An Epic Ride: The Set-Up

bike with rear panniers, rack bag
One more preparatory post before I launch into our journey. We planned on a 7-day bike ride in the beginning of October, staying in hotels along the way. My friends and I thought it would be useful to provide a checklist of things we brought for the trip. These are suggestions– depending on how long your trip will be, the time of year you travel, and your accommodations, the items will vary.

I’ve also included in the list things I brought that I ended up not needing, and things I wished I had brought. Some annotations are included. Brand names supplied are not paid endorsements.

Specialized Tricross (see Commuter/Randonneuse bike on my Bicycles page)
Three of us rode on the Tricross model. One of us rode a Giant Cypress hybrid, and one rode on a Rivendell Sam Hillborne. We all did just fine on our respective bikes.
700X32c Panaracer Pasela Tourguard tires
Civia Brownie fenders
Light & Motion Vis 180 Micro rear light
Cygolite Expilion front light
Cateye Mity 8 Cyclocomputer

Ortlieb Front Roller Classic Panniers (used on rear rack)
Banjo Brothers Rack Top Bag
Detours Slice top tube bag
Waterproof bags were critical for this ride, and only the Ortliebs were waterproof. In retrospect, I would get a cover for the rack top bag, or buy a waterproof rack top bag. The top tube bag is not essential for touring. I used the Front Rollers because I have a small bike.

Accessories and Handy Items
Cable lock and keys
2 spare tubes
Hand pump
Chain lube
didn’t use these, but were good to have just in case.
Bungee cord
Laundry detergent (small bottle or small packs of powder)
Chamois Butt’r
Antiseptic spray/lotion
Gauze pads and adhesive
First aid supplies were bought later on the trip, as will be explained.
Zantac (for heartburn, which is a problem for me)
Larabars (my preference for energy bars)
Small wallet with ID, credit card, health insurance information, cash
Water bottles/Camelbak
Toiletries bag– toothbrush, toothpaste, travel-size shampoo, soap, lotion, etc.
Cell phone
Chargers for electronics

One of us forgot to bring this and had to purchase one before the trip. I’m not naming names.
Helmet Cover/Skullcap/Balaclava
Shoe/Toe Covers (waterproof if possible)
Socks (can’t have too many)
Bras (for the ladies– I brought 2 sports bras, 2 regular bras for off the bike)
2 Hiking knickers with 2 chamois liners
1 pair biking tights with chamois
I wore the knickers with regular underwear off the bike. I might have preferred to wear regular biking shorts on the bike instead– I haven’t decided yet.
1 silk top baselayer
1 pair full-fingered gloves (waterproof would have been nice)
1 pair half-fingered gloves
2 long-sleeved jerseys
1 short-sleeved jersey
1 short-sleeved T-shirt
1 long-sleeved T-shirt
Much discussion on breathable versus non-breathable jackets ensued throughout the ride. Just get a jacket that keeps out the rain.
1 pair walking shoes

Things I Forgot to Bring
A paper journal with pen
I kept notes on scraps of hotel paper. Not ideal.
Actually, I didn’t forget to bring this. I just dislike the model I have, which has a short battery life. So, sorry, no Strava logs! If anyone wants a Garmin, get in touch with me.

Optional Items
Reflective vest
I didn’t need this because my rainjacket has reflective stripes.
Homework, Textbook, Computer Tablet
Only if you’re a student and enrolled in a class. Don’t expect to get much work done because of lack of strong wi-fi signals and exhaustion.

4 thoughts on “An Epic Ride: The Set-Up

  1. I’m curious what Garmin you have, and if the short battery life is from being old? I thought most of them have ~13 hours of life.

    • It’s a Forerunner (less than a year old), which is meant for running, not biking. It is supposed to stay charged up to 10 hours, but in reality stays charged for 7-8 hours. It’s crapped out at the end of rides more often than not, so I’d rather get something like the Edge series that stays charged for longer.

  2. Looks like you brought everything you could carry. On my first tour, I mailed back about 5 pounds of stuff, mostly maps because I was on the road in OH and wanted to leave my routing options open. Seems silly in retrospect, particularly now that we have GPS apps.

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