Become a Bike2Boater

How to become a Bike2Boater

It’s easy to become a Bike2Boater – you just do it! Here are some tips and tricks for the right gear and a good mindset. 

#pedaltopaddle

Before you go

1 Get a bike and a trailer: For dragging your kayak, you don’t need a sturdy full suspension mountain bike. It’s better to choose a 29-inch cross or touring bike for speed and comfort. Trailer: we are using a ready-to-go 20-inch bike trailers with kayak-compliant platform, but a DIY-trailer will do as well. The lighter, the better. See more infos below.

Plan your route properly, otherwise...
... you'll end up like this!

2 Plan your route: You can go wherever your legs of steel will take you! Try to find areas with different rivers or stretches close to each other, so you have options  regarding water levels. Don’t follow the biggest roads, even if they seem faster or more direct. Try to find smaller mountain passes with fewer cars…but also make sure you don’t end up carrying your bike and trailer separately because it’s too steep. Calculate ample time for biking and time for rest and recovery. Your legs will do most of the work on the bike, but you don’t want to end up getting in your boat completely exhausted. Be sure not to end up on serious whitewater with heavy arms and low batteries.

Better bring a repair kit ...

3 Equipment: You will need all-weather clothing, but pack smart! Lightweight is the key to success. Share a tent and camp kitchen to save weight. If you don’t know the region, an outdoor GPS might be handy. Other must-haves: helmet, front and rear lights, water-proof bike packs/paniers  and a multi-tool for minor repairs.

... and some bike lights too!

4 Get to know your equipment + GET FIT: Handling a fully loaded bike trailer can be tricky and above all it is quite exhausting. So, get in shape before the trip starts! Some training on the bike at home will let you test  if all you gear keeps you dry, fits well and doesn’t rub on wrong places.

On the road

Drink. You'll need it!

1 Valuables: Remember, you can’t lock things away in the car, you will always have to keep valuables with you – even on the water. So less is best! Or, you can hide an extra small bag somewhere in the bushes near your bike when paddling. Just make sure nobody finds.

Plan for rest & recovery time.

Body recovery: You’ll sweat a lot during the day and lose lots of electrolytes. Make sure your body gets back what it gave. Drink a lot! If you’re feeling thirsty, it’s too late. Maybe bring some magnesia tablets too.

Sensational daily highlights … chamois cream!

3 Lubricate: Sitting on the saddle for hours can hurt! Saddle sores can be incredibly painful, but are avoidable even for those who ride for hours each day. Wear padded saddle shorts that fit properly and rinse them at the end of every day to remove sweat. Pro tip: use chamois creme (Hirschtalkum) before you get on the bike. Everyday.

Nobody said shuttle would be easy...

4 Shuttle: Shuttle take some time since EVERYBODY must get back to their bike somehow. You have many options though: run, walk, hitchhike. If you’re in an area with good public transport or train support, use it.

... get creative. Shuttle for Valser Rhein in Ilanz, Switzerland.

5 Food: Only bring what you need for the day and make sure you know where the next grocery store is located on your route. You’ll need to plan more precise than usual, otherwise you’ll carry extra weight. Buy dried stuff (lighter) like noodles and rice, muesli and bars – and limit the fresh food you haul around. Also, plan your water sources…will you find fresh water at your next camp? Carrying it sucks but is sometimes necessary!

Attach a solar panel to be self-sufficient.

6 Cars need to overtake: Ride single file when traveling on busy roads and leave some space in between each bike – this way cars can overtake more safely and don’t need to overtake the whole team in one go. This will limit conversation…but that guy in front of you has nothing good to say anyways, right?

Equipment

On the road

To keep you rolling

Solid gear is important. Vaude supports us with all kinds of functional equipment like shirts and shorts, wind jackets, rain jackets, waterproof pants – and very much needed… padded cycling underpants. You can get some ideas for equipment for cycling tours on the Vaude website. Click here.

Useful: A bike shoe with click pedals.

This ‘packing tutorial’ might help you.

A good rain jacket could come in handy!

You can attach bags directly to your bike…

… or attach the bike bags to rear rack. See all Vaude bike bags on www.vaude.com.

For our 2020 trip we’re going to use the Reacha Street 26. With its light aluminium frame and an already integrated loading handle, this bicycle trailer can also pull heavy luggage. Thanks to its 26″ wheels, it remains quiet even at higher speeds.

With the exclusive voucher code BIKE2BOAT2020 you get a 10% discount when buying a trailer on www.reacha.de

Fast and sturdy. A good choice is a 29-inch trekking bike. Consider a back rack to attach panniers.

On the water

To keep you floating

A good choice: www.wrsisafety.com

Must on the water: a rescue life jacket.

Warm and comfy: a drysuit by www.nrseurope.com

We like Spade Kayaks. More info here: www.spadekayaks.com

For a bääääm foreward stroke: www.lettmann.de

Hanging out

To keep you comfy, warm & dry

Mattress & Sleeping bag: Size and insulation will depend on your destination. Norway may require warmer gear than the south of Spain. But always important: a little weight as possible! Visit the Vaude website for a selection of products: www.vaude.com.

Bring a warm jacket for the evenings!

Vaude’s tent guide will help you to chose the right (and light) tent. Visit tent guide here.

A light weight camp stove is a must. We cook with Primus.