Tips to plan a bike trip abroad

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  • By
  • July 30, 2018
  • Sticky

BikeCarbondale: Along the History Trail


Up-Valley Trail System Connected

A NEW stretch of trail in Northeastern Pennsylvania offers residents and visitors one-and-a-half miles of compacted terrain that’s ideal for jogging, walking, and cycling. The Carbondale Riverwalk opened in May (2018) and on a late spring afternoon, adults and children of all ages spent their afternoon taking in the prolific greenery along the Lackawanna River, a 40-mile long river that’s known for extraordinary fly fishing.

BikeCarbondale Lackawanna River Heritage Trail
The BikeCarbondale program is managed by the Lackawanna Heritage Valley (LHV) in conjunction with two prominent Carbondale partners: Hotel Anthracite, 25 S. Main St. and the Greater Carbondale YMCA, 82 N. Main St.

On that day, couples strolled hand-in-hand, children pedaled diligently to keep up with their parents, and cyclists took advantage of the safe pedestrian-only pathway.


I imagine I was among the first-timers to participate in the bike loan program. While usage statistics are not available yet, it’s safe to say exercise and nature enthusiasts continue to discover and utilize the new pathway, partly because of “BikeCarbondale,” a free bike-share program that makes it possible for individuals to borrow a bicycle so they can take in the Carbondale’s Coal Mining History. The program is managed by the Lackawanna Heritage Valley (LHV) in conjunction with two prominent Carbondale partners: Hotel Anthracite, 25 S. Main St. and the Greater Carbondale YMCA, 82 N. Main St. The program is made possible with funds made available through the Northeast Pennsylvania Healthcare Foundation. Individuals age 18 years and older are eligible to loan one of the authority’s 10 bikes available at the hotel and YMCA. 

Cycling was my first activity after checking in at the Hotel Anthracite, Carbondale’s newly-renovated lodging (formerly known as Carbondale Grand Hotel). (You can read more about the hotel in an upcoming article on my website.) Chris Simpler, Hotel Anthracite general manager, was eager for me to test drive a bike and the new trail. I returned to the hotel revitalized after approximately two hours.

LHV projects stimulate the region’s economic development, enhance tourism, and strengthen community organizations with a goal to improve and increase the quality of life for area residents. The Lackawanna Heritage Valley trail system spans 70 miles from the confluence of the Lackawanna and Susquehanna Rivers in Pittston and continues north where it connects with the Delaware & Hudson Rail Trail and the Carbondale Riverwalk.

BikeCarbondale Riverwalk Lackawanna Heritage Trail
Residents and visitors never know who they’ll meet along the trail. As I was rounding the bend, I stopped to chat with fellow artist Joe Kluck. Photo by Joe Kluck.

You will celebrate the sunshine and appreciate the shaded areas, too. When you stop for a break, take note of the established trees that provide a canopy and the shrubs and native plants alongside the banks that serve as a natural border. Venture into downtown Carbondale and admire the architecture.

BikeCarbondale Bike Loan Program
BikeCarbondale is a loaner bike program for adults 18 years and older. One of the highlights is a one-and-a-half-mile stretch of newly-opened trail in Pennsylvania that runs from the historic town of Carbondale to Simpson.
Since 2013, LHV has opened eight miles of well-maintained heritage trails that enhance and showcase the region’s striking beauty and diverse scenery. You can watch the videos of the grand openings of the Scranton to Taylor, D&H Extension Trail, and Archbald to Jermyn stretches, and learn more about the most recent, Carbondale to Simpson.

Trail project partners were the City of Carbondale, PennDOT, DCED (Department of Commerce and Economic Development) and DCNR (Department of Conservation and Natural Resources). FABCOR (Jessup) and Rutledge Excavating Inc (Tyler Hill) completed the trail with and QPI (Carbondale) constructed the wall near the junkyard. The Riverwalk section will connect to the D&H Rail Trail later this summer to form a 20-mile stretch of fully developed trail. 

Contact me via the form below if you have questions or comments.

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Take your bike on your next travel adventure

  • By
  • July 31, 2017

How to travel with your bike 

on an adventure (to a location of your choice)


Tips to get you on your way


by Sam Nolan

Sam is an avid cyclist and blogger. He has traveled to more than 10 countries with his bike and writes a lot about bikes and biking at his blog. When he’s not attending to his blog, he’s biking in the neighborhood.

Scope out new trails before you leave for your trip abroad.

One of Sam’s rules is “Don’t leave home without your bike.”

Has this statement been in your new year goals many times but you haven’t executed it yet? You have always wanted to travel abroad for a cycling vacation or to explore one of the world’s top cycling routes or to take part in one of the international cycling races. However, the dream seems to become elusive and you are beginning to think it will never happen. Don’t give up on that dream yet, you still have a chance to make it happen. This article will guide you on how to plan for your travel with your bike on an adventure.

  • Decide on your dream destination

Make a list of the cycling destinations you are interested in visiting. Go ahead and note down as many as you can possibly think of, both local and international. Out of all the destinations listed, identify your top three that you would want to travel to in the next 6-12 months.

  • Research your top three destinations

Find out when is the best time of the year to visit, weather patterns, requirements to travel to the destination and the local language of the country. Also consider whether to bring your own bike or rent, whether you will need to hire a cycling guide, the kind of terrains and trails in the country and regulations on cycling in the country.

Do extensive research of your destinations to identify possible trails, places to visit, activities to undertake and accommodation options. Read reviews given by people who have already visited the destinations to have a perspective of what to expect on your trip.

Consider whether you will be traveling alone or with your friends. It can be scary to travel alone to a foreign country. If you feel hesitant, consult a travel company to help you with planning your trip. Consider taking a guided biking trip for your first adventure bike trip in a foreign destination.

  • Create a budget

To travel with your bike on an adventure is costly. It will cost you travel fees, luggage charges, tourist charges, food, and accommodations, among other expenditures. The extent of the cost will depend on your destination, activities you will undertake and the amount of time you will spend on the trip.

Be realistic about much it will cost you to take your dream bike trip. Do you already have a bike to take on your trip? If not, you can get the best mountain bike under $1000 dollars or a mountain bike under $500 to fit your budget.

Compare the destination country’s currency with your home country’s currency as exchange rates will affect your budget. Determine your daily travel budget in regards to accommodations, activities, food, and entertainment. Your largest costs will be travel and travel insurance costs.

Once you have come up with a budget estimate, set up a dedicated account to raise the amount of money you require to take up the trip. You can give your bank standing orders to deposit a given amount to the travel account, take an extra job to raise money or commit to saving a given amount every month towards your bike trip expenditure. Besides the estimated budget, ensure you set up an emergency travel fund in case of emergencies that could emerge while on your trip.

  • Create a realistic timeline


Determine when you will travel and for how long. This will help you work around your work schedule and deadlines and family events. Look at your calendar to see what’s scheduled for the rest of the year and block a given time for your trip. The timeline should be realistic enough to help you raise the money you will need for the trip as well as to be able to achieve your other goals. Consider weather conditions in your destination and plan accordingly. If traveling in a group with family, friends or other cyclists, consult with each other to come up with a convenient time for the trip.

  1. Commit


Once you have done your research, identified a location, come up with a plan for your trip, you will need to commit and follow through with your plan. Save as you planned and organize your activities throughout the year so that you free up the time you blocked out for your trip.

While you enjoy the thrill of just jumping on your bike and getting out to explore trails in your locality, traveling for an adventure to a new destination will be an experience of a lifetime. It will feed your mind, your body and your soul. While traveling with your bike on an adventure abroad can be stressful and expensive, the tips above will help you plan for a successful bike adventure to a location of your choice. Plan thoroughly and follow through with your plan. Soon you will have knocked off “Travel on a bike adventure to (a location of your choice)” from you bucket list.

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