Traveling on a budget doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can make your own adventure with just a positive attitude and a high-quality bike. Cycling is a great way to get around because you don’t waste money on fuel, you get a sense of freedom like never before, and you get to know the world on a more intimate level. Out of all the places in the world, California stands out as one of the best to visit by bike. The trails are just right, the weather perfect, and the views are mesmerizing. Here’s how to save money traveling California by bike.
1. Learn the road laws
The road laws are different around the world. The first thing you need to pay attention to is the direction of the traffic and the availability of bicycle lanes. In California, you must ride as far to the right side as possible. However, if the road is too narrow to share, you’re allowed to take the whole lane. Still, you should be very careful in these situations, as not all motorists understand that.
The California Bicycle Coalition website covers the bike laws that will be useful to you on the road.
2. Watch what you wear
California law states cyclists under the age of 18 must wear a helmet, but it’s a good idea to do so regardless of your age. You never know if you might fall and injure yourself. Having a helmet prevents serious injury and allows you to get on with your journey fairly quickly. California weather is rather warm, so you’ll be comfortable in the basic cycling attire you have for warm summer days.
As far as listening to music while you ride, you can only have an earbud in one ear. The other shouldn’t be distracted by music. This law was passed a few years back, so don’t mess around. It’s for your own safety, after all; you won’t be able to hear potential danger if you’re listening to music on full volume.
3. Research the route
Before you start traveling California by bike, you’ll need to get familiar with the route you’re taking. Luckily for you, you’re not the only person who has thought about exploring California via bike. Routes for Bakersfield, Long Beach, Long Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento are available. The California Bike Coalition has a list of free online maps you can use to map out your journey.
Of course, you can always rely on Google maps. Get to know your route thoroughly to ensure you’re safe on the road. If you’re using digital maps and GPS, make sure you can charge your devices and maintain a stable internet connection.
4. Get a good bike from a local shop
Though you may already have a decent bike, you’re could benefit from buying one from a local shop. The road and conditions in California might be vastly different from what you’re used to at home. That means your bike may not be equipped to handle them. Opting for a good local bike shop is your best option to stay safe and have a comfortable and fun experience.
If you don’t know where to start looking for a bike, you can always search for the best road bicycle online. This way you’ll be sure of the quality, as you can see what other people have said about the bike you plan on purchasing.
Don’t be afraid to splurge on the highest-quality bike, as you won’t really spend much money on anything else while on the road. Take this opportunity to ride California’s most reliable bikes which have the reputation of being some of the fastest and most versatile in the world.
5. Don’t go it alone
Though it may be tempting to take on California by yourself, it may not be best to go alone. A lot of things can happen on the road, and you need all the help you can get. You can go on this adventure together with a friend or, even better, seek the help of local bikers. After all, they’ve probably already cycled the routes you’re planning to take, so it will be useful to have them with you.
Local cycling clubs often offer group rides for all levels, so you can easily fit in. USA Cycling has a comprehensive list of clubs you can take a look at and decide which one to join. Of course, you can always just walk into a bike shop and ask for info.
As you can see, there’s no better way to get around the Golden State than by bike. You’ll get to see some amazing sights and meet some amazing people traveling California by bike. The warm California sun and the smooth road ahead will guide you on your biggest adventure yet. Traveling on a budget is a plus when you’ve got the right attitude about it and wake up the adventurer inside you.