There are plenty of reasons why you should sightsee with a bike. For one, it is a great way to traverse a new city or rediscover your hometown. Another reason is that sightseeing with a bike is a fantastic way to explore an urban environment. Cities are becoming more bike-friendly, and there are dozens of apps and online resources that make it easy to find trails and routes. If you want to genuinely explore while covering a lot of ground, biking puts you in the moment and allows you to take in the sights. Since the why has a pretty easy answer, the question is now how? Whether you’re a newbie or an old hat with plenty of stories about the perils of navigating traffic, this guide will make it simple to plan and enjoy a day of sightseeing and adventure.
Even if you want a completely spontaneous journey, the first step to properly sightsee with a bike is to do a little research. Check the nearest bike routes to see if any of them catch your fancy. If you want to bike on the streets, review your city’s laws and regulations. Screen for traffic or construction in the areas where you intend to bike, as these conditions make it unsafe and harder to enjoy the experience.
Where to Go?
Now, when we typically use the word “sightsee,” we think of tourists trying to get a good look at popular sights. However, especially in your hometown, you can plan your trip around your interests. If you are interested in the arts, check out museums, sculpture installations, and mural hotspots. If you enjoy the pockets of nature that exist on our doorstep, look for parks or nature preserves you’ve never thought to visit. Perhaps you want to see historically preserved buildings; maybe even some haunted ones when Halloween rolls around. And often in cities, there are dozens of fantastic things that individuals decided to make with their own two hands. This is the wonderful thing about exploration: it allows you the joy of discovery. You just have to turn over the rocks to find hidden treasures. This research also a fantastic way to learn more about the culture and history of a city.
Map it Out
So, once you’ve collected some things you want to see and made a list of concrete locations, it’s time to get to drawing. Your map could be physical, of course, but there are several online options that most of us use every day. It’s a simple process to add multiple destinations and have an algorithm check the best route. Do you have a street you personally favor? You can manually adjust the route.
There are also dozens of online communities and apps specifically for bikers that share routes. If you want to leave the work to someone else, these sites could work for you. Any way you approach it, once you find your route, you are set to begin your trip.
What to Bring
To have the best experience while sightseeing with a bike, it pays to be prepared. As with any other ride, you should always wear a helmet, sun protection, and clothes suitable for the weather. Bring enough water for the day in a container that is secure and won’t leak. It would be a bummer to lose your water bottle along the way or go to take a drink and find it half empty. Dehydration is especially dangerous during hot summer months, so don’t let it catch you by surprise.
Depending on how far you intend to bike and what you want to see, you might want to bring a small backpack. That way, you can bring your lunch and snacks with you and turn your day out into a picnic. A paper map could also be a good choice if you want to get away from your phone for the day. If you intend to step off your bike and go explore on foot, bring your bike lock with you.
Enough said. Get out there and bike!
For the Next Time
After you sightsee with a bike, it never hurts to make a few notes—roads you liked, sites that warrant another look, or just ideas for your next day trip. This practice will make it easier to plan and improve your next trip. You could even turn this into a scrapbook or journal if you feel artsy.
And before you head out on your next big journey, take a few minutes to do some maintenance and care for your bike. Proper care keeps you safe and preserves your bike for future rides. If you want some assistance with bike maintenance, or would like advice on bikes best for cities, visit Sun and Ski Sports for expert help.