If you are planning a long distance cycling trip, there are a few things that you will need to bring with you for the journey. The longer the trip the more supplies you will need to bring, so if you are planning to take on a major charity bike ride such as cycling London to Paris you will need to be prepared.
It is important to strike a balance between carrying the supplies you need but not carrying so much weight that it will slow you down. Sometimes inexperienced cyclists end up shipping their excess stuff home partway through their ride when they realise how little they actually need.
So what should you be bringing with you on a long distance cycling trip? Here are some important things to keep in mind:
The clothing that you bring with you on your trip should be lightweight and breathable. Some people bring clothes to wear on the bike as well as clothing to wear in the evenings when you are off the bike – but it is best if you can have clothes that work in both situations so that you can pack lighter. A great option is a light and long sleeved loose fitting shirt that will provide you with protection from the strong rays of the sun. It is best to layer clothing for warmth, so look for thin fabrics that you can layer over top of each other such as Merino Wool.
Also be sure to consider comfort when you are choosing your cycling clothing. Shorts with built in padding are a great option, because they will protect your undercarriage from bruising when you are sitting in the saddle for long periods.
Of course, it is also important to pack a good rain jacket because you never know when the heavens might open up and a deluge might begin. Your clothes should be made from materials that dry quickly so that you can air them out overnight and wear them again the next day.
Food and Drink
You will need to bring food and drink supplies with you so that you can keep yourself hydrated and keep your energy levels up. Water alone is not enough. You will be sweating a lot during a full day of riding and you will need an energy drink with electrolytes to help replace the salts that you are losing. There are many different types of sports energy drinks on the market, so try a few different ones until you find the one that you prefer.
When it comes to food, you should be eating small amounts throughout the day to keep your energy levels up as you will be burning calories constantly. Protein bars are a great choice, as well as dried fruit and nuts. Many cyclist like to keep a snack in their pocket that they can quickly and easily eat with one hand while they are riding.
A cycling computer can really help you when riding, as it measures your calories burned, speed, distance, cadence and much more. Choose one with GPS maps added, so that you can monitor your position and quickly and easily find your way. There are several different models of computer that can be fitted to your handlebars, so choose one that has all of the features you need.
What happens if your bike breaks down on a highway in the middle of nowhere? Make sure that you have packed a spare chain link, spare inner tubes, a lightweight pump, a puncture repair kit or a multi-tool. With a small repair kit with you it is possible to give your bike a quick fix that will help you at least get to the nearest town so that you can find a more permanent solution to the problem.
First Aid Kit
As well as being able to fix your bike on the spot you should also be carrying a first aid kit so that you can patch up any small injuries, cuts and scrapes that might occur along the way. It can include bandages, antiseptic cream, painkillers, anti-bacterial wipes and other emergency care items.
When you are attempting a long distance cycling trip it is important to take the right gear with you in order to make your trip easier. Whether you are riding for charity events or just riding for fun, keep these tips in mind when you are packing your bags.