Bicycles are used for recreation at all ages. Bicycle touring, also known as cyclotourism, involves touring and exploration or sightseeing by bicycle for leisure. A brevet or randonnée is an organized long-distance ride. One popular Dutch pleasure is the enjoyment of relaxed cycling in the countryside of the Netherlands. The land is very flat and full of public bicycle trails and cycle tracks where cyclists are not bothered by cars and other traffic, which makes it ideal for cycling recreation.
Many Dutch people subscribe every year to an event called fietsvierdaagse — four days of organised cycling through the local environment. Bicycle touring means self-contained cycling trips for pleasure, adventure and autonomy rather than sport, commuting or exercise. Touring can range from single to multi-day trips, even years. Tours may be planned by the participant or organised by a holiday business, a club, or a charity as a fund-raising venture. Distances vary considerably.
Depending on fitness, speed and the number of stops, the rider usually covers between 50–150 kilometres (30–90 mi) per day. A short tour over a few days may cover as little as 200 kilometres (120 mi) and a long tour may go right across a country or around the world. A loaded touring bicycle, with drop bars, 700c wheels, racks panniers and bar bag. There are many different types of bicycle touring. Lightweight touring: Informally called credit-card touring, a rider carries a minimum of equipment and a lot of money.
Overnight accommodation is in youth hostels, hotels, pensions or B&Bs. Food is bought at cafes, restaurants or markets. Ultralight touring: Differs from credit card touring in that the rider is self-sufficient but carries only the bare essentials and no frills. Fully loaded touring: Also known as self-supported touring, cyclists carry everything they need, including food, cooking equipment, and a tent for camping. Some cyclists minimize their load, carrying only basic supplies, food, and a Bivouac sack or lightweight tent. Expedition touring: Cyclists travel extensively, often through developing nations or remote areas.
The bicycle is loaded with food, spares, tools, and camping equipment so that the traveller is largely self-supporting. Mixed Terrain Cycle-Touring / BikepackingAlso called rough riding, cyclists travel over a variety of surfaces and topography on a single route, with a single bicycle. Focusing on freedom of travel and efficiency over varied surfaces, cyclists often adopt an ultralight camping approach and carry their own minimal gear (bikepacking).