Bicycle touring is a cycling trip for pleasure and adventure. It can range from a single day to multi-day trips, sometimes even years. A participant can arrange it and organized by various organizations as a fund-raising venture.
While traveling, bikers will need a place to stay overnight. For amateurs to imagine sleeping outside or in an unknown place may sound very frightening. Many times, they get scared. But with some precaution, it is easy to solve problems like this.
Although it seems impossible, there are some places for cycle tourists to stay for the night completely free of charge. We will describe some options that may seem surprising, but this information will come in handy and may save some money for bicycle tourists.
1. Fire station
Fire stations are facilitated with beds, toilets, showers, and kitchen. They are always open and usually staffs there are friendly. Most of the time, they allow to camp nearby. Rarely, some bikers get a chance to stay inside. There is just one problem. A fire station is too noisy. They have loud alarms that disrupt sleep.
Local schools are also an excellent option to spend the night. They have toilet facilities but rarely have showers. But, it is not easy to find the gatekeeper in a closed hour. It is better to look for schools to spend the night in small cities. The drawback is to get up early before school hour starts.
3. Police station
In many countries, the police doesn’t have good reputations. So, it may sound intimidating to ask for help to spend the night at a police station. But the truth is most of the biker tourists have good experience with them. In most of the Polices provide great help to find a place to set up camp.
Red Cross is also a popular choice. They are also open 24/7 and even have cooking facilities. Although, they provide depending on how much space they have got. Sometimes they turn down the bikers. During some emergency, it can become a noisy place.
Churches often helps weary travelers. To take permission to stay the night in a church, talk to the priest directly. Churches remain unlocked day and night. Tourists may get access to baths. They don’t allow sleeping inside Church hall. At most, they allow using the meeting room.
6. City parks
Camping is not allowed in all city parks. Sometimes, park authorities allow to camp inside the park. Other time, Polices or Fire station helps tourists to camp there. Many times, local people invite bikers to camp in their backyard also.
7. Petrol Stations
Most Petrol stations have 24 hours security, beautiful grassy areas, store, toilets, and sometimes showers. It is a great place to stay overnight. Petrol stations can be noisy but other than that the facilities are excellent.
8. Farms and Ranchos
This is an excellent option while crossing the countryside. Typically, farmhouses have large fields. Most farm owners welcome travelers to spend the night at their farm. Tourists can stay in the outhouse of the farm and can enjoy bath, showers and sometimes fresh foods. Some lucky tourists can even stay inside rooms.
9. Sports Playgrounds
Many small towns have beautiful sports grounds. Sometimes they are facilitated with changing rooms with toilets and showers. Tourists can set up camp in there after talking to locals or authorities. Although, most of the time, it’s not easy to find the proper person to seek permission from.
Many restaurants have free spaces around them where tourists can set up camp for overnight. It is a good choice while crossing roads without nearby towns. Just ask the restaurant staffs or owner whether it is okay to set up camp.
A sea beach is a perfect choice for wild camping. It is easy to take a shower and a morning swim. Again, it is easy to make a fire and wash cooking tools. There is always a gentle breeze at night, as well. So, tourists can enjoy a peaceful sleep at night.
12. Casa De Ciclistas
This hospitality network is available around Latin America. Fellow bike tourers run small houses and hosts cyclists. Many well-known cyclists spent their night at these places. These houses have got excellent facilities and most of the time it’s free or very cheap at cost.
They are always open and have good security. Some tolls offer bathrooms and small stores. Tourists can use the bathroom and also can buy drinks and other small essentials. Typically, a toll doesn’t have a shower facility.
14. Warmshowers- Couchsurfing
These two are web-based facility. This hospitality network is a great way to find a shelter to stay overnight. Warmshowers is exclusive to bicycle tourists, but Couchsurfing is open to all kinds of travelers. Usually, Warmshower hosts are best for cyclists, but CouchSurfing hosts are also efficient.
Hotels are always open to tourists. But why use up a lot of money when there are many people to help during a trip. By staying in these places, tourists can save up a good amount of money and can get various kinds of new experiences.