Cycling Gap Year Suggestions - What would you do?

allexthomas Posts: 8
edited October 2017 in Tour & expedition
I'm a fairly average roady. Just got my cat 3 at the start of my first proper season and I'm 19. I'd really like to go travelling with my bike and have a year of great training. Almost like a normal persons gap year but with a bike.

Does anyone have any experience of spending 12 months in Australia or somewhere else riding and working? I would love to be a full time rider but think I got into it a little late.

I'm currently in a full time job but hey...who cares? Let's live life. I'm aware that thousands would love to be in my position and I'm curious as to what you would do?

Any suggestions greatly received no matter how crazy.



  • lostboysaint
    lostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    I'd go to Canada. Having ridden what felt like quite a lot of Alberta and BC and then realising I'd barely scratched the surface despite the incredible diversity of what I rode I would be back there like a shot. Great road and mtb riding, a sports-mad country, epic scenery, top people and great vibe.

    Worth pinging a note to "Paul.skibum" on the mtb forums and see what his comments are as he's done the Okanagan Valley and is now in Whistler.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • el_rey
    el_rey Posts: 83
    I would start by looking at warm places. Chiang Mai is becoming a bicycling center in Thailand. North Carolina offers some great riding in the states as does the San Diego area. Riccione, Italy is a jumping off point to a number of great rides. I love the south of France for quite roads and variety. Consider picking a number of spots and then buy an around the word ticket. This will let you bicycle around the world and always be in the sun. Good luck
  • rodgers73
    rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Round the world? Its quite feasible and you'll learn more about life doing that than staying in a 1st world country for a year.
  • tlw1
    tlw1 Posts: 21,855
    rodgers73 wrote:
    Round the world? Its quite feasible and you'll learn more about life doing that than staying in a 1st world country for a year.

    Exactly my thoughts!
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,383
    If not round the world then across a continent. Oslo to Cape Town for example (which would actually be 2)
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • jc4lab
    jc4lab Posts: 554
    edited June 2015
    My gap year would RTW, no working...Although most RTW cyclists may be purist and like to cycle straight from the start ,my version would be different .I d get a RTW air ticket with a dozen or more stops or so..My own dream is to take my brompton folding bike and do select areas instead of the traditional sprawl accross the country....Allso en route maybe abandon the folder for a while and hire aMTB or hybrid locally which may be more suitable for longer distance or rougher terrain again targeting a select areas....For me I would include some major cities and do a series a guided bike tours with each stop over.Some examples what you can do... ... =RELEVANCE.
    They are are just like a guided walking tour but with bikes instead.The cost can be high doing this but you see alot.Ive done several in Europe & the USA.Save money by booking locally....Not your traditional RTW bike tour but its how i would use a gap year ..Recommend.Cappodoccia turkey.then .Kerala India...Sri Llanka ...Thailand Hill tribes..Japan kYoto Fuji.. Bali is a good one.. Blue mountains in Oz.etc etc. Did my RTW gap year in the 1990s which included some Cycling and motorbike hire and have done lots more countries since.(about 40).. Cycling RTW in under a year is a big ask..RTW travel can be a boring journey if you get it wrong and just go for the quickest route...Endless choices .but then you need to weather watch also and find the right season. and watch out for each areas Hurricane and rainny seasons.ansd also the scorchers...Not so straight forward,Hot is south Oz but then can be raiiny in north at same time etc..aslo be aware some flights have a 3-6 week wait list so you cant be too last your decisions...
  • whoof
    whoof Posts: 756
    Not sure where to suggest or what route to take other than say do it. If you are 19 you might not get another chance until you retire and the way things are going you could be well into your 70s.
  • sancho_panza
    sancho_panza Posts: 183

    Teach English (pick up brief qualification first perhaps), race with a club. You'll never want to leave and you might end up a champion.
  • jameses
    jameses Posts: 653
    Although I would echo the above suggestions and say go somewhere out of your comfort zone, if you want the comforts of a 1st world trip New Zealand would be my recommendation. Beautiful country, good cycling, little traffic even on the main roads (which are unavoidable in places), easy to route, can be circumnavigated in a few months without having to put in super long days, allowing you plenty of time to stop and work and explore the country and the working holiday visa is really easy to get (assuming you're a UK citizen).
  • Hi All!

    I've just got back onto this site. I realised I never gave an update of what I did. I'd like to say thanks for the advice! I always like reading what people do after asking for advice and I hope I can help people have as much fun as I did.

    In 2015 I went and lived in Australia for 8 months where I lived & worked part time in Brisbane and raced on most weekends. Some weekends I left the bike at home and went backpacking and exploring with new friends. I saw so much of the country and can probably tick off every backpackers to do list easily. I also managed to stay fit and I got to a pretty good level. I raced A grade (pretty much the highest level below National Series) for all of the races I did. I raced the Grafton to Inverell Classic 228km race in 35 degree heat. What an experience. I've got so many stories.

    I arrived back in the UK where I raced and later had a huge crash in a road race. I fractured my pelvis and was left in a wheelchair. I was pretty determined to get back on the bike and back to independence.

    After a few months I was back on the bike and training hard. I later gained a place on a team who were to be heading out to race in Brittany, France for 6 months. They were called RDP. I heard the level was high, but wow. An incredible experience. I was a full time rider for 6 months, racing against some of the best guys in the country where cycling is everything. I had a very hard time but still enjoyed the experience. I raced some pretty big days including the Circuit de Mene.

    Not a bad few years after describing myself as a fairly average roady!

    If you've got any questions, please ask!

    Cheers, Alex
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,824
    Go to Gap for a year.

    Sorry. A bit late for that.

    Sounds like you had a good time (apart from the crash & wheelchair, obviously), even without my advice.