Pack it in Deciding what to pack and what to leave behind can be a complete minefield. Here are some tips to make it easier.
If your baggage allowance can handle it, consider taking two pairs of cycling shoes. If it rains heavily one day and your shoes get soaked, they may not dry completely overnight. There’s nothing worse than putting on wet shoes at the start of a ride.
Pack one pair of shoes and some riding kit in your bike bag. It means you can definitely ride on day one if your suitcase doesn’t make it at the first attempt. If you’ve got cycling shoes with cleats – bring your own pedals. It’s amazing how many folks turn up without them! Three sets of kit is usually fine if you have to travel light, four for longer trips – remember you might be visiting a country where the weather is varied, and clothes might not dry in a single night.
Don’t forget your padded shorts and a pot of anti-friction chamois cream. They will help keep your bottom happy. Some people prefer to use cycling shorts from a variety of different manufacturers with different shaped inserts. If you experience soreness after a long ride, you can switch to a different pair of shorts and hopefully avoid further irritation and rubbing in the same place day after day.
Hope for the best, plan for the worst. A gilet, windproof jacket, arm and leg warmers are a must, but also take a long-sleeved jersey, bib-tights and overshoes just in case. Far better to have them than not if the weather turns cold and wet. Never travel without long-fingered cycling gloves. Even on a bright day the temperature can plummet in the high mountains. Descending with cold fingers is never fun and can effect braking ability.
Bring your favourite comfy clothes to lounge around in at the end of the day. Weirdly nothing feels better after a mucky day in the saddle than pulling on clean, dry socks.
Wet-wipes and hand sanitizer are really useful to carry in your rucksack or back pocket allowing you to give your hands a quick clean before eating – the best way to avoid a dodgy stomach when you are on holiday.
Don’t forget to pack your multi tool, tyre levers, spare tube, patch kit and mini pump. Our staff and vehicles on our guided and supported tours are equipped with comprehensive tools and spares kits, but most minor mechanical issues can be dealt with on the roadside if you’re carrying the right equipment.
A comprehensive trip-specific packing list is available for all Skedaddle trips on request and check out www.skedaddle.com/uk/traveltips for information on packing your bike.