The #1 Bicycle Mechanic Website in the World!


Cardio Trek Personal Trainer
Cardio Trek
Sports Trainer
East York, Toronto, ON
Hours: Tues-Thurs 10-5:30, Sat-Sun 10-3:30
Cardio Trek is best known for teaching archery lessons in Toronto.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bicycle Tourism: Pros and Cons

PROBLEM ONE: How to get there...

Lets say you decide to go overseas and whilst there travel via bicycle. Do you:

OPTION A) Ship your bicycle air freight back and forth. A good route if your bicycle is one of a kind / super expensive. ie. A prototype recumbent.

OPTION B) Buy a new bicycle when you get there and sell it on craigslist before you leave.

I'd argue option B is the better solution. Saves on unnecessary costs and you get most of your money back when you sell your bicycle (assuming its still in reasonably brand new condition and you cleaned it / fixed anything broken before selling it).

But there is also...

OPTION C) Rent a bicycle (ie. BIXI in Toronto). Depending on the cost of renting a bicycle this might be the cheapest route, but only if its a short time period. Longer time periods you are better off just buying a bicycle and selling it before you leave.

PROBLEM TWO: Where to stay...

When you get there, where do you stay? Hotel, motel, hostel, park bench, friend's couch, camping? Well if you are a cyclist camping might sound like the best option, but then you have to carry all your camping gear and that can be pretty heavy if you don't know how to pack light. (Seriously, why are you bringing so many books with you???)

I think one of the best options is Bed and Breakfast places. Cheaper than hotels, great service and if you're lucky they might even have some tools you can borrow for any small repairs. Of course not all bed and breakfast places are "normal". Check out this Toronto B&B that is on a ship. Sounds like a fun thing to do, but better call ahead and see if they have room on the ship to store your bicycle. (I imagine some fancy hotels would be upset to have a dirty muddy bicycle on their carpets...)

If you went the camping route depending on the time of year you may also need a heat source. I found this out the hard way in October 2010 when I went camping with my ex-girlfriend and we used candles as our heat source. Its not like we can carry a furnace with us, but I am sure there is small portable heaters out there that would provide more heat than mere candles. (I feel silly writing this during the height of a Toronto heat wave.)

PROBLEM THREE: Cleaning and maintenance...

I recommend taking a list of bicycle mechanics with you so you know where to find them. Google Maps or an app on your smartphone would be helpful. The real problem in bicycle mechanics with a WAITING LIST... they stick your bicycle in the back and call you 2 weeks later when its fixed. Its not like walking into a Yorkville salon and getting your nails done at the last minute. A lot of bicycle mechanics are busy busy busy!

So the SMART thing to do is to carry basic tools with you and only go to the bicycle mechanic when its obviously a repair you can't fix yourself.

PROBLEM FOUR: Food... mmm... food...

OPTION A) Carry food with you from supermarkets. Lots of it...

OPTION B) Only carry necessities (ie. Poweraid) and emergency food  / snacks. Stop for food when opportunity / need arises.

OPTION C) Carry nothing but water (and dine out).

This really comes down to personal choice. When in Rome its presumed you will stop and try the pizza... Option B seems like the obvious smart choice, but some people might prefer options A or C if they are treveling in the deep woods or in a city with lots of great restaurants you want to try.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Spam comments will not be approved. If you want to advertise your product or service (or want to sponsor this blog) please send an email.

Popular Posts

Looking for a bicycle mechanic school in Canada? The Quadra Island Bike School in British Columbia is a Canadian bicycle mechanic school that trains professional bicycle mechanics against the backdrop of the beautiful Quadra Island.

About the Author

Charles Moffat is equal parts bicycle mechanic, cyclist, painter, sculptor, fantasy writer, poet, website designer and pun maker. For more details see



Do you own a bike shop and are looking to hire a bicycle mechanic in North America? Just email me with the job posting details and I will post it for you. (Also, please let me know when the job has been filled so I can update the posting.)


If your bicycle is basically junk and you don't know what to do with it then SELL IT TO ME. I will use it for parts. I will give you a fair price ($20 to $30) for your old clunker just so I can rip it apart for parts.

If you need repairs check out my Bicycle Mechanic Services in Banbury-Don Mills.