If you’re keen to get back on your bike for summer – or push up the mileage after a lethargic winter – a spring training camp could be the perfect holiday. We tell you 10 reasons why.
1) For early season sunshine
Motivation to get on your bike can be hard to find in the UK when it’s still on the chilly side of fairweather. Further south in Europe, early season sunshine and warmth is much more likely. That’s why many cycle training camps are located in places such as Mallorca, Madeira, the Canary Islands, southern Spain or even as far afield as South Africa.
2) It’s cheaper in spring
You’ll find flights and accommodation are a lot cheaper to and in many of the destinations that attract the holidaying crowds in the summer months. Go before the sun is too hot and the normal tourists arrive and you will be able to enjoy a relatively cheap cycling holiday in the sun.
3) To ride with other cycling enthusiasts
Some people have a ready-made group of cycling friends who are only too happy to book a trip abroad in the spring but what if you don’t? If you’re keen to up your cycling mileage but can’t find a friend or two to go with you on holiday, a training camp is a great solution.
Joining a group of keen cyclists on a training camp offers a whole set of new friends and training pals. Of course, you could always go on holiday on your own and ride the miles solo but it’s a lot more fun cycling with others.
4) For great guided rides
Training camps offer guided rides each day. There are usually a variety of groups to suit different abilities and fitness levels, from leisure cyclists to elites.
These groups of cyclists are guided by experienced riders who show you the way (without you having to think about route planning) and help to keep everyone together.
5) To explore new routes
You could easily travel to a new destination and plan your own cycling routes. This requires you to look on-line, check cycling forums, ask other cyclists and use maps and a Garmin to find your way about these new places.
But why go to all that hassle when someone else can do it for you – and without any need to follow a map? On a training camp you do not need to do any route planning. Simply turn up with the right kit and a bike and ride.
The camps will organise daily rides that show you the best places to ride and take in all the classic routes, as well as some hidden gems.
6) Push yourself
Riding as a group, whatever your level, provides the environment for pushing yourself to go further and a bit faster. It’s the nature of group riding, especially if you are new to the group.
Then there’s the terrain which is often much more mountainous to what we have here in the UK. You will definitely be able to challenge yourself on those epic climbs and come home feeling fitter and faster.
7) Help and support
From booking accommodation, advising on airport transfers and recommending bike hire, to organised meals, café stops, massage and even vehicle support, training camps are set up to look after the cycling customer. It’s an amazing experience to join a holiday that is all about the cycling.
8) Trusted reviews
Because most camps are tried and tested, you can ask for recommendations and check out the reviews. Rather than arriving somewhere to find the roads are filled with pot-holes and the locals are less than friendly towards cyclists, you will know from previous travellers that the training camp is good quality and in the right place.
9) Discounted bike hire
Some people choose to take their own bikes on a training camp but others hire. You are very likely to receive a discount from a local bike hire place – as well as a recommendation – if you book a training camp.
10) To feel really smug
Returning from a spring training camp and joining in some of the first club bike rides of the season feeling good about your cycling, strong, fit and tanned is really pretty special. Try it – and see how it is for you.
>> If organised group riding isn’t your thing, here’s our guide to home-made cycling trips and a great dose of inspiration from Gran-Canaria <<