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01 September 2013

Is there an age limit on cycling holidays?

Niedermorschwihr Vineyards in Alsace, France. Photo copyright: CRTA - Zvardon. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Niedermorschwihr Vineyards in Alsace, France. Photo copyright: CRTA - Zvardon. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

It goes without saying that people of all ages are into cycling, holidays and perhaps even cycling holidays, but the challenge lies in whether our physical fitness is up to putting the mettle to the pedal for extended periods of time. We would like to believe that it is, but we must ask ourselves whether or not there is an age when we have to think about giving up the wheels in favor of a less physically strenuous holiday. I say not!

The Challenge


Cyclists in southern Germany. Photo: US Army Europe Images.

Considerations must be addressed such as how challenging the route and the duration required to complete it which actually begs the bigger question of which cycling holiday is there an age limit on? If you're considering a cycling holiday in Jordan, you better have the stamina for such a challenging trek. If not, then a weekend spent around the flatter regions of France may be just what you're looking for.

Tougher regions can involve up to 70km per day with steep climbs and descents. While there are exceptions to the rule of physical fitness versus age, it’s going to be very difficult for someone in their 40s to manage this, but equally difficult for people in their prime if they don’t cycle daily.

Welcome to Verona, Italy. Photo: WikiMedia.org.
Welcome to Verona, Italy. Photo: WikiMedia.org.

In contrast, Cycling around Italy with headwater.com comes with a variety of options and difficulties. Cycling around the Venetian countryside is a pretty leisurely experience with all the flat terrain, meaning it’s great for all ages of cyclers and even younger ones too, maxing out at about 2-3 hours of cycling per day.

Places like San Gimignano will be more challenging with slightly harsher terrains, but yet achievable by cyclists in their 50s without too much strain.

The historical hilltop town of San Gimignano in Tuscany, Italy. Photo: WikiMedia.org.
The historical hilltop town of San Gimignano in Tuscany, Italy. Photo: WikiMedia.org.

Location

This seems obvious, but the weather plays a big factor in whether or not it’s suitable a cycling holiday. The hotter it is, the tougher the ride, not only because of the extra effort you’ll naturally need to put in, but also because you’ll need to carry more water to stay hydrated, and the older you are, the quicker you dehydrate. You may want to consider a spring or fall holiday in France, Italy or Holland among countless others when the weather is more agreeable for expending the physical energy required, not to mention the sublime scenery that you'll experience along the routes.

Just a cycling holiday, or more?


Imagine cycling through Edam in the Netherlands. Photo: EuroTravelogue™.
Imagine cycling through Edam in the Netherlands. Photo: EuroTravelogue™.

The more hardcore cyclists will go for the toughest route possible, focusing more on raw terrain than the sights or culture of an area. However, if you're worried about how much physical strain your body can manage, then consider a blended cycling holiday. There are plenty of options available that combine culture, sight seeing and gastronomic euphoria into week-long cycling holidays, especially in Italy and France. Just think of cycling through enchanting villages, pastoral countrysides, along miles of pristine coastlines; topped off with delicious indulgences from each of the places you visit. With just a couple of hours of cycling per day, you have plenty of time for tasting the local vines, meats and cheeses of the nearby towns.

This post was produced in partnership with HeadWater.com.

6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hi there my friend and thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind compliments!

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  2. Inspiring post, Jeff! Autumn would be the perfect time to take a cycling tour. It's great that Headwater offers such a variety. I'm not sure whether my mettle would be up for a pedal in some of those terrains but stopping for regular culture and gastronomy breaks would sweeten the deal!

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    1. Thanks so much Lesley for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I couldn't agree with you. When I visited Amsterdam, I so badly wanted to jump on a bike and go for a ride around the city! I agree, my mettle wouldn't be up to it either, oh but hearty appetite has all the mettle in the world! LOL!

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  3. Interesting...I asked the same question about the age cutoff on family tours...it's five or above!

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    1. Hi there Charu!!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your information. I actually received a tweet from someone who stated nine as the minimum age. So I guess it's between five and nine? ; )

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!