With the onset of the cycling season, you must have planned an expedition like a short or long distance cycling trip for yourself . Cycling is not only inexpensive but also a perfect way to enjoy your outing. It gives you the freedom that many travellers fail to experience.
While you cycle to different locations, you will not miss the lovely scenery which otherwise is missed while traveling via faster modes. However, it is a strenuous exercise which requires proper planning and utmost care to ensure that you travel light to cater to the extremely tiring experience.
The second important rule is to pack items that’re critically required like a first aid box and necessary supplies in maintaining energy levels to sustain long rides. Eliminating the right things from your supplies will make a huge difference in your expedition and packing trivial things will make the weight unnecessarily heavy.
Must-have Checklist for Long distance cycling
When you are traveling with panniers, try and keep the weight load between 15 and 45 pounds. Your bike will be more stable if 60 percent of the total weight is in the front. You can experiment with weight distribution that suits your bike.
Items like tools, spare bike parts, cooking equipment, fuel bottles, food, and on-the-bike clothing usually go in the front panniers and light but space consuming items like clothes and blankets in the rear panniers.
Wrap your panniers and sleeping bag with plastic bags as despite being labeled “waterproof,” some panniers leak in hard rains.
For keeping things organized and for easy identification, you can use zip-lock bags.
Try and keep the heaviest gear low and toward the front of the trail. Most of your luggage will fit into the bag containing the trailer. They are mostly waterproof, so keep all items which can leak in the trailer bag. Items like traps and spare trailer tyre can be placed below the trailer bag.
For items to be kept handy like food, rain gear, pump, and lock etc., you can put them in a separate bag and place it on the top of the trailer bag.
Apart from this obvious list, here are items which are a must-have gear for your next long distance cycling adventure:
Even if you love biking, you cannot ride all the time. An entertaining and refreshing break can make biking more vigorous.
You can carry anything depending on your taste and location you are traveling to like a fishing rod, a deck of cards, book or any board game.
4. Bright Coloured Clothes
While traveling on busy roads always be cautious and wear bright coloured clothes. Drivers do not expect and like to see cyclists on road, so bright-coloured clothes will increase your visibility and might save your life.
Also, hang a bright coloured flag on the trailer bag.
5. Rain Gear
Never forget rain gears as they are directly related to Murphy’s Law.
It will rain the time you forego the rain gears. Most cyclists prefer to ride in headwinds rather than in rains because of the aftermath, i.e., illness.
Securing your bike is equally important when it is out of sight. A bad lock can turn your long exciting trip into a nightmare.
Buy an efficient lock so that you can keep your worries at bay and have a good night’s sleep.
7. Food Bag
Carrying a bag full of snacks will add unnecessary weight to the bike. Instead carry a quick supply of energy foods like cereal bars, fresh bread, chocolate, and cheese.
They will provide enough carbs and sugar to get the energy to the sore muscles.
8. Flat Repair Kit
As it is said, “precaution is better than cure.” Always carry a flat repair kit, we bet you will not regret carrying these extra weights.
Also, learn some Basic Cycle Repairing Techniques.
9. Saddle Bag
There would be some items like lip balm, sunscreen, and snacks that you will require and want to keep within reach.
You can pack all such items in the saddle bag and can grab them as and when required. Believe us, it will save a lot of time sorting them out from the panniers.
10. Sleeping Pad
A sleeping pad will ensure warm and comfortable rest while you are on the road. Invest in a good sleeping pad and strap it to the rear rack.
These extra weights on the rear wheel will give a relaxing break to your back.
11. Solar Charger
In most of the places, you will find an outlet to plug your phone and other gadgets. However, there might be places like national parks or campsites where you will not have access to any such outlet.
That is the time when solar charger should come handy.
12. First Aid Kit
While on road one should be extra cautious.
You may ride safely but cannot predict about other drivers. A first aid kit is most useful at the time of crisis.
First long distance trip? Not sure how to plan? No worries.
We are there to help!
Now that you know what to carry:
It’s time to plan your long distance cycling trip!
Preparing for a long distance cycling trip can be taxing. We hope that the tips offered will help you finalize your packing list.