Normally I like to have options. What happens if it rains? What happens if it’s cold? What happens if I just don’t like those clothes on that day? However, when bike touring, options are not your friends. In fact, the less you can get away with the better. Options = weight and weight = hard work.
With this in mind, I really did try to minimise my packing to the bare essentials. Yes, you could really take it to the extreme and take one set of kit and one change of clothes, but unless you have some form of anhidrosis, I really wouldn’t recommend it.
Most of my kit is in this Restrap Saddle Bag. I like it because it’s made in Yorkshire, ergo, it was definitely going to be excellent. And, touch wood, so far so good.
In here I have (from top left):
- Shorts and T-shirt for when I’m not cycling
- Leggings and warm top (just in case it was ever cold, but probably just for the plane home)
- One set of running kit as that is the whole point of the trip
- One nice dress because if I actually make it to Vienna, I will be celebrating!!
- Bikini (for those surprise Airbnb moments)
- Spare socks and compression socks
- Two pairs of cycling kit (although I’m always wearing one)
- North Face jacket for cold evenings (very useful on the ferry)
Smaller Dry Bag
This was just a standard dry bag I bought from Amazon and I attach it to the big one with some bungee ropes.
In this bag we have:
- Flip flops
- Medical kit (touch wood I won’t ever need)
- Spare inner tubes
- Waterproof (although I usually strap that to the outside so it’s easily accessible if the heavens open)
- My toiletries too, but these were in the bathroom at the time of taking the photo
On the main man himself
Bikey has had some adjustments made to him especially for the trip
Firstly, the tyres got an upgrade to, fingers crossed, ensure no punctures en route. I normally ride with 25c tyres, however these are Schwalbe Marathon Plus 28c road tyres (I thought the name was quite apt as well…)
The top tube bag is also a recent addition. That holds the all important battery, which I can keep my phone charged on, and also equally important, snaaaacks.
The little bag underneath is usually where my saddle bag is, and that’s my kit for repairs. So things such as an Allen key, tyre levers etc.
Then we have two water bottles, which need constant refilling and on the handle bars; a front light, a space for my phone, and holder for my Garmin, which records the ride.
Lastly, we have my high vis lock. I try not to leave Bikey anywhere on his own but if needs must, then a lock is essential.
I also have a backpack which has important things such as; passport, money, chargers, some actual paper maps (if all technology fails), Derek the Dolphin, and more snaaacks.