A bike tour is a cheap way to travel around and see various landscapes. It gives you a level of freedom like no other form of travel. If you plan to travel using bikes, you will definitely have to carry some things along. The trick in packing for such a trip is that less is better.
New bikers might make the mistake of packing many things and this weight usually has the effect of feeling heavier the more you cycle. This results in more sweating, dehydration, fatigue and slower cycling. Therefore, it is important to pack only the essential items to keep it light. These items include:
With modern tubeless tires, flats are not a common problem but anything can happen. Therefore, you should carry a repair kit which should include tools such as a pump and tire patches. This will help you mend punctured tires in a few minutes and proceed on with the tour.
Other tools that you might add to your repair kit include wrenches and a pair of pliers, just in case you need to fix other parts of the bike.
For you to use this kit effectively, you will need to have prior knowledge of how to patch your tires and fix your bike so that you don’t compound the problem.
Brightly colored clothes/ reflector jackets
Brightly colored clothes are important for bikers because they help improve their visibility, especially if they are cycling in foggy conditions. This makes it safe to cycle on busy roads or highways.
An even better visibility option would be a reflector jacket or a glowing jacket. This would complement the bike’s reflector on the rear end, making you clearly visible from different angles. If you do not reach camp or your stop before nightfall, these jackets will come in handy in making cycling much safer at night.
Well, you must be prepared for the worst. Even though cycling might make your body heat up and sweat really fast, it might be very uncomfortable to ride in wet clothes.
The funny thing is that most cyclists experience rain whenever they forget to carry rain gear. However, when they pack it, it never rains; A classic example of Murphy’s Law in action.
Rain gear comes in the form of Gore-Tex coats or other similar waterproof material coats. They are important because they minimize the risk of illnesses such as colds, which is common after cycling in the rain.
When cycling, you perspire a lot. If you cycle for long distances without replacing this lost water, you might end up dehydrating. The effects of dehydration might ground you, beating the whole purpose of going on a bike tour. Therefore, it is important to carry some water and possibly refill your water bottle at every stop you make along the way.
Whether you are touring in safe areas or not, it is important to secure your bike whenever you make a stop. The benefits of a u-lock may not be seen but a bad lock is as good as leaving your bike unsecured. If you choose to use a bad lock or leave it altogether unsecured, your tour might be cut short because you may return to an empty parking spot when the tour resumes.
A Form of Entertainment
As you make these stops, you will need something to do, especially if camp by the roadside. This form of entertainment will keep you from getting bored but it usually depends on what the cyclists prefer. For instance, you could carry a deck of cards for some bit of poker along the way.
A book could also work for the avid readers. For the all outdoor person, a fishing rod and reel might provide some form of entertainment when you stop close to a river bank or lake shore.
On sunny days, cycling while facing the sun might be very challenging due to the glare. Instead of struggling to block this light using your palm, why not carry sunglasses. These will enable you to conveniently and comfortably block this glare from harming your eyes as well as from creating blind spots due to reduced visibility.
With these items in the bag, you can comfortably head out on your bikes for either a single day or multiple days on the road. Of course, there are some extra things you can carry, but these should also be packed based on priority.
For instance, you may include a first aid kit, especially if you are heading to remote areas, while high energy foods and drinks will come in handy when you need to recharge your body at every stop. However, even as you pack all these, the important to remember is to keep it light.
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