As cycling continues to enjoy a resurgence in popularity, with 47% of people owning or having access to a bike, more and more of us are using our bikes to get around – whether it’s for leisure, or for commuting.
And, as the weather gets warmer and many of us look to escape abroad for our holidays, some of us might be tempted to take our beloved bike with us to explore the local scenery or to go on cycling trails.
Much like driving abroad, there’s plenty you should consider before you plan out the routes to take on your trip, particularly when it comes to additional costs.
So, we’re here to take you through what you should be ready to pay for to truly prepare for your cycling holiday.
The right insurance for you
Insurance should always be considered for any trip you’re planning to take, regardless of season or weather.
Cycling-specific travel insurance should cover the same as standard policies, including medical treatment, cover for your bike and belongings, and travel issues like delays and cancellations.
Standard travel insurance policies may not cover all eventualities on two wheels, so it is important you look for policies that specifically cover cycling.
Most common travel insurance policies cover anything from £1,000 to £3,000 for your equipment, with a single-item limit of between £200 to £300. This is why you might consider getting specialist cover for your bike as your claim may not cover the total cost should it get damaged or stolen.
It’s important to make sure there is personal liability cover on your policy too. This protects you in the event of an accident that causes injury or damage to a third party, covering the costs of any legal action that may be taken against you.
One thing to consider if you’re looking at specialist bike insurance is how long your trip is going to be. These policies tend to offer cover for 30, 60, or 90 days, meaning you can account for single or multiple trips you might be planning.
Planes, trains, and automobiles
You might have decided late in your planning to bring your bike, with your method of travel already being arranged ahead of your trip. If you’re flying for your holiday, you’ll need to check with your airline for what additional costs and restrictions they have.
There is no standardised approach to charging passengers travelling with bicycles, but Pedalsure have pulled together the major airlines in the UK and how much they charge. The costs for flying with your bikes can range from £30 all the way up to 55 euros, and as much as £60 with Ryainair.
Flying might not be for you, and if your trip is within Europe, there are plenty of ways of getting you and your wheels to your destination. That you can start booking today to get ready ahead of your travels.
One option that gives you loads of freedom is getting a ferry. Not only can you take your car, but they allow bikes and electric bikes too! This means you’re getting your travel and the experience of extended boat travel.
The Eurostar is a great option for holidaymakers travelling through Europe, and if you’re travelling between London, Paris, and Brussels, you can bring your bike on board with select services.
They can only be fully assembled on trains between London and Brussels, whereas when travelling to and from Paris, they must be disassembled in a box or bag.
Eurostar tickets to Brussels can be as low as £39 for a one way trip, meaning a £78 return, but you will need to email ahead to book a space for your bike.
Laws and legislation – don’t get caught out!
In the UK, our Highway Code is regularly being updated with laws that cover both motorists and cyclists, particularly how they interact with our roads.
We all want to be respectful tourists and travellers in unfamiliar countries, but we also want to avoid receiving any fines for not being aware of laws in place that we may accidentally break.
For countries within the European Union, Article 44 of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic covers all the necessary requirements for bicycles on the road.
These include an efficient brake, a red rear reflector and red rear lamp, a white or selective yellow front lamp, and a bell to audibly alert those around you if needed. Interestingly, it’s stated that no other audio device is suitable other than a bike bell.
Individual countries will also have set laws around cycling that you should research beforehand. For example, helmets aren’t compulsory in most European countries, but in France, children under 12 are required to wear a helmet. Parents or guardians can be fined 90 euros for non-compliance if caught.
Doing the research into your destination is key to not get caught out by any hidden charges when travelling or once you’re there.