A bike tour shared between friends can be a wonderful experience.
With a friend nearby, there’s always someone to celebrate milestones with and to help when the bike breaks or the storm clouds roll in. But best friends at home aren’t always best friends on the road.
If you want to start riding at 7am and your bike buddy loves to sleep-in, you could be in for more stress than fun.
We once cycled with someone who preferred to cover more than 100km a day and didn’t take very long breaks.
Compared to our lounging lunches and more moderate 60-80km a day routine, the week that followed had more than its fair share of grumpy outbursts from both sides. Our friendship returned to normal after the ride, but our days together on the bike were sometimes very stressful.
A lot of this is about expectations. We should have asked more questions, and made sure we were riding with someone whose own style fit our routines (or at least that we were willing and able to adapt).
After that we put together this list of questions to ask potential bike touring partners.
- How far do you want to go in a day?
- How fast do you cycle?
- How much money do you want to spend?
- Do you prefer hotels or campgrounds?
- How early do you get up?
- What do you like to see on a tour (landscape, museums)?
- Are you willing to wild camp?
What questions would you add to the list?