The simple answer is No. Anybody without serious health issues can get on a bike and with extraordinarily little reacquaintance set out onto the road less peddled. Ordinary folk can do this. Super athletic physique is not required. Start small, you could be thinking of what you will see on the long haul but just a simple overnighter may give you the impetus to get out there. And the overnighter can be just as rewarding and restorative as the big trip, and maybe a lighter introduction will give you the peace of mind to tackle something more adventurous.
Take Gav Grayston and his family, in fact watch them on their first adventure.
And Gav is by no means alone, there is the Midlife Crisis Guy. Ok, he has been developing his capability for a while now, but he had to start his Bikebacking adventures somewhere.
Of course, you cannot just camp anywhere you want but there are a lot of possibilities for the quick overnighter.
If you are thinking vacation, things get a little more complicated, but it is not that daunting that an afternoons research cannot dispel the doubts. With precious time on your vacation a bike is your friend, and you can always just do daytrips, if overnighters seem a little scary. Think of the alternatives to going by bike. How much will you see on foot? Are you going to be able to get transport to where you want to go? If you are thinking self-drive, how much would you see along the way. Oh so often, it is not the destination but the discoveries of the more ordinary people and places along the way that create the greatest memories.
So where could you go in the UK.
There are literally thousands of possibilities. Take a look at https://bikepacking.com/routes for some great routes. Their suggestion of the Dark + White Peak Peek particularly appeals to me, and as a family this will have to go on the calendar.
Or another in Scotland along the old drovers trails: http://perthshiregravel.com/drovers-trail-stage1/
And the world is your oyster, from Scotland to Nova Scotia with Morocco in between (obviously not as the crow flies). Take this example of a day trip from a friend who lives in the Philippines. If you have not ridden for a while 69km might sound like a long way, but 100km is easily doable if you build up to it. Her trip was a figure 8 loop down from Surigao City to Taganaan – taking in Day-asan (the floating villages of Surigao City) along the way.
Granted the Philippines may not be for everyone but again take a look at the suggestions for routes on Bikepacking.com there are routes for every country on the planet.
So, what do you need?
Who better to tell you than Juliet? https://www.facebook.com/juliet.elliott
So it may seem a little bit like to much effort for those that like to just sit and watch the world go by on their well earnt brake, but don’t think it is too physical . Really we can pretty much all do it. The guys at Happy Family BIOcycling sum up the feeling at the end of the road. But then in their picture below they seem like a notmal family on a day trip but as an example of what you could do if going completely off the rails. After 23.500 km and almost 4 years cycling northwards from the tip of Patagonia they are in Costa Rica.