You get to see places from the best perspective on a bike.
Driving doesn’t allow for the same sights, sounds, smells and experience. Being on a bike allows for more freedom and really allows you to take in a place. The first night I arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I stumbled upon a Critical Mass ride. I am so grateful I did because it allowed me a safe environment to get to know the crazy SE Asian streets and learn the city.
Biking connects you with locals with similar interests
The bike community is large and what better way to connect with locals in a new place than to go for a ride? I have found that people love showing off their area, so connecting with a local who rides will allow you to learn their secret trails, their favorite coffee shop, and some really cool things in the place you are exploring. It also allows you to connect with more people and become part of the community.
3. Biking helps you work off all the new foods you are trying!
Let’s face it; one of my favorite things about traveling is trying the different foods from the places that I visit. Spending time on a bike allows you to burn off those calories and make room for more!
Locals are friendly and curious about you
It is always fun to ride through an area and see the looks on the local people’s faces when they see you on your shiny bike. Bikes have a universal appeal and being on a bike invites people to connect with you. I love interacting with people in a place to learn about the culture, and being on a bike many times opens the doors for that interaction.
On a bike you'll see places that people normally don’t see
Unless you are really motivated and have tons of time to hike, mountain biking really allows you to experience a place like you wouldn’t normally do. Cashew tree groves in Bali, ruins along a trail in Basque Country, Spain, a spectacular view of the Ligurian Sea from the hills of Finale Ligure, Italy, coffee plantations in Chiang Mai, Thailand- these are all things I would have not seen if I hadn’t been on my bike exploring the area.
Stay tuned for the next post in this series about tips for traveling with a bike!