Things to think about before you cycle around Europe

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Cycling is a great way to explore Europe. It’s cheap, it’s simple and anybody can do it. There are a few things that you need to think about before you set off on your trip though.

1. How are you going to get your bike home?

Both trains and planes across Europe often have very strict restrictions about when you can and can’t take a bike on board. Trains may have bike spaces but they must be booked in advance, rather than on the day. Bikes will also need to be booked on to your flight in advance and each airline differs as to the size of bike box they allow on the flight and how the bike must be packed. Make sure that before you set off your trip, you’ve thought in detail about getting you and your bike home in one piece. The last thing you want is to spoil your trip by having a traumatic journey home!

2. Can you fix your bike?

You don’t need to be an experienced mechanic, but it’s worth learning some basics before you set off, including things like how to repair a puncture or a broken chain. Lots of bike shops offer great one day courses that you can attend and these will be aimed at different levels of expertise. Alternatively, just spend some time watching some of many extremely helpful videos online which show you how to carry out basic repairs. You will be glad you did when you’re standing at the side of a road with a deflated tire.

3. What does your insurance cover?

You need to make sure you’re prepared just in case something does go wrong or you have an accident (although, obviously, we do hope that you don’t!) Check the fine print of any travel insurance you take out and make sure it covers your bike, as well as yourself. It’s quite likely that you will need to take out separate bike insurance for this. Check that your European Health Insurance Card is in date too. With the free health care in Europe that your EHIC provides, you can seek medical attention without any stress if your’re unlucky enough to have a fall.

Photo: Cycling by tejvanphotos licensed under Creative commons 2
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