In these challenging times, in which traveling and cycling have become restricted in several areas around the world and uncertainty has taken over our lives, we believe cycling is the safest way to travel. Like every other rider out there who's had the opportunity to explore the world on their bike, we know that being outdoor, in contact with nature, either by ourselves or in small groups provides us with the freedom to go in whichever direction we desire, a respect for the environment that surrounds us and the chance to take the time to appreciate the little things, like the wind blowing on our face, the blooming flowers, or that victorious feeling when we conquer (yet another) viewpoint at the top of a mountain.
No, we are not advocating that you should go out there and ride if there are local and national restrictions imposed, nor we are saying that you should travel if you don't feel safe or aren't allowed to. What we are saying is what all seasoned adventure travelers already know: that cycling is the best way to travel and, specifically during and after this pandemic, it might just be one of the safest ways to do so.
The scale of most bike tours is relatively small. Most bike tours often consist of a group from anywhere between two to eight riders and in most cases these are either a couple or a small group that already knows each other - it is, by definition, not a event that gathers many people. While out by yourself or your group, you shouldn't skip practicing standard safety and health practices, but most of the time you will be sheltered from interaction with a large number of people. The few occasions in which you'll be in a crowd will likely be at the start or end of a tour, while at an airport or train station, situations in which you'll be in contact with more people.
If you are not considering cycling in sportives, big group rides or cycling events, the very act of riding a bike is, by definition, self-isolated. You are not sharing your vehicle with anyone else and are not in direct contact with anyone else while out riding - just with nature. Naturally, we do suggest you keep safe by washing your hands thoroughly, disinfecting your bike and gear, not share your bike with others and respect social distancing norms while out riding by yourself, in your small group or family.
WHO has suggested cycling as one of the best ways to keep active during the Covid-19 pandemic, as a way to exercise and boost your immune system. And cycling has been considered one of the safest ways to travel during the pandemic by the World Health Organization, because while riding you are transporting yourself in an isolated manner ( maybe skip tandem riding for a while ;)).
A simple stay in the outdoors can do wonders for relieving anxiety, stress, and depression. Countless studies have proven that nature has a positive effect on your mental health. What you see, hear, and experience in nature can improve your mood rapidly. And what better way to unwind after all this has passed than surrounding yourself with nature?
Most - if not all - bike tours are not held in big cities because, let's face it, cars can't go where bikes go. While out on a bike tour in Portugal, you'll most likely be riding by a small backroad, a macadam trail, roman pathway or a designated cycle path, which means you'll avoid most agglomerations, staying and smaller hotels, sharing meals at smaller restaurants.
The Covid-19 virus has spread in different manner throughout the globe. The situation is dramatic, as the pandemic is everywhere, but it has affected regions and countries differently. Choosing a destination that has been less impacted or has been quicker to address new safety resolutions might be a good option. In Portugal, for instance, the Alentejo region has had fewer cases diagnosed, as it is a large, but sparsely populated region.
While choosing a travel agent or suppliers like hotels or restaurants to plan your tour, choose a provider that offers best practices regarding safety and health standards. Make sure they have in place safety policies for their teams and guests, that their bikes and vehicles are clean and safe, and that they source out hotels, restaurants and other providers that operate under the same standards, to keep you safe at all times. Click here to check our health and safety policy - Live Love Ride operates under strict standards, and is a "Clean and Safe" establishment, following rules layed out by the Portuguese National Tourism Board, "Turismo de Portugal".
Check to see your travel agent's flexibility policy before booking. At Live Love Ride, you can postpone your tour to a future date up to 30 days of the starting date of your tour, with no extra costs and no questions asked. Booking with a company that offers a postponement option to a future date makes it safer and more reliable to book ahead.
If your provider offers you the flexibility and safety to start planning a tour, you might want to book now and benefit from special offers and discounts they might be offering. At Live Love Ride, we are offering new bookings an additional night in Lisbon or Porto at the end or start of any of our self-guided or guided bike tours for any new bookings, as well as a 5% discount for all bookings for 2021 on our group tour calendar, which has been revised to make sure we receive a maximum of 8 participants on all our group tours.
So even though you are not traveling at the moment, here are our nine reasons on why you should consider booking a bike tour for the near future and take up cycling as the best and safest way to travel! Hope you enjoyed reading - leave us your comments and thoughts on these!
Not not sure of where to ride in Portugal? Browse our list of Portugal Bike tours, or you can have free access to our "Best of Portugal on a bike" routes by downloading our mobile app, available for iOS and Android ( just search for "Live Love Ride" on your apple or google play stores), select "new tour" and click on "demo tour" to access our demo, in which we'll are be presenting our favorite rides in regions like the Douro valley, Alentejo, Azores, Serra da Estrela, Camino de Santiago and others, with suggested restaurants, points of interest and others insights.
Download our app in the links below:
Instructions: Open the app on your smart phone, select "new tour", then click on "demo tour" to enjoy the routes we chose as the "Best of Portugal on a bike".