. Plan your most important workouts and intervals on days when the family can do something else.
- Take advantage of local bike rentals: If you don’t have the option to bring your own road bike, look for local bike rental companies that offer quality bikes.
- Look for climbs in the area: If you’re in the mountains, take the opportunity to train your climbs. Be careful not to take on too much and take enough rest days to prevent injuries. There are also plenty of tips on seated and standing climbing.
- Plan your routes in advance: Do some research about the area and plan your routes. This helps you to better follow your training schedule and gives you the opportunity to explore new routes.
- Flexibility and Balance: Be flexible with your training schedule and enjoy your family holiday. Don’t forget that a gentle bike ride with the family can also be valuable for your training and promotes family fun.
- Put your bike aside for a while: The family holiday might also be a good time to temporarily leave the bike behind. Sometimes you need absolute rest after a cycling season, especially after achieving your goals. Then you can pursue new goals with good courage.
Fortunately, JOIN perfectly meets the above conditions. So you can continue your JOIN schedule while on vacation with peace of mind. Enjoy discovering new routes, beautiful landscapes and quality time with your family. Have fun cycling!