Tips for planning the best bike holiday ever

Follow these tips to make your next mountain biking trip abroad a dream, not a nightmare

You’ve spent months saving and taken precious time off work — the last thing you want is for your riding holiday to not work out.

Avoid the anger, arguments and stress with our guide on how to prepare for some bicycle-related fun in the sun.

1. Pick the right place

Decide what you want out of your trip: epic trail bike descents, riding where no one has been before, bike park laps and beers, or all of the above?

Do your research, read some reviews, ask for advice from people who’ve been then choose a location that’s suited to your riding style and ability.

2. Preparation is key

The last thing you want is for your bike to let you down. Make sure it’s serviced and running well before you go. Pack a spare mech hanger, brake pads and any other bits that are specific to your bike.

Consider taking a replacement rear mech and tyres too — with a limited choice of bike shops in many places, it’s easy to pay over the odds for new parts.

3. Book your transfers

Don’t wait until you’ve touched down in the middle of the night to find out that there are no buses to your hotel until the morning. Trying to wedge multiple bike boxes into a hatchback taxi is no fun.

Save yourself the stress by booking your transfers ahead of time. Almost all big riding destinations have dedicated services to/from the closest airport.

4. Don’t show and blow

It’s easy to go flat out on the first day, resulting in a big crash or tiring yourself out. With the pummelling that the big descents will give you, it’s a good idea to factor in some rest days throughout the trip.

It’s better to take a day off and ride hard the rest of the time than risk a big off. Sitting on the sidelines watching your mates ride is never fun.

5. Maximise bike time

Research the trails and plan what you want to do each day. If you don’t know the area, it could be worth riding with a guide. They’ll be able to show you some amazing hidden trails, as well as knowing all the best spots for food and post-ride beers.

Make the most of uplift services and ski lifts too — the energy saved by not slogging up the hills can be used to get in more descents!

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Alex has been riding bikes since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. He first raced back in 2003, winning the Juvenile category on a sketchy hard tail Planet X bike. Alex lived in the Alps for seven years so isn't shy of a climb or two and loves getting out in his bike in all weather. His favorite thing to ride is steep loamy tracks with loads of opportunities to slam the bike into turns and really give it some frame bending welly! He's broken his fair share of frames, so any bike between his knees is going to get a right seeing to.
  • Discipline: DH, Enduro, XC, BMX, Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Epic descents covered in the world's finest loam and hero dirt
  • Current Bikes: Nukeproof Mega 275 / Giant Anthem Advanced 275 1 / LeMond Reno / Deluxe Pro 2 BMX
  • Dream Bike: Giant ATX 1 DH (1999 model)
  • Beer of Choice: Teetotal
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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