Monday, 3 July 2017

LEJOG – How to pack for 21st Century Cycle Touring ‘If it doesn’t fit in the bag you don’t need it’

This is a short piece on what to take or more importantly what not to take, a full write up will follow later:
First decide what type of tourer you are:
tent or hard core bivvy bag camper
plastic supported B&B, pub and hotel dweller
Apart from the amount of stuff you need to take this will also impact how much you smell.

Pete, Duncan and I, all agreed we were the later i.e. we were going to travel light. Rack and Panniers (often a couple of kilos before you add your stuff) may have been the way to go in the 20th Century but modern materials mean an oversized seat pack weighing only a few hundred grams can accommodate all your needs, and is far more aero.
After some research, we selected a fully waterproof model from Apidura with a 14l capacity and duly ordered one each.

What to take:
Leg warmers and Arm warmers – yes I know it’s summer, but believe me up north they don’t
Rain jacket
Evening wear:
o Charity T-Shirt all 3 of us.
o Shorts and 2 pairs of underwear - me, Pete took his infamous pyjama bottoms and went commando, and Duncan took long trousers
o Something warm – Wool sweater – Pete and I, Jacket Duncan
o Flip flops – Pete and I, Crocs sometimes worn with socks Duncan
Second pair of bib shorts – not completely essential as it’s usually possible to wash and dry kit overnight, but not wanting to spend the day sitting in what feels like  a used nappy we all took a spare.
Second pair of socks – wool work well as not only are the warm when wet, they tend to smell less
Second top – Pete had a second jersey, I had a second base layer and Duncan a second Polo top for the evening
Gilet – I took one, but never used it – it’s off the list for next time
Chamois Cream
Tooth brush and paste – Pete manged to get through 5 tooth brushes on the trip, but that’s another story!
Razor – Duncan and I, Pete went fuzzy.
Deodorant – Pete and Duncan – I have no sense of smell so skipped this.
Phone charger
USB battery and Garmin lead – Duncan and I
Communal Items:
o Small lock and wire to secure the bikes – a deterrent rather than protection – Me
o Sudocrem – 1 dip each per application – Pete
o Di2 charger – Pete and Duncan wanted to be able to Top up their batteries
o Charm – On a particularly grim day Duncan managed to procure free coffee and chocolate cake for us all and still put a smile on the face of the lady who owned the café.
o We each tool a tube and a CO2 cannister, multitool and tyre leavers – savings to be made by sharing their next time.
o Additionally I took – tyre boot, puncture repair kit and KMC missing link

My bag and contents weighted in at 3.1kg

Duncan bending the rules – ‘If it doesn’t fit in the bag you don’t need it’

And of course the final thing you need a couple of friends Or as Pete Buss refers to them – my retired gay parents

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