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Cycling outside the UK

Our travel team works closely with our specialist UK cycling injury team to look after cyclists travelling abroad

Our travel team works closely with our specialist UK cycling injury team to look after cyclists travelling abroad. Cycling holidays have never been so popular, whether it’s a leisurely family cycling holiday to Italy, a charity bike ride to Paris or an intense training camp in Majorca.

It’s especially important to make sure that you have the correct level of insurance for your trip, especially if you are 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.

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British Cycling membership

Being a member of British Cycling can provide 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 and it does not cover legal advice and assistance for incidents occurring abroad. However, competitive rates for British Cycling members can be obtained by visiting their travel insurance page.

In the event of an injury overseas

See our tips from legal holiday experts on what you should do if you or a loved one are injured whilst travelling

Guide for cycling outside the UK

Our team of experienced cyclists, and lawyers, give their tips on how to take a cycling trip abroad.

Taking your own bike

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 with bubble wrap and also that the wheel ends are held in position, an old axle can do the job.

Protect brake/gear leavers saddle and rear derailleur as much as you can.

When you arrive at your destination airport, check straight away that there has been no damage to your bike during the journey. If there has, take photographs of any damage.

Hiring a bike

If hiring a bike, make sure that you have one which is the right size and that you’re renting off a reputable dealer with a workshop, check that brakes and gears have been checked and that its received a service prior to you hiring the bike.

Whose side are you on?

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, in most cases this is going to be from the opposite direction than what you are used to.

Who are you?

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.

Take a map

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.

Plan for your rides

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.

Habla el idioma

'Speak the language' - or at least 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.

Find cycling shops and cycling cafes

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 – what's more important than coffee and cake and a place to fill your bottle on a sunny day!

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."

Mr F Davis, Leigh Day client

Download our safe travel guide