When it comes to any type of a vacation or getaway, there are certain things you want to pack. But, in the case of bike tours, it’s less about swimming suits and surfboards and more along the lines of gear and types of clothing you should be packing. If you have never been on bike tours before and you want to be ahead of the game, this list is a great place to start because it’s a checklist of sorts that talks to you about different locations and what types of gear you might consider taking with you on your scenic trip – long or short. Be sure to read all of the tips below so you can pack accordingly. By the way, your list may vary depending on if you are doing this solo – without a support van or with a support van. For this list we have compiled a checklist for solo trips – without support vans.
Since you will be doing this solo and you won’t have a support van, you will need to carry all of your clothes, food, necessities and gear on the bike with you. This obviously means that the lighter the load the better the trip. But, if it were me, my pyramid of importance would go; gear most important, first aid or emergency stuff second, food and water third and clothing fourth. This is especially true if you are doing just a few days trip – you won’t exactly need 6 change of clothes for 6 days, but you will need quite a bit of food! Just watch your importance and find out what is the most important for your trip. For gear though, consider things like; carriers, Rear and front pannier rack and bags, water bottles and your bike of course!
The second you think “Nothing will go wrong here” is about the second that something does go wrong. Now, I’m not saying you will definitely get bit by a snake or you will definitely get a scraped shin or knee, but hey accidents happen – that’s why they are called accidents. It’s better to be prepared ahead of time and have what you need, than to not be prepared and not have what you need. It’s also important to pay attention to your surroundings. For example, if you are going someplace cold, you might want to keep those short biker shorts at home. Or if you are going someplace hot, bring extra water bottles for dehydration. You also need to consider bringing emergency and first aid equipment like a first aid box, bike repair kit, and a few extra things like some extra cash – as well as some quarters for those cases where your cell phone stops working, a calling card to call out, etc.
For a lot of people this is going to be a big list, and that’s okay. It’s not just about shirts, shoes and pants/shorts, it’s about things like bike helmet(s), cycling shorts that are padded, leg warmers for those cooler nights or cooler days, cycling socks – you should have at least 2-3 pairs for every 3 days, just in case, make sure they are a synthetic material and that they fit well with your shoes. You also need cycling shirts, a windbreaker or two, a rain suit or poncho if you want to get less technical, and a warm fleece layer. Remember that just because a place is hot during the day doesn’t mean its automatically going to be hot at night. In fact, a lot of locations out there that have sweltering heat while the sun is up have 40 degree weather at night such as the desert. You also want to get yourself some cycling gloves to keep your hands from developing sores and blisters, cycling shoes that offer pedal clips or clasps to help keep your feet on the bike pedals and some nice wraparound sunglasses and/or a visor to keep the sun out of your eyes and the sun off your head.