Are you planning a long distance riding tour? Do you know what and how to pack for your touring? Many cyclists end up carrying excess stuff home a week or two into their ride after they realize how little they actually need and how heavy their extra stuff is. The central truth about packing for long distance cycling is: the less weight you bring, the more fun you get in riding. This article will help you to know what is best for you.
Clothes for tours
You should look for clothes that are lightweight, packable, versatile and suitable for your expected conditions. Some people might assume falsely that they should bring clothes as much as possible in terms of on-the-bike clothes and off-the-bike clothes. Cycling shorts, cycling shoes, tights, cycling gloves and a helmet enables you a comfortable riding. Don’t forget waterproof clothes. They are very important to keep you dry on rainy days.
Water and/or sports drink
Keeping hydrated is essential on a bicycle touring of any length, while it is worth noting that dehydration does not occur only in hot summer, but also in cool weather. Also, sports drink is a good choice after a long-distance ride, for your body needs supplement of microelements and sodium chloride. As for long distance riding tours, it is impossible to bring all water is needed in one or two weeks. Thus it’s important to make sure you can find places to supplement water on your trip.
Food or/and energy snack
It is not always available for you to purchase food on the journey of cycling, not to mention a breakdown or other unforeseen emergencies that will put you on the road. Bring some light snacks is very necessary, and bananas, energy bars, pilot biscuit or nuts are a few choices.
Cash and credit card
In the journey of long-distance cycling, it is impossible to bring all the food and water by your own, while emergencies might occur anytime. If your bike breaks down and you are lucky enough to be near a bike shop, then credit card plays its functions. Some stores have a limit amount for credit card purchases, so cash is very necessary.
A tent/sleeping bag
It depends on the place you are traveling to and the riding-route to go. Maybe a few cyclists like Jeff Walden would choose to stay at motels, most cyclists would rather bring a tent or a sleeping bag with them, for it is a good way to save expenditure. Take Simon Gardner for example, he brought a tent on support vehicle and stayed at the campsite at night.
Basic maintenance and repairing tools
These basic tools include a spare inner tube to fix flats, a hand pump to inflate tubes, tire levers to remove tires, patch kit, a multi-tool for various types of repairing, and a chain master link in case of a chain break.
Sometimes, the journey involves several continents or countries, so it is very important to bring your personal identification. If you get involved in an accident, it will be of great help for emergency personnel if they can verify your identity when you can’t speak for yourself. At this aspect, a driver’s license always works.
The function of the cell phone in a long-distance bike touring is not only to keep contact with your friends and family, but also to ask for help when you get involved in accidents or emergencies. Modern cell phone like smartphone is very powerful, for it has various sorts of functions including GPS and electronic map. However, smartphone is not recommended in long-distance cycling though it has powerful functions. Its standby time is too short.
It’s impossible to ride all the time, so carrying something for entertainment to keep off-the-bike time interesting. What to carry depends as much on the tour location as it does on the cyclists. In Patagonia, many people opt for a rod and reel, taking time to fish the trout-laden rivers. Couples might carry a deck of cards & crib board, while solo riders often find room for an extra book. If you are on the trip with a group, that’s even easier. I strongly recommend a card called UNO.
Murphy’s Law seems to appear everywhere. Maybe you have checked the weather in the few weeks to make sure it’s suitable for riding and there’s no need to bring rainwear, but finally, you ended up rushing into the hotel and finding shelter from the rain. When you are choosing equipment in the bike store, don’t hesitate in buying rainwear.