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Tips for cycling abroad

Whether it’s a leisurely family cycling holiday to Italy, a charity bike ride to Paris or an intense training camp in Majorca, cycling holidays overseas have never been so popular.

British Cycling membership* provides liability insurance of up to £10 million, subject to terms and conditions, in the event that a claim is made against you when cycling abroad. But membership does not provide cover for medical bills or repatriation. It’s especially important to take out insurance if you’re cycling outside of Europe. Medical treatment, especially in America, can be staggeringly expensive.

So, do get travel insurance** before you leave. It may well be the best purchase of your trip.

*British Cycling’s terms and conditions can befound at this link. British Cycling membership does notcover legal advice and assistance for incidents occurring abroad.

**Travel insurance is not included with British Cycling membership but competitive rates for British Cycling members can be obtained online at www.policydirect.co.uk or by calling 01795 597170.

How to make the most of your cycling abroad

•  If you’re taking your own bike, invest in a proper bike bag or box to transport it. Always take special care of the forks, handlebars, saddle and rear ends, making sure they’re correctly protected.

• When you arrive at the airport you’re travelling to, check there has been no damage to your bike during the journey. If there has, take photographs of any damage.

• If hiring a bike, make sure that you have one which is the right size and that you’re renting off a reputable dealer.

• As well as ensuring you’re riding on the correct side of the road in a foreign country, get used to making sure you’re checking for traffic coming from the correct direction at junctions.

• Take a written copy of your contact information with you, with ‘In case of emergency’ written in the correct language if possible. Also include the name of the hotel you’re staying at. Keep a copy of your health insurance with you and your EHIC.

• Never rely solely on your phone for navigation. Some areas may not be covered for GPS or network coverage and your battery may run out – a paper map is always the best failsafe.

• Make sure you have a plan if you were to have a collision or a mechanical issue – could you get back to your hotel? Would you know who to call? Do you know any local taxi companies?

• Always take a minimum of two inner tubes with you in case of punctures, and of course a good pump.

• Learn a few sentences in the local language in case you’re stuck in a remote place. Alternatively, have the appropriate dictionary downloaded or use a translator app on your phone.

• Contact local cycling clubs and ask if you can join them for a ride or for route suggestions. Details will probably be available at local cycling shops.

• Source a local café for mid or end of the ride – it’s important.

It’s vital cyclists know what to do if they are involved in a cycling incident. We’ve listed some essential tips below:

What to do if you are involved in a cycling incident abroad

1. If you don’t think you’re seriously injured, get clear of the road to avoid traffic.

2. Seek medical attention immediately from the nearest medical centre. If you suspect you’ve had a head injury, call an ambulance and do not continue to cycle.

3. Exchange details with the driver, if relevant, or any witnesses. Then gather evidence or information from the scene of the incident.

4. File an incident report with the police as soon as possible and contact your insurer.

5. Remember to keep any receipts or invoices in relation to the injury and keep a note of any treatment received.

View the full guide for What you need to do if you are injured in another country.

Our experience

Even with the most meticulous planning, things can go wrong and through no fault of your own incidents can happen. Our team has experience of bringing compensation claims for cyclists all over Europe and the World including France, Spain, Portugal, USA and Germany.

What we can do to help

Leigh Day has an experienced dedicated cycling team who are able to provide support and advice to those involved in incidents abroad.

Please contact us on 020 8038 9210 or 0161 393 3551 for free, no obligation advice, or email travelclaims@leighday.co.uk.

What our clients say about us

“I am very grateful to Leigh Day for all of the support they have provided since my cycling accident in Portugal. The rehabilitation package, funded by the driver’s insurance company, was implemented shortly after my first meeting with the team at Leigh Day and has been central to my progress. It’s very humbling and encouraging and really does inspire and motivate me to make the most of the opportunities available to me. Thank you.“

Mr F Davis, Leigh Day client

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