The first step to enjoying your biking adventure is to have all those necessities, big and small, on hand. Especially if you’re travelling to a remote spot where a 7-11 is a long way away!
To make sure your cycling holiday isn’t ruined because you’re freezing without a sweater or covered in blisters from the wrong footwear, there are plenty of resources offering lists, lists of lists, bare-bones suggestions, etc. of what you should bring along.
Here’s a compilation:
- Passport > Valid for 6 months and with spare pages and valid visas.
- Passport photos > You never know.
- Travel insurance details > Your employer may have you covered — don’t forget to ask!
- Plane/train/bus tickets (or e-ticket details)
- Cash/credit cards > You may want to check about the availability of ATMs or currency exchanges to determine how much cash and/or which credit cards to bring.
Clothes for the ride:
- Gloves > Make sure they are well padded. You should bring at least 2 pairs..
- Short-sleeved cycle shirts.
- Padded cycle shorts.
- Regular loose-fitting shorts > To wear over the cycling shorts. For modesty’s sake because not every culture appreciates skin tight clothing.
- Lightweight, waterproof jacket > Rain may not be unlikely, but it could happen. Also, it can double as a wind-breaker. Or an extra layer of warmth if needed.
- Shoes > Stiff soled cycling shoes are recommended; very good quality sandals work and give your feet some extra ventilation, but a decent pair of trainers will be fine. If you want to use SPDs you should bring your own shoes and pedals.
Clothes in general:
- Shirts and tops > Comfortable and functional will be more valuable than fashionable.
- Trousers/skirt/shorts > To have something besides biking clothes to wear in the evenings.
- Underwear > Light and quick drying. To prevent chafing, don’t wear them under cycling shorts!
- Socks > For riding and to keep your feet warm.
- Sun / wind protection > This can include a hat, bandana, and a long-sleeved shirt.
- More sun protection > This time in the form of high factor cream for skin and lips, and sunglasses.
- Bug repellent.
- Toiletries > Don’t expect a convenience store anytime soon. Soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, tampons, shaving gear, etc.
- First aid kit > Most bike tours will have a kit, but you may want to carry some minor stuff: paracetamol, plasters/band-aids, electrolyte packets, immodium, antacids, etc.
- Electronics > Consider what you really need to bring: camera, phone, flashlights, alarm clocks, etc.
- Chargers and batteries for electronics.
- Bicycle > If you’re not hiring one as part of the tour package.
- Helmet > Ideally with a sun visor.
- Water bottle or Camelbak. Or both > Hydration is key.
- Some sort of pack > Bumbag, fanny pack, lightweight backpack. Just enough for money, keys, cameras, and any other things you’ll need on the ride.
- Repair/maintenance kit > Just in case. A small pump, allen keys, lubricant, puncture repair kit, inner tubes, etc.
If you are taking part in a guided tour, please ask for list specific to that tour/location/time of year. And although some may say that overestimating is better than going without, consider what you’ll have to carry with you during the trip. The weight of an extra shirt or shorts or pair of shoes may make all the difference….
And if you’re still fretting that you might forget something, here are some other resources to check out: