Riverside, California (NAPSI) - While any time of year can be a good time for a bike trip, two of the best are spring and fall, when the highways and byways are both comfortable and colorful.

Pointers On Planning

Here are five hints to help you make the most of your two-wheeled adventure:

1. Know before you go.

Research your route online and in guidebooks. Note places to stay and places to see.

2. Get the best maps you can.

Look for a scale of between 1:200,000 and 1:400,000 or purchase Map software for your smartphone or tablet.

3. Don’t plan on going too far or too fast.

Factor in rest times, closed roads, bad weather and good detours.

4. Run the numbers.

Decide in advance how many are traveling together. Small groups of, say, two to six people can be easier to manage. Larger groups can be a lot of fun and may be better for beginners. If you’re traveling alone, be sure someone else knows your route and timetable.

5. Be prepared.

It’s a good idea to bring along a tire pump, tire gauge, spare tubes, a patch kit, helmet, sunglasses, a first-aid kit, gloves, rain gear, extra socks, cycling shorts, tights, long- and short-sleeved shirts, a knit hat, a bright yellow or orange vest, and shoes to wear when you’re not riding, as well as whatever toiletries and amusements you usually need on a trip.

Fortunately, packing it all can be simple with weatherproof bike bags, called panniers, that keep your valuables safe and easily accessible. One of the favorites is the Thule Pack ‘n Pedal line of products.

These on-bike racks and panniers are easy to install and remove from a bike quickly and safely. There is even a handlebar accessory where a smartphone, headlamp or action sports camera can be mounted.

Learn More

For more products that can help to equip your bike for a ride, go to www.thule.com.