As the sun arrives so too does the prospect of a cycling tour, if you are anything like me and love nothing more than heading out for a week or so on your bike then you’ll know that the best way to do so is in comfort. I’ve done the cycling/camping thing before and to be honest, there was nothing worse than sitting and sleeping in a tent after a long days ride, not to mention putting the thing up! My ethos now when I hit the tour is to keep things comfortable, not always easy if you are just taking a backpack and cycle bags so you need to ensure you pack just the essentials and here are the things that I couldn’t do without on a tour.
There is nothing, I repeat nothing worse on a cycling tour than chafing and balm is essential to your happiness on the tour. Failing to take this is simply criminal, even the most experienced cyclists suffer from problems like this and without balm, the rest of your trip is going to be painful and frankly, not enjoyable.
A Good Scarf
Scarves are all purpose items that can really help you on your trip, they can stop the dust from getting in your face, shield your head from heat, protect your neck from cold and wind and you’d be surprised how many times they come in handy to tie something up. The beauty of a scarf is that they are light enough to carry and flexible enough to fit in the smallest of bags.
Whether you will be staying in hotels or in a tent, entertainment is key to keep you smiling on your journey. Naturally you aren’t going to pack a tele on your back but a deck of cards, a small board game or even a little radio can provide you with some much needed entertainment on your travels, many items don’t take up much room and can provide hours of fun.
If you do choose to camp on your tour then it is worth investing well in your sleeping bag, these days you can find incredibly compact mummy sleeping bags that don’t take up much space, don’t weigh too much and provide incredible warmth and comfort. It can be tempting to pick the smallest and lightest bag but these don’t always provide the best comfort. A good nights sleep is key to enjoying the next day and aside from the bike, this should be your biggest investment.
As much of a pain as it might be, carrying a second pair of shoes can prove to be a very smart move. Naturally you will need to select something that is small and flexible enough to fit in your bike bags or back pack but there are plenty of shoe types that you can look for that are exactly that, small and flexible. Wearing your SPD shoes all day and night can create sores on your feet, especially if they get wet, don’t run the risk, pop a second pair of shoes in and you will be thankful for the change at the end of the day.