Five simple steps towards the perfect mountain bike destination
We know: there are so many great places on this planet you could take your mountain bike. Hence, it feels so hard finding the perfect mountain bike destination for the next bike holidays. Maybe there isn´t even such a thing as an imperfect mountain bike destination? Okay, when you booked a trip on a cruise ship you may not have chosen the best place for mountain biking.
However, the question should be: how do you find YOUR perfect travel destination for mountain biking? In order to answer this question we sketched a simple but useful process in five steps for you.
- Get inspired!
- Find bike buddies!
- Set your travel time and budget.
- Check for biking infrastructure and GPS tracks.
- Choose YOUR perfect mountain bike destination.
Step 1: Get inspired!
From our experience the most important thing is that you find a destination you really want to visit (even without mountain bike). Start talking to friends about their last travels, watch YouTube videos or leaf through mountain bike magazines. You can find good sources for inspiration (besides trail-business.com) also online:
- Lonely Planet (general information and inspiration)
- Travel Spin (random inspiration)
- jauntaroo (travel matchmaker, choose outdoor for match)
- singletracks (US and international)
- Mountain Bike Holidays (ceuropean Alps)
Think about what you are passionate about during biking and what you like to see during your mountain bike holidays: mountains, forests, lakes, beaches, coastlines, cities, historical sites, other bikers, …
We usually end up with something below ten ideas in this phase. Found inspiration? Great, but you will need a bit more than just inspiration to find your perfect mountain bike destination.
Step 2: Find bike buddies!
Try to find mountain bike travel buddies as early as possible. Not only because mountain biking with friends is way more fun, it is also much safer than biking alone. Sure not everybody will be on the same level of mountain biking in terms of endurance or technical skills. But whatever you experience during your mountain bike holidays – the best part is to share this time with your friends. In that case it doesn´t matter if you cycled 25 or 28 kilometers. Moreover, you can build on the joint time for your next mountain bike holidays.
Step 3: Set your travel time and budget.
With all the inspiration from step 1 in the back of your head, you are ready for the organizational stuff. Start with setting the travel time (dates and duration) and also set a maximum for your travel budget. This may sound easy, but when you have to align with your friends this can be a time consuming step.
At this point you can rule out many places from step 1 just because of the weather. Sure, the perfect mountain bike destination does not only rely on good weather, but sunshine motivates a lot! Some destinations may be too far away. Choose a good ratio of the journey to get to the destination and time left for mountain biking. You don´t want to spend most of the time in a car or a train. The reason for this holidays is something else 😉
Limiting your budget in this step will again reduce the places you can go. But do not discard interesting places too fast. Sometimes you can get really cheap offers online (holidaypirates.com) or via a travel agency. It is always worth checking.
Always remember it is not just normal holidays: you need a bike! Prices for rental bikes vary from place to place and can be higher than you expect. For bringing your own bike, depending on the kind of transportation, you may need an expensive bike travel bag. Moreover you have to allow for spare parts, tools, clothes for different weather and much more. Check out our holiday packing list to save you from forgetting important things.
You can keep your time and budget under control by creating a planning list for the whole group of friends, who travel with you. Very soon we will provide you a planning sheet on our blog to download!
Step 4: Check biking infrastructure and GPS tracks.
After having set travel time and budget you are ready to check for GPS tracks on the internet. You can find GPS tracks in our destination articles and on trailguide.net, as well as on many other websites like GPSies, outdooractive or Strava. Looking for tracks gives you a good impression about mountain biking at a certain destination. Frequently, you will find touristic infrastructure for mountain bikers and online resources from local groups or tourism offices.
If you don´t find much, it doesn´t mean it is not your perfect mountain bike destination. Try to search for Facebook groups or local mountain bike clubs in that area. Via websites like trailguide.net you can get in touch with bikers from different countries and ask them for advice and local experience.
Step 5: Choose YOUR perfect mountain bike destination.
You probably ended up with one or two very nice options. During the process, YOUR perfect mountain bike destination probably changed a couple of times. Finally it is up to you and your buddies to decide where you want to go. The best thing about the five steps is: You still have at least one more perfect mountain bike destination left for next year!
Our relaxation advice: Allow at least one full day per week to relax and for sightseeing.