Renting Touring Bikes To Explore Brazil: Things To Remember
Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and covers almost one-third of Latin America’s population. The country is spread over 8.516 million square kilometers, taking up nearly half of the South American continent with 26 states and one federal district. This leaves a considerable amount of land just waiting to be explored by the locals and tourists. And what’s a better way to tour the beautiful country than on one of the fantastic cycle routes. Brazil boasts of a long, proud tradition of urban cycling. Since the twentieth century, the bicycle has been embraced as a convenient, practical mode in many Brazilian cities. By all accounts, things are improving. Earlier, the bicycle carried the image of a poor man’s transport, but the mindset has changed considerably, especially in Brazil. A growing number of urban city-dwellers are pushing the pedals. Despite the vast odds cyclists face in crowded cities, the bicycle remains a convenient mode of transportation for locals and travelers.
Here’s a list of everything you need to know about touring Brazil on a bike.
1. Renting a bike
The bike rental system is available throughout the country. In Rio de Janeiro, the bike rental system is named Bike Itaú. This is probably the best touring bike to explore the splendid and diverse country. Renting a cycling bike in Brazil is very simple. You can use your credit card directed at any terminals nearest you, or you can also download the app. You need several CPF (Brazilian documents) to register in the app. You can also register using your passport number if you do not have the number.
2. Bike rental costs
When renting a bike in Brazil, you can choose from these five plans:
A Single trip plan can cost R$3.00 (15-minute trip each).
A 48-hour plan can cost R$20.00 (2-hour trip each, unlimited trips).
A Usual plan can cost R$12.90 weekly (2-hour trip, 4 trips a day).
A Basic plan can cost R$29.90 a month (45-minute trip each, 4 trips a day).
A Complete plan can cost R$39.90 monthly (60-minute trip each, 4 trips a day).
These days you can also rent electric bikes from Bike Itaú, which costs the same price as regular ones. But if you use the bike longer than the plan you bought, an additional charge of R$2.00 per 15 minutes will be charged to your credit card. If the rental bike you used was electric, then an additional charge of R$4.00.
3. Self-service for bike rental
The only drawback of the Bike Itaú app is that it is only open for Brazilians, Chileans, and Argentineans to sign up. However, you can still rent a bike in Rio de Janeiro if you are from other countries. You need to find a nearby station with a self-service machine. You can use your credit card without registering into the Bike Itaú app. After registering your card, you can choose among the list of plans that better suit you.
4. Things to keep in mind
1. Check the weather conditions
Check the weather of your destination before you leave for a bike trip. Be sure to be prepared for all possible weather conditions with the right gear. You can check the weather conditions of the whole cycling route online. Although the weather conditions throughout the country are subject to change, still, you can get a rough idea of what conditions you will be facing during the bike tour. It is also recommended to find accommodation close to your riding route if the conditions fail to improve.
2. Pack light luggage
You are highly recommended to travel light. Limit your luggage to one carry-on and one handy bag. The key to a fun and adventurous bike trip lies in the minimum pack necessary. The less you bring, the better you will feel throughout your trip. Packing less means a carefree trip. Especially when cycling, you will need the feeling of carefreeness and openness. Also, you may leave extra space in your luggage for any items you want to bring home as souvenirs from your destination.
3. Watch out for dry roads
If you are cycling away from the coast, you can expect some rocky roads and bumps that would be trouble for your tires. Some parts of the country, especially inland, have many cactuses, and some cactus flowers can puncture your tires unless they are kevlar tires. It is safe to bring an extra pair of tires with you when cycling and some tools handy for a quick change.
What to pack?
Go in a light shirt and shorts for cycling. Cycling clothes, particularly shorts or trousers with foam protection, are also recommended. A pair of sneakers, flip-flops, sunglasses, and suntan lotion is a must when touring Brazil on the bike. You can also pack two extra sets of clothes like a simple summery dress for women and a casual shirt for men when not cycling. This can be worn when you are touring the cities and countryside. Packing a casual outfit will make you look saner when sitting in local bars or visiting historical places on foot.
2. Bike accessories
You must not forget the necessary tools to fix your bike quickly. In fact, before going for a bike trip, it is essential to know some bike parts. You should have basic know-how to change a flat tire and adjust the saddle, breaks, or gears. You can also opt for a brief session with the nearest mechanic store to know your bike better, making the cycling trip more fun. You should also carry a helmet for the bike, inner tubes, and a repair kit which can include glue, sandpaper, and a sticker. A primary pump and screw wrench for the wheels must go a long way with you.
Carrying plasters and anti-inflammatory drugs is advised even if you are not on any medications or have never suffered from any disease. Also, pack a first aid kit to be on the safe side. Don’t forget to pack some isotonic drinks for an up in energy during challenging uphill rides and pack as many proteins or cereal bars as you can because a hungry stomach won’t make for good biking memories. Also, pack in a raincoat if your destination weather conditions are rainy. You can grab your polaroid or a camera to click pictures of the scenery as you bike by.
City Cycling through Brazil
Some of the best cities in Brazil to cycle through are São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Vitoria, Santos, Florianopolis, Recife, Teresina, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, and Joao Pessoa. These cities offer the best cycling paths, giving you a memory of a lifetime. Although the cycle path may be undergoing developments in some places, you will still find plenty of cycle routes in Brazil. The best cycling options within the cities are along the coastal roads, as all the cities don’t need to have exclusive lanes for biking only. Adjustment is critical when planning a bike trip because of the uncertainties you are likely to face during the whole trip. From a stormy day to blocked roads, you may also land upon some unfavorable situations.
Some of the Popular Bike Routes in Brazil
Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul – Salvador, Bahia
Cananéia to Paranaguá, Sao Paulo and Parana
Jalapão (Novo Acordo to Ponte Alta do Tocantins), Tocantins
Circuit of Serra da Canastra, Minas Gerais
A Estrada Real, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo
Chapada Diamantina, Bahia
Gramado to Canela, Rio Grande do Sul
Estrada da Graciosa, Curitiba to Morretes, Paraná
Brazil is a popular cycling destination. Cycling along the vast coastline across the country is quite a treat to your body and soul. Surrounding the shores, you will find lush palm trees and greenery. Remember to carry with you the necessary things, especially a suntan lotion to protect you from the sun and some good tires. Don’t forget to stop at local eateries and bars for a fun time with music and chat. You will find the locals very friendly, and they can even start a conversation in a language unknown to you, but still, you will feel at home. Pack your bags to Brazil and explore the country, cycling all across. You will likely fall in love with Brazil and its charismatic natural beauty. Visit Leisure.com for more information, advice, and ideas for your next vacation!
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