You certainly don’t need to be a “cyclist” to take city bike tours or rent a bike. In fact, people who don’t routinely ride a bike might even enjoy the city cycling time MORE…since it may have been a while since they’ve ridden. Robin Williams was an avid cyclist and known for saying that “cycling is the closest you can get to flying“. If you haven’t ridden recently, you might have forgotten how much fun just riding a bike can be.
Some cyclists are very much into the stuff, the gear, the “kit”. Don’t be intimated about taking a bike tour and not looking the part or not being a “cyclist”. Planet Bike said it perfectly:
If we want more people in the US to ride bicycles, we need to change the image that bicycles are just sporting goods and the perception that people who ride bikes are “cyclists” and can be identified by their tight, brightly-colored Lycra outfits. Meanwhile in the rest of the world, most people ride a bike multiple times a day, but if asked, they would not say they are cyclists. For them, the bicycle is simply a means of transportation, not an identity.
We all brush our teeth each day, but we don’t call ourselves dentists. We vacuum our homes, but don’t wear special outfits to do it, and we don’t read “Vacuuming Magazine.” Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with bicycle jerseys, racing, training, club rides, etc. Bicycles are great tools for recreation and exercise. But they are also the most efficient, sustainable, fun, safe and healthy means of transportation out there.
We’ve always thought “biker” would be a better term for many of us, but that’s kind of taken. Anyway, all you need for your bike tour are comfy clothes and shoes, a helmet (if you so choose, nearly always provided by the tour operator), and a spirit ready for fun.