Have you packed your stuff yet?

Are you ready to join the ride? Let's have a look at what you need to pack in your bag...

Chapter 1: while cycling

Although it seems pretty obvious, it never hurts to remind ourselves that there will be cycling during most of the tour. That usually implies the presence of a cyclist (you) and a bicycle (yours). What else do you need?

  • Pannier bags (or the less comfortable alternative, a backpack): you need to carry a few things during the day, since the backup car does not follow the group all the time. Every cyclist is expected to be autonomous, unless there is a serious problem - knock on wood -, which means you will have to carry the tools of your autonomy. Bungee ropes can also come in handy.
  • Tools: a bike repair kit, like a multitool or your grandpa's old tool box, with all the wrenches you need to tighten every screw found on your own bike. Don't forget your pump, spare tubes, brake pads and whatever else you feel you might need for maintenance of your trusted set of wheels.
  • Safety gear: a helmet is highly advisable, especially while sharing the road with cars and trucks. Reflective gear, such as vests or windbreakers, will keep you visible at all times. Lights and reflectors for the bikes will allow for night riding, in case the daytime is too hot.
  • Bike lock: 'cause you never know.
  • What to wear: bring at least 2 sets of cycling shorts and nice jerseys to cycle with, while in the heat. Consider long cycling trousers and long sleeve jerseys to be prepared for rainy days (if you join for a short period, check the weather forecast and decide). Don't forget your goggles and/or sunglasses, nobody likes being hit in the eyes by insects. Comfortable shoes, socks and gloves should get you through the day easily.
  • Avoid the burn: sunscreen.

Chapter 2: after cycling

Odds are, you will experience serious heat during this tour, and nothing feels better than a random swim in a lake and a nice shower at the end of the day.

  • Towels: one for the shower (obviously), one more for beach / lakeside picnic (optional - and it implies a swim suit).
  • Flip-flops: you can have a cyclist's legs, but you don't need athlete's foot.
  • Hygiene: shampoo, soap, shower gel, deodorant, baby powder, whatever you need to keep yourself clean. If you to need to keep certain parts of your person shaven, bring your razors and foam (totally up to you). Don't forget your toothbrush and toothpaste!
  • Health: keep any regular medication with you, make sure you have enough for the time you're on the road.
  • Nature calls: toilet paper. You know very well why.

Chapter 3: eating, drinking, camping, sleeping

Staying well fed and hydrated is fundamental for this kind of ride. Food and water sources can be found pretty much everywhere, but you need some things of your own.

  • Plate or Bowl: to put food in.
  • Spoon / fork / spork: to eat the food from the bowl.
  • Knife: to cut food and pretty much anything else, except for your bike lock.
  • Mug: for tea, coffee, or any beverage of your choice.
  • Water bottle: 'cause drinking from a mug while cycling is not very practical.

Let's keep in mind that there will be camping throughout the tour, which means you need to be prepared for that as well.

  • Sleeping bag: indoors or outdoors, very useful.
  • Sleeping mat: if not bed is provided, best not to sleep directly on the ground.
  • Pillow: can help avoid neck pain and snoring. If you can't sleep when others snore, try ear plugs.
  • Flashlight: unless you can see in the dark.

Normally, we supply the tents.

Chapter 4: civilian life

For the parts of the tour which do not involve cycling, you can go about your business, check the sights and meet the locals. For that, you might want to check if you can walk the streets without looking like a cyclist (unless that's your "thing").

  • Underwear: either you wear or you go commando.
  • Lower body: long jeans or skirts/shorts, up to you. Again, check the weather forecast.
  • Upper body: t-shirts, shirts, sweaters, figure out what you might need. Remember, you get a free t-shirt for riding with us :)
  • Footwear: shoes, sneakers, sandals, roadkill, whatever feels comfortable on your feet.

Chapter 5: papers and gadgets

Obviously, you need to have your documents, your mobile phone and a bunch of other small things. For example:

  • Passport / ID: this you need for sure. Police are usually strict about it.
  • Insurance: remember signing up? Yes, you need to carry proof of insurance.
  • Paperwork: don't forget to sign the Terms and Conditions.
  • Money / bank cards: you will need them and you will need to keep them safe. Be smart.
  • Mobile phone: and the charger.
  • Cameras, mp3 players: and the chargers, and the cables, etc.
  • Paper and pencil: take notes, exchange contacts, write postcards...

Chapter 6: missing something?

We put together this list by comparing a few of our own. Some things might be missing, but a web search will return many examples of packing lists. Try not to forget anything, try to pack light, try not to bring knives onto an aircraft (you will be knifeless for trying, actually) and don't forget your toothbrush. And your bike. Definitely bring your bike.

 

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